10-Second Reviews: 24in48 Edition
Over the weekend, I participated for the first time in the #24in48 readathon. It’s pretty straightforward: You pledge to read 24 hours out of a 48-hour weekend. I clocked in at a little more than 24 hours. I read five books, 1,713 pages and listened to three hours of an audiobook. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. If you’re interested, they’ll do it again next year. You can follow the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, or Litsy (are you on Litsy? You should be. It’s the best.), see what other bookish folks were reading, and even enter giveaways.
Here are my thoughts on the five books I read during the readathon.
“Dumplin’” by Julie Murphy
This was July’s Pancake Sex Book Club pick. It’s a YA book about being fat, pageants, friendship and grief. I loved this book. (Most of the others in book club did, too.) I read it all in one sitting and cried through a lot of it. The themes of loss, not fitting in, and being uncomfortable in your own skin all rang very true to me. I read this all in one sitting from midnight Saturday to about 4 a.m.
“This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity No. 1)” by Victoria Schwab
Full disclosure: Victoria (or V.E.) Schwab is an automatic buy for me. (Other autobuys: Margaret Atwood, John Scalzi, Steven Brust, among others.) This, too, is a YA novel, but it’s completely different from “Dumplin’.” It’s about two teens (kind of) navigating a split city where monsters hunt the unwary and the unprotected. It’s about friendship and music and terror. I loved this book, and I can’t wait for the second in the duology to come out next year.
“Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen” by Mary Norris
And now for some non-fiction. This book is part memoir, part grammar primer and all hilarious. Mary Norris is a copy editor at The New Yorker, and she writes about the sometimes bizarre style that guides that publication. But she also discusses trans issues (in the section about pronouns), how “me” isn’t the more casual version of “I,” and so much more. This is a must read for anyone who loves language and wants to learn more about English.
“The Mermaid’s Sister” by Carrie Anne Noble
More YA (surprising no one). This was a charming tale of a girl who turned into a mermaid and the lengths her sister and their almost-brother go to to get her to the ocean before she dies or disappears. There’s magic, folklore, and a wyvern, so that’s pretty great. I liked this book—though I could have done without the love triangle.
“The Regional Office Is Under Attack!” by Manuel Gonzales
Y’all. This book is phenomenal. It completely lives up to the hype. The gist: The organization the Regional Office—which boasts female assassins and Oracles and a woman with a mechanical arm that is indistinguishable from her regular arm—is being attacked by another group with a team of badass lady assassins. The perspective flips between Sarah, who has the cyborg arm, and Rose, who was recruited by the other side. In between, a scholarly paper on the rise of the Regional Office gives context and history. This book is brutal and funny, has unreliable narrators (my jam), and an ambiguous ending (also my jam). I loved everything about it.