Even writing my last post on inspiration, it still took me until last night to realize that if I wanted to stop moaning about not writing, all I needed to do was clear off my desk, make a cup of tea, open Scrivener, and write. Funny how the brain works. I can give the exact same piece of advice to my billions of readers (ha) without actually applying it to myself. Reflexivity is important, kids.
It’s been a while since I did a mini book review, but I recently read a book so electric that it made me remember I write book reviews. Without further ado….
Reading Into Other Lands, it was as if Sarah Rees Brennan was staring directly into my soul while writing and crafted a book For Me. What is there to love about this book?
- The snarkiest main character I’ve ever read. I’m talking snarkier than Artemis Fowl, snarkier than Merlin (BBC), snarkier than…than a character whose dialogue tags regularly end in “they snarked.”
- A critical view of what it means for a main character to be, actually, a complete asshole.
- A narrative that follows the three main characters yearly from 13-17.
- Did I mention it’s about a boy who is chosen to go to diplomat school in another land while summering in our world? And his best friends are a Badass Elf and a Typical Hero?
- Goes from humorous inversion of stereotypes to nuanced deconstruction of societal value systems as the characters age.
- Gut-bustingly funny. Gut. Bustingly.
- Oh yeah, and queer. But you probably should have assumed that.
- Dips from lighthearted parody into intense cultural critique like a sine wave.
- A romp reminiscent of A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. The spirit of the book, that is, not the plot.
This is one of those books that, half-way through, I realized would probably be put on my “all-time-faves” list, which is a rare thing. In the future, I will likely purchase a copy to keep and stare at and stroke lovingly. In short, it’s a good book.