Flannery challenged Tatiana to read:
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford
Tatiana challenged Catie to read:
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
Catie challenged Flannery to read:
Shadowland by Meg Cabot
Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt
The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
We all loved last month’s picks so there’s a lot to live up to with this round. And now the tables have turned! The challengers become the…challengees! Throwing a monkey wrench into the whole affair is the fact that all three of us are currently in varying stages of the dreaded YA slump. Can anything possibly break us out of it? Without further ado, here are this month’s selections:
Feed by M.T. Anderson
What it's about: a dark commentary on consumerism, set in a not-so-distant future. Titus is an ordinary teen, who spends all day with the feed implanted into his brain - buying stuff, chatting with his friends, and getting high. Until he meets rebel Violet (definite shades of John Green here) who starts to open his mind.
Why I think she'd like it: It's a very smart, sophisticated teen sci-fi. Also, the audiobook is fantastic. I know that Tatiana loves audios and I think she'd really enjoy listening to this one.
As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann
What it's about: An incredibly dark historical novel with a very unreliable narrator, plus lots of sex, betrayal, and misery.
Why I think she'd like it: Simply put, this is one of the darkest, most depressing books I've ever read. Which is why I think Tatiana will love it. Reading Jacob's account is like being him for a little while, and experiencing all of his noble, sweet, deranged, violent feelings. This reminds me of other dark psychological stories that she's loved, like In The Woods or Sharp Objects but it has the added bonuses of being a very accurate and well-researched historical novel AND did I mention lots of sex?
True Grit by Charles Portis
What it's about: Mattie is fourteen when her father is murdered and being the practical, determined girl that she is, she sets out to hire a U.S. Marshall to help her track down his killer.
Why I think she'd like it: Before there was Ree Dolly or Katniss, there was Mattie Ross. Mattie is a tough, opinionated, no-nonsense girl with a strict moral code. I think Tatiana will love Mattie. This book is also a very fast-paced, exciting read and is only about 150 pages long. Take that, book slump!
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The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
What it's about: Love, obsession, private detectives, marriage, religion, fidelity, war, contemplation. Or, in a sentence, a broken-hearted man rekindles a romance with a former flame.
Why I think she'd like it: This book packs a punch into less than 200 pages. As far as classics go, it is very easy to read but Greene doesn't sacrifice thoughtful language, which I know Catie enjoys. I think this book can be very divisive and I'd love to see where Catie falls. Parts of it might enrage her and a little bit of my recommendation is selfish interest on my part--I'm just really curious about what she'll think of it. Plus, it's on her 110+ Books list and it would be super easy to cross it off! (and there's a movie!)
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
What it's about: A deaf girl becomes the manager of a high school band.
Why I think she'd like it: Since we've all been in a YA slump lately, this is a pleasant departure from the typical voice of the genre. There is a nerdy chess-playing love interest, and I know that Catie and I both love the nerdy high school students. *cough* No love triangle either, so major bonus!
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Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson
What it's about: The Bloggess recounts stories from her childhood and adult life, including stories about what her life was like with a taxidermist father, how she lives with a social anxiety disorder, what childbirth was like, and blogging.
Why I think she'll like it: I listened to the audiobook of this one and it is one of those books that Catie will actually laugh out loud to, and I'm willing to wager she'd laugh several times. This is the perfect audiobook to listen to while she's working out, driving, cleaning, or doing anything else. Jenny Lawson narrates the book herself and her stories are filled with so many nearly unbelievable moments that it is impossible not to talk about it while listening.
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
What it's about: Set in 1906, this is a historical novel about a girl who is torn between her dreams of becoming a writer and her family responsibilities and wishes that push her towards settling for being a farmer's wife.
Why I think she'd like it: Flannery seems to like historical YA, and this book is definitely one of the best one in the genre - Printz Honor is a pretty good indicator of it.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
What it's about: Women being oppressed in various horrifying ways.
Why I think she'd like it: Not sure how Flannery managed to not have read any Margaret Atwood yet, but it's definitely time to check her out. This book is a big time downer, but Flann doesn't shy away from bleak, depressing dystopias.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
What it's about: A young woman on a verge of a nervous breakdown.
Why I think she'd like it: Well, I know Flannery likes books about mentally unstable people, so The Bell Jar should be right up her alley. This novel also has the bloodiest de-flowering scenes I've ever read. I hope she is intrigued enough to pick this up:)