It’s still 2020. We’re still hunkered down, trying not to get sick as per usual. Sam is taking fewer and fewer naps which SUCKS, but he’s 3 and change now, so I suppose that’s to be expected. I just, you know, didn’t expect to still be stuck at home for almost an entire year with no childcare. (Granted, his daycare DID open, but I personally don’t feel safe sending him, so that part is on me. But also I don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to want to keep my child safe from a potentially deadly disease that we just don’t know a whole lot about yet, so, whatever. Sorry not sorry I guess.) The point I think I was starting to make is that the lack of naps are really slowing down my audio book listening which makes me sad. Approximately two percent of what I’ve been reading lately has been in any way appropriate for a 3 year old to listen to, and that is questionable. Even Aru Shah is aimed toward the Tween-Teen set. However, since I wrote a book on Kid books last week, I have THREE WHOLE BOOKS to tell you about today. None of which are appropriate for pre-schoolers’ ears.
This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kacen Callender- Who doesn’t love a teen love story that’s just chock full of messy emotions? TEENAGERS ARE THE MESSIEST. Poor Nathan Bird doesn’t believe in happy endings. He’s certainly never seen one- his parents’ picture perfect marriage was destroyed by his father’s untimely death, and he’s been grappling with that trauma for years. He’s tried to put up walls to keep from getting hurt, but those pesky prickly feelings find a way to sneak in, particularly with his complicated girlfriend turned best friend Florence. When Nate’s childhood BFF Ollie comes back on the scene and infiltrates Nate’s carefully composed friend group, things get even more complicated. Painful misunderstandings and romantic entanglements abound. It’s so very, very messy. But ultimately sweet. If you’re in the mood for teenage feelings bleeding all over the pages, this is your book.
A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow- This book is one of the coolest real world fantasy novels I’ve ever read, and I highly recommend the audio version. It’s set in modern day Portland and everything is pretty standard… Except that mythological creatures and folks with magical powers are just part of life. Dang Sprites, getting up to mischief again and turning children playing in the park into statues. And everyone KNOWS Merfolk only spawn in the Southern Hemisphere, duh. And, OK, yeah, there’s a Gargoyle that hangs out on the roof sometimes. What of it? Tavia is a Siren, though she has to keep that fact quiet- quite a feat when your defining feature is your voice’s call. Unfortunately, Sirens in this world are reviled because they have the ability to manipulate people’s emotions and actions. Would it be quite that bad for Sirens if they weren’t exclusively Black women? PROBABLY NOT, but that’s another conversation this book touches on. Luckily for Tavia, she has a best friend in her adopted sister Effie. Effie plays a mermaid at the annual Renaissance Faire and feels most at home in the water. But a lot of weird things have been happening- and that’s saying something for a world in which mythological creatures are just a part of life. Effie is going through some serious personal drama and Tavia is grappling with her powers and they’re both Black girls trying to survive in a world that’s none too friendly to them. I think this is going to be a series, a fact about which I am totally stoked.
Wanna Bet? by Talia Hibbert- I managed to get through TWO audio books when Sam was in a better napping place last week. I loooooove Talia Hibbert, so I was excited to pick up Wanna Bet? And, while I enjoyed the story, I think this is one of the first heterosexual romance novels I’ve listened to that was narrated by a man. Which was… Weird somehow. The narrator was fine for most of the book, but something about his delivery during the love scenes was… A bit much. I don’t know how to describe it, but if you’re going to read this, do it with your eyeballs. Rahul and Jasmine are so great, though. Jasmine has a traumatic past and as a result refuses the emotional entanglements of romantic relationships. Rahul is immediately drawn to Jasmine, but simply can’t bear the idea of not having her in his life. Though he pines for her, he does so quietly, knowing that he’d lose her completely if he professed his feelings. Of course, if Jasmine could get past her own baggage, the two might just manage a happily ever after. If a *spicy* friends turned lovers story is something you’re into, this is definitely the book for you. (Talia Hibbert never disappoints on the love scenes.)
Alright Bookworms, that’s enough for me today. My kid just pulled my socks off and is using them to decorate the Christmas tree. This is fine. Everything is fine.
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