With only 28 days in February, I feel a bit cheated. And admittedly, I sacrificed quite a bit of reading time this month as I worked on some technological trickery behind the scenes around this joint. Some of the books I read were 2013 releases. The Returned was Jason Mott's debut novel last year and was picked up by A&E as a television series to be called "The Resurrected," although I've heard that the series deviates greatly from the plot of the novel. Which might be a good thing since I wasn't all that thrilled with the novel, which revolves around the long-dead suddenly just reappearing. No, not in zombie form. Just reappearing. As in, Hello, I'm back. It's a great premise - and one that has already been used successfully with a French television series - but Mott really went nowhere with it. It just stalled out. While I was pleased that he didn't go with the zombie thing, he didn't go anywhere and the whole thing just flopped for me. Skip it and watch A&E's version - maybe that will be better.
Speaking of last year's books, I finally got around to reading JoJo Moyes' hit book, Me Before You. And if you keep up with my reading adventures on Facebook (and you really should because that's where all the good book talk happens) then you watched me go through a whole box of Kleenex. Which, as I mentioned at the time, was completely out of character for me since I never even batted an eye at last year's other famous tear-jerker, John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, a book I found highly contrived. But Moyes? I started crying around page 210 and never stopped. I felt utterly ridiculous and yet loved every minute of it. I have a library hold on every book on her backlist now. And if any literary snobs out there care to make a smart ass comment about that, I'll smack you with a copy of a Franzen book.
Okay, moving right along. Did you see Annihilation up there? Did you? Oh dear gawd. Okay, if you haven't heard of this one yet, let me fill you in. It was just released this month, the first book in the really hyped Southern Reach Trilogy. Here's the blurb:
The Detainee is a debut novel of speculative fiction (dytopia) by Peter Liney due out later in March. I've got a review that will fill you in on all the details but this was really unique dystopia in that it offered some hope at the end of the story and you don't often see that. I loved it.
Speaking of a good new trilogy, author Sara Green is about to have a hit on her hands with Half Bad. But you'll have to wait for the full review on that one....I actually enjoyed it enough to write a review on that one. So that's saying something right there.
You'll also be seeing a full review of Matt Haig's The Humans, a book both funny and philosophical. It's a 2013 release, but it's up for an Edgar Award this year so as we get closer to the May 1 awards ceremony I will be featuring a review of each book nominated for Best Novel. Another full review coming this week is recent 2014 Printz Award Winner, Midwinterblood, a novel that I thought was an interesting choice for this prestigious award. Hmmmmm.
And the final novel for February is the classic Jack London book Call of the Wild, which my eight year old son has been begging me to read to him for the past six months or so. We took advantage of a break between Percy Jackson books and sneaked this one in. It had been literally decades since I last read it. I specifically remember this novel having a direct influence on me as a child, especially on my development of empathy towards animals. London's story of the Alaska gold-rush from a dog's perspective is heart-breaking and hopeful in turn as Buck the German Shepherd-turned sled dog experiences a series of owners, some incompetent and cruel, others kind and able. While I think my son is still a bit young to understand the more subtle themes of the novel, I'm hoping he will be like me and return to the book again and again throughout my teen years.
Well that's February for you. What was your best read of February? Feel free to leave comments here or over on my Facebook page if that's easier for you (I know it is for me!). Stay tuned on that front, by the way. I've got some small changes in that arena coming later in March that I'm hoping will make book discussions a lot easier for all of us. Yay.