I’ve discovered Litsy. It started as an app for Apple but is now available for android and if any of you are book nerds (and, really, if you aren’t what are you doing here?) it’s awesome…except for the whole it’s on your phone thing. Basically, it’s a community of passionate readers who talk about books – they share short reviews, or just general comments about what they are reading. Lots of pictures of cats and books because we readers love our cats – but basically a nice place to hang out. It’s very user friendly and the site tracks your reading – pages and books read, offers virtual shelves to store books and has a simple thumbs up/down review system. You also gain Litfluence points when people interact to your comments.
This is where I heard about a cool thing they do in Halifax and I would LOVE it if some local establishment would consider a similar thing. Good Robot, a local brewery in Halifax offers a silent reading night once a month. Patrons come with their books and at the appointed time the bar is silent and they just read – no conversation, no cell phones, just your beer and your book. Reading is such a solitary activity – but how cool would it be to share your reading with fellow bibliophiles before and after the reading period.
So I am back at Harbour View which means that I am reading a lot more YA again – I generally take a little break in the summer. So this morning I am going to share one terrific YA title and one general title, but both of these books were un-put-down-able.
First up is Claire McIntosh’s novel I Let You Go. A mother is walking home in the pouring rain with her young son. Just at the road across the street from their home, he lets go of her hand and runs across the street. Out of nowhere, a car comes barreling down the street and hits the boy. From this point on, I Let You Go is a grab-you-by-the-throat suspense thriller that follows Jenna Gray as she goes to the Welsh coast to escape the tragic death and the police detectives, Ray and Kate, who are trying to find the driver behind the wheel.
Lots of these types of books out there these days, many of them being compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which I guess is just a way to sell more books, really. I guess it’s a helpful comparison if you are a fan of suspense thrillers, but, really, not everything is going to be Gone Girl – nor should it. Anyway. I Let You Go works really well as both a police procedural and as a meditation on grief and then, the whole narrative turns on its ear and you’re left there going, hold on, what just happened. But in a good way. Nail-biting fun.
My YA title is All the Rage by Courtney Summers. I am a fan of Summers, who is a Canadian writer and a while back I spoke about her zombie apocalypse title This is Not a Test. All the Rage is an important book because it tackles the issue of consent and victim-shaming. It’s about a girl called Romy who is raped by the sheriff’s son, but she doesn’t report it because she lives in a small town where most everyone is beholden to the sheriff and his wife, who owns a business that employs a lot of people. Romy is trying to sort through this horrible event, when she wakes up on the side of the road with absolutely no memory of what has happened to her and, of course, this causes tremendous anxiety, but it also further distances her from her family ( a very sympathetic mother and her equally lovely boyfriend) and a potential new boyfriend. I won’t be able to adequately express how important this book is because it tackles a lot of issues that young women cope with every day: the right to say no. The right to dress the way they want and still say no. Bullying. It’s just hot-button topic galore. It’s won just about every prize known to the world of YA, if you care about that sort of thing. It’s timely and gut-wrenching, but I think it has a place on library shelves.