The Walking Dead: Compendium One
I've been checking the library website for this one for quite awhile now. Although I've never read a graphic novel before in my life, I've heard that this is really good, better than the show. So I was super excited when I saw that our library purchased two copies of this and two copies of compendium two. The whole graphic novel format took a little bit for me to get the hang of, but once I got into it, I breezed through it (even though this book is huge!). I loved the differences and similarities between the TV show and the graphic novel (the graphic novel came first), as well as character differences. The artwork was also pretty stunning, too. It was a little grittier than the TV show, which I enjoyed and which makes sense because it is a zombie apocalypse, after all.
Handling the Undead
When I read Harbor by this author, a blurb on the back said he was Sweden's Stephen King, so I was interested in reading more of his books. This book was not what I expected, but I really loved it. When the dead begin to come back to life in Stockholm, everyone is gripped with the question of what to do and the ethics of how to handle the dead. Unlike your usual zombie lore (see above), they aren't biting and infecting others (for the most part). They're simply reanimating and attempting to find their way home. And then what? What do you do when your dead husband, son, wife has returned? But they're not quite the same? This wasn't necessarily a horror story, to me, but it was absolutely unnerving and hooked me from the beginning.
Let Me In
Or Let The Right One In, if you're familiar with the movie version. The two titles confused me until I realized that the movie and later editions of the book changed the name. Like Handling the Undead, Lindqvist gives a twist to vampire genre where the vampire in question is a child who fluctuates between innocence and evil. In the midst of this is a boy named Oskar, bullied at school and thinking he may be in love with his new neighbor who only comes out at night and can't come into his apartment unless invited. Like Handling the Undead, it's a horror story, in a way, but there are also a lot of statements about human nature buried within the horror genre.
Astonish Me: A novel
This book is neither about zombies nor vampires. It's about ballerinas. Joan is a ballerina who is talented enough to dance professionally but never beyond the corps. Her fame comes when she helps a Russian ballerina, Arslan, defect to the United States. Shortly after, Joan becomes pregnant and only dances as a teacher in a ballet studio. Years later, she's pushed back into the professional ballet world when it seems her son has professional level talent.
I loved this book. I was worried that I'd be bored, but I was drawn into the story of Joan and all those around her. The book itself wasn't entirely chronological and would sometimes skip forward and backward in time, which really added to the story because you would get bits and pieces of the conflicts in the lives of the characters and what led to the challenges they were facing. Some of the story was predictable, but the characters were incredibly real and very enjoyable in their flaws.
What are you reading?