It’s March again. I’m having some feelings about the lost year. That’s what it feels like. It’s just… Lost. There’s stuff that should have happened that just didn’t. It’s a weird, time-warp-y situation, especially since we’re (knock wood) starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. A year ago I was on vacation. COVID was in the news, but in the “keep calm and wash your hands” sort of way. It was still very localized (or so we thought) and I definitely did not expect… This. When the first “Two Weeks to Flatten the Curve” thing came out in Illinois about a week after our trip, I really, truly thought it was only going to be 2 weeks. It has been a YEAR. I don’t think I’m done processing it, and certainly can’t formulate insights, but feelings? I’ve got them. But when my big feelings get to be too big, I just read about other people’s big feelings and problems. Let’s. Talk. Books.
Indexing: Reflections by Seanan McGuire– Indexing has a sequel- you know I had to read it! Our favorite troupe of fairy tale crime fighters is back on the case in this book. It leaned harder into the Criminal Minds vibe than its predecessor, given the deranged Cinderella running amuck. Of course, the deranged Cinderella isn’t the only villain. This story has layers upon layers and villains that pop up Soap Opera style. That reminds me! I watched an episode of The Young and the Restless last week for the first time in ages. I watched it religiously during the summers of my middle-high school years and I cannot tell you the glee I felt to see Nick and Sharon (played by the same actors, no less!) still being dramatic at each other after 25 years. Sigh. They’re my OTP. Been shipping them since ’96. But I digress. If you read and liked Indexing, there’s a good chance you’ll dig Indexing: Reflections– it’s a well done sequel.
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera– This book was a LOT. Phew. Our protagonist Juliet is on the cusp of what promises to be an incredible summer. She has an internship lined up to work for a feminist icon so she’s leaving the Bronx behind for Portland, Oregon. At her farewell dinner with her family, Juliet comes out as a lesbian. It went a little less smoothly than planned. Still, Juliet is optimistic about her life changing summer adventure, and as it turns out, 2003 is certainly one to remember. This book was a challenge. While I have a lot more in common with Harlowe Brisbane, the only-semi-enlightened-white-lady-feminist than I do with Juliet, the fact that Juliet and I are the same age hit me in a powerful way. I was the same age as Juliet at this point in time but my life experience was WILDLY different. So much of what Juliet encounters and learns during the summer of 2003 I didn’t learn until MUCH later. (The only thing I learned in the summer of 2003 was how to wait tables. A valuable life skill, and enlightening in its own way, I suppose, but it wasn’t a major coming of age experience or anything.) I didn’t have half a clue about the importance of pronouns when I was 19! Or micro aggressions! Or… anything really. This book hit me with one of those “wow you certainly had a sheltered little bubble going there” realizations. Anyway. I think it’s an excellent book that tackles a lot of complicated subject matter surrounding gender identity, race, the LGBTQIA experience, and privilege with nuance and grace. Take note, semi-enlightened-white-lady-feminists. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.
Alright folks, me and my big feelings are going to dive into more books now. Let me know if you’re reading anything awesome- I’d love to hear about it!
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