The past couple of months have been AWESOME in the reading department! I've only slowed a little so really hoping to keep this streak alive. Wish me luck!
Here are a few of my favorite fiction titles from March & April:
Girl at War by Sara Nović
Ana Jurić is just ten years old when the civil war in Yugoslavia forces her family and neighbors to routinely visit the bomb shelters near her home. Once an emergency forces her mother, father, and young sister to cross into Bosnia, Ana finds herself alone, and is soon recruited as a child soldier. Snippets of this life are told through the lens of 20-year-old Ana, a student at NYU, as she faces her past and returns to her homeland.
First, I was shocked by how little I knew of the war in this region considering it occurred in the early 90s. As Ana's character is close in age to me, during a very real event in recent history, I felt the rawness of it all more acutely. I found myself weeping at heart-wrenching passages that made it come alive. I couldn't stomach reviewers who criticized Ana's character's withdrawal and habit of not sharing any information from her past when it would seem so paralyzing to have lived through something of that magnitude. Definitely a novel I'll remember for years to come. (4 stars)
Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
Told from the perspective of the young matriarch of a whaling dynasty in Australia in the late 19th century, Rush Oh! is the perfect blend of literary and historical fiction.
Absolutely loved this novel. It's intelligent, hilarious, and just such a great example of historical storytelling. I 'll admit that I was so sad to see this absent from the Bailey's shortlist. (4 stars)
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
More of a story inspired by Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre than retelling, Jane Steele follows the life of a forsaken, yet strong-willed woman during the Victorian period in England. A self-confessed murderess, Jane's unfortunate circumstances place her in precarious positions time after time, and are sure to catch up with her in the end. Interesting characters and brilliant cultural references, Jane Steele was fun! (4 stars)
So, what's next?
I'm going to try to tackle ARCs on the ereader in anticipation of Summer/Fall releases. I've got my eyes on several that I'm beyond excited about: Marrow Island by Alexis Smith, Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Yuki Chan in Bronte Country by Mick Jackson, Chronicle of a Last Summer by Yasmine El Rashidi.
Also, BEA is exactly one week from today and I cannot wait to meet so many of you beautiful souls!!
What are you reading?