With all this nice weather, it’s been hard to sit indoors and write reviews. So here are some brief thoughts on things I read a while ago now.

The Best We Could Do is a graphic memoir by Thi Bui. When she becomes a mother she starts to think about what her parents went through to provide her a safe life. It goes between Thi exploring her relationship with her parents now and the story of the family’s escape from South Vietnam in the 70s. I learned quite a bit about the political situation in Vietnam as well as reading the hardships of a family who experienced so much, including the loss of children.

Read Harder: A comic written and illustrated by the same person
Read the World: Vietnam

In Real Life is a short graphic novel about gaming and gold farming with a little lesson about economics thrown in from, Cory Doctorow. It’s not very subtle and definitely aimed at the younger end of young adult. Anda befriends a poor Chinese player in Coarsegold Online. Raymond is a gold farmer, working long hours for low pay but he also loves the game and plays it in his spare time too. Anda falls in with a crowd who are paid to kill gold farmers, leaving her with a choice.

Raymond explains to Anda how he hurt his back and doesn’t get healthcare in his job. She decides to make him campaign for it, without really knowing his circumstances or how well strikes go down in China… It’s a bit ironic an American preaching about healthcare when theirs is such a mess. Anyway, Jen Wang’s artwork is cute and it does try and make a point.

I borrowed Blue Lily, Lily Blue from the library in audiobook form and Will Patton’s narration was irritating in places, high pitched woman voices and terrible singing. Ronan and Calla had the same voice, like they’d been smoking 40 a day. At least Gansey and Blue were fairly normal, I don’t think I could have coped with Blue having a stupid squeaky girl voice.

Anyway, I think I am invested in finding out what happens but I found this instalment pretty slow. Lot’s of stuff about Cabeswater and Latin. I think the Algionby Latin teacher position is akin the the Dark Arts position in Harry Potter. Will there be yet another one in the final book? I like the mythology and I need to know if they manage to save Gansey and if so why did Blue see his death? So I will be reading The Raven King, but I’m not sure I’d listen to it.

Home is the second Binti novella by Nnedi Okorafor and follows Binti as she heads home for her pilgrimage. Binti is changed by her experiences, both mentally and physically and does not fully belong in either place. It explores the feelings of returning home as a migrant. It’s a bit slower than the first book and again I got the feeling that I’d have preferred it all as one longer book.

I also read the first volume of Paper Girls, which follows a group of paper girls in the eighties when some sort of time travelling incident occurs and there’s weird men in cloaks and an Apple device is dropped. And honestly I’m not sure if I know entirely what is going on but I’m intrigued enough to read another volume.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: 36. A book set in the decade you were born