What I'm Reading: Bad Houses by Sara Ryan and Carla Speed McNeil

So yes, I am cheating a bit with the number of graphic novels, etc. that I'm reading for my Year of Reading Women, but I'm hoping that maybe I'll exceed the 12 books that I'm supposed to be reading and make it up that way. I also can't really help what I pick up when, especially considering that this year I'm actively trying to make up time with my List progress.

Anyway, with all of the excuses out of the way...

I read Bad Houses by Sara Ryan, illustrated by Carla Speed McNeil. It's a story about two young people in small town Oregon: Anne, whose mom is a hoarder, and Lewis, whose mom has an estate sale company. A "bad house" is one that Lewis and his mom will have a hard time staging for a sale for various reasons such as longterm chain smoking or hoarding. I liked the book well enough, because there were genuine emotions in it that really came through the pages, but for whatever reason, it felt sort of hollow. There were too many characters juggled in such a short book, so most of them weren't explored very well. Again and again when I read things like this, I find them falling short because the graphic form just isn't enough for me when it comes to the material. I want it to delve into the psychology of hoarding and what it's like to be a child of a hoarder. I want more from Lewis and Anne's relationship than a few scenes where they kiss in abandoned buildings and then Anne feels anxious about his other friends.

On the other hand, I'm now feeling a little extra motivated to sort out my spare room full of junk.

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