Wednesday, February 1, 2017

TGBC: Round 1: Guitar Notes

I took a slight break and read three books not on the bookshelf. Two were for fun (Romeo and/or Juliet and Ella Minnow Pea, both of which I highly recommend if you like Shakespeare or wordplay) and one was for my book discussion group (Maus II, which is just adding to my constant distress of the world around me, so much for escapism in reading), but now I am back to the bookshelf!

Title: Guitar Notes
Author: Mary Amato
Status: New read

How did I acquire it?
My lovely friend Anne sent this one to me because it is made up of tropes we have a specific affinity for.

How long have I owned it without reading it?
...a really long time. Like, maybe 2-3 years. I don't remember exactly, but she definitely sent it to me when I was living in Virginia.

This book is kinda like If I Stay, but from a different perspective, with added anonymous penpal-ing, and like 89% less depressing. And let's be real, here. If you write a book where two vastly dissimilar people get to know one another and build a friendship by exchanging letters back and forth, you've already got me almost entirely on board with your story. There are some tropes I am a sucker for, and that is why I write those tropes. Frequently.

But more than the premise kept me reading. I like these characters. I like who they are and how they're working to find themselves and overcome their struggles. I like that they are open to the possibility of a friendship with someone so dissimilar, and I love that that friendship becomes what they both really need.

But what I like the most about this book is that while you can absolutely ship Tripp and Lyla (and are probably supposed to), there's no actual canonical evidence for their romance. They never kiss. They never express romantic feelings to each other or within their own narratives. They care about each other very deeply, that much is obvious. BUT those emotions can be read entirely as a platonic friendship, and I LOVE THAT. Look, maybe they kiss in that subway station after the end of the book. But because we don't see it, I can also choose to believe that they build a deep and meaningful platonic friendship that never has to become anything other than that. That's the part I like best.

Status After Reading:
I'm gonna keep this one, I think. Largely because Shelf 1 is looking very open, but also because this one took me someplace I didn't expect to go, and I appreciate that. I'll keep it on my shelf for a while because I would like to revisit it, I think.

In the project: 422 (I keep getting Paperback Swap books)
Tackled so far: 12
Still unread: 91 (because of those Paperback Swap books)
Giving away: 6 (The discussion for Nightmares has been held, so that one's in the pile, and I got 20 pages into Little Women and couldn't take it anymore, so that one's going away, too)

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