Over the past month I’ve been trying out chapters of books you sent me (not like literally, but you know, you suggested them). I have gathered those suggestions and wrote them down, put them in my favourite mug, and picked out three each time to read! I read all the chapters on Amazon, which usually has free previews available (I have yet to find a book that doesn’t have the first chapter on Amazon). This is now a regular feature on my blog called You Made Me Read This and you can read my first attempt here, second here and third here!
This time the books I have randomly picked from my mug are: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (suggested by Ellen @alittlebooklife), The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (suggested by Nadwa @BookishHiraeth) and How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (suggested by Caro @bookcheshirecat). I wasn’t intentionally picking queer books but I have to admit I was seriously considering doing an queer-only edition. And then I picked 2/3(?) queer books so I just went with it! (I actually thought The Sky is Everywhere was also queer but it’s not shelved as such on goodreads so apparently not).
How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
Expectations: I think I will most definitely love this book. I read Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake a month ago and I absolutely loved it! I have high expectations for this one!
Experience: So this girl called Grace is with her mom in her car, driving somewhere… maybe they’re moving? Oh, they’re going to her mom’s boyfriend called Pete (this is like the most stereotypical “mom’s boyfriend” name ever wow). I think they’re moving in?? But Grace has never met him???
It’s that cliche “my mom’s a serial-datist and I hate it” daughter thing, I think, thought this seems like a very serious version. Which mom would drag her daughter to live with a guy she has never met? That’s just weird.
Verdict: The first chapter wasn’t very impressive but it has made me curious about what is up with Pete and why on Earth her mom would do such a thing. That, plus that I was already interested in reading it and loved Ashley Herring Blake’s other book has made me definitely interested to reading it!
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Expectations: I have heard about this book, and I’m pretty sure it has something to do with myths… But that’s about all I know. Oh and that it’s queer. I’m not a big fan of mythical things, and I’ve never even thought about picking this up even though I’ve heard amazing things about this.
Experience: So someone’s father married the MC’s mother and they don’t know each other before the wedding and I quote “If she were ugly, there were always slave girls and serving boys.” Uhm, what?? If he didn’t think she was pretty enough, he’d just hook up with his servants???
The author is mainly just setting up the story and talking about some kind of games (the Olympics?) that are taking place. Also the main character’s father (I still don’t know his name) is a bit of an ass and thinks he’s not good enough.
Verdict: It has taken me way too long to read these 4 pages, I just kept being distracted which says probably a lot haha. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either and some things made me very uncomfortable (the first paragraph above and the fact they’re talking down to the mother who is “simple”).
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Expectations: A long time ago, way before I discovered the book community online and only scrolled through tumblr every now and then, I read I’ll Give You The Sun by the same author, and didn’t like it… Though I’m curious if I’d think the same if I reread it now, but maybe trying something else by the same author is a good start!
Experience: This first chapter was very short and was basically only about Gram (grandma?) who thinks this houseplant reflects the main character’s wellbeing. And now that the plant has spots, she thinks she’s not doing well. (which kind of makes a lot of sense considering her sister died four weeks ago??)
Verdict: I have no idea what to think. I’ve read too little to make up my mind but I’m too lazy to read more (it’s late-ish, okay?). Anyway, let me know if it’s any good (even if I didn’t like I’ll Give You The Sun).