fun to talk about

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays

Thanks to Dutton and Edelweiss for the e-galley! And of course, all views in this review are 100% my own.

“Lionel Goettreider read Cat’s Cradle and had a crucial realization, what he called the “Accident” – when you invent a new technology, you also invent the accident of that technology. When you invent the car, you also invent the car accident. When you invent the plane, you also invent the plane crash. When you invent nuclear fission, you also invent the nuclear meltdown.”

“But I have a theory too: The Accident doesn’t just apply to technology, it also applies to people. Every person you meet introduces the accident of that person to you. What can go right and what can go wrong. There is no intimacy without consequence.”

You know how we look at movies like Back to the Future and kind of laugh at how back in the day, everyone thought the future 2016 was going to be crazy futuristic? Hover cars and weird clothes and food in pill form and all that? Well, it really happened! And Tom knows it really happened because that’s the 2016 he grew up in. The Goettreider Engine in 1965 gave the world free, clean energy and propelled the globe into an era of amazing technology. But even in this ridiculously amazing techno-utopia Tom is having a rough time, and then he makes it worse when he has a time travel accident and changes history, landing himself stuck in the crappy version of 2016 that we’re all used to. All he wants is to set the timeline straight and get back to the existence he knows – but at the same time, there are some aspects of his life that are definitely better in our 2016. What’s a wayward time traveler to do?

I had a blast reading All Our Wrong Todays – I flew through it in about 2 days, and it’s definitely one of those books that I had to describe in detail to my husband because I needed someone to talk to about it. It’s super interesting to see Elan Mastai’s version of this ideal world where technology has basically freed us from our daily worries – food, health care, housing, and other necessities of life are now a fact of life, available for all. In this techno-utopia we’re free to focus on the work that we truly want to do – but that doesn’t necessarily erase all of the problems in life. I loved reading about this theory of time travel and how exactly it finally works. Tom is a great narrator – at times juvenile and frustrating, but also incredibly relatable, funny, and poignant. Even when he gets in his own way, I felt myself rooting for him.

One other note – I saw some reviews on Amazon that said something about the women in Tom’s life only being there to help him achieve his goals, and I have to disagree on that. While Tom does some typical crappy guy things, the women in the book DO matter, and I think it becomes more and more apparent as the book moves on just how much those women matter to Tom. So yeah, if you see those reviews… I think one in particular didn’t actually read much of the book, and maybe just try it and see for yourself.

This book comes out on February 7th – mark your calendars so you can get your hands on it right away.

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books to Hate On

the broke and the bookish

Good morning my fellow bookish peoples!

I’ve missed the past few Top Ten Tuesdays (hosted by the lovely gals at The Broke and The Bookish), but I’m back! This week is a freebie week, and the topic I came up with is my Top Ten Favorite Books to Hate On.

haters gonna hate

 

Here’s the dealio – Books that are awesome are always the hardest for me to talk about, because I want to convey all the wonderfulness and get everyone else to read them, and that’s a lot of pressure, especially while trying to avoid spoilers. Books that are “meh”… well, you don’t have much to say on them, do you? Books that suck, however, can be super fun to talk about because there’s no pressure to get everyone else to read it and agree with you on how awesome it is. Plus books that suck can lead to fun discussions. So here we are – my favorite books to bash 🙂

1. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton – Suicide by sled? Are you freaking kidding me? I don’t even think I need to say more than that.

2. A Visit From the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan – A bunch of skanky, drug-addicted loser hipsters reflect on how these choices could have possibly led them down the wrong roads in life. PASS.

3. Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami – If you went by this book, you’d think everyone in Japan was depressed (if not downright suidical), promiscuous, and had a weird affinity for ears and handjobs.

4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding – This is supposed to be a look at how humanity would regress to barbarians in the absence of civilization’s rules, but leaves out females, adults, family members, and in the end, actually seems to cheer for the barbarian way of doing things. Also, Golding was a wannabe rapist, which I found out recently and feel like more people should know.

5. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison – The main character was SO annoying that I couldn’t continue on with the series, despite solid world-building and great secondary characters.

6. The Magicians by Lev Grossman – My dislike for this book grows with time. Grossman stole ideas from classics like Narnia and Harry Potter and threw in drugged-up angsty teenagers. Lame.

7. The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan – Oh, hello Pretentiousness with a capital “P”.

8. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker – What could have been a really cool look at how one girl struggles to survive in a world where Earth has literally stopped spinning, it ends up just being a story of a girl coming into her teen years with some end-of-the-world going on in the background. Snore.

9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre starts off as an interesting, feisty child and then ends up being Mr. Rochester’s doormat. Not my idea of a good heroine or good start to a romance.

10. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – I know everyone loves this dude as the best YA author ever, but this book was rough. It was very “teen existential crisis” which is getting old these days, and the constant use of the word “fug” instead of “fuck” drove me INSANE.

So, those are my picks! See, wasn’t that fun? Feel free to agree or disagree with me in the comments 🙂 And tell me, what are books that you can’t stand and love to hate on? Let your inner mean side out!

~Sarah