Sunday, July 19, 2009

Book Recommendation Time!

It's been awhile since I recommended the books I've loved the most recently, so i figured I would catch up with two that I read recently and loved. To make it onto the blog as a recommendation, it has to be something that sticks with me for longer than the amount of time it took me to read it. Or something really different. Sometimes I actually have to read a book twice before I really love it.I'm annoyingly picky, so a lot of times I won't finish books or will like something but not love it enough to gush. These are the gushers.

STITCHES: A MEMOIR, by David Small. (September '09)

I am not going to tell you anything about this book.

I'm sure you're thinking that's an odd way to begin a review, but that's how I went into this book, and it worked for me. I was doing an interview with Booklist last weekend and I asked the interviewer what he thought was the graphic novel of the year so far. Without even having to consider, he said, "STITCHES." My publicist picked an advanced review copy up for me at ALA and I am thrilled that she did. I didn't know anything about it except that it was a memoir written as a graphic novel, and that it was supposed to be fabulous (which makes me naturally mistrustful, of course). I didn't even read the back -- just opened it up in the airport and fell in.

So I won't tell you what this book is about. I will tell you this: David Small shines in illustrating the small details that make people real. This is a fairly dark book, but there were parts were I laughed out loud at Small's cunning characterizations. If you read other reviews, you'll see they call the style "cinematic" and "stunning" and it's both of those things. It's also whimsical, sad, and ultimately uplifting. It has possibly the best final line of any book I've read. Definitely one I'll be buying in hardcover and my favorite graphic novel for the past several years. Stunningly done and a good pick for adults who haven't stuck their toe in the graphic novel pool. The water's fine.

HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT, by Natalie Standiford (October 2009).
The best favor I can do to everyone considering reading this book is to tell them that it's not a YA romance. Once you get that out of the way, you can enjoy this book for what it is: a quirky, intelligent YA novel about two lost teens finding their way back to normalcy -- or not.

While the two main characters -- nicknamed 'Ghost Boy' & 'Robot Girl' -- in this book are earnestly 3D, the real star of this novel is the late night radio program that both of them listen to. The quirky and sincere and bizarre and fascinating callers enchant both the narrator and the reader, and ultimately, this book ended up on my five star list because the show and the ending remained in my head for longer than it took me to read the book.

I think this one also goes on my top five YAs that ought to be movies list -- I can see it perfectly in my head.

I'm hoping to have more posts up soon once I get through my ARCs for ALA. I'm really looking forward to them . . . don't let me down!


Sara said...

I'm excited about How To Say Goodbye in Robot - the cover alone is enough to make me pick up the book, let alone the plot.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

It is intensely pink!

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