Been dreading this one because I have to start off with honest-to-god one of the worst books I’ve ever read. Henry told me to just type out the title and then put ANGRY as my review because he doesn’t want his night to be ruined by me getting all worked up again over how shitty this book was. OK, let’s just do. *band-aid ripping etc etc*
7. The Book of Accidents – Chuck Wendig
Yeah this guy really thinks he’s a clever motherfucker, that’s crystal clear. I’ve known at least 8 different versions of this guy throughout my years. The ones who have the better record collection. The ones who don’t think you’re smart enough to learn how to play their stupid Viking nerd games. The ones who have first editions of On the Road. That’s this pretentious writer. I don’t ever annotate books because they’re 99.9% always from the library but I honestly wish I had least written down every time this book (NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING SCARY, BTW) pissed me off, made me roll my eyes, had me shrieking, “OK REALLY” at the ceiling. For example, early on in the book, he wrote something about some dude’s stare being so strong it was pinning the other person to the wall like a movie poster, but then he used it AGAIN several chapters later?!
This book was full of overreaching shit like that and the dialogue was like, wtf really, has this guy ever actually had a conversation with a person in real life before? Nothing felt natural!!
Then! This! Happened!
IN WHAT WORLD IS SHEETZ INFERIOR TO WAWA?
Also there was an entire paragraph describing the “fat women” in clothing they “shouldn’t wear” in Wal-Mart and I was like, “OK BUDDY, GROW UP.” I mean, I wrote stupid body-shaming shit like that in LiveJournal and probably on here too but then I grew up and also guess what I’m not a published author and no one gives a shit what I say on here anyway.
I just fucking hate this guy. I hate-read this book so hard that I’m actually surprised it didn’t go up into sizzling flames while in my hands.
I don’t even want to write a synopsis. Just click the link if you want to know. I have to close this chapter (LOL) and move on with my life now.
FUCK OFF, CHUCK.
OK, now I’m done.
8. Almost Flying – Jake Maia Arlow
This is just what I needed after that previous disaster. I heard about this book from one of the coaster YouTubers I follow and I am so glad for the heads up because this book was pure and genuine, with a shit ton of good ass coaster talk thrown in. It’s a middle-aged book about Dalia, a girl who is really going through it – it’s the summer before 8th grade (7th? some middle school grade) and her old BFF has started hanging out with the popular crown, leaving Dalia in the dust. Plus, Dalia’s parents recently divorced and she’s getting used to living with just her dad in a new apartment. All that’s keeping her going in her love of roller coasters, except she’s never ridden one! She just watches POVs on YouTube (been there, girl) and is working up the nerve to ask her dad to take her to an amusement park. But then she makes a new friend at swim lessons – Rani – and gets her excited about coasters too.
Then a bunch of shit happens with her dad being all, “btw I have a gf” and Dalia is all “FML” but then she ends up going on a theme park road trip with her dad’s new gf daughter who’s in college and Rani gets to go too and it’s just…the emotions felt real to me. There is conflict that felt like, “Yes, this is how I would have reacted to this shit too when I was in middle school.”
And while all of this is going on, we also get to witness Dalia realize that she has feelings for Rani. The LGBTQ+ rep was so beautiful here and I can only imagine how awesome and comforting this book must be to younger, confused kids.
And also, the roller coasters!
Yes! Boulder Dash is fucking AMAZE and Outlaw Run is fucking sickening! I was so excited that they referenced an RMC in here!!
(Side note: I kept taking pictures of the pages and texting them to Chooch who was getting so pissed because he is way too cool and old for a middle grade book and he was extra-pissed when he went to the library and I said, “OH WHILE YOU ARE THERE PLEASE PICK UP MY BOOK FOR ME” and he didn’t know it was going to be this one so he had to check it out in front of his friends lololololololol.)
YOU GUYS: I AM OBSESSED WITH JOJO ROLLS! It’s even my current name on Twitter! It’s not even my favorite element on a coaster, I just like the name, lol.
STEVE!!!!! STEVE WAS IN THIS BOOK!!!!!!! Two RMCs repped!
My only critique is that the road trip tackled 5 parks, from Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ to Cedar Point in Ohio, and they even stopped in Pittsburgh but DIDN’T GO TO KENNYWOOD? They went to DORNEY but not KENNYWOOD? (Not knocking you Dorney, but nothing you have tops Phantom’s Revenge.) No, they stopped in Pittsburgh to go to the aviary. OK.
But yeah, if you know any kids who love coasters or are struggling with their sexuality or identity or place in the world or all of the above, then gently place this book on their pillow because it’s precious. <3
9. The Perfect Family – Robyn Harding
I’m not going to expound too much on this one. It’s a domestic thriller. It was middle-of-the-road for me. I listened to the audio book and was about 1/4 of the way through before realizing that I had read another of this author’s books and thought it was kind of dumb, but I needed something mindless to listen to on my walks and…well, it did its job, I guess. I didn’t hate or love it.
I got this from one of the Little Free Libraries in my ‘hood and then also found the audio for it so I did the whole “reading along while being read to” thing which is probably the only way I would have been able to get through this one. I didn’t know it at the time, but Bobby Hall is aka Logic and once I figured that out, the fact that the audiobook had sound effects and each chapter had intro music suddenly made a lot more sense.
The first half of this book was pretty good! It’s almost entirely set in a Supermarket and while there were definitely some cringey racial stereotyping going on but the characters were so dynamic and the dialogue was fast and sappy….but then the second part happened and it quickly became apparently that I was 2 dumbz0rz to fully “get” this book. Super psychological and Palahniuk-esque.
I can’t really say much more than that without SPOILERS. But I think this dude is a great writer, for sure.
11. The Family Plot – Megan Collins
OK this book was weird (in a good way). It’s a really great thriller/mystery (actually, yeah, it’s more of a mystery really) about a girl who is returning to her family home for the first time in, I dunno, 10 years, because her dad has died. This is the second book I read that month with a main character named Dahlia/Dalia, coincidentally. The whole family is super into true crime and the mom named them all after famous murder victims and used to reenact murder scenes as an actual class while home schooling her kids. Totally bonkers and also something that I could kind of seeing my mom doing, OK ME, I COULD TOTALLY SEE ME DOING THIS. Chooch got off easy, when you really think about it.
Yeah, I liked this one. It was creepy and also kind of sad, because Dahlia has spent the last 10 years of her life desperately trying to find her twin brother who left the house on their 16th birthday. She has an older sister and brother who aren’t twins but are like, obsessed with each other.
To me, though, it kind of read like a YA mystery even though I’m pretty sure this was meant for adults, so I dunno. It was entertaining but didn’t have me screaming it’s praises with a voice string enough to pin a movie poster against a wall.
No, nothing like that.
And that was it. August was not great. September has been much better. I just finished a book yesterday that had me clutching my chest and I will DEFINITELY be screaming about that one for years to come but I guess you will have to wait for my September book round-up! GOOD-BYE, AUGUST BOOKS.