The books that I read in May:
I saw the film a few years ago and enjoyed it, and I have liked everything else by Gaiman I have read so I was pretty sure I would like the book. It turned out that I had forgotten almost everything about the film so I can't really compare the two, but I really liked it! I was under the impression though that it was aimed at children (not entirely sure why), but one of the characters gets it on in a field towards the beginning so... I guess not! Anyway, Neil Gaiman is quickly turning into one of my favourite reliably good authors! Any advice on which book I should read next?
Under the Skin by Michel Faber
The book is about a woman who drives around picking up hitchhikers in Scotland, for what are initially mysterious reasons. Some of them she drugs and takes away with her, and some of them she actually takes wherever it is that they were heading. She starts off as a complete mystery, although actually I knew some major spoilers before reading the book (thanks to reviews of the film that came out a while ago), but the book made me want to find out what I knew again, if that makes any sense! It was well done, is basically what I'm trying to say. If you are interested in reading it I suggest maybe not finding out too much about it beforehand.
I thought it was a really interesting book. It kept on surprising me, and I pretty much couldn't put it down while I was reading it.
I have not read Scott Pilgrim, although I did see and really like the film, so this is my first graphic novel of his. Katie, the main character, discovers that she can travel back in time to undo past mistakes, and then takes that idea to extremes. I really liked her as a character, and even though there are a lot of takes on this kind of idea, I thought it was done really well and am looking forward to reading it again at some point! I am also definitely going to get to Scott Pilgrim one day as well now (although I believe the general consensus is that this is better?)
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
The hosts of the Bookrageous podcast talk about how much they love A. S. King's YA fiction a lot, and I've always meant to try it at some point. Then they had her as a guest on a recent (might not be so recent, I tend to store up lots of podcasts and binge on them) podcast, and a lot of what she was saying struck a chord with me so I immediately decided to buy one of her books. I'm glad I did, because I really liked it! This is definitely more of an issue based YA book, where the main character is struggling with how the other people in her life will deal with her sexuality. The book also contains a slightly fantastical element, as the main character, Astrid, sends up love, questions and thoughts to the passengers on planes that fly overhead, and then we see how this affects the passengers. Sometimes I thought this fantastic part didn't quite work as well as it could have, but for the most part I loved it! I already have another A.S. King book lined up to read, and I am looking forward to getting to it!
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
This is the second discworld book, and it also follows the adventures of Rincewind and Twoflower immediately following the events of the last book, and with an impending apocalypse hanging over them. This is definitely much more of an actual novel than The Colour of Magic which is more like a series of set pieces put together, and I think it is the better for it. I still think that the Rincewind books are a bit weaker than some of the others in general, but overall it was very enjoyable!
A Girl is a Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
Oh I do not know what to say about this one. On the one hand, the book is written so it is kind of like a stream of consciousness, which I found immensely irritating and pretentious at first. But once I got into the flow of it I started to get into the story more, although to be honest the story was pretty bleak and nasty, so.... hmm. Overall I think I did like it, but this is definitely not an easy read, and I found myself getting really annoyed at the main character and some of the decisions that she was making, while also sort of understanding why she was doing it at the same time. To be honest, my reaction to the main character's behaviour made me question quite a few of my in-built prejudices, which I think is always a good thing! I think it will stick with me for quite a long time, although I'm not sure how widely I would recommend it. If you are not afraid of a slightly more challenging book that requires quite a bit of concentration to read, then why not!
The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman
Loved it. Proper review (mainly of the whole Magicians series rather than this one) coming shortly!
Attack on Titan volumes 6 and 7 by Hajime Isayama (read in Japanese)
So I picked this back up again after my husband pointed out that I was rubbish at finishing things that I start and used this manga as an example, and I did actually enjoy these volumes. I have already picked up the next few volumes for the Tadoku thing I'm doing now, yay. My one major nitpick with the books is that quite a few of the characters look pretty similar and I have problems telling them apart. This may be because I actually am pretty bad at reading manga though, especially manga with lots of action like this one.
Saga volume 4 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Excellent. If you haven't started reading Saga yet, what are you doing?! This and Ms. Marvel are seriously making me consider starting to read individual comic issues.