Your Name (kimi no na wa)
Talk about life-changing anime. Me and my husband are both still reeling from this movie. I will never forget that moment at the end of the film when I was clinging to Ryan’s arm and suppressing my squeals of delight as the lights rose in the theater, and I looked down the row of chairs to see another girl having exactly the same freak out as me on the arm of the guy she was with, and Ryan and I laughed so hard we cried.
Your Name is delightful because it encompasses all the good things about anime into one artfully created and beautifully spun tale. It’s deeply satisfying in a way that Miyazaki love usually isn’t. And even the nuanced way the characters move matters to the film. 10/10 will see again and again.
This has to be the season of sequels. In the last week I’ve picked up two sequels to dearly held novels. And I’ve known they would have sequels, and the writers have made them worth it, so I’ve indulged them without hesitation.
Roshani Chokshi’s work
I devoured “The Star-Touched Queen” last year with reckless abandon. I remember reading it the week that I was teaching across the street from Ryan’s work. So every day I would get done an hour before him, and I would sit in the back garden at the school and I would read “The Star-Touched Queen.” Forty, a hundred chunks of pages would go by without my noticing. The writing was so robust and immersive. So when a Barnes and Noble bookseller told me there would be a sequel, I really wanted to believe in it – especially when she said it would focus on the main character’s sister, rather than continued tales of the main character. I loved her sister, and already I’ve been pulled into this delightful, playful, mystical narrative.
Charlie Fletcher’s work (The oversight)
As I was reading this while I got my last tattoo, I described this book to my artist as one where the heroes repeatedly get their asses kicked. I’ve never read something that focuses so much on the narrative of the antagonists. The heartless, ruthless, cruel antagonists. They’re scheming and scheming against the exhausted, noble Oversight and you’re like oh shit, their plans are totally gonna work. And sometimes in the middle of the trilogy, the Oversight’s home gets burned to the ground BY A SUGAR FACTORY ERUPTION, FUCKING MOLTEN SUGAR OKAY, HOW CRUEL. And then like, you want Sarah and Sharpe to get together but they’re both like, half dead and pale and sad. And you’re like ugh.
This has been a weird one because I’ve been reading the second two on my phone. I picked up The Oversight at the Maplewood Mall in one of me and Ryan’s first trips to Barnes and Noble together. I don’t know what compelled me to get digital copies of the subsequent installments. I hate when I do shit like that. Here I’ve got The Oversight chilling on my shelf with all these other complete series, and it’s like, but you’ve read the other ones. And I’m like I know. I’m sorry.
There are two other sequels I’d actually gotten over the holidays that I have yet to fully get into. My delightful experience with “A Thousand Nights” by EK Johnston was somewhat disappointed by her next novel, “Spindle,” but that was partly because the narrative confused me, and I was mostly trying to read it in the jacuzzi in Stillwater on my honeymoon, and I wasn’t giving it a whole lot of attention.
In similar fashion to my woes with The Oversight, Garth Nix dropped a surprise sequel to the Abhorsen series that I obviously immediately picked up…but I only had that series on my Nook, so when it was steeped in “this happened in the trilogy and hopefully you remember reading it in 2012” facts, I stopped it in hopes I would eventually pick up the trilogy so I could refresh myself on it.
STUPID DIGITAL BOOKS, THROWING OFF MY SERIES CONSISTENCY