2020 Weekly Wrap-Up: The Forty-First

October 14, 2020 Contemporary Fiction, Epistolary, Weekly Wrap-Up, Young Adult Fiction 2

Greetings Bookworms!
This week I’ve been working on Sammy’s Halloween costume. Not that we’re going Trick-or-Treating in the traditional sense, but that’s no excuse not to have a fun costume. I had originally planned to have Sammers dress up as Mike Wazowski- I even got myself a Sulley costume so we could be all matchy-matchy. Alas. My husband has introduced our son to his favorite childhood cartoon, MASK. It’s kind of like Transformers meets GI Joe. At the moment, Sam thinks all the lasers are just water cannons- hopefully we aren’t doing too much damage. There’s a lot about that show that hasn’t aged well. But I digress. Sam has refused to dress up in my costume of choice and has asked to be the main character in a 30+ year old cartoon. A costume which cannot be purchased for love or money. So, I’ve been doctoring up an astronaut costume and building a helmet out of craft foam, duct tape, and SO MUCH HOT GLUE. Maybe the Mike Wazowski costume will still fit next year and I can talk him into wearing it… A girl can dream, right? Sigh. On the upside, I finished two books this week and I’m on schedule to put this post on the internet before Friday. I’m inordinately proud of myself. Let’s talk books, shall we?

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood– If you really loved Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, I’d recommend that you read The Cactus. This book is somewhat more lighthearted than Eleanor, but that uncompromising, prickly, quirky heroine thing? Definitely there. Susan Green is 45 years old when her mother passes away. When the will is read, it’s revealed that while her mother intends for Susan and her brother Edward to get an equal share of her assets, it will only be distributed AFTER Edward decides he’s ready to move out of the family home and sell it. Susan is in a bit of a pickle, having recently discovered her pregnancy and in desperate need of her inheritance. That’s right. Susan is pregnant. By accident. At the age of 45. SURPRISE! As Susan embarks on an investigation in order to contest her mother’s will, she finds companionship in unexpected places. That’s lucky, seeing as she’s going to be a single parent and is digging into her family’s past and uncovering SHOCKING SECRETS. I enjoyed this book but it’s not something I’d endorse with glowing gushiness. If you’re in the mood for this specific type of story, it will hit the spot. If you have difficulty reading about childhood trauma related to alcoholism, this isn’t going to be a good fit for you. (I do not have that sort of trauma, thankfully- I just want people to be aware.)

Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson- Is it weird to read a complete epistolary novel in the form of text messages? A little, but that’s only because I am a very old lady. This book is a giant case of mistaken identity with SO MUCH TEEN ANGST. But like, the kind of angst I had as a teenager, not the teen angst with real major life problems. A lot of interpersonal drama with manipulative mean girls and confusing dating circles. Some characters had complicated family situations too, but no extreme trauma, thankfully. I am astonishingly far removed from my teenage years, but OOF this book hit me in the feels. Granted, I’m so ancient texting wasn’t a thing in my day. But the “Does so and so like me?” “Is that flirting or just niceness?” “Do my friends all secretly hate me?” “I got a 4 on my AP History exam, but you got a 5?! HOW EVEN?” That sort of thing. So it was a nice little escape, though it did bring up all of that stomach churning angst of my teen years. And yes, I am anxious enough that I occasionally rehash all the dumb things I did or didn’t do in high school that may have hurt people’s feelings/worked out differently/were not sensitive. It’s fine. I’m fine. What’s a little Generalized Anxiety Disorder between friends, am I right? (PS- the main female character shares my diagnosis. If she wore extremely baggy pants she could be teenage Katie. Well. Except that she got a happy ending. All I got was 20 years of anxiety dreams about gym class. Thanks for that, BRAIN.)

So, what shall we read next? I had a tough time deciding because I have another Beverly Jenkins trilogy waiting for me on my Kindle, but I thought it would be too close to having finished Indigo and I didn’t want to muddy them up in my brain. So, I picked up Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson instead. It’s already made me cry, but I don’t think it’s intended to be a tear jerker throughout. I’m anticipating some rom-com goodness, so fingers crossed. I’m also SUPER EXCITED because I just discovered that Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade is available on Scribd! My earholes will be listening POST HASTE. What are you reading this week, Bookworms?

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2 Responses to “2020 Weekly Wrap-Up: The Forty-First”

  1. Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf

    Both of these sound like fun reads! Thanks for sharing them. I’m glad you got out of hot glue hell, too, btw. 😁

  2. NeriSiren

    Ok, I’m going to have to go back through your Instagram posts to see if you showed Sam’s MASK costume. I know nothing about the show, but a remixed astronaut suit sounds awesome!

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