A Book Blog #1

I’ve just finished reading “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin, and I have got to say, I was floored. I loved it. This is an attempt to reflect upon my experience reading this book and is in no way a traditional book review. It’s actually a bit more of a ramble than anything else.

The first time I heard of N.K. Jemison was when her works were recommended to me via twitter during one of Good Reads campaigns. I don’t remember exactly which event it was, but it was exciting to be a part of something and communicate with other readers and even authors. This is kind of superfluous, but part of the experience, so bear with me here. There was much fangirling to be had when authors of books I enjoyed were actually communicating with me. The result of this encounter was a list of authors and books to seek out, and me following a handful of authors on twitter.

Fast forward to a few months ago, and there’s me, flailing through NaNoWriMo and finally making a solid decision that I needed to read again, read like I used to before life and work and games and social media and school got in the way. I had made too many excuses to not read. Now I make excuses TO read, and refuse to accept no for an answer. So I signed up for the Book of the Month and hit the library. It’s the middle of February and I have (had) four new books to read. “The Fifth Season” was my first choice to read, as it seemed to be the most interesting and newest (to me) of the four.

Anyway, just getting into the book I didn’t know what to expect. I almost never look too far into a book before reading it- the sense of not knowing makes it all the more of an adventure. It didn’t take too long into the story for me to realize, “Wow, this is SO GOOD” (i’m great with words, I know…)

The storytelling was superb, Jemisin’s world-building was on point. The characters are relatable on every level- she spans all audiences with her unique approach to spinning a tale. I became invested in each part of the story, and then when it all came together I was absolutely blown out of the water. Don’t worry though, I don’t want to spoil anything. Read the book.

This story delves deep into some topics that few authors are willing to get into, particularly the topic of racism. Jemisin weaves the every-day battle against racism into her story, making it an integral part of the story in a way that makes it understandable and relatable without making it feel like it’s the whole purpose of the story. It doesn’t feel preachy or hostile. It feels real. A good handful of times reading this I took a moment to just stop and really digest what I was reading. Since I am not a person of color, while not ignorant of racism, there are aspects that I will never truly understand. I felt, reading this book, that I could see through the character’s eyes and take a new perspective on an issue that is predominant in the world today.

Reading this book has truly ignited a fire within me (fitting, read the book) to read and write more. I’m so glad this was the one I started with. Jemisin is a master of her craft, in my opinion, and I fully to intend to explore more of her work along my personal journey. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who reads- it’s absolutely amazing.