“You see? You’re just figuring it out now, but I discovered a long time ago that the smarter you are, the more tempting it is to just let people imagine you. We move through each other’s lives like ghosts, leaving behind haunting memories of people who never existed.” ― Robyn Schneider, The Beginning of Everything
“Words like ‘”pretty” and “ugly” exist in a different vocabulary from the one you might invent to describe a face that had to be put back together by a team of surgeons. My face is strange and terrible.” John Darnielle, Wolf in the White Van
Something happened to Sean Phillips when he was 17. Years after accident, he supports himself by running Trace Italian, a text-based mail-in role playing game. The idea for the game came to him almost as a hallucination while he was in and out of consciousness after his accident. Chapters skip back and forth in time, lending a dreamlike feeling to the book. What happened to Sean? Who are Lance and Carrie, and why are Carrie’s parents suing Sean? A gripping and dark read.
Based on events in the life of groundbreaking and controversial anthropologist Margaret Mead, this literary novel centers on a love triangle between Nell and Fen Stone and English anthropologist Andrew Bankston. Nell and Fen are returning from their study of a blood thirsty native tribe in New Guinea when they meet Bankston, who has been alone in the field for several years and has grown increasingly frustrated with his own work. When, desperate to keep them nearby, he convinces them to study a tribe that is artistic and female dominated, “he ignites an intellectual and emotional firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone’s control”.
Disclaimer: This book contains mature content.
They kept on like that for a while, and we laughed and told jokes and made fun of one another. But that’s why they were there, I guess. Even though I was almost gone, they were still there to remind me that I wasn’t quite dead yet. And to be honest, I wouldn’t have minded just closing my eyes right then and letting go. Wouldn’t that be perfect? Just dying right there with your two best friends helping you remember everything you loved about being alive?
And that’s how, five days before having my head sawed off my body and carefully placed in a cryogenic freezer in the basement of the Saranson Center for Life Preservation, I got to have the best day of my life. Isn’t that something? Isn’t that the greatest thing you’ve ever heard? I bet most people don’t even get one person who cares about them that much. And me, I got four of them. Yeah, maybe I got a bad deal the first time around. Sure, it wasn’t fair to be dead at sixteen. But you know what? At least I got to live every single second before they finally turned out the lights. ~ Noggin by John Corey Whaley
This delightful book is narrated by Travis Coates, the sixteen year old who has his head surgically removed and frozen before his body dies of leukemia. When his head is reanimated and joined to a new and improved body five years later, Travis finds his best friend and girlfriend (the They in the excerpt above) have moved on because they had no choice. Funny and poignant in a way that reminds me of John Green at his best with a large dose of wacky thrown in for good measure.