October 2017 Wrap-Up (Part 1)

Sons from Afar by Cynthia Voigt
(The Tillerman Cycle, book 6)
Rating:  ★★★★☆
Review:  No
Reading Dates:  October 2 – 5
Read Count:  3
Favorite Thing:  The way James and Sammy both admire each other, with neither of them realizing it.
Least Favorite Thing:  Not enough Dicey & Gram.

I was right in this post, to expect that I would like this book more now that I’m older. I even rated it higher than I had in the past.

My Posts About Sons from Afar

Seventeen Against the Dealer by Cynthia Voigt
(The Tillerman Cycle, book 7)
Rating:  ★★★★☆
Review:  No
Reading Dates:  September 5 – 6
Read Count:  3
Favorite Thing:  The way Dicey thinks about things.
Least Favorite Thing:  Cisco. (Please read that name with your lip curled up in disgust, because that’s how I think it and how I typed it.)

Wow. I was right to expect it to be different to read when I was older. Not good different or bad different, but different.

The best way I can think to explain it is:  When I was younger and I read it, I was reading it with the kind of optimism about the future that mostly only people under 18 have, even the ones who don’t think they really have it much. Because no matter what was going on I thought pretty much like I always had with all the other books, that everything would fall into place and work out because Dicey deserved for it to. And because that’s what I was reading it for, when Dicey feels satisfied with the way she’s moving forward at the end, I felt like everything had fallen into place and worked out.

Now though, I see it more realistically. Things don’t work out because you deserve for them to or because you want them, but even when things don’t work out the way you dreamed, there’s usually something you can still do to pick yourself up and keep going with your life, whichever way you go. Not that it’s all hunky-dory, of course, but if you look at things with an eye to solve problems and keep surviving, that’s almost always what you’ll do eventually, even if it doesn’t feel good the whole time and even if it isn’t the way you wanted it to be.

I feel like this book was trying to teach me something my whole life, and I got it, but I didn’t get it.

It’s a great book, but it’s a hard one too. Because you only want things to work out the way they ought to and be simpler, and you have to grow your thoughts up right alongside Dicey as you read. And the process doesn’t feel very good most of the time, though there are bright spots, but in the end you feel satisfied with yourself and with the book.

This bit got a lot longer than I usually have it, but I can’t see a single thing I’m willing to take out, so long it will have stay.

My Posts About Seventeen Against the Dealer

Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
(Battle Hall Davies, book 1)
Rating:  ★★★☆☆
Review:  No
Reading Dates:  October 12
Read Count:  2
Favorite Thing:  Nic’s insistence on “bisexual”.
Least Favorite Thing:  It’s a tie between everyone else insisting on saying Nic was gay/lesbian and her straight friend Katrina making every single thing about Nic and Battle into something sexual as if queer relationships aren’t about anything except sex.  (Note:  I didn’t enjoy reading those things, but they are totally accurate so I wouldn’t want them removed from the book.)

I read this book once before when I was in middle school or early high school. I decided to reread it because there’s something about the cover art and title that constantly bring me back to it even though it’s not exactly a mind-blowing piece of writing. But I can actually remember clearly the exact moment I first saw this book on a shelf, and if you know anything about me and my terrible memory, you know that’s a huge deal.

I did have a couple of complaints, but they are small:

  • There was something off-putting about the way all Nic’s straight friends kept saying “dyke” all the time… Maybe Yankees use the word more than Southerners and that’s why I’m not used to it, but it practically made me flinch every time.
    (It’s only used as an insult a couple times, the rest are it being used in place of the words “gay” or “lesbian”, but in my life I’ve only ever heard anyone use that specific word on tv, even my queer friends never used it.)
  • It didn’t feel like there was a plot? I’m sure there must have been, and I guess it was that the romance was the entire plot, but honestly it barely felt like it had a plot at all. I’m assuming that I am just not used to novels that are literally about romance and nothing else at all.

Overall it was a decent book and it was nice to see a portrayal of the different ways bisexuality is erased and dismissed by other people.

My Posts About Empress of the World

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Rating:  ★★★☆☆
Review:  No
Reading Dates:  August 2 – October 13
Read Count:  1
Favorite Thing:  THE LETTER!!!!!
Least Favorite Thing:  Anne’s family…

I no longer hate Persuasion. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. It’s just as well written as all Austen’s novels, even if I couldn’t get into it, and I’m so glad to have finally read it all the way through.

I finished this book for The Cookie Read-A-Thon