I’ve been given a number of great recommendations. Unfortunately, that’s not totally present here, so I wanted to go from my absolute least favourite thing that I’ve read recently to something I definitely loved to pieces just so I could end on a positive note.
fml by Shaun David Hutchinson
A story about a boy who has been annoying and disgustingly obsessed with a girl for years who goes to her party, hoping he can now start dating her because she finally broke up with her boyfriend. Sounds incredibly cliché, doesn’t it? Probably because it is, and it has lines showing that it’s sometimes self-aware of how it’s identical to a stereotypical teen movie or whatever.
Here’s the one thing that I liked about this novel: It’s told from the perspective of the same character and shows that, depending on the choices you make, the events of a situation will turn out differently.
Except they don’t. The two different stories somehow end up proving that ‘fate is real,’ as the protagonist realises he’s not really in love with the girl he’s been in love with for the entirety of high school. In one, he finds he’s really fallen for a Manic Pixie Dream Girl that took him to the party after he he was left on the side of a street for basically insulting another girl who was trying to make out with him in a car. In the other path, he doesn’t meet this MPDG until the very end when she intrudes upon his conversation at a diner after the party went terribly bad.
The fact that anyone thinks stalking someone for three to four years is a good setup for potential romance frustrates me; the fact that this is barely addressed other than for one character to threaten to stop being the protagonist’s friend but still help him in his conquest is absurd. There was so much done in these novels that I often felt like hurling it out the window.
And for good measure, the one bisexual character in the entire book? Basically gets insulted repeatedly by varying people. So that’s fun. I honestly wouldn’t recommend this unless you can tolerate those hyper-cliché and overly stereotypical teen movies because that’s all this is.
Blue Bloods: The Graphic Novel (#1) adapted by Robert Venditti / illustrated by Alina Urusov
I originally intended to purchase the actual novel by Melissa de la Cruz, but I mistakenly ordered the graphic novel. That’s fine because it is one of the most beautifully illustrated graphic novels I’ve seen, and it only serves to make me more interested in the actual series. I completely plan to purchase the books now and am hoping that they don’t disappoint me.
For those unfamiliar, the story is about the lives of affluent teenagers who find out that they’re reincarnated vampires who originated from the Pilgrims. The protagonist is a girl who, unaware of her status as a half-vampire, is suddenly experiencing cravings she can’t explain and memories that she can’t make sense of. And then suddenly they’re being murdered, and no one really understands why.
I’m sure the one part of the story that annoyed me — that pretty much everyone is an affluent person, which I suppose makes sense if you’re an immortal being who came from a group of colonisers — is going to be the major part of the novels that annoys me. But honestly, I was more focused on the illustrations than anything else. The colours are so vibrant when they have to be and appropriately dark when necessary; I have a weakness for beautiful art, so that might help its case.
It sounds like a ludicrous story, but this version of it has managed to intrigue me. I’m not sure why. But I love the graphic novel for its beautiful illustrations, so I’d recommend that people at least check it out for that reason. Even if the novel itself sounds absurd, which it really does.
Coda (#1) by Emma Trevayne
Of all the books I’ve read recently, Coda is absolutely my favourite. It’s a dystopian novel set in a time when the city once known as New York has been taken over by the Corp, a group that has been encoding music with addictive elements. As a result, music is a required drug that people must partake in, either at home through their consoles or in public venues such as clubs.
Anthem, the main protagonist, is a natural musician who is forced to play in an underground band. Because music is used to control the population, the Corp controls who is allowed to play it; unauthorised use or creation of music can lead to a person becoming an Exaur, having their ability to hear removed.
I love this book because Anthem is exactly the kind of person to lead a revolution; no one sees him as a perfect person, and he’s constantly mentioning why he’s not the person to lead everyone to freedom. But he cares for everyone in his life; he cares for his siblings, his parents, his friends. He cares for almost anyone that he meets, and that shows how much of a strength and vulnerability this is. This is refreshing because he’s not the stereotypical leader that fiction would have you believe exists; he’s a person who has flaws along with things that make him wonderful.
And I love how diverse this book feels. Unless I missed them, there’s really no obvious hints at what people look like other than colours of hair and eyes; the protagonist is bisexual, and that’s never an issue. It feels like such a complete world in so many ways, and it would be a beautiful movie. But only if they made the cast as diverse as they were in my head. Seriously, the whole time I was reading this, I kept imagining someone like Roshon Feng as Anthem.
That also means that now I need to order Chorus and wait for a few weeks until I can enjoy that one.