NetGalley Reads: Miracle Country

NetGalley Reads: Miracle Country

 

NetGalley

Before you read this post, make sure you have read my post I Can Do Better  to know how and where to donate, get informed, support, and follow the Black Lives Matter movement and people from the Black community. Si hablas español, y especialmente si vives en Colombia, lee mi publicación Puedo hacer algo mejor para enterarte cómo puedes apoyar a la Comunidad afrocolombiana. 

Hello and happy Friday. I barely slept last night and then woke up and did a full face of makeup, held a fun Instagram contest to celebrate Pride, recorded and drafted like six different TikToks, so it feels like I’ve already been up for a full day. I also continued to read Miracle Country by Kendra Atleework, and I couldn’t help but imagine that I was in the middle of a desert, surrounded by nothing by nature. Let me tell you, that’s a nice break, especially considering I have barely left my house since March.

I read this book between June 15th and July 1st, 2020 as part of a blog tour I was invited to participate in by Algonquin and gave it three stars, but it’s more like 3.5, really. I’d like to thank them, the author, and NetGalley for this opportunity. Now, this is nonfiction but it is nothing like what I’ve read before. I say this because it seems as if the main character in this book, other than being Atleewood herself or her family, is the place where they all live. I might be wrong, and if I am, please correct me, but the author is from Bishop, which is a desertic land in California.

To me, it was interesting to read about the weather, and the elements, and nature itself as characters, especially in an autobiographical book. It is especially interesting considering I have only lived in the city, and Colombia is a tropical country so the climate, biodiversity, and pretty much all other natural factors are very different from what the author experienced growing up. I think for that reason it took me a bit to get into the book, to really connect with what Atleework was narrating and describing, but I’ve hit that point and now I feel like everything is flowing.

That’s something important I want to say to potential readers of this book: it is slow and, honestly, kind of boring at first, but once you get past that, the author narrates more of her family life and history and focuses less on describing the landscape with excuciating detail. She still does, but I think by that point, the readers are used to that.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll explain it a little bit better because I think that way you’ll understand my three-star rating. Although I didn’t find anything particularly *wrong* with this book, I didn’t think it was my type of book at all, so I didn’t connect with it in ways other people would. That’s why I gave it the rating that I did. I didn’t think it was really fair to give it four stars because, other than entertaining me and teaching me about another place’s geography, it didn’t do much for me.

There are a few content warnings that I think you should consider before reading this book. You can perfectly skip the sections where they are mentioned, so it’s not like you can’t read the entire book because of them. There are mentions of self-harm and attempted sexual assault, both, I think, in the same chapter. If you can, get someone else to read it before and let you know what to skip.

What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

NetGalley Reads: Clancy of the Undertow

NetGalley Reads: Clancy of the Undertow

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Before you read this post, make sure you have read my post I Can Do Better  to know how and where to donate, get informed, support, and follow the Black Lives Matter movement and people from the Black community. Si hablas español, y especialmente si vives en Colombia, lee mi publicación Puedo hacer algo mejor para enterarte cómo puedes apoyar a la Comunidad afrocolombiana. 

Hello and happy Friday. I have so ARCs from NetGalley to read that I feel that sometimes I get to a point in which everything I’m reading is sort of the same, and you can totally tell by my two or three-star ratings. Sometimes, though, a book will come along that is nothing like what I’ve read and that makes me super excited to read and review. An example of this is Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie. I’d like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for giving me the chance to read and review this book.

I read Clancy of the Undertow between September 29th and October 5th, 2019 and gave it three stars. Yes, I know it is my usual rating, but this book really grew on me and I think that more people should know about it. Is it life-changing? Not at all. Do I think it needs to go through a revision process? Yes, but that being said, the story that it tells is one that more people need in their life.

I’ll be honest and say that right from the start I didn’t like it; I thought the language was too flowery and there were many sentence fragments. However, I think that the author reconsidered his choices and we get a more straightforward writing style throughout the book. Part of why I thought I wouldn’t like the book was my own preconceived notions. For example, at first, when the main character was describing a woman, I thought it was a man talking because in my mind it made more sense that it was a guy having a crush on a woman. I then understood the main character was a female, and I was also a bit confused until she straight up said she was into women. When I understood all these and realize I was the one with silly ideas and not the author, I enjoyed the book a lot more.

Yes, this features a lesbian main character, and I really appreciated the fact that this wasn’t a coming-out/figuring-out-my-sexuality kind of story. She did tell her family and friends that she liked women, but she was sure about her sexual orientation and didn’t make a big fuss about liking women. I think that kind of openness with herself is what more young adult books featuring queer main characters need.

The story features what could develop as a romance, although that is pretty much left to the reader’s imagination but it doesn’t revolve around it. I think that people who read and liked Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen will feel compelled to read this one, with the added bonus that the main character is not straight and the story is set in Australia. There are family issues that tend to be the center of the plot at times, although the book manages to be an exploration of the main character and her identity.

There is a suicide attempt scene, so be weary of that, and there are a few “jokes” here and there regarding a man who’s deemed a pedophile because he never got married or had kids. Other than that, the typos and general lack of editing, this is a solid book that I think more people should read.

Do you have any recommendations for books featuring lesbian main characters? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila