As my subject line foreshadows, this post is all about faking it.
When Selah and I planned for this school year’s Thoughtful Third Thursday, I hadn’t been thoughtful at all. (See what I did there?) I hadn’t realized that this month’s T3 would fall on a week when I’m not yet back to school and therefore had no outfits planned for the day. I’m still in summer mode after all, and even shlepping my kids to and from school and grocery shopping – both enterprises that require me to leave the house – didn’t warrant “dressing up” in my estimation.
But I do not want to let my blogging buddy down. And thankfully, I’ve eased up on the anime binge watching and actually hied myself to the library two weeks ago to stock up on my TBR stack and finally start reading again.
I’d queued up a whole bunch of promising books after trawling the aisles at Target – Yes, Target! For books! Go figure. – and here is what I scored:
I’d been eyeing Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake since it popped up on the Scholastic book orders last year, but had been too chicken to try it. Still, the YA librarian suggested it for Aly (I’ve been trying to get her out of her romance genre) and I had to give it a go before forcing it on my daughter, who is a bigger chicken than I.
And wouldn’t you know – I enjoyed it immensely, graphic gore and some sketchy language and all. Enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I gobbled it all up in one day and am currently racing through the sequel as of this writing.
I appreciate Ms. Blake’s voice – she writes her male protagonist effortlessly and authentically. He’s no snarky teen, but his wit is razor sharp nonetheless. He doesn’t pepper his dialogue with anachronistic pop culture references to be cool, but he’s very aware of timeless currency.
“I’m no superhero. If anything I’m Rorschach from Watchmen. I’m Grendel. I’m the survivor in Silent Hill.”
And the cast of characters are just as engaging and carefully written. Of course, there’s the bespectacled, awkward sidekick, the wise British mentor, and the queen bee turned ghost buster, but Ms. Blake writes her tropes so evocatively that they never become stereotypical caricatures. Also, this is one of the few fantasy – or is it horror? – novels where the mother isn’t only not dead but is actually a competent and fully aware participant in the shenanigans. She’s a Wiccan, fer cryin’ out loud! I wanna be this woman!
The best part about reading this novel first from my TBR stack is that, as with all YA books, it’s set in school, albeit a school in Canada so it transcends the usual, for me anyway. So it totally fits this month’s T3 Back to School prompt.
In short, I highly recommend Anna Dressed in Blood for those of you who want a compelling, quick, action-packed extravaganza riddled with characters you grow to care about within the first chapter.
And if you’re really jonesing for an outfit, here’s an embarrassing selfie of a shlep-around summer outfit, which I wore when I was devouring the book. Its saving grace is the awesomecool Marilyn Monroe tank top that Selah herself gifted me so long ago when I coveted hers and which had been waiting for its day in the blogging sun.
Not the best outfit, Selah, but I promise to make your sursy shine in another, more fitting ensemble this year.
Now it’s your turn. Have you read a book for back to school? A book set in school? A book that reminds you of school? Do tell and link up by clicking on the blue froggy below:
:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Old Navy
Tank – gift from Selah
Pants – NY&Co.
Wedges – Mossimo
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs::
FourFiveSeconds by Rihanna