In the midst of finishing up grades (I promise I didn’t spend too much time on this), working on some crafts for Christmas gifts, and writing, I did manage to finish two new YA books over the break.
All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry
This book is set in a town called Roswell Station in a time period that is unnamed but feels like the 17th or 18th century. I did find myself wondering frequently about this: is this colonial times? Is this a future, post-apocalyptic world? Is this post-alien invasion, as the name “Roswell” might suggest?
Berry never tells us exactly what the setting is. Suffice it to say that our main character lives in a village with primitive technology and puritanical codes of living. In this mysterious setting, Judith lives, having returned two years previous with a horrible injury from living life with a man who abducted her. She cannot speak, but she will need to learn how. In order to save her town, to save her younger brother, and to save herself.
Along the way, she will frequently encounter Lucas, her neighbor and her first love, who is the audience for all of her thoughts. She addresses the entire text to him as if it’s a letter, one of the few novels to successfully write entirely in second person.
I read this book in the first weekend of break. Once I gave up trying to figure out the setting and wondering if the novel was going to turn out to be set in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing Judith regain her voice.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
I have actually been reading this third book in the Raven Boys Cycle for a few weeks before break. One thing about this book series: I can’t read them quickly. Stiefvater’s prose is so lush that I don’t even want to try to read fast. In fact, my favorite way to enjoy this series in on audiobook. Will Patton’s reading of these books evokes the sleepiness of Henrietta, Virginia juxtaposed with the urgency of the main characters’ tasks.
I read a bit over three-fourths of this book on the page, but for break I checked out the audio book for our road trip and finished it on the way.
The premise of this series is a bit hard to explain, and I admit that I took a long time to finish the first book of the Raven Cycle. One of the main characters is a wealthy teenage boy at a prestigious private school who has been searching for years for an ancient Welsh king. He and his best friends, including Blue, a local girl who lives with psychics, are searching for this king in a small town in Virginia.
Like the unknown setting of Berry’s book, the premise of this cycle completely works if the reader just accepts it. I find that after three books in the cycle, I have accepted and embraced it. And I’m eagerly anticipating the next installment.
“It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It’s a great way to keep track of what you’re reading and see what others are reading each week.