This is really meaningful to me because each of these books, except “How to Read a Novelist,” have to do with wounds. My therapist recommended Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents to me and it felt like the book was written for me. The book talks about different types of emotionally immature parents, and my parents are two of the types. I really appreciate the anecdotes in the book because they made me feel seen. Once I know this exists for many people, and I’m not alone, I can begin to recognize and heal from it.
Along with that, Darius the Great Is Not Okay also talks about feeling distant or even rejected by a parent. I’m really liking this wave of Muslim-American authors like Adib Khorram and Tahereh Mafi. They do a good job of writing well-rounded characters whose religion is only one part of who they are.. in fact, these characters have much greater obstacles to overcome than being Muslim. They have to battle depression, micro-aggression, and peer pressure. I loved Darius and I’ll be rooting for more characters like him.
Speaking of self-involved parents, Rapunzel was raised by one in the form of Mother Gothel. So, Disney Hyperion has this series that are origin stories for villains. I came across Mother Gothel’s and was curious. Disclaimer: I love fairy tales and dark fairy tales (and Rapunzel.) I always thought Gothel is a well-rounded villain and I think part of her does love Rapunzel even if the glowing flower motivated her to keep Rapunzel around. I like that we are getting a different POV on the classic villains.
Lastly, I LOVE A Crack in the Sea!!!!!! I wish this book became huge but I can see why it’s kind of an obscure book in the MG/fantasy market because it is different from popular fantasy. There aren’t paranormal creatures or heroes who wear capes. The story has a complex set up with twins during the transAtlantic slave trade, siblings who are Vietnam boat people, and aa trio of kids from a fantasy Second World, the Raft and the Island. The author pulled it off very well and the story was a joy to read. If I was a writer, I would definitely want commercial success, but I’d also like to take narrative risks such as Bouwman did here. Will be reading the sequel!
I skipped “How to Read a Novelist” because it was just too dry. I think my wheelhouse is still kidlit and contemporary fiction written by women. ❤