In addition to John Green’s novel, Turtles All the Way Down, I have been reading some other books this week!
Synopsis: Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world and make friends. But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer – a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behaviour is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realise that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s livelihood is at stake.
In Real Life is a graphic novel by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang. It features two female gamers and it’s just ‘my kind’ of book! It’s so refreshing to see a feminist spin on gaming literature, as I love books like Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (which is AMAZING – I would highly recommend it!) and, while they do feature female characters, it is very rare that I see a female protagonist lead a story. I was so excited when I read this because it interlinks gaming and feminism so captivatingly. You become immersed just as Anda is in her game, and you come to struggle with the decisions she has to make and whether or not her choices will be for the greater good. The pages are colourful and beautifully illustrated and I will definitely read this one again.
Hollie McNish’s poetry is entirely new to me – and I adored it. I’m not going to lie, I saw Plum at the bookshop and was drawn to it because of its stunning cover. Then I read the author’s introduction at the front and saw that she is based between Cambridge and Glasgow (I lived in Glasgow for a year <3) and she also has a collection called Cherry Pie. I really like cherry pie. So I went ahead and bought it with my voucher!
On a more serious note, I’ve recently been getting back into poetry again (I used to attend poetry evenings when I was eighteen and was super into it!) but I’ve been finding a lot of poets that tell things like they are with a beautiful, minimalist approach. McNish’s Plum got me adding tons of sticky notes and folding pages just because I really connected to its words – and that is what poetry must ultimately do (in my opinion). I loved the switching narratives between Hollie’s younger self and her older self – it captured the contrasting innocence and naivete of being a young girl and the wisdom and pessimism that comes with age. If you’re a fan of Rupi Kaur (who this month just released another poetry book – AHHH!) I think you’ll enjoy Plum. I just loved it.
Even though it isn’t a book, I have also been enjoying Lush’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ moisturiser. It smells like apples and reminds me of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – so it does have a literary connection! I’m pretty sure it also has a bit of glitter in it, which is never a bad thing!