Wow, what are the odds that I fall completely in love with the first six books I read this summer?
Well, I did.
And here they are.
(In no particular order...)
The first one I read was ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell and it was the sort of book that I wish I had a little stack of post-its with me so that I could mark all the funny bits. But I am sure I would have run out of post-its. It is a fantastic book about a guy in his late 20s who is hired right before Y2K to read all the email at a newspaper which has just started using the internet. (I remember the change of millennium paranoia quite well, thank you. I am still drinking the coffee I stored in the basement "just in case".) He starts reading the correspondence of two young women who are close friends and work in different departments who are HILARIOUS and awesome. He falls in love with one of them, but he knows that he is going to seem like an unmitigated stalker-pants if she finds out he has been reading her mail. The combo of epistolary structure (or is it e-pistolary when it is email? Har har har!) and unrequited (although, very satisfying not entirely) like/love/who knows? is completely irresistible. Well done Rainbow Rowell, and please write more and fast! I hate first novels because there is nothing else to read when I discover a writer like RR who writes just like I would if I had any, you know, talent.
Speaking of which - my best friend Julie Halpern has a new book. DON'T STOP NOW is another one where you just know that you would be best friends with the characters. Sometimes you can just tell when a writer is a Gilmore Girls fan, too, because you can hear the quick cadence of the dialog. This is the tale of a girl and her platonic best friend who she pretty much loves who take a road trip halfway across the country to find a girl that they don't really like. But it is all about the journey. LOVED IT!!!
CRYER'S CROSS by Lisa McMann is so unusual for me to like! I have whined on this blog before about my distaste for the undead and ghosts and possession by evil spirits and the like. And here is a little creeper like that really won me over. Kendall has killer OCD, the kind that compels her to go to school early so that she can put the desks in straight rows. The book talks frankly about how this impacts her life and it also makes it such a part of her character that it doesn't seem at all like an "affliction of the week/afterschool special" kind of book at all. I don't want to give any spoilers because it unfolded so excruciatingly, but suffice to say, don't ignore the desk that is trying to communicate with you when your friends are getting abducted!
BLINK AND CAUTION by Tim Wynne-Jones is getting great reviews and rightfully so. The story of two runaways who are living on the streets in Toronto is complicated by a shady businessman, his beautiful daughter and a drug dealer who may have supernatural powers. Again, no spoilers other than to say that this was fantastic and I loved the way it played out.
My dear friend Jen listed her favorite summer reads and among them was DOMESTIC PLEASURES by Beth Gutcheson. I had seen it here and there and never read it. It is a middle aged lady book about a free spirited...well...middle aged lady in New York City who falls in love with the lawyer who viciously defended her now-dead bastard of an ex-husband in their divorce. I loved the way all the characters ended up being interrelated. It may have required a little willing suspension of disbelief, but not too much. And sometimes a slightly complicated love story is just the thing for early summer!
Finally, PEACE LOVE AND BABY DUCKS by Lauren Myracle. She wrote BLISS which I shortlisted for summer reading last year, but it wasn't in paperback soon enough. I may revisit for this year. Anyway PLABD is quite a departure from the slowly simmering suspense of BLISS. It is about two sisters - one an earnest hippie-type and one a stone hottie (oh how cleverly I use the teenage lingo!) who still love each other but start having a hard time co-existing when the younger (hotter) sister starts high school. Only halfway through, but I am enjoying their complicated relationship and the (so far) interesting look at what it is like to go to a Christian school from a non-evangelical perspective. I have read a million Catholic school books, but never any that dealt with the more fundamentalist types. Other than the occasional memoir where they are horror farms. Myracle can't resist a few digs, but they are fairly well earned, and that is coming from someone who was told in eleventh grade that she had "no Christian character" by a teacher for talking in study hall at a hardcore Baptist high school. Well, I showed her by being the soul of kindness for the rest of my life!
I am now reading (in addition to finishing the baby ducks) the following:
I will let you know if I make it all the way through! (Spoiler, I have read Carney's House Party before, it is excellent...)