wild_irises: (Default)
[personal profile] wild_irises posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
[personal profile] yatima has been carrying all the water around here, and shouldn't have to.

Earlier this week, I finished Alaya Dawn Johnson's The Summer Prince. I have had this book by my bed for months and months and months. I would pick it up, read some, like it, and then get distracted. Finally, I decided it was too good for that kind of treatment and got serious about moving through it.

It is an excellent and fascinating book, even though it never really grabbed me. The worldbuilding is awesome and the depiction of the inner lives of teenagers, affected by the different world they live in and nonetheless completely recognizable as the teenagers of our times, is especially well done. The The prose is beautiful and the evocation of the city is outstanding. The setting is a post-apocalyptic Brazil and effectively everyone is (from our perspective) PoC; Johnson explores class divisions and to some extent national divisions, but the key cultural rift she explores is age.

I can't quite figure out why it didn't have momentum for me, and I expect that will be different for other people. I found it well worth the comparatively slow going, and will probably re-read it at some point. 

Date: 2017-08-13 07:01 pm (UTC)
yatima: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yatima
I am happy to carry water, chop wood!

Thanks for posting this - I had the exact same reaction. It was very well-written and I was not engaged, and I'm not sure why.

Date: 2017-08-13 08:32 pm (UTC)
3rdragon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] 3rdragon
That's a good point. I haven't been posting because I find the number '50' intimidating, but I can post things I read that would count towards 50, if I were counting.

(Though recently it's been a lot of fluffy mysteries. If you have suggestions for good fluffy mysteries by POC, let me know.)

I read The Summer Prince . . . last year? The year before? Whenever it was new and people on twitter were talking about it. I hit it at a good time and it really grabbed me. Maybe I should check out more of her stuff . . .

Date: 2017-08-31 01:20 am (UTC)
3rdragon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] 3rdragon

I have not. I shall investigate!

Date: 2017-08-15 04:38 pm (UTC)
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
From: [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I think I completely managed to miss the Gilgamesh parallels until I was writing my review.

Date: 2017-08-17 08:08 pm (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
I have a song that "goes" with this book; whenever I hear the song it just seems to fit:

Janelle Monae
We were rock and roll

Date: 2017-08-18 01:36 pm (UTC)
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
From: [personal profile] brainwane
I read it in 2013 and just dug up what I said about it then: it

has a tone and a story unlike any I've seen before. I loved the worldbuilding, the characters, the approach to sex and love and art, the foreign-to-me culture and influences, the relationships among women within and across generations, the protagonist's fierceness and growth, and the imagery. I think I have some Fridge Logic concerns about the political system Johnson depicts, but I got into the book while I was reading it and you might too.

Years later, what sticks with me is a moment where our protagonist masturbates in a moment of joy, basically because I'd never seen that happen in a YA book before and presented so happily!


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