Hello hello, look at me, actually doing this one on time! Something not on time was October’s Pop Culture Pen Pals; this month really ate both Hannah and I alive but we got it out yesterday, and friends, it’s pretty good! We wrote about Derry Girls and Hustlers, which you should DEFINITELY watch, as well as our feeling about the decline of Stranger Things. We have some fun stuff in mind for the next few months, so remember to subscribe!
One of my biggest fears is outer space. So naturally I read and watch as much about outer space as possible. I don’t have any explanation for this — my roommate thinks it’s because I feel like if I learn enough about it I won’t be scared of it, which I do not agree with, because the more I learn about it the more terrifying it becomes. But it’s also SO fascinating, especially when we get into the freaky time stuff, which is exactly what this book is about.
I picked it up wanting to know more about the parallel worlds theory, which I was bummed to find out was a smaller part of the book than I anticipated. This is partly due to the sheer amount of physics Kaku needs to summarize and explain before even getting there, but even after we got there we moved on pretty quickly. Kaku is an engaging writer who does a good job at explaining extremely complex theories and ideas to non-physics reader, but there were some tangents that didn’t feel quite necessary. Anyway, I’m still glad I read it so that I can tell everyone I see about the idea that millions of years in the future scientists might figure out how to slingshot the earth into a larger orbit in order to avoid being swallowed by the sun. Fun!
Pretending He’s Mine – Mia Sosa
I found this book via the twitter account of a romance-only bookstore called The Ripped Bodice, which is thankfully located in California or I would be spending ALL of my time there. Their account does a ‘Featured Book of the Day,’ which has SIGNIFICANTLY added to my library holds list. Based on the brief description they used, I bumped this one to the top INSTANTLY because ‘close proximity’ is one of my favorite tropes. [Usually leads to ‘one bed,’ which this one definitely did.] The protagonists, Ashley and Julian, have known each other since they were teenagers, and have always been attracted to each other, but are determined not to date [another fantastic trope] because Julian is an agent [Hollywood, not spy] who represents Ashley’s brother [one of the protagonists in the first book in this series, which I haven’t read yet]. However, with Ashley temporarily crashing at Julian’s place and the two of them pretending to date at a wedding [!!!] that determination is quickly cracking.
This book had A LOT of the tropes I love, but I didn’t love the book. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been inadvertently on a slow SLOW burn streak lately, but even though their external reasons for not being together were solid, their internal feelings about it started to feel repetitive. I also wasn’t particularly bought in with either of the protagonists, but we were introduced to the protagonists of the next book in the series Crashing Into Her, which I am pumped to read. [It’s ‘enemies to lovers’!!]
Red at the Bone – Jacqueline Woodson
THIS GODDAMN BOOK!!!! I read one of Woodson’s other books, Another Brooklyn, last year and really enjoyed it, but this knocked my confident anticipation out of the PARK! IN A GOOD WAY! Like Another Brooklyn, this is a short book filled with poetic imagery and language. I know for a lot of people ‘poetic language’ [myself occasionally included] rings a certain “oh this is going to be hard and complicated to read” bell, but this book couldn’t be farther from that. It’s a very quick read — I honestly yelled “OH NO” when I realized I only had 20 pages left and realized how quickly those 20 pages were going to go by. Another “ehhhh” buzzword for me is “intergenerational,” because often those stories get a little sprawling for me, but Jacqueline Woodson is the fcking BEST and is incredible at identifying and arranging the most potent parts of her story to really just mess you all the way up in a short 200 pages.
The book starts at the coming of age ceremony of 16 year old Melody, our first narrator. We then move through her parents and maternal grandparents, each one giving us a slice of the story, working backwards, forwards, and inwards through time. [So in a way….this book is also about freaky time stuff.] I could have read an entire book from any one of these characters’ perspectives but am also so glad I got to read them all next to each other, contextualizing one another like a family does. It’s a lovely, perfect book and I already want to reread it.
See you next week!