Recent Reads (11)

Obisido (The Illuminae Files #3) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on March 13th, 2018
Genre: science fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Pages: 615
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

Holy shitballs you guys.

Somehow I always go into the Illuminae books not expecting to get blown away. And every single time... I AM. My mind is always blown by the characters, the plot, the writing, the genius. Not only the story, but the vast well of talent these authors draw from. It's incredible and intimidating how good they are. And they just keep surprising me. Even when I CALL a twist. Even when I see things coming from a klick away. They still manage to get me somehow. It's a wild experience, and not one that I think any other writer (or writer duo) can ever replicate.

It took me a little longer to get into Obsidio than it did the others. I was immediately drawn in by Kady in Illuminae and everything about Nik and Hannah in Gemina was my aesthetic. But it took a really long time for me to warm up to Rhys and Asha. To begin with, the POV was much more scattered in this book than in the first two; and also there was a LOT of plot to put together here, which made the initial introduction to the new pairing falter a bit. I didn't even up with heart crushing feelings for those to romantically like I did the first two couples. But it ended up being fine because by the end I did have an overall "protect my children at all costs" feeling toward them that I think was the main goal anyway.

Another shining light of this finale is ADIAN. I kind of felt like it was going a little bit soft in book 2, but it's back to its villainous, glitchy ways in Obsidio. What made it especially compelling this time was what made it scary in the first book: its willing to do whatever it takes to save the fleet. By the end, after all it had done, I couldn't believe I had actually developed feels over AIDAN. But I did. One of the many times I cried throughout my reading was over AIDAN.

Man, if you're on the fence about finishing this series, I HIGHLY recommend you go for it. It has everything, from humor and banter to shippy feels to crazy plot twists and just so much action packed fun. You'll cheer, you'll laugh, you'll cry. You'll hold your breath through the last 300 pages. It's amazing and everything and I loved it.

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Published by First Second on June 7th, 2011
Genres: Graphic novel, paranormal
Pages: 211
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part.

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya's Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

So, going into this I had no idea what it was going to be about. And I'm not really sure IT knew either. Anya's Ghost tackles a handful of subjects--immigration, community, eating disorders, a murder mystery, friendships, self-esteem--but only really does two of them well. My biggest problem was that the story lacked focus.

What I did really like were the surprising turns in the story. Like I said, I knew nothing about this plot when I started so each new revelation about Emily I found to be surprising and fun. I didn't see at all where this was going. In the beginning I honestly thought this little ghost girl was going to help Anya through an eating disorder--especially when Emily was talking about how she starved to death at the bottom of the well. But it actually turned out to be a little more sinister than that and I really enjoyed the story.

But I wish the eating disorder stuff had been left out. I thought it was treated very, very poorly. Like an afterthought. When the novel starts you see Anya avoiding food, fat, grease, etc. She smokes cigarettes ostensibly to curb her appetite. And then we see one panel where she looks in the mirror and sees a much larger version of herself than is reality. But that's it. Once the ghost plot takes off, the disordered eating is forgotten. Readers with this type of mental illness deserve a lot better.

I will say that I very much enjoyed the parts about immigration and assimilating to a new community. Anya and her family came to America from Russia when Anya was young. She worked on getting rid of her accent and other traits about her that marked her as visibly Other. There is another Russian character who hasn't done those things to erase his own culture. I am not an immigrant, so I really do not have any idea what this struggle is like. But I did enjoy the two approaches to fitting into a new community, and that Anya seemed to find a healthier balance by the end of the book.

Despite some misgivings, I did find this to be enjoyable. However, if you have disordered eating in any way, I would be aware that there is some of that in here.

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