I didn’t get a lot of reading time in this week; Christmas is kind of taking over my free time, which is fine because I love it. Also there’s this new Oscar Isaac movie out so I should probably post a picture of him.
This Is How It Always Is is an annoying book for me to review. (Was also annoying to read, for that matter.) This is a novel about raising a trans child, so it’s automatically controversial in its way, and I feel like when you dislike a controversial book, it comes across like you’re taking the opposite stance of the book, or something. But I would love an insightful, well written book about a family with a transgender child! Sadly, this has a very irritating, cutesy writing style, an utterly loathsome main character, and finishes up with a “white lady goes to Asia to gain perspective” section. Can we please retire this gross trope? I gave this a chance even though I hated her first book, but I am not reading this author again.
Poison was another frustrating read. There was some genuine suspense for a big portion of it. I really wasn’t sure what was going on, was this wife just losing her mind, or was her awful husband gaslighting her, or a little of both, or what? I also thought it was going for a more subtle, metaphoric message, like how an unhappy marriage can slowly cause a person’s deterioration, but no, it was just literally about poison. It really fell apart and made no sense toward the end. It was really funny to read some of its negative reviews, particularly the reader who complained that the plot had “more holes than a bagel.” Yes, it did have more than one hole.
I’m finishing up The Changeling right now, and it’s another one that’s kind of all over the place for me. I love modern fairy tales and magical realism, so it feels like I should be liking this more than I am. Some sections have been really strong, but others are kind of a slog. I really have no idea where it’s going, so I am fairly eager to finish it. I hope it’s good, but let’s have another picture of Oscar Isaac, just in case.