Best Books list for February! I read a lot this month, but didn’t find as many gems.
This was a ’16 debut I was highly anticipating, and I’m pleased to say it floored me. The writing was beautiful and dealt with so many things like grief and guilt and denial. Plus complicated family and sibling relationships that leapt off the page. I’m always impressed with non-linear stories that pull it off, just like this book did. We jump back and forth between Cecelia becoming a dealer and her dealing days to the present where she’s in the midst of a trial for her brother’s death and in treatment. A wonderful, well-executed novel for sure!
I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. I was a little iffy on the voice for the first few chapters because there were some awkward sentences and cliche phrases, but thankfully that didn’t become an issue. Riley’s voice was beautiful, rich, and humorous. I was also concerned this would become a preachy book on the woes of social media, but it wasn’t that, either. Instead this was a complexly drawn (is that a thing?) novel about identity, and I adored it. Riley is gender-fluid, an orientation I’m ashamed to admit I don’t know a lot about. Riley deals with bullying, anxiety, family drama, and a growing internet presence Riley’s not sure how to handle. And through it all this novel never feels dark or like an “issue” book, as they are sometimes called. It’s just a really well told story that touches on timely subjects.
Have you read either of these books? What did you think? What are your favorite recent reads?