Another solid month of reading. Also the most beautiful covers. Serendipity. Let’s get started.
The Sleeper and the Spindle – Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell
I spoke about how much I’d enjoyed this duo in Art Matters with a friend and she told me she had this book! Don’t you just love swapping books with friends? The artwork in this illustrated story is beautifully gothic and incredibly detailed. Probably my favourite part of the book actually. The story is a twist on the well-known stories of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. I enjoyed Snow White ditching her wedding dress on the eve of her wedding for some chainmail and an adventure. Badass woman saving badass woman. But whilst it’s fun to see, I think it left a lot to be desired. I was told there could be an LGBT+ narrative to this book which did not materialise. I think that was a missed opportunity. The execution was just nothing mind-blowing but it was a nice, quick little read.
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
This was another one of those been-on-my-shelf-for-years-interested-in-it-but-just-getting-covered-in-dust-but-trying-to-change type situation. I’ve also wanted to watch the movie for years but I just cannot watch a movie first when I know a book exists. So it was high time I read this. I’m gonna be brief because I don’t want to give anything away. It’s mysterious, it’s enchanting, it’s captivating. I found it a beautiful exploration of youth and what it is to be human. Go and read.
The Terrible – Yrsa Daley-Ward
I simply can’t get through a month without reading a memoir. I loved Daley-Ward’s poetry collection so much (as you might remember from January, go and read it now!) that I immediately went out and bought this book. It was written equally as beautiful as the poems. She just has a natural flow about her writing that it sounds poetic even when framed as prose. She also uses some experimental formats throughout the book which really add to its uniqueness. Similar to her poetry, the themes of this memoir are not easy to read. The stories will make your heart ache
Vicious – V. E. Schwab
This was the first V. E. Schwab book I heard about on Booktube many years ago. I read A Darker Shade of Magic last year and really enjoyed it so when I saw this stunning edition of Vicious it had to be mine. I definitely wasn’t disappointed. There’s just something about Victor Vale, man. Like I know he’s an anti-hero at best and kind of just a criminal, but I think he’s a really intriguing character. The twist on the traditional superhero narrative was very dark but well executed. The ragtag gang of characters are very endearing if not odd. Made me excited to read more of this author.
The Incendiaries – R. O. Kwon
I saw this book first when it was Belletrist’s book of the month. It was a novel I devoured about a relationship between two college students from very different backgrounds. One thing I found intriguing about the novel is that it’s arguably primarily about Phoebe but it is narrated by Will. So we have this pretty good idea of who Phoebe is but then I realised, is that even how she sees herself? And is this narrator reliable? Is he a caring friend or actually weirdly obsessed after her disappearance? Either way, it’s very fractured. Aside from the love story, the plot actually follows a group of extremists. It was very interesting to get a snippet at a look into cult initiation. Very powerful novel.
Fan The Flames – Sheer Mag