It’s difficult to imagine a more horrific subject for a novel than the sadistic experiments Dr.Mengele performed on twins in Auschwitz, but debut author Konar manages to craft something magnificent from such dark origins. Pearl and Stasha tell their stories in alternating chapters, each twin doing her utmost to protect her sister in the camp, their shared history almost enough to create their belief in a shared future on the other side. Konar’s language is so fresh and inventive, even occasionally playful, that it creates a powerful and shocking juxtaposition against the narrative. This author is going places, and after reading this book, I will want to be along for the ride. Every. Single. Time.
The Best Revenge and The Best Revenge: Time of the Basilisk by Arsinoe de Blassenville. This is a pairing of Harry Potter fan fictions, the first of which is novel length and the second of which is a novella. They begin with the “What if Snape was the first wizard Harry interacted with?” trope and they end with events from the canon book two, but in reality, all of the action takes place within Harry’s first year. Because of his relationship with Lily Evans Potter, Snape becomes Harry’s wizarding proxy and things turn out very, very differently. I love these stories -- they’re well written and well paced, and they show sides of both Hufflepuff and Slytherin that Rowling herself was unable to show due to the Harry filter.
Not a terrible showing. I don’t know how many pages the fanfics would be, but Goodreads tells me that my page count for all of the other items comes to 1,753 pages. Except where noted, all of the books I read were advance reading copies provided by the publisher, often at my request.
How ‘bout y’all? What books were you most excited about reading in May?