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This book is sharply different from any I would normally read, but I picked it up because a writing teacher claimed that it was her favorite, and that the novel I was working on reminded her of it—she wouldn't tell me how or why, only that I needed to read it for myself. So now I have, and I do see the resemblance, though I'll not go into it overmuch here.

Revolutionary Road is a very honest look at married life in the suburbs in 1950s America—certainly the best of that type I've ever read, though that would say a lot more if I'd ever read another book on the topic. The setting was, unsurprisingly, similar to that of Lolita, and the characterizations reminded me of those in Catcher in the Rye—except, where Holden Caulfield is a whiny, narcissistic phony of a slacker student, Frank Wheeler is a self-conscious, narcissistic phony of a slacker office worker. Not to mention the fifteen-year age difference. But that is neither here nor there.


 
 
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SPOILER WARNING
This post makes reference to events throughout N.K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. If you haven't read it yet (and plan to), I recommend skipping this!

(For my spoiler-free review of the book, click here.)

Jemisin is clearly trying very hard to write a story with a feminist angle to it--the world is imbalanced largely due to the death of the only goddess; Nahadoth, our love interest, was a gender-fluid deity; most of the major players are female; Yeine comes from a matriarchal tribe of warrior-women—but in none of these cases does she take the story quite far enough. In falling short, she actually draws attention to these flaws, causing great irritation in those of us who care about this sort of thing.


 
 
I did a full write-up on this book (from its pitfalls to its most useful sections) over on the Writing blog, so check that out if you're interested in more than this quick rating + recommendations.

 
 
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(I'll be posting a spoiler-ful feminist tirade about this book in about a week -- stay tuned!) (EDIT: HERE.)


This book is right up my alley—female protagonist thrown into an unfamiliar and extravagant setting with ulterior motives all around? Yes, please! It drew me in right from the opening statements:


I am not as I once was. They have done this to me, broken me open and torn out my heart. I do not know who I am anymore.

I must try to remember.