Good Books (as of late)

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I get asked for book recommendations a lot. Mostly because I read like a fiend. (And maybe because I have decent taste.)

My goal with this blog was to post glowing reviews after every wonderful book I read. But I read fast, and I review more slowly.

So here is a super-abbreviated version of reviews of the books I’ve read this summer, in case you’re looking for something good. I am only listing the ones I gave at least a 3-star review. Not a ton is accomplished in writing negative reviews, in my opinion. If you didn’t like something, why give it more attention? So I don’t write negative reviews (though I do give out the appropriate amount of stars–If you’re curious as to the books I didn’t like, you can check me out on Goodreads.)

5 stars:

We Were Liars, E. Lockhart (YA, Drama) Wealthy teenage cousins (and a step brother) on a private island over several summers with their fucked-up families. Unusual but beautiful prose, compelling voice, completely devastating. You’ve been warned.

The Secret Place, Tana French (Fiction, Mystery) It’s no secret I’m obsessed with Tana French. The Secret Place is like her others: perfectly-drawn characters, beautifully-written sentences, a compelling mystery, and ultimately heartbreaking.

Love Letters to the Dead, Ava Dellaira (YA, Coming of Age) I actually got around to writing about this one. If you loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you’ll love this.

The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer (Fiction, Literary) I also got around to writing about this one! I adore stories about groups of friends, and how they come together and apart over the years. I adore awkward characters. I adore good writing. This book is light on plot, heavy on amazingness.

This Is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper (Fiction, Literary, Humor) This book made me laugh out loud. Tropper’s a beautiful writer and this story manages to be both sad and vulgar and hilarious and real. I heard the movie wasn’t as good, but I’ll be judging for myself.

4 stars:

Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell (YA, Coming of Age, Romance) What differentiates this from other YA romances? The characters are not conventionally beautiful; they are awkward and flawed and just so real. Why only 4 stars? The ending bothered me. But still well, well worth the read.

Delirium Trilogy, Lauren Oliver (YA, Dystopian, Romance) I liked these books very much. Lauren Oliver is a beautiful writer, they move along at a pace that makes them unputdownable. If I were to rate individually, I’d probably give Delirium and Pandemonium 4 stars, Requiem 3. Delirium did a great job of setting up the characters and the world and the romance. Pandemonium was my favorite, with the switching between past and present. Requiem fell a little flat after the other two, though still worth the read. All three were rather predictable, but the plot and the prose make them perfect escape novels.

Wild, Cheryl Strayed (Nonfiction, Memoir) I don’t read a ton of nonfiction, but I really liked this one. My favorite books make me want to insert myself inside of them, and after reading this I definitely want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed is such a compelling writer, I felt like I was right alongside of her the entire time.

The Rules for Disappearing, Ashley Elston (YA, Mystery, Suspense) A surly teenager and her family in the witness protection program. I like surly teenagers, I like mysteries, I like characters who stand up to the mean kids at school. The ending seemed to verge on the unrealistic, but I’ll still be picking up the sequel at some point.

3 stars:

We’ll Always Have Paris, Jennifer Coburn (Nonfiction, Memoir) I read this for book club; like I said, I primarily read fiction. This was the story of a mother traveling with her daughter over the years. It was cute and well-written. Not especially life-changing. Excellent if you’re in the mood for a wanderlusty, light read.

I hope to write full-on reviews of each one of these at some point. In the meantime, if you have any further recommendations, please let me know!

10 thoughts on “Good Books (as of late)

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