Here are some shorter musings on some recent reads.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof
I thoroughly enjoyed Ezra and Kady (particularly Ezra). They are fabulous main characters. I enjoyed their banter and how much the cared about each other even though that was often hard. The format of the book makes it rather easy and quick to read despite its bulk and I thought it was a clever way to tell the story. However, it still could have been about 200 pages shorter. It has a lot of humor and excellent themes. I'm going to keep reading the trilogy because I do want to find out how this all sorts itself out in the end.
The Kidney Hypothetical by Lisa Yee
I looked forward to reading this for a while and was so disappointed. Higgs is an awful human being and Monarch is as stereotypical manic-pixie-dream girl as you can get. I kept waiting or Yee to subvert these characterizations and do something clever with the plot but that didn't happen. I'm personally disappointed, but am glad ti have it as a rec for those I know who eat these books up.
Orange by Ichigo Takano
I don't typically read Manga so I have no basis for comparing this to other works in the genre. I read this because my friend does the lettering for English editions of Manga and this is one of the books she worked on. She let me borrow it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved this group of characters so much and how they interacted with each other. It was amazing to me how much character development happened and how much this was a book about characters. There are some aspects of the themes that were troubling for me and I'd be cautious about recommending it to readers you know struggle with suicidal thoughts, but overall it is incredibly well done.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Spetys
This is a book about the greatest Maritime disaster in history. Reading it is not easy. It is an excellent incredibly well written book, but it will do things to you emotionally. The story follows four characters all trying to escape various circumstances as the Russians close in on German troops at the end of World War II. The chapters are short and jump between the characters. This does make it rather difficult to fully connect with the characters. That's not entirely a bad thing. These kids do not have easy lives.
The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Moon
The characters were interesting and I found that the book explored a lot of issues through the romance including racism, immigration, class, and depression. The format of the book made it hard for me to fall completely in love with this one though. It was always THERE reminding me of the author. If I see the author on every page working a little too hard to prove they are clever and good at their craft, I don't enjoy myself as much. I felt that here.