How Lucky by Will Leitch – Expected Publication: May 11, 2021 Verdict: eh, not for me but I’m confident others will really love this
Recommended: sure, for other people For folks curious about life with SMA as a wheelchair-user, for a light mystery heavy on character introspection, for small laughs about dark things
Daniel leads a rich life in the university town of Athens, Georgia. He’s got a couple close friends, a steady paycheck working for a regional airline, and of course, for a few glorious days each Fall, college football tailgates. He considers himself to be a mostly lucky guy—despite the fact that he’s suffered from a debilitating disease since he was a small child, one that has left him unable to speak or to move without a wheelchair.
Largely confined to his home, Daniel spends the hours he’s not online communicating with irate air travelers observing his neighborhood from his front porch. One young woman passes by so frequently that spotting her out the window has almost become part of his daily routine. Until the day he’s almost sure he sees her being kidnapped.
I can’t really believe I’m rating this as “just ok” but that is indeed what’s happening. I can’t really pinpoint what missed for me with this book. Objectively I can look at it’s components and think it would probably be good, but ultimately I just wasn’t that into it. Reading it wasn’t a chore, but I guess I just never really connected with the characters nor the plot.
Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnessesby Kristen O’Neal! Expected Release: April 27, 2021
Why wait on this one?
Magical realism. There’s the realistic side of her chronic illness, and the mystical side that maybe her friend is actually a werewolf? I love when things blend like that and make it as though both things could possibly be completely normal and happening two towns over.
The learning about a chronic disease is so important for those who don’t have that experience (myself). Plus I love that it sounds like she has an adventure too, and isn’t solely defined by her difficulties.
Yo if a friendship can survive (maybe literally…) one of the members becoming a werewolf? That’s probably a pretty good stand to model from. I want to see how much they love each other! ^.^
Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were. Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.
When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement. With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid’s unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal.
Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Parenthesis, a graphic novel memoir by Élodie Durand. And as I’ve said before, graphic novels are so often the most expressive and open medium for memoirs and personal stories. Just look at Banned Book Club! It’s no surprise that I’m ready for this one. Expected Release:February 9, 2021
Why wait on this one?
As always, I pursue stories about experiences I haven’t or can’t (or in this case, hopefully never will) have myself. For Durand, it’s a tumor that emerged on her brain in her teens, causing seizures and memory loss and the identity struggles that come with it. Just when expected to be able to find herself in the world, she instead encounters a physical cause of her loss of self.
Since this book exists… I’m hoping for a happy ending. Or at least, a happy at-the-moment. I’m positive it will be filled with pain and hurt and fear, absolutely. But it seems that so often with those comes inevitable hope (which is itself painful, at times).
Graphic novels are, I think, a perfect medium for memoirs. I stand by that pretty firmly, and I so look forward to this one holding up that tradition.
Julie is barely out of her teens when a tumor begins pressing on her brain, ushering in a new world of seizures, memory gaps, and loss of self. Suddenly, the sentence of her normal life has been interrupted by the opening of a parenthesis that may never close. Based on the real experiences of cartoonist Élodie Durand, Parenthesis is a gripping testament of struggle, fragility, acceptance, and transformation which was deservedly awarded the Revelation Prize of the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
Recommended: Yes! For a warm-hearted light read (pun!), for an easy smile about falling in love, and reminder of the truth of Dumbledore’s legendary words: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turnonthelight.“
Summary: Tessa can’t see how she’ll ever get back to her old life. Primarily because she can’t see after the accident. The doctors say it should come back after a few months, but doctors have been wrong before. That means months of no writing, no contact with the limited friends she had who were all online, and no happiness or light. Weston signs up to become her eyes, and try to show her the light in her darkness. Taking her on a trip through her other senses, Weston writes what she tells him to and revels in her lack of knowledge of his own disability. As for what she’ll think of him if she gets her sight back, well… he’ll just wait and see what to do if the time comes.
Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended: yes! Good for a light read, like a beach day – though for this one, I probably won’t recommend it as airplane reading.
Summary: Margaret: overachiever, stubborn, trying to understand her new life Chip: the boyfriend, cocky, master of peer pressure, and unexpectedly pathetic in the face of disaster Kit: a sister vanished, a sister reappeared, and a total mystery. also kind of an annoying mystery Ian: physical therapist / hardass. His boss would say he’s a troublemaker, the other PTs would say he’s a jerk. Featuring: a plane crash, a wedding crash, and an emotional crash
Thoughts: Having finished this, the title is delightful in context. I’m not usually big on medical dramas and books that take place mostly in a hospital, but this was a quick enough read that it didn’t drag me down or bore me as they usually do. I’m not terribly qualified to judge (thank my lucky stars), but the depiction of grief in this book felt real. The ups and downs that Margaret-now-Maggie detailed seemed reasonable for her situation.
I wasn’t sucked in to the romance line, really at all. The whole idea of the stoic mean guy that later reveals his soft side doesn’t appeal to me: I don’t want a jerk as the main guy in the story! It also felt like a very standard procedure of falling in love, with one big grand gesture at the end that felt… contrived, I suppose. At best. I was rolling my eyes a bit and skimming through those last parts.
Was it predictable? At times, yes. The main question was one I was unsure about, however, so I’m grateful for that.
Is it good? Eh. It’s entertaining, if a little common. Nothing wildly unique about the story, based on what I’ve read before.
Did I enjoy it? YUP! I plowed through this mostly in one day that I had off, where I lounged in the sunshine until I finished it up.
Pretty dang good, especially since I had no idea what it was about when I accidentally bought it. I approve of the ending. A good read for a day off. 😊