The December challenge was to read a book by a 2015 debut author.
Here’s how we did with this month’s challenge!
Bethany: I picked “No Parking at the End Times” by Brian Bliss, thanks to a conversation on Twitter with him and Anthony Breznican, early in the year. This was a great book, hooking my attention, which was no small feat as I read it the week of my wedding! Like most YA novels, it’s about a main character trying to find her place in the world. But the twist in this one — that her family has joined a religious group that incorrectly predicted the Second Coming and is thus, still here — is compelling. I’ve had conversations with my dad — a social worker — about how people get sucked into that thinking and how they stay in after a prediction doesn’t come true. It was a great book and I look forward to more from Bliss.
Stacie: “The Cost of All Things” by Maggie Lehrman was a challenging YA book for me to read. Likely, it had more to do with me and my own mental state than the book itself. The story was told by four different characters, each revealing their story, and the impact the death of a friend has on them. The voices were distinct, which was good. I didn’t have to work hard to keep track of who was doing the telling. The story unfolded well, and the multiple voices aided in the telling. In fact, due to one character’s decision, parts of the story would not have made sense unless it was told this way.
That being said, I couldn’t empathize with any character. I mainly wanted to tell each of them to grow up and stop trying to control their friends. To seek the help that was being offered. While it didn’t tip into teen angst, it wasn’t a story I wanted to read right now. Perhaps you’ll think differently.