What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster is a book about messy complicated people in two different families and jumps back and forth in time instead of taking a linear approach.
The author was both compassionate toward and honest about the characters, which can be difficult to balance. The story wasn’t surprising, but I still enjoyed the journey and getting to know the characters. The ending didn’t give us all the information about how the characters would end up or had already ended up, and I kind of appreciated that.
The Shape of Sound by Fiona Murphy is a memoir by a deaf Australian poet who reflects on her relationship with her deafness and the various ways in which it shaped her personality, relationships, and perception of the world. I really enjoyed reading about what it was like for her to grow up deaf in one ear and how she came to think of that deafness as something to overcome. I feel like I learned so much while reading this book, not only about what it’s like to grow up deaf but also about the language surrounding d/Deaf culture, history, and the medical terminology typically used around hearing loss. Also, since the author lives in Australia, I learned a bit about their medical system.
Overall, I’m really glad that this book exists and that I got to take this journey with the author as she became more comfortable in her deaf body and learned about the history and culture.
Having an invisible illness myself, there were so many different experiences that I could relate to, especially when it came to her grappling with terminology and trying to figure out how much to share with family, friends, and colleagues.
* I was able to read this book thanks to receiving a digital advanced reader’s copy from Text Publishing through Netgalley.
From the synopsis of How Maya Got Fierce by Sona Charaipotra I sort of figured this book would be a bit cheesy but cute. I was prepared to suspend some disbelief so that the main character could work at a women’s magazine at 17. And while I liked the main character and the general pace of the story and the diverse cast of characters, I had a hard time staying in that world because of a few things. There were a lot of places where the dialogue either didn’t flow or didn’t feel believable. Either it felt like that character wouldn’t say a certain phrase or like the author included certain phrases to sound more youthful. There were conversations that felt stilted or like a page was missing, the way the dialogue progressed. No one ever said enough, but they understood each other, which made no sense. I did read an advanced reader’s version, so hopefully those issues are cleaned up in the final version. Regardless, those details made it harder for me to accept other details, like that the main character really would’ve gotten the assistant editor job at 17 or that her cousin’s girlfriend would help her lie to the important people in her own job.
I did appreciate getting to read about a bunch of Desi teenagers from farming families, which isn’t something I’ve seen before. I liked the diversity of the cast, and most of the characters. So I’d still try reading something by this author again in a few years, I think.
(I was able to read this book thanks to receiving a digital advanced reader’s copy from Macmillan Publishers through Netgalley.)
Love Is a Revolution by Renée Watson follows a fat Black girl living in Harlem, surrounded by a bunch of teen activists, that just wants to have a fun summer. But then she meets a cute boy who’s into volunteering and starts telling him lies about herself so they’ll have more in common.
It was a cute story, although I had so much secondhand embarrassment for her at parts. And some of the dialogue was on the cheesier side. But it was a fun story dealing with what it’s like to feel insecure and not good enough.
I think I read Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler at just the right time. I hadn’t really enjoyed a nonfiction religious book in a minute. Which is to say, I’ve picked up quite a few, but none have grabbed my attention for very long. This one was a petty quick read and overall touched on some of the same questions I’ve been thinking about lately as well.
The first part especially was such a reminder of how indifferent doctors are to women in pain and overall how much the healthcare system sucks, so that was rough to read. It was heartbreaking at times, because the author is writing about her cancer diagnosis and treatment.
I really appreciated the way she wrote about grappling with her faith, with grief, and with all the people telling her everything happens for a reason. And I appreciated that she didn’t try to provide a solid answer to the reader. It would’ve been interesting to see where she ended up landing in her own beliefs, but I understand why it would be difficult to neatly describe that.
What was your favorite book you read in February? Mine was definitely The Shape of Sound by Fiona Murphy. If you’d like to see updates about what I’m reading in somewhat real time, here are the places I share that.