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books

Jul 20 2013

Interestings, the

author: 
Wolitzer, Meg

Wolitzer gives us six friends, who met at an arts camp in the summer of 1974 when they were teenagers and follows them through their lives to middle age. The book is 468 pages long, and I didn't want it to end. The book is mature, feminist, loving, harsh, sad, privileged and privilege aware and truth telling. It's both big and small, in that in covering several characters over thirty years it's rather epic, but it's more about the passive reality of its characters lives than what happens to them.

Quotations: 

"I know we live in a very sexist world, and a lot of boys do nothing except get in trouble, until one day they grow up and dominate every aspect of society."

"Though he hadn't been born into privilege, he too had been helped up the ladder over time, though the talent he possessed was squarely his."

"But in a lot of ways she could never leave her family drama, and I get that. The past is so tenacious. It's just as true for me. Everyone basically has one aria to sing over their entire life, and this one is hers."

reviewdate: 
Jul 20 2013
isn: 
978-1-59448-839-9
Jul 17 2013

Wonder When You'll Miss Me

author: 
Davis, Amanda

I don't know how to talk about this novel. Plot points and themes include gang rape, weight and body image, mental health and life in a traveling circus. I appreciate the protagonist's emotional progression throughout, but I'm not sure the conceit of her imaginary "fat girl" companion really works. It's still a good book. Read it and tell me what you think.

reviewdate: 
Jul 15 2013
isn: 
0-688-16781-0
Jul 17 2013

Parasite

author: 
Grant, Mira

Attempting to fill the void left by her Newsflesh Trilogy, Mira Grant gives us another near-future made dystopic by a health cure gone wrong. This first entry in the Parasitology series brings us likeable characters, a quasi-believable medical threat (though to be honest far less plausible than how she envisioned zombies), corrupt business practices, mad egomaniacal scientists, strained family relationships and two sweet dogs.

reviewdate: 
Jul 11 2013
isn: 
978-0-316-21895-5
Jul 05 2013

Into the Forest

author: 
Hegland, Jean

Sort of like the movie 2 Days in New York that I watched last week, I am not sure if I admired or hated this book. The writing is good, I guess. It's sophisticated, but not showy, but the characters might be a little hard to love.

reviewdate: 
Jun 30 2013
isn: 
0-934971-50-1
Jun 30 2013

Buried on Avenue B

author: 
De Jonge, Peter

It's weird when a book takes place in a neighborhood you know incredibly well, but is in a universe you've heard about but don't recognize, populated by alcoholic, bigoted police officers. Buried on Avenue B has a second location, Sarasota, Florida, which is not far from Tampa, where I went to grad school. The people in the Publix grocery stores in Sarasota are depicted as nicer than the ones I encountered in Tampa, but there was one commonality--old men bagging groceries. De Jonge assumes they're doing it for the minimum wage. In my naivete, I want to believe it is for something to do.

reviewdate: 
Jun 26 2013
isn: 
978-0-06-209712-5
Jun 22 2013

Hallowed Ones, the

author: 
Bickle, Laura

Amish teen Katie is looking forward to going on Rumspringa with her boyfriend Elijah. Instead she finds herself fighting evil, as well Elijah and the community elders. If the premise sounds ridiculous, unfortunately its execution kind of is. Unless it's meant to be silly, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and books of that ilk?

reviewdate: 
Jun 22 2013
isn: 
978-0-547-85926-2
Jun 22 2013

Night Sweats: an Unexpected Pregnancy

author: 
Crossett, Laura

I've now read the material in this book three times, once as a series of blog posts, the second time in manuscript and now as a gen-u-ine book. Three times, and each time I was dazzled by Laura's honesty, insight, generosity, kindness, love, snark and beautiful writing.

The title pretty much tells you what it's about, the non-LC subject headings give you a few more clues:

Crossett, Laura--Confessions.
Pregnant women--Mental Health.
Christian biography--United States.
Pregnancy, Unplanned--United States. [Extra fun: search your favorite library catalog for "unplanned pregnanc*" and see what subject headings your results yield.]
Wayward spinsters--Iowa--Iowa City.
Intrauterine contraceptives--FAIL.

(Disclaimer: I am friends with Laura, and I helped with the subject headings.)

reviewdate: 
Jun 17 2013
isn: 
978-1-304144874
Jun 16 2013

Perfect

author: 
Shepard, Sara

Yes, I'm three books in to Pretty Little Liars. I don't even like it anymore, but I'm not sure I can stop.

reviewdate: 
Jun 16 2013
isn: 
978-0-06-1975585
Jun 16 2013

Dead Ever After

author: 
Harris, Charlaine

You know I love the Sookie Stackhouse series, right?, but like with so many endings to television series, the finale was a bit of a disappointment. I'm okay with who Sookie ended up with, but the whole book was a set-up for it, and there were lots of loose ends unnecessarily tied up.

reviewdate: 
Jun 11 2013
isn: 
978-1-937007-88-1
Jun 09 2013

Flawless

author: 
Shepard, Sara

One thing I appreciate is that the series doesn't attempt to drag one secret out for the entire gazillion books. In the beginning of the second Pretty Little Liars book, you find out the big deal from book one.

reviewdate: 
Jun 7 2013
isn: 
978-0-061975578