I am slowly but surely getting over my YA phase. Alas, the golden days of my obsessive retreat into my long lost teenage years has been an enjoyable experience. There really are a ton of books out there I wish I’d known about just a few years ago. But don’t worry! I’m sending this little YA frenzy off with a bang. This month, I’ll be reading a wildly popular fan favorite: Sarah J. Maas‘ A Court of Thorns and Roses, and an indie darling by the name of Mosquitoland by David Arnold.
I will also be reading Herman Koch‘s The Dinner, which has mixed reviews among some of the best reviewers; some love it, others hate it. I’m looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about…Next month, I’ll be back to my giant stack of Book of the Month Club picks, which I haven’t touched since November…Better late than never, right guys? ….Right…?
A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas
Synopsis: When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Thoughts: So far, I am loving this book. Maas develops her characters beautifully, and her prose contains gorgeous details that would make any other writer blush with envy. Dare I say she’s in the same echelon as Leigh Bardugo? Seriously, it’s that compelling.
The Luxe, Anna Godbersen
Synopsis: Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan’s social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City’s elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth’s and Diana’s golden future.
With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city’s gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan’s most celebrated daughter disappear…
Thoughts: This book was published in 2007. How I never got around to reading it, I’ll never know. Something about that cover gets to me. I cannot help myself when it comes to any novel that has to do with high society or examinations of class. I mean…I don’t know how well Godbersen will explore these themes in her novel, but it sounds great, and I’ve heard some good things, so I’m super optimistic.
Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, Deb Caletti
Synopsis: It is summer in the Northwest town of Nine Mile Falls, and sixteen-year-old Ruby McQueen, ordinarily dubbed The Quiet Girl, finds herself hanging out with gorgeous, rich, thrill-seeking Travis Becker. But Ruby is in over her head, and finds she is risking more and more when she’s with him.
In an effort to keep Ruby occupied, Ruby’s mother Ann drags Ruby to the weekly book club she runs. When it is discovered that one of the group”s own members is the subject of the tragic love story they are reading, Ann and Ruby spearhead a reunion between the long-ago lovers. But for Ruby, this mission turns out to be much more than just a road trip…
Thoughts: Honestly, I picked this book up because it was a National Book Award finalist. I always like to see if books that have received a certain level of recognition live up to the hype. I have no doubt that it does because a friend of mine whose opinion on books I regard as law says it’s a great book. Once gain, high hopes.
The Dinner, Herman Koch
Synopsis: An internationally bestselling phenomenon: the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives — all over the course of one meal.
It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
Thoughts: Like I said, this has polarized critics and everyday readers alike, and I have no idea whether I’ll love it or hate it. Book that explore significant themes during a short period of time tend to fascinate me. Things go crazy over the course of a dinner? Sign me up.
Mosquitoland, David Arnold
Synopsis: After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.
So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
Thoughts: I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book. When I picked it up from the library, I skimmed a few pages of it and was already hooked. I tend to read to make lists of book I plan to read, usually sticking to them religiously. But I hope I fly through this month so I can get to this book faster.