Last month’s common thread: many of the things I read filled me with PALPABLE RAGE.
Here are the lowlights.
(Some spoilers ahead.)
(CW: rape, abuse, neglect)
From Speak: The Graphic Novel
Melinda walks into the kitchen with self-harm scars.
Her mom notices them and says, “I don’t have time for this.”
Melinda stops speaking, develops scabs on her mouth from biting her lips, stops trying in school, loses all her friends, and her parents can’t tell that something happened to her??
From American Girls
While characters comment on Anna’s mom’s emotional abuse, the narrative doesn’t do enough to punish her for it.
Anna takes the tack, “Well, that’s just how families are sometimes,” and goes home at the end of the novel.
I HATED this.
Anna’s mom spends the whole novel calling Anna ungrateful and selfish.
After she’s diagnosed with breast cancer, Anna’s mom tells Anna, “I don’t want you to come home because I’m afraid you’ll make my cancer worse.”
WHO SAYS THAT!?!??
From Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy
I understand why the authors wanted to send the message that girls don’t have to marry the first boy they date.
Sure. That makes sense.
Character derailment makes less sense.
Meg’s boyfriend goes from a mature, supportive, decent partner to a spoiled rich bro who calls Meg’s ambition “a hobby.”
YOU COULD HAVE MADE YOUR POINT IN A LESS CONTRIVED WAY.
From Red, White, & Royal Blue
The Republican newcomer’s sex scandal cost him the election and ruined his political career.
IF ONLY THAT’S HOW THINGS WORKED IN REAL LIFE.
There was a really rude twist at the 3/4 mark.
I didn’t want to believe it.
I kept saying, “No.”
It felt so cruel.
Then the final pages undid that twist, which felt like a cop-out.
From Waking the Witch
Men accused women of witchcraft to make them stop talking.
I hate history.
From If I’m Being Honest
The quality of prose in this book was all over the place.
The writing swung from sweet and compelling to painfully over-the-top.
I begged the book not to throw me the obligatory third-act break-up, but it didn’t listen.
Not worth it.
From Kid Gloves
While Lucy suffered through pre-eclampsia, her doctor wrote off all of her symptoms, released her from the hospital days early, and opted not to come in during her difficult labor.
SHE ALMOST DIED AND HE’S STILL PRACTICING.
If the world weren’t already on fire, I would SET IT ABLAZE.
From High Heel
Brennan’s observations about rape culture made me scream.
Emptied of the women herself, the idea of blaming these inanimate objects for rape is even more absurd. We were never blaming the clothes, or even the choice to wear them. We were always blaming the women.
I feel like I’ll never stop screaming.
From Daisy Jones & The Six
WHY DID THERE HAVE TO BE A TWIST?
WHY DOES THERE ALWAYS HAVE TO BE A TWIST, TAYLOR?
YOUR STORIES ARE FINE WITHOUT TWISTS.
THIS TWIST ADDED NOTHING.
YOU COULD REMOVE THE TWIST AND HAVE A PERFECTLY FINE STORY WITHOUT IT.
And that ENDING.
Did you learn NOTHING from How I Met Your Mother???
IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD.
These books tired me out.
HOPING FOR LESS RAGE THIS FALL.