Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

I really question the YA branding of Tender Morsels. That thought aside: brilliant, heartbreaking, beautiful, bittersweet re-imagining of Snow White and Rose Red, though the beginning also hints at some Donkeyskin themes (incest, rape) and the ending hints at a more Sleeping Beauty Evil Queen theme (a mother's jealousy). I wouldn't say this is an easy read, but it is certainly powerful and lyrical.

The Fifties by David Halberstam

An epic book that hopes to cover the whole of the American experience during the 1950s. Topics range from integration in schools/sports/etc. to Marilyn Monroe to Kennedy and Nixon's televised debate to the A bomb to Westinghouse commercials. I won't lie, this has taken me about 6 months to finish because it is not a book to sit and devour. I did find it a nice general overview of the period, obviously it could never go too in depth due to its scope. It was interesting and well written.

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

I read this for the promise of a "fairy tale mash up" and was happy to find Bluebeard as the main story. It's YA so of course insta-love ensues (must be hard to fall FOR SERIOUS in love successively with two guys, who happen to be brothers, within a week....) as well as really illogical decisions. While it was a quick read and it wasn't overly offending, I probably won't read any further books in the series just because of the sheer stupidity of ALL the this was kids these days are reading?

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

I found this to be a nice middle ground between Tender Morsels and Kill Me Softly....more YA then Tender Morsels with a dash of that instalove and completely illogical decision making, but also bittersweet, brutal, and lyrical. I immediately thought of Margo Lanagan's The Brides of Rollrock Island. The alliance between a Pacific Islander harpoon boy and a sea witch in the 1860s turns to romance which leads to tragedy. Quite good.

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