October rewind

I’m very late, and I’m very sorry. It has mainly to do with my laziness, and a bit to do with me doing NaNoWriMo and I’m using it as an excuse for bloody everything. Yeah. NaNoWriMo is fun. I haven’t wanted to kill anyone yet, but I’m also starting to get worried, anyway. This is what I read in October. It was quite okay, although there was one book I didn’t finish and I have to finish it in November, I guess. Anyway these are books I read in October.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I really liked this book. It was weird, but I liked it. The story is about three friends, Ruth, Kathy and Tommy. They are raised at Halisham, a school for donors. At some point medicine advanced and they started growing clones to grow organs for people who need them. Ruth and Kathy are best friends, but have a sort of weird disturbing relationship. Ruth is a bit manipulative, and even though Kathy sort of sees that it is a bit destructive, she still feels bad when she calls Ruth out on her bullshit. The book chronicles their lives from being children, through adolescence, up to when they become adults and donors. The story is told by Kathy, looking back at her life. She tells the stories from when she grew up. They seem sort of haphazard and random, but they all lead up to the point where Kathy goes from being a carer to being a donor. It’s a bit odd, the structure was sometimes confusing. The clinical way Kathy looks at sex, and relationships is a bit odd, and makes the characters seem more believable. I really liked it, and I quite want to see the movie.

The Strange Affair of the Spring-heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
This was an interesting read. It’s a book set in Victorian London, except the assassin who tried to kill queen Victoria actually succeeded and it’s called Albertian London. Through some trickery the prime minister got through a law that made Prince Albert king. Because of this incident the whole world has changed. Explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton is called in by the prime minister to find out why a man on stilts is bouncing around molesting young women. He is the legend of the Spring-Heeled Jack. Burton teams up with Algernon Swinburne to find out about Jack, the werewolves running around London kidnapping boys. The writing is sort of incredible. I really like the story. Because Jack turns out to be a time traveller (sorry spoiler) time has changed, wibbly-wobbly (Doctor Who reference, I prefer to point out my pop ID references, and not let people work it out on their own), and the world is much more advanced than it should be. Helicopters, cars, genetic modification. It’s quite cool. And I’m quite looking forward to reading the second book.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
It was so amazing. Oh the awesomeness that is Anne Ursu. Breadcrumbs is so beautiful. It’s about a girl named Hazel and her best friend Jack. They are sweet and funny and lovely. One day Jack stops talking to her, and even though Hazel’s mother says that sometimes happens to girls and boys when they reach a certain age. Then Jack disappears and Hazel knows something is wrong. Jack’s friend tells her he saw Jack go into the forest with a woman made of ice and snow. Hazel decides to follow. I loved it so much. Hazel and Jack have a delightful relationship to each other. They read books and there are so many references to things and it’s beautiful. I think I sort of recognized myself in Hazel a little. She is a bit awkward and she likes reading and she just sits in school and stares into the distance and lets her imagination run wild. I was a weird kid, I still am weird, though I’m an adult now. Ursu’s writing is wonderful. And the story is so beautiful. I feel like I’m gushing. It’s brilliant.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Oh the Replacement. It’s so wonderful. It is about a young man named Mackie Doyle, who is a replacement, or a changeling. Someone came into his room when he was little and changed the baby Mackie Doyle out for the changeling that grows up as Mackie Doyle. He is allergic to metals, consecrated ground and blood, but his lovely family look after him and keep metal away from him. Mackie would prefer to just be normal, play bass, hang out with his friends and the cute, slightly different girl he likes, but he can’t because kids are disappearing and people are dying. He meets some of his “relatives” and he meets other replacements and the queen of the underworld. It is absolutely wonderful, it’s dark and cool and Mackie’s family is so beautiful and his friends love him no matter what and it’s so cool, and so different from other stuff I’ve read. I like it. More Brenna Yovanoff please.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
This is the third Graceling-book. It is set 8 years after Graceling, and forty-ish after Fire. Bitterblue is 18 years old and the queen of Monsea. Her advisers are trying to push the past and Leck’s horrors behind them and move forward. Bitterblue realizes that she has to look back. There is a plot against Bitterblue, there are people who try to kill her. There are people close to Bitterblue trying to ruin here, so many things are going on. The love story is so simple and so beautiful, and it’s believable. And I think Bitterblue’s realization about her love life, because she’s the queen, is smart, and it is mature. I like the characters, I think their pain and confusion is very believable. It hurts reading about the things they had to do and how they feel after doing what they’ve done. I really liked it. Well done.