YA and Creepy Crawlies: Thoughts and Reviews

I am typing this on my shiny, new 17″ Toshiba laptop. Guys. The screen is SO BIG. It is just massive. I love it. I can just type and type and type for miles.

It continues to be very bright outside, though this week the weather had a nice lapse into winter. Weather, you are drunk. Go home. There was snow on the ground Wednesday morning. What is even happening? But it promises to be nice today, though I am cowering inside. I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and am doing my best to rest so I will be well enough to attend Easter dinner tomorrow. FAMILY THINGS. They are important. Though I may have to venture outside for sustenance. I am running out of food.

The upside to all this cowering has been that I’ve had plenty of time to read. This morning I finished Libba Bray’s epic and magnificent novel The Diviners, having done so after finishing Maureen Johnson’s The Madness Underneath. I took both books out of the library, MJ”s because I’ve been meaning to read it (sequel and all) and Bray’s because I just like her work. I did not know much about it. Imagine my surprise when I finish Johnson’ ghost story (with rather mixed feelings might I add… The book is a great ride, especially if you like her work and teenage ghost crime fighting, but the ending! MY HEART CANNOT STAND SUCH UPHEAVAL) and realized my next YA adventure was also a ghost story! Sort of. The novel does hinge on a baddie ghost, but it is more of a supernatural rollercoaster than just a simple ghost story.

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The Diviners was definitely a lot darker than I thought it was going to be (especially going in not knowing anything about it). The John Hobbes story and the murders were grisly, demonic, and truly disturbing. I found it delightfully unsettling, especially when juxtaposed with our bright and bubbly main character Evie O’Neill and the glitzy world of the 1920s. Man, I love the 1920s and Libba Bray brings it to life in full color. I swear I will be saying “You betski” and “Pos-i-TUTE-ly” for weeks to come. I just want to bob my hair and shimmy.

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SPRING! SPRING! Is it truly among us? I feel like I have been living in a strange, icy world for the past, oh, six months. But the outside is so gorgeous right now. I woke up this morning at 7:30 am ON A SATURDAY and I felt so weirdly invigorated. I think it was all the light, and the fact the apartment was like 68 degrees. Way to have the heat on when it’s warm out. Adulthood! Bills!

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In literary news, I’ve been plugging away at my reading list (hah, bet you thought I was going to say writing… That’s a laugh!). I just recently finished Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel. It’s a graphic novel and more specifically a memoir, though it has a serious, essayist feel. It’s definitely an extremely self-indulgent book, but I still found it to be a page turner. It helped that the art was very good. If you have any interest in therapy or psychological theory, you will likely find the book compelling. There was a lot of talk in there about Freud and Jung and Winnicott. I am a big Winnicott fan (can you be a fan of a psychological theorist?), so I found the book particularly interesting. If you don’t really have any background in psychological theory/roots, the book would probably be a little confusing. It reads more like an academic paper with some personal anecdotes sprinkled in than anything else. There are also a lot of allusions to Virginia Woolf, which I very much enjoyed. Her diaries are crazyyyy. Seriously. Pick one up. It’s a trip.

I feel a little manic. It might be because I’ve only had a cup of tea today and nothing else. I really ought to eat breakfast. How is it only ten o’clock? How have I been awake for over two hours?!

In other news, libraries are great. I took out a Maureen Johnson and a Libba Bray novel from the Cambridge Public Library, also known as the most beautiful library in the Boston-Cambridge area. I finished the Maureen Johnson one (The Madness Underneath… my feels) and am now working on The Diviners. Of course I want to talk about MJ’s sequel but I kind of want to wait until I finish The Diviners. I didn’t realize the two books had so much in common. Hooray for paranormal mysteries?

Until next time.