Books I Read in October 2013 (and Book Related Internet Finds)

I know I usually share internet finds on Fridays, but there have been a number of interesting tidbits on the subject of books lately.  So, I thought I'd share them with monthly book talk:

The Future of Us
The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

This was a fun, quick, YA novel that had a cool premise: what if you stumbled upon Facebook in '96, more than a decade before it's inception, and could see your future. Or more importantly, change your future. There were definitely some 'Back to the Future' elements at play. I thoroughly enjoyed the humor of the main characters experiencing Facebook for the first time. 'Why would anyone say these things to everyone they know?' 'Who cares?' - that type of stuff. Being of a similar age in '96, I could also easily identify with them and the world they lived in. But the main female character is kind of clueless and infuriating, which seems to be an unfortunate trend in many YA romance novels.

Before I Fall
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

This book was reminiscent of The Future of Us, in how the smallest changes can have such a large impact. It's also very similar to Kate Atkinson's Life After Life (which is also on Amazon's top 20), with the exception that the main character is aware that she is re-living her life and tries to make different choices. Major kudos to Lauren Oliver for writing a character that I initially disliked on many levels (I was NOT a 'mean girl' in school, and our protagonist Sam most certainly is) and opened my eyes to her journey of self-discovery. It starts out at face value as YA chick lit, but as the story unfolds, it gains real emotional heft. I find myself still thinking about it, after finishing it weeks ago - highly recommend.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I dropped the book I was currently reading when my hold on Fangirl finally came up at the library - this is something I never do, but I love Rainbow Rowell something FIERCE. She's 3 for 3 in creating story that I can devour in about a day. She writes the most amazing love stories, not to mention the most wonderfully loveable and complex characters. I defy you to NOT identify with some aspect of their personalities. My only beef with the book is that I hated how she delayed some of the more emotional scenes by interspersing snippets of the story our heroine (Cath) is writing. I felt like I was skimming all of the 'Simon Snow' dialogue to get to the 'real' story. A SMALL complaint, as I'm sure it was masterfully planned as a tool for suspense.

The House Girl
The House Girl by Tara Conklin

I really enjoy when a novel explores two different narratives that eventually weave together.  The House Girl bounces back and forth between the story of Josephine, a Virginia house slave in 1852, and Lina, a lawyer working on a slavery reparations case in 2004.  It was a very compelling story, and I love historical fiction.  I did find myself turning the pages of the present day narrative faster, so that I could know what happened to Josephine - she is by far the main protagonist of this story.


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