Wow, has it really been three years? Damn…that’s a lot of books—a lot of reading and a lot of stories. And, as promised, here is the newest of my New Year’s Book Cheers. My newest opinions on three books. Give any of these stories a try; I certainly liked them.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Okay, so, obviously, I’ve read this book before. I read it when I was a kid, and then when I was a tad older, and now, here I am again: diving back into this odd story. And, truly it is odd—odd and weird and strange. But, also, the book aged remarkably well and is way darker than I recall it being. The characters go to some harrowing locations and children nearly die. I went back and looked at the old Narnia books, just in passing, and found that a lot of old children’s novels treated their stories with remarkable depth and respected the maturity of the reader. I’m not sure how much the later books hold up, as I’m not enjoying A Swiftly Tilting Planet nearly as much as the first two books in the five-book series, but, still, the original is lovely and smart and worth reading no matter how old you are.
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
I am a fan of inclusive literature, and never have I read a book so friendly to those who might feel marginalized. And, for that alone, it was a cool experience, but, on top of that, the story touched some ideas and concepts that were…um…uncomfortably close to home (the main character is overweight, and the world is not always kind to her for it). Also, as an upside to the whole thing, the book takes place in 2015. More specifically, when the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal, and there’s a line where someone says, “Go look online!” and when they ask “Where? What website?” the answer I would have given comes out:
And that’s freaking cool. I could not stop smiling towards the end—and it had more of a mature bite to the relationships than some novels, so that was also fun. If you like modern romance novels and want to read one a little off the standard all-straight, all-white path, then boy do I have a pick for you.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Haven’t seen the movie yet, so you will get no real comparison: but the book is fascinatingly weird. Yeah, there’s a bit of that stuff about worrying if you are indeed a robot—but there is a lot more of just pure strangeness in between the covers. The future that the book takes place in has a real obsession with animals, all animals, and is more like an alien world than a potential future Earth. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? also does not do a great job of explaining how the technology the characters use works, or even what it quite looks like—but, yet, it plants seeds of ideas. Makes a reader question who deserves to live, robot versus person, and why they do. And, for that, it was a good read—and one I won’t forget anytime soon.