The opening chapter of Release gave me pause for the extent to which it borrowed from the beginnings of Mrs Dalloway. I knew that Ness took inspiration from Mrs Dalloway and Forever by Judy Blume. I’ve read the former, but not the latter. And let’s just say, I didn’t like that classic very much. I gave it 0.5 stars, although I could see what Virginia Woolf had meant to accomplish. But I’ve adored past books of Patrick Ness, so I was curious.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was beautiful! I’ve had the hardcover on my bookshelves for over two years. I also knew that Lin-Manuel Miranda was an excellent narrator. But the more people told me to read it, the more I put it off. Yes, I blame my irrational brain. I wanted to read it but then I refused because others encouraged me to. Thankfully, Hazel picked it for our June Epic Recs, so I couldn’t deny her pick. I went on to alternate between print and audio.
For the month of February Hazel picked More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera as her book recommendation for me to read. What made this round of Epic Recs different was that we specifically chose to go with audiobooks. This also meant that for once we didn’t pick books the other already owned, and so had free rein.
Right from the first beginning we’re told that the main character, Clementine is dead. We relive her life through her diary entries. It was evident right from the start that Blue is the Warmest Color is a sad book but it wasn’t cheapened by shocking anyone with Clementine’s death. No, this graphic novel focused on the journey. In doing so, it shed light on her hopes and dreams, and struggles and despair.
Set in Nazi England, 2012–2014, The Big Lie is premised on one question: What if the Nazis had won World War II? With this in mind, The Big Lie is a speculative work of alternative history. While nobody can say for sure how things would’ve turned out, I think the world that Julie Mayhew imagined is a rather plausible outcome. She evidently did her research and wove together the fascist ideals and lifestyles of the 1940s with contemporary ones.