1. Damsel Distressed I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book by Kelsey Macke. I have known Kelsey as an online friend for the past few years and just knew her creative talent was ready to explode.

She did not disappoint in her debut novel about a teen dealing with mental illness. I work with many kids with similar struggles and Macke is pretty spot on with describing the internal struggles and outward outbursts of an adolescent struggling with depression and self-mutilation.

I would definitely caution that this book could be a trigger for anyone who is newly struggling with or recovering from self-harm. However, Macke gives a voice to this often taboo subject that is not generally intellectualized in a teen-friendly package.

I purchased this book on my Kindle, but will soon buy a hard copy that I can lend out to some of my students, if it can be of help, which I am certain in some cases, it can.

2. The Silkworm So…I was not sure if I was going to give this book a chance or not, after the lack of enthusiasm I felt for The Cuckoo’s Calling. However, I just could not have one J.K. Rowling book left out there unread, so I gave it a shot.

Maybe it’s just that the mystery genre is not for me, but this book really did not hold my interest. In fact, it took me almost three weeks to get through and I had to keep persuading myself to read more. I was not invested in the story till about the last 100 pages and even when I finished it, I felt underwhelmed.

I could not find a connection or interest with the story. It felt way too bizarre and too much of a stretch. I still really like the main character, the detective Coromon Strike but even he was not enough to draw me in and connect with the story.

What did you read in November?