Adult Fic, I Read That Too

Oh, internets, it has been so long since I babbled at you about book related matters. And yet, books! They are the centerpiece of my life! So it is about time I did.

I am a young adult fiction writer, and thus primarily a young adult fiction reader by both career and preference, but I also read adult books from time to time.

Then I review them in dialogue style in a spoilerific manner that often renders in-depth, wonderful works nonsensical. Here are recent highlights of my adult fic reading:

The Long Song, Andrea Levy.

BOOK: Would you like to read a story of Jamaican slavery ostensibly narrated by the engaging voice of Miss July, telling of her years of a young woman enslaved who must negotiate with the foolishness of her mistress and the myriad dangers of her position?
ME: Yeeeeees?
BOOK: She is an unreliable narrator who frequently interstitially lambasts her adult son in a most amusing manner when he attempts to make her tell the truth, or conceal it in a ladylike fashion!

Soulless, Gail Carriger.

BOOK: I am a delightful paranormal romance set in Victorian England.
ME: This says you are fantasy/horror.
BOOK: IGNORE THAT. Here, let me introduce my main characters.
ALEXIA TARABOTTI: I am a spinster, on the shelf for a decade since I was fifteen, what with my Italian father and tan skin and big nose and decidedly assertive opinions which I do insist on sharing.
CONALL MACCON, EARL OF WOOLSEY: I am a well-regarded and very important werewolf and also head of Queen Victoria’s supernatural police branch. I do like a woman with spirit!
ALEXIA: Did I mention that my touch instantly cancels out supernatural abilities, so that if, for example, I were to touch you in werewolf form at full moon, you would become human?
CONALL: So instead of being an uncontrollable killing machine, I would instantly become a hot naked man?
ME: Make out!
* They do. *
ME: Be locked in a room together while he is overcome by transformation and only her touch can save him from mauling her*!
* They do. *
BOOK: There’s also some intriguing worldbuilding and a interesting supernatural scientific mystery going on here, you know.
ME: Whatever. Alexia/Conall forever!

* The inestimable Book Smugglers scoffed at this scene, and I cannot imagine why. If I had perhaps an hour to live and a hot dude to adore who adored me back, and I was locked in an inescapable cell, and there was no icecream around, I think this would be a very pleasant way to spend what were potentially my last minutes. And, indeed, there was no icecream.

The Rehearsal, Eleanor Catton.

BOOK: Karen, how ridiculously good am I?
ME: SO good. But-
BOOK: But?
ME: Well, you are also artificial and rather cold! You are beautifully written, but I can find no affection in any of your characters, and because many of them are teenagers, I find that very disturbing.
BOOK: Are you seriously claiming that a novel that is an extended mediation on the nature of performance and performativity, where action and character are explicitly scripted and observed in ways that break the constraints of typical narrative, contains too much artifice?
ME: Well, not when you put it like that.
BOOK: I do.
ME: I can’t wait for you to be a play.
BOOK: I know, right?

Avoiding Mr Right, Anita Heiss

BOOK: Karen, pop quiz.
ME: Hit me!
BOOK: What kind of contemporary romance novel includes its hardworking policy-making Murri heroine debating race relations with her whitefella policeman love interest, lucid dreams of international sexy times, and a group of delightful female friends being delightful?
ME: Um, an AWESOME one?
BOOK: Correct! Also, Sydney-versus-Melbourne culture wars.
ME: Please. Melbourne is obviously superior.
BOOK: Madam, I suspect bias.

Blackout, Connie Willis

BOOK: Now, you might think a book about time-travel to the Blitz should pack a bit more plot into 500 pages.
ME: That’s okay, I am enjoying the ride!
BOOK: I promise, stuff happens eventually.
ME: Seriously, I’m good.
BOOK: Oh, hey, cliffhanger ending! See you in June for the sequel.
ME: …

Secret Six: Depths, Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Doug Hazlewood, et al.

BOOK: Karen, would you like some more beautifully drawn, superbly written, deeply amoral mercenaries on ethically taxing missions where they somehow still manage to do what could be considered from some lights as the “right” thing?
ME: Is Catman still hot?
BOOK: Yup.
ME: Is Scandal Savage still totally awesome?
BOOK: Duh.
ME: Yes, please!

As you can see, my adult fic reading, like my YA fic reading, is somewhat eclectic. Variety is the spice of life! And cumin, tumeric, ginger and cayenne pepper are the spice of my potato and lentil curry, which I had best rescue. I will enjoy that; I hope you may enjoy these!

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  • This was absolutely hysterical. Like the werewolf paranormal novel and all the sex scenes. Yummy. Also I’ve heard of Anita Heiss but haven’t come across her books. Now I’m going to track down a copy because it sounds fabulous.