This Month's Reads :: Mountains, Mexico, and Skid Row
It's been a while since I've done a monthly reading wrap-up, so I thought I'd start one again.
This month, I read ten books, a respectable number. Here's the rundown:
I WAS HERE by Gayle FormanThis was definitely a great month of reading. My March 2015 shelf can be found here. Highlights:
RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard (see my "review" here)
THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND by fellow YA Buccaneer Kathryn Holmes
LOVE AND OTHER THEORIES by Alexis Bass
FROM WHAT I REMEMBER by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU by Moriah McStay
I REMEMBER YOU by Cathleen Davitt Bell
SAPPHIRE BLUE by Kerstin Gier (maybe my fifth time reading it?)
MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga
PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD by Michelle Falkoff
THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND: Remind me never to get lost while hiking on a mountain. Kathryn's book was so beautifully written and brought to mind some very compelling questions about God and life and love.
FROM WHAT I REMEMBER: My friend Maris reads like the Tasmanian Devil spins. She reads everything, and quickly. Every couple of days I get a message from her with a recommended title and author. Not every book is for me, and we've had some really hilarious conversations about some of them, but this one? Tops. I adored it. Told from the perspectives of FIVE characters, this book hooked me from the beginning, when valedictorian Kylie Flores wakes up with "dreamy" Max Langston in Mexico - with wedding rings on their fingers - and kept me turning the pages to see how it would all work out. Tops.
Far and away my favorite book of the month: I REMEMBER YOU.
Since the Great Book Buying Ban of 2013, I don't often go to a bookstore and randomly pick something off the shelf. I plan for books by insta-buy authors or authors I know. I'll purchase must-have continuations of series or books I've read from the library that belong on my shelf because I love them so and I know I'll read them again and again.
So it's rare for me to walk into Barnes & Noble on my lunch hour and pick up a book I know nothing about by an author I've never heard of.
I REMEMBER YOU was that book for me last Friday.
Lucas and Juliet couldn’t be more different from each other. But from the moment Lucas sees Juliet, he swears he remembers their first kiss. Their first dance. Their first fight. He even knows what’s going to happen between them—not because he can predict the future, but because he claims to have already lived it.A hockey player and wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. Two of my favorite things. It takes place in 1994 - love it. And the cover - gorgeous. How could I not purchase this book? Plus, the title? Anyone else thinking about a crooning Sebastian Bach right now?
Juliet doesn’t know whether to be afraid for herself or for Lucas. As Lucas’s memories occur more frequently, they also grow more ominous. All Juliet wants is to keep Lucas safe with her. But how do you hold on to someone you love in the present when they’ve begun slipping away from you in the future?
I was itching to read this book, so I put everything on pause and did. In one night. One sitting.
Not only is the premise of this book unique and compelling, it is very well executed. What Lucas is telling Juliet is hard to believe, and his attempts at convincing her work for the reader as well. I don't want to give anything away, but there are moments of intense hope that things will work out for them, despite what Lucas is remembering, and then crushing moments of despair. I cried at several points in the last third of the book.
And then I cried for about fifteen minutes after I finished.
And then again about fifteen minutes later when I started thinking about that one thing.*
From the beginning of the book, we know that Juliet is telling this story from a distance, which is unusual for a YA book. She is looking back on her time with Lucas, but it isn't clear until the end just how far a distance that is. That's another aspect of the book that stood out for me.
Just - read it. I'm not sure how to categorize it - contemporary? science fiction? magical realism? - but no matter what, this book will stay with you for a long time. I am so glad that I took a chance on it.
*If you want to know what that one thing is, let me know after you read the book and we can discuss.
Here's a little gift for you:
What was your favorite read this month?