Fortunately, the Milk – Neil Gaiman // The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway // Made For You – Melissa Marr

Fortunately, The Milk:

‘”I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.”

“Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.”

Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.’

The other day, I asked Ro, “What was my life like before I discovered Neil Gaiman?” to which she absent-mindedly replied, “I don’t know, it was probably really boring.” Which seems rude, but is also mostly true.

Fortunately, The Milk is one of Gaiman’s most recent children’s books. It’s very short (128 pages, but most of them have illustrations that take up at least a quarter of the page) and very quick, but also hilarious. I literally laughed out loud a couple of times. I mean, any book that has a time-travelling stegosaurus has to be good, right? Plus, despite being very random, there’s still a very good plot hidden amongst the nonsense.

The Sun Also Rises:

“The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style.

A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway’s most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.”

This is not the edition I read, but it doesn’t really matter (I can’t find the cover for the one I read; granted, I haven’t looked very hard…).

I’ve never read Hemingway before. I don’t know how I managed that since I majored in English, but clearly we weren’t as well read as we should have been. I expected him to be stuffy and boring, but I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to read.

It’s also much more scandalous than I imagined – Lady Brett Ashley in particular clearly got around but did not explicitly say what she was getting up to. The description of the running of the bulls at Pamplona was very well done – I could picture it perfectly. I felt the plot itself was a bit slow at first but once it got going, it barrelled to the end – not unlike bulls in Pamplona.

For my first time reading Hemingway, it went along swimmingly – which is good, because I have two of his other books sitting on my “To Read” pile (The Old Man and the Sea and Farewell to Arms), and I was worried I wouldn’t like him.

Made For You:

“When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.”

I didn’t realize quite how varied my reading list this week was until just now…

I’m a huge Melissa Marr fan so I was VERY excited to hear about this book. IT WAS EXCELLENT.

I may be biased (because I’ve been a fan since Wicked Lovely came out in 2007), but I’ve always liked Marr’s writing style, her way with words. This book was no exception. In fact, I think she got even better.

The story is told through alternating points of view: Eva, her best friend Grace, and “Judge”, the killer. I don’t know if the hints were obviously there or if, because of the amount of YA I read, I was able to piece it together on my own, but even though I guessed who he was, it still sent a shiver up my spine when Judge’s true identity was revealed. It was creepy to get inside his head, especially toward the end.

I also liked the addition of Eva’s new “skill” – the “death visions”, as she called them. She doesn’t just see how people will die, she experiences it as if she was that person in that particular moment, and it makes for some truly compelling reading.