Books I Read in July 2019

Recursion by Blake Crouch

There's a secret plague going on. People suddenly possess memories of a life they have not lived. False Memory Syndrome, they're calling it, until detective Barry Sutton discovers what is really happening: A scientist has created a machine that sends peoples' consciousnesses back into a memory, and some have changed what has happened in the past.

I am incredibly partial to any story that has time travel in it, and this one really blew me away. I was impressed by the internal logic and consistency, and I was genuinely surprised at the plot's twists and turns. The characters were engaging, and their story was heartbreaking. Definitely my favorite read of the month.

Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal

I rarely read graphic novels, but I could not pass this one up. After a plague has killed all men on the planet, women create communities to help rebuild the world. LGBTQ characters are handled decently well, though it would have been better if some issues were addressed more blatantly. The characters are all sweet and lovable. It's a humorous read, and many cis-gendered women will find scenes they relate to. I laughed out loud countless times in reading this.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

A spooky atmosphere follows this book from beginning to end, as a group of teen girls navigate the new rules at their boarding school after a strange illness that alters their genetics sees them quarantined on their school-island. Much here reminded me of Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation, including the imagery and the characters' hiding of secrets.

Obviously, the gorgeous cover is what drew me to this book, but anything that has characters secluded somewhere where strange things happen is up my alley, and this book accomplished that very well. Also, it's super feminist, which I love.

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

Yes, this is another book where the characters are struck down by some mysterious plague, but each one handles it differently. Here, a handful of people across the United States begin "sleepwalking" together, unresponsive and marching through the midwest. Their loved ones follow them, keeping them safe from those who fear them, and members of the CDC administer numerous tests to figure out what is wrong with them.

It's obvious from the start that this is Stephen-King-inspired, in all the best ways. The main characters bring real depth to the story, and the whole situation is thoroughly imagined. I think it would make an amazing TV mini-series.