I loved Days of Blood and Starlight, so much more than the first book. It’s always hard to review second books in trilogies, but if you stalled after Daughter of Smoke and Bone, it may be worth your time to give it a second chance. Thank god we’ve got past all that mushiness between Karou and Akiva. For perhaps obvious reasons, they’re not spending much time together now and there’s none of that pesky pining you so often get. Plus there’s more time spent in Eretz, with additional world-building. I have the third book on my holiday list and cannot wait.
Apple and Rain is a story about fantasy not living up to expectations. Apple has never known her mother, being raised by her Nan. But one day her wishes are answered and her mother walks back into her life. This was the first Sarah Crossan I’ve read (I have since read the stunning One) and it deals with poor parenting, relying on siblings to look after each other, but at its heart is a tale of two sisters.
Rain feels resentment over a new person in family and her acting up is very well done even if it doesn’t endear us to her. Apple is far from perfect either and she can be selfish when it comes to her Nan. She’s desperate to fit in; a kind of middle of the road child at school, not necessarily bullied but not quite belonging. Does Apple blame her mum for her feeling that way? As the story progresses, I started to warm to these two flawed, but realistic girls.
Over the years I’ve heard a lot of love for Stephanie Perkins and I used the readathon as an excuse to pick up her first book, Anna and the French Kiss. It’s sweet and easy read with a dash of humour. I liked it but I didn’t fall in love. I was imminently jealous of their school restaurant though. Mmmm fresh baked bread for breakfast every day!
I’m pretty happy that Anna gets called up on her stereotyping later on in the book. Yes, we all do it to some extent, but I’m glad it was made clear that’s just what she was doing when she made assumptions about the French, or what they would assume about her. And finally, an author that knows the difference between English and British. Thank you for calling Etienne’s accent English!
Which leads on nicely to You Say Potato, a book about accents. Written by a father and son team, it’s a conversational style non-fiction book that’s easy to pick up and read in snippets. As someone with a hodge podge accent, I loved the fact that it helped me trace different parts of my accent to different places I have lived. It also tells us a lot about Received Pronunciation English, that accent that everyone who is not British assumes is what we all talk like. It’s actually pretty new in our history and it turns out we trust regional accents more. Maybe that Jaguar ad had a point.
David Crystal is involved in Original Pronunciation Shakespeare, in which they perform the plays in an accent as close as they can get to what would have been spoken at the time it was first performed. Now I’d love to see a performance, but I felt it went on a bit too much near the end about this. There was a conversation with an actor about his use of accents that didn’t quite fit the rest of the book. However it does seem to be David’s passion so I’ll let him off. I would certainly recommend this to any American writers planning on including a British character in their next book!
I also read the Penguin Little Black Classic edition of The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, however my thoughts were pretty much summed up during the readathon here.