RTW #183: Best Book Of May

 

Back on YA Highway’s Road Trip this week. I’m hoping to join up with Ready. Set. Write!, starting next week, so these road trips will be less frequent during the summer.

But, for this week’s question: What was the best book you read in May?

I nearly didn’t read this. I had a crazy Memorial Day weekend, and I wanted a quick, engrossing read to wind down the weekend. But I wasn’t really looking for the conversational, hammock-and-iced-tea sort of book, either.

Well, To Kill A Mockingbird ended up in a class by itself.

It starts out conversational. The book is an older Scout relating the events of her childhood in pitch-perfect tone. It’s the narrator as an adult, but you are getting the viewpoint of the child. You know the book isn’t written by a six-year-old, but you know exactly how that six-year-old felt. There are things that six-year-old Scout doesn’t understand, but her older self doesn’t try to offer been-there-now-I-know-here’s-what-it-meant commentary on it. Instead, you get to walk on Scout’s journey through the entire book, and see the world from what you know and understand and what young Scout and co. are able to comprehend and react to.

The book covers approximately two years of Scout’s life, and her reactions and grasp on situations is age-appropriate without a shred of annoying juvenility.  Her young-child analysis of the people around her reveals things to the reader without being unrealistic as to her age. She explains things as she understand them, and it fits her personality and her maturity while simultaneously letting us know things that she cannot yet understand.

I loved the tenacity of the characters surrounding Scout. They are prime examples of show, don’t tell, with their layers and strengths and flaws being revealed through the eventful years rather than being described outright.

I loved Scout, Jem was exactly like my brothers, Dill was a rascal, I was cheering for Cal, Boo was tragic, I want to be Maudie when I grow up, Alexandra surprised me, Judge Taylor was fabulous, Mayella was six pages of complicated, Bob terrified me, and Tom Robinson nearly made me cry. I can’t say enough good things about this book.

And Atticus? ❤

P.S. I’ve never seen the movie…thoughts on the adaption to the silver screen? Worth seeing?

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14 comments on “RTW #183: Best Book Of May

  1. Colin says:

    As I’ve said before, this book is how to write a novel. If I only wrote one novel in my whole life and it was as good as TKaM, I’d be happy.

    I’ve not seen the *classic* adaptation (the one with Gregory Peck as Atticus), but it’s always talked about in glowing terms. I think Harper Lee herself approved, but don’t quote me on that.

    • Rae says:

      That’s one of the best descriptions I’ve heard; it really is how to write a novel.
      I’ll have to look that up…if Harper Lee approved, I’d better see it. 🙂

  2. Christine M. says:

    I read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD in High School; and although I liked the book, I enjoyed the movie more. So, if Harper Lee did approve as Colin states, I can see why. 🙂

  3. katyupperman says:

    I love that book, and that’s a beautiful cover. I kind of want to replace my copy with that one. 🙂

    • Rae says:

      I didn’t realize what a lovely copy this was until I saw the others on Goodreads. I don’t own this, unfortunately, I borrowed if from the family. I guess I’ll be lurking on Amazon until I can find the same version to own for myself.

  4. Anna says:

    I’ve never read this book, but I have always wanted to. It’s one of those books that you have to read at least once in your life!

    • Rae says:

      This one has been a TBR for years, but I’m so glad I got that chance to read it. And I’ll definitely be reading it again!

  5. Rachael says:

    I read TKAM a few years ago just before I graduated from high school and it’s one of my all-time favorites. Such a beautiful books. I really need to get a copy of my own so I can read it again.

    • Rae says:

      I’m hoping to get a copy that looks like this one; I love the cover! I’m glad I finally got a chance to read it, although I wish I’d done it years ago.

  6. It’s been ages since I read this one. I might have to put it on my list for a reread this summer. 🙂

    • Rae says:

      I’m used to having favorite parts/scenes of a book that I want to re-read, but this is one that I want to begin all over again. The entire book is so well written!

  7. Erin L. Funk says:

    This is one classic I’ve never tackled, and I’ve been meaning to read it for years now. Someday, I promise! Great review!

    • Rae says:

      I said the same thing for years, and only really started it on a whim. It is worth the time! The writing is so, so good. It’s not a book where you overlook the writing for the sake of the plot or vice versa…this one is impeccable–plot, pacing, and prose.

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