I feel like I read zero books this past month even though I really read 6, not including one for work and I don’t review books I read for work on my blog. So that’s 7. But it feels like zero. I don’t know why.
That’s said, at least this month’s reviews will be shorter. And by that, I really mean there will just be less of them. I’m still the same long winded book reviewer you know and love and there’s a TL;DR summary for the skimmers in the group who just want to know what to add to Goodreads.
In no particular order:
The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield. I loved this book so, so much. It was as fabulous as Jake (once you read the book, you’ll understand what I mean) and it was heartwrenching and funny and weird and infuriating and full of hope and I loved that it took place in 1990/1991. The nostalgia didn’t feel forced and while I could see this story taking place now, it just worked better as an early 90s novel, with homages to Madonna and trashy romance writers and Laura Ingalls Wilder (actually, there are a lot of book references in the book). The ending was SAD but also so fucking amazing. The only thing that got on my nerves was this one particular character, Red Mabel. I pretty much detested her and whenever she was in the story, I found myself getting enraged. Fun and unrelated fact: My first car was named Mabel.
The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes. A very fine chick lit book, one that served its purpose of being a light, entertaining read amidst all the heavy books I read. Almost all of the characters are assholes, including the main character, Stella, but for some reason, their collective assholery comes together in a way that makes for a decent read. There’s some good stuff about what happens when you publish a book and it disappoints, there’s some good stuff about the disintegration of a family, and the backbone of the plot, Stella’s illness, was pretty different than anything I’d read before. This book didns’t set my reading world on fire but it was just fine.
Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser. A very short book you desperately want to be longer. I don’t think any review I could give this book will do it justice. It was that fucking good. A little rushed at times, but so incredibly well written you can forgive it. Taking place in Michigan, (like another favorite of mine, Please Don’t Come Back From the Moon), it tells the story of a teenager in search of her meth addicted mother and instead finds a baby and the tragic mayhem that ensues as Percy tries to rescue the baby. You find your heart racing and breaking simultaneously, and the part that gets to you the most is the fact that this is not an unrealistic situation. But it ends on quite an optimistic note and if there’s a sequel, put me on the list to read it.
Glass by Ellen Hopkins. The second in the Crank trilogy, it deals with Kristina’s relapse in her meth addiction (I really do read an awful lot about meth. I’m starting to get worried) after the birth of her son. So, I didn’t quite like this one as much as I did Crank and I think a lot of it has to do with the writing style. Hopkins is a wonderful writer but stylistically, trying to write this stuff as spoken word poetry does the story a disservice. It would work better for me if it was written as a disjointed diary. I think I said this in my review of Crank–this book reminded me of The Heroin Diaries if they’d been written by a wholly unlikable teenage girl. That said, it’s the addiction that makes her unlikable. That’s the part that kicks you in the gut.
Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt. You can probably file this one in the “just like Gone Girl” review pile that I love so much. It was actually a pretty weird book but it was a well done thriller, and I liked the memory loss/memory recovery part of it. Burt knows how to construct a mystery that, while it reveals itself to you and you can figure it, you still want to keep reading specifically to see how and why and what happens next. And unlike the main characters in some of the other “next Gone Girl” books, Estelle is pretty likeable and sympathetic. You definitely find yourself feeling her frustration and agony and caring about what happens to her. *selection for Erin’s reading challenge
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. A reread. This is my favorite in the Little House series because to me, it’s the only one where she doesn’t sugar coat anything. The whole book is basically “this fucking sucks and it’s hard and I hate it”. There’s no idealistic prairie living or disguising what a racist her mother was or what a terrible farmer her father was or what an asshole her sister was. I also enjoy the later books where the perspectives go back and forth between Laura and Almanzo. *selection for Erin’s reading challenge
TL:DR–Definitely read The Flood Girls and Sweetgirl (as of now, these two are on my best of 2016 list, along with Violent Ends, if that helps). Remember Mia if you like a good thriller. Glass is a decent follow up to Crank but you can probably go right from Crank to Fallout without reading this one and not lose anything. The Woman Who Stole My Life is a perfectly adequate chick lit book. The Long Winter is a perfect winter read because if they can survive that shit, we can survive our crappy winters.
Now it’s your turn! Bloggers, linkup with your posts and nonbloggers, let me know in the comments what you’re reading. Don’t forget to visit some of the other participants!
P.S. I bet you’re wondering where our podcast episode is! Well, until I work out a few of the tech glitches I’m having, you can have a listen to the raw audio right here (it’s also embedded below). This is the first episode we ever recorded so we apologize for the poor audio quality and assure you it improves with each one.
In this episode, we spend a good deal of time discussing Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies and then there’s a whole bunch of other random crap. And a lot of me using the word “um”. Steph is more articulate than I am. Warning: we talk like write. As in, there’s cursing. #sorrynotsorry