My kid is learning to play the piano, and part of that is using dynamics: playing some parts of the song quiet, and some parts loud. Dynamics add contrast and make a song more interesting. Unfortunately, Jonathan Lethem’s book Girl in Landscape, while being extremely well-written, lacks dynamics. It’s heavy, and stays heavy throughout.
Thirteen-year-old Pella and her family leave a ruined Earth after her mother dies. They travel to the Planet of the Archbuilders to carve out a new life in a bizarre landscape and amongst mysterious but friendly inhabitants. Independent Pella deals with the strangeness of a new world and equally difficult fellow humans.
Recommendation: Get it at the library. It’s an engaging, literary story, and it’s always good to mix up your reading. But I’m not interested in keeping its unrelenting heaviness in the house. I prefer Lethem’s Gun, with Occasional Music.