Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This classic Gothic novel is one that I never got around to reading and I found it somewhat slow and repetitive - there's only so much information about the mullioned windows of Manderly that is necessary. It was mostly atmospheric, which is not my favorite, but it does build a nice slow burn. I eventually got sucked into the mystery of Rebecca, and the truth about her was not what I expected. Incidentally, I find it odd that this is shelved in the Teen Classics section of the library/on Amazon. I suppose the narrator is young, but that does not a YA make...
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
I adored Where'd You Go Bernadette and this is very similar and VERY different. As with the first book, there is a harried mother with some major issues, a precocious child, a distracted husband and annoying school parents set in Seattle. However, with this story, I felt as if Semple let her creativity and her 'freak flag' fly, in the best way. It started out rather odd and disjointed, kind of like main character Eleanor's life. I was sort of confused as to whether I should laugh or cry over her character. She is sort of infuriatingly self-absorbed and then the heart of her character becomes incrementally clearer as the reader is taken down the crazy rabbit hole of her life. We are introduced to some amazingly odd and complex characters, as well as some graphic novelization to bring the story to a dramatic and untidy conclusion. I felt winded after finishing this book, it's crazy and unique.
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
At the get go, I felt as if this was going to be a Twilight/50 Shades read-alike. There is the very obvious Edward/Christian/man that cannot love and the quirky Bella/Anastasia/woman who can change him. Even some of the peripheral characters smack of the aforementioned novels. However, it turned in an unexpected direction and tackles some tough subjects including gun violence, homelessness and above all domestic abuse. It was riveting stuff, after I got over my initial hesitation. Straight up romance novels are not usually my bag, but I like to change things up every once in awhile. This novel by a renowned romance author was apparently a very personal departure for her, and I would definitely read more of her work.
The Couple Next Door by Shari LaPena
This book! This is the kind of thriller I enjoy! It kept me up all night turning the pages. I haven't felt like I've read a novel this crazy since Gone Girl (yes, I liked Gone Girl). The narratives are not at all the same, they were just both jaw dropping, holy crap reads. Now, it's not exactly amazing prose, and you have to really suspend some disbelief, but it sure was a fun ride. Hopefully this isn't a spoiler, but the plot reminded me of my favorite Oscar winning Coen brothers movie. Let me know if you've read it and we can discuss!
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Oh man, I wasn't sure what I was in for with this book - I just knew it was going to tug on my heartstrings. It was beautiful, and I luckily received the illustrated version from the library.
So gorgeous and haunting, it added so much to the reading experience. I was bereft after reading Conor's story of surviving his mother's battle with cancer. As a mother, and as a daughter of a mother with cancer, it was a gut punch on so many levels. It's so worthwhile and exquisitely written - like a modern day fairy tale. I just feel that so many middle grade books tackle tough subjects these days, and I now need to go read something fluffy - like an adult romance perhaps...
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