Year 10, Book 46

46. Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

Dave and Julia are long-time best friends so devoted to each other that they’ve spent most of their lives shutting out everyone else. They even made a list of all the things they saw as cliches that they wanted to avoid doing during their high school years. Now it’s their senior year and they’re rethinking some of the items on their list. Instead of avoiding doing them, they’ve now decided to go all out and try and do every single one of them before the end of their senior year. It seems like a fun lark, but can their friendship survive item number ten, never date your best friend, especially since Dave has secretly been pining after Julia for a long time?

I thought this was a really great young adult novel. As with most young adult, romance type books the characters are a little bit twee and unrealistic but that’s par for the course in this genre and works for this book. I appreciated that the book itself turned out not to be the complete cliche of a high school love story itself. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Year 10, Book 45

45. After We Fall by Emma Kavanaugh

A plane crash is the connecting event between the four major characters in this book: Jim whose daughter was recently murdered, Tom a police detective investigating said murder, Tom’s estranged wife Cecilia who survived the crash, and Freya whose father was piloting the plane. The book delves into how each of their lives is related to the crash and in doing so reveals the secrets each of the characters has been hiding as well as well as what led to the plane crash. I thought the author did a really good job of tying all the stories together and pulling together all the threads of the plot. It was a pretty decent character driven mystery if those are the kinds of books you’re interested in. I give it a 6 out of 10.

Year 10, Book 44

44. Blaming the Poor: The Long Shadow of the Moynihan Report on Cruel Images About Poverty by Susan D. Greenbaum

Greenbaum looks back at the Moynihan report, a 1965 report called “The Negro Family” written by a high-ranking member of the Department of Labor. It linked poverty particularly among African-Americans to female led households that it claimed resulted in feminized men that then did not work or support their families. She debunks the theories presented in the report, but also shows how they have become ingrained in people’s thinking and the policies created even up to present times. This book is another reminder of so many things that were put into effect decades ago that are continuing to have a last effect on the state of the poor and certain communities today. I give it a 6 out of 10.

Year 10, Book 43

43. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

I’m a little reluctant to say anything real about the plot of this book because the thing I most liked about it was figuring out what was going on and what the book was about since I knew nothing about it going in. That does happen fairly early in the book, so it’s not any major spoiler but I don’t want to prevent anyone else from having that experience. It thus also makes it a little difficult to explain what I thought of the book because many of my feelings are wrapped up in the type of book it is and my general feelings about those types of books. I’ll leave at the fact that I thought the author didn’t really follow through on some of the things that were introduced at the beginning of the book, and I had a feeling it got to the point where the book needed to end so he just threw something out there. I didn’t seem well thought out to me. I give it a 6 out of 10.