November Wrap Up

Bug Boys by Laura Knetzger

This is such a cute collection of different stories about two bugs who go on so many adventures. It’s a nice quick read that you can read with your kids. It’s also a great read for children who are learning to read.

Aster and the Accidental Magic by Thom Pico, Karensac

Aster and the Accidental Magic tells the story of Aster who has recently moved to a new town in the middle of nowhere. She hates that she has to live there now and wants to stay indoors playing video games. Her dad forced her to go outside which begins these strange set of adventures she goes on.

I love the many characters that Aster meets and the stories that happen as she meets them. I think that each teach her a lesson and each of them make me want to read more.

I think this is a great middle grade read because of all the action and how quick paced it was. I also like that the ending kept you wanting to know what happens next.

Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi

I had high expectations of this book because of how much hype this book got. I have mixed feelings about this book though. The characters are well developed and I enjoyed how they interact with each other and the world around them. I wasnt a fan of the plot though and how slowly things moved. I was hoping there would be more action or something to keep me on the edge of my seat.

Cast Away: Poems for Our Time by Naomi Shihab Nye

While I thought these poems were written more for adults than young people I still found them interesting. I like how she wrote a whole book about trash and different types of trash. I thought it was interesting to really think about the way we throw things away and how careless we are with our things.

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

As I read this book I grew more and more invested in the lives of Sarah and Tassie. I loved their ever changing relationship with each other and the journey they were on together. When tradegy strikes Sarah’s household the story shifts and is about the everyday mundane life of Tassie. It was at that point that I no longer cared for the story. It’s like Tassie was no one without Sarah and Mary Emma.

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones, Gilly Segal

I got this book because it’s the library’s big read and they had it available on audiobook. The audiobook is really good because they use two different people to read each characters chapters. I really enjoyed how there was a clear distinction between which character was speaking. I wonder if I would’ve seen the story any differently if I read it rather than listened to it.

I liked having this story told in both of the girls perspectives. I liked watching Lena be one way towards Campbell but be so frustrated with her. I also loved the revelation that Campbell comes to at the end and how she sees everything as she’s told off. And I love how things aren’t resolved at the end and it leaves you thinking.

I also really enjoyed how quick paced everything was. I liked that everything happened in the span of a few hours. I think that things had to happen that quickly for anything to have an impact.

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon

I loved reading Jonathan and Web fall in love with each other in a world that only I’m privy to as the reader. It’s such a beautiful first love and placed me in my memories of my first real love. It reminded me of thinking I was in love but then actually being in love for the first time as I came to terms with my queerness and how beautiful that is. This book made me see that relationship as something different than I kept seeing it as and it helped me heal from the pain the ending of that relationship caused. I appreciate this book for giving me a new perspective.

I like how short the chapters are and how easily they blend into each other. The short chapters make the book feel like it’s passing a lot slower than it actually is. In the end you realize that this whole story took place over the span of 1 summer. It just reminds me how quickly things can change and it reminds me of the quote in the book “Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now.” by Ricard Bach.

I really enjoy the moment Jonathan starts to be okay with being gay because it means he can be with Web. I love how he’s like nothing else matters because of that and just really knowing what that moment feels like. I enjoy how relatable so much of this book is even if it’s written in a different time period.

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

This book took me a long time to get through and not because I didn’t enjoy it. I just had to read other things in between. According to my photos I’ve been working on this book since July of this year and I finally was able to get through it though and I’m glad.

I like how there’s only two main characters and you get to know them really way. I like how the relationship that they have is always changing and is very tumultuous. I like how you you don’t really know what Em is thinking, only what Gyre thinks she’s thinking because the whole story is told in third person through Gyres perspective.

Something else I enjoyed was how descriptive each scene is. I read part in physical book and ebook and then listened to the rest. These descriptions made the book more interesting and I felt like I was in that cave with Gyre. The audiobook made things very eerie and I listened to it on my way to work and on my way home which made it even more creepier. I loved how scared this book made me not just because of the story but also for Gyre.

The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West

I loved how each chapter was a different topic but they all tied together well. I really enjoyed how it wasnt just a humorous book but I learned something in each chapter. I was forced to stop and think about things that I thought I hadn’t formed an opinion about.

I loved that it was dark humor. I liked that some of these were not things people find funny. And how the most humorous things were that it was sarcastic. So much of it was funny because it’s TRUE.

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom

I love all of the books I’ve read by Mitch Albom and this one was no different. Mitch really captured how much of a beautiful child Chika was and I love how her personality shines through each word.

I loved the way this book was structured where he had segments where it was him and Chika speaking, then just him about his insights and then parts of the past and what she taught him. I loved hearing each lesson he learned through her and how fond he is of those lessons.
You get so attached to Chika and even if you know she’s going to pass away that moment still hits you hard. I cried as Mitch and his wife said their goodbye and felt honored to be allowed into such a private moment between the three of them.

I recommend this to those of you who enjoy any of Mitch Albom’s other books or who like to read heartfelt stories that’ll make you cry.

Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come by Richard Preston

This is just as great if not better than The Hot Zone which is my favorite book of all time. When I first read The Hot Zone it felt like a fictional story or another world I was being privy to so when this came out I couldn’t wait to read it. This was about an outbreak that I followed, this was a story that I thought I knew so well but was wrong. Ebola is the scariest thing in the world to me so reading about it terrifies me.

I love the way that Richard Preston tells the story of the doctors and nurses who risked their lives to treat their own and their patients. He really gives us some insight into their stories and so many of the behind the scenes things we didnt know about. I just love how his writing makes me feel like I’m reading a fiction story and have to remind myself that this is real. These are real people and others lives.

I think one of the most amazing things to learn about was the politics behind the two Americans who got the treatment to save them. That’s a story I remember so well on the news and recall my feelings toward it and this made me rethink that whole situation.

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