I would just like us all to take a moment to reflect on one of my favorite little underappreciated moments in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which is when the main female character, Mina, has possibly been bitten by Dracula and everyone is freaking out and unsure whether she can be saved and her husband Jonathan very contemplatively says something along the lines of “You know what…if you HAAAAAVE to be a vampire I suppoooooose I can take the very burdensome step of becoming a vampire also because I love you so much that I will even go to hell with you but first we can do sexy vampire stuff” because he’s remembering the vampire death orgy that he almost had back at Dracula’s castle and also because he’s a good Victorian man, so sex is on his mind next-door to CONSTANTLY. Anyway, I didn’t read that book this week, but I do love it a lot and highly recommend it. So there you go, a whole EXTRA recommendation for you!
Foolish Hearts – Emma Mills
“mmmmmmmmrrrggg.” – the sound of disappointment
I really, really wanted to like this book. Nay, I wanted to LOVE it. I read Emma Mills’ first book, First & Then, last summer, was delightfully charmed by it, and added her other books, This Adventure Ends and Foolish Hearts, to my to-read-list (which is actually my library hold list, which I strategically pause and unpause depending on how much I have on my plate–it’s a very bizarre, ridiculous system that nonetheless gives me an endorphin rush whenever I make adjustments to it).
First & Then is YA romcom at some of its charming-est; it’s low-key a teenage Pride & Prejudice situation, the characters are sweet and salty at the right times, and it’s the exact kind of book you want to cuddle into bed with on a sunny Saturday morning with a Poptart. This Adventure Ends was okay. It was good pre-bed reading, still cute, still fun. Foolish Hearts tries to be those things, but the main character felt like a 3D print of the last two main characters, there were several flimsy plot and character threads, and I felt juked by the love story. I felt like there was an OBVIOUS better path that could have and SHOULD HAVE been taken and I am still stewing over it.
All of those things being said, I am still trash for plotlines concerning Characters Being In A Play, which this book contains, along with some sly High School Musical references that I could not possibly turn up my nose at. But mostly just read First & Then.
Adulthood Rites – Octavia E. Butler
I think I mentioned the first book in Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy, Dawn, in my very first post. Dawn is amazing. I loved it. I hadn’t read any Butler before, but I am now committed to reading everything she’s ever written. If you like speculative science fiction and haven’t read her yet, get thee to an independent bookseller or your library (or, I suppose Amazon/Barnes & Noble if you must [I am such a fucking hypocrite, btw]) and clear your schedule.
I started typing out the premise of the books, but stopped myself because if I try to put words to this series it’s going to sound silly and it’s very much not silly. It’s full of Big Questions about what it means to be human–both biologically and existentially. The books are particularly focused on the roles that sex and gender play in our lives, and how the way we think of those roles shifts when confronted with approaches that are literally ALIEN, which of course makes the series EXTREMELY my jam. From the “sneak peek” chapter at the end, I already have a lot of Thoughts & Excitement (TM) about the trilogy’s finale and the structural movement holding the series up. The books came out in the 80s, so I don’t have to wait for publication…just for it to make its way up through my library stack.
Farewell for now! Next time you read me, I will have finished with this accursed GRE and be riding the endorphin high of releasing a bunch of library holds at once!!