Sunday, April 26, 2020

Mini Book Reviews: The Light at the Bottom of the World to The Art of Feeling

You know those moments when you read all the good books and just want to rant about all of them? They may not come very often, but I’d read some pretty good books lately and thought I’d share all of them with you.

Also, I’ve had lots of time to read. LOTS. At the moment, my workplace isn’t supposed to reopen until the end of June, so I get to read even more. These library books are mine now, thank you very much. I’ve even started reading books I own again. What is this odd sensation?

Today’s post features sci-fi and contemporary novels I’ve been reading lately!

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, rounding up to 5
Mini description: Underwater sci-fi that takes actual science into consideration

Have I ranted enough about how good this book is? No, no I have not.

Sci-fi is fun. Underwater stories are awesome. Underwater sci-fi is epic! Part travel narrative, part mystery, this book features an underwater London, submersibles, and an underwater species that’s not quite human. The story also explores themes of hope and a healthy questioning of stereotypes. I liked it so much I bought a copy.

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Mini description: Heartfelt story about perseverance

I know I’ve mentioned this one before too, but it’s just so good! Tessa is an incredibly relatable character, except for the fact that she can’t type without her sight (Not that I’m one to talk. I often mix my letters up because one hand sometimes gets ahead of the other, but I know where the letters are by feel.) That aside, I really enjoyed the development of friendship between Tessa and Weston. And both of them have such heartbreaking backstories, but Weston is determined to live an inspiring life.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Genre: Sci-fi
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Mini description: An AI who just wants to enjoy their shows and maybe find out who they are

Though not long enough to be considered a novel, this little novella is the perfect length for both plot and character development. Murderbot may not have the best track record with they’re job, but they’re determined to keep their humans alive this time around. If they would just stop asking about their feelings long enough for them to enjoy their favorite shows, the universe might be a little better. Who knew an AI could be so relatable?

The Art of Feeling by Laura Tims

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Mini description: Girl who struggles with depression meets boy who can’t physically feel

Reread. To say the characters in this book are a little messed up would be an understatement, but I like them anyway. The main ones that is. There are a few I’m still mentally giving the death glare. That being said, there are funny moments and heartbreaking moments, and I just love the themes of friendship and family and growth. Just a heads up, there is a lot of swearing. Not quite The Hate U Give-level swearing but still more than your average YA novel. My main complaint though—that dog on the cover is too cute to be Tito, at least the one in my imagination.

Interested in any of these books? You might also enjoy The Boy Who Steals Houses by C. G. Drews (contemporary), The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan (contemporary, magical realism; see book review), Skyward by Brandon Sanderson (sci-fi; see book review), and A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole (sci-fi, fantasy; see book review).


Let’s chat! Have you read any of the listed books? Which did you enjoy? Which are you most excited about reading? Which contemporary and/or sci-fi novels have you been reading lately?

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