The day was flat.Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart Grove Atlantic 2020
Been a while since I read someone writing so vividly. This is an appealing story because of its style and imagery, and also severely depressing because of its images and stories.
The depictions of addiction, recovery and sabotage (intentionally and unknowing) is rough and tough, a trainwreck that just refuses to stop.
Buenos dias, mi reina.Fiebre Topical, Juliana Delgado Lopera, The Feminist Press 2020
Well, this wasn’t at all what I expected. I thought I was going to get a YA romance about discovering your queer identity while struggling through immigration, but.. I kind of got all that, minus the romance, plus depressed family members, a much more serious (and desperate tone) and a lot of Spanish. Without translation.
That took some time adjusting, and I still don’t know if I liked the novel. It was definitely an original experience, and I think the story told was genuine and heartfelt. The way it was told was sometimes hard to follow and frustrating.
Protagonist Francisca moves from Colombia to Miami, where she quickly loses half her family to a pretty extreme version of Christianity. She isn’t clear on what she wants, but she knows what she doesn’t and it is this; but how to fix it? And how to feel about the pastor’s daughter?
All this happening in a sweaty, oppressive Miami doesn’t make things easier. I felt like I had to step outside into the cold after having finished Fiebre Topical.
James Hook was boredPeter Darling, Austin Chant, Less Than Three Press 2017
A novella about Peter Pen and Neverland and Hook being …slightly different from what you might remember. Even though it’s pretty short (142 pages in e-bookformat), it took me a while to get invested.
Looking back, it almost feels like the order of the story is the wrong way ’round: large parts of the second half might have been more suited for the introduction part of the story?
Still, the author delivers from the start with descriptions of Neverland, the horror of facing reality and gives an element that could easily become super smarmy a soft and genuine landing.
I’m ready for someone to turn this into a film, and I don’t say this very often about a story.
I sing the city.The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin, Orbit 2020
I keep giving N.K. Jemisin chances, to sound delightfully dramatic. Like they care. I mostly care because on paper (heh) she’s got everything I desire, but the click continued to miss. This time the click was loud. A bit delayed, but loud all the same.
In The City We Became there’s cities that come alive and people that are cities, multiple dimensions (a bit like an onion, but maybe more like a pastry), human beings (bigotry) being the scariest enemy and oh sh- is that a Cthulhu reference?
It’s like Jemisin inhaled all that I love (close to reality, eerie as hell, new ideas with familiar roots) and coughed up this creation written so well that I was worried about this not being fiction at all. I don’t want her to be the person showing us behind the matrix.
Only downside? “This first part of a trilogy”.
Free Fall (Freier fall) “The German Brokeback Mountain“. Sweet, sometimes sexy, but sadly also straight from the Gay Drama Clichés Play Book – including biphobia.
Kedi a Turkish documentary about the special connection the city Istanbul (and its inhabitants) has with (street) cats. Prepare yourself for burly men softened up by kittens, beautiful shots and a whole other view on Turkey.
What will people say (Hva vil folk si) shows a Norwegian teen getting the short stick in the culture clash between I- and we-cultures. It’s sad and frustrating and completely carried by the main actor.