Whenever I write these two-set book reviews, I’m amazed how there is always some link between the texts. Even if one is a zombie novel and the other is a celebrity memoir, I’ll notice a mutual plot point, a shared theme, the same pint of whiskey on the grandfather’s kitchen table. I don’t know how it’s happening. How and when and where I get books is completely random. Is this a set up? Am I on the Truman Show?
It blows my mind.
This time, the link is sisters. Two sets of sisters and all the wonderful, terrible, beautiful things that come with that relationship (love ya Kelly).
As always, book reviews are spoiler free.
PS: A few people told me that after the last book review, they accidentally bought or borrowed the wrong Her as there are two books by that name! How exciting. Please let me know how the other Her is. As an aside, if you click on the links provided in book reviews, it will take you to the Amazon listing of the correct book. Full disclosure, I’ll also make a few pennies if you buy something–but no worries. I get most of my books from the library, too. xo
If You’re Looking For: Young adult fiction, historical fiction, coming-of-age novels
If You Liked: Eleanor And Park
My Review: Good start, long middle, satisfying ending. That’s the short version. The long version is that I really wanted to five star this book. So many people told me it was wonderful, which was perhaps part of the problem. I enjoyed it but I’m not sure I loved it. It was the very standard young adult fiction; misfit girl feels unlovable but ends up being lovable all along, while also taking on some deeper issues such as hard family dynamics and the AIDS crisis in the 80s. There were moments I cried all over my tank top and moments I wanted to stop reading. I’m not sorry I read it. I cared about the characters and felt the writing quality deserved praise. And like I said, I cried. If a book makes me cry, it deserves at least 3 stars and a pat on the back. Very readable, but also very forgettable.
Their Review: “In this lovely debut novel set in the 1980s, Carol Rifka Brunt takes us under the skin and inside the tumultuous heart of June Elbus…Distracted parents, tussling adolescents, the awful ghost-world of the AIDS-afflicted before AZT—all of it springs to life in Brunt’s touching and ultimately hopeful book.”–People
1. The Royal We.
If You’re Looking For: Fan fiction, “summer reads,” something light, something fun, page turners, millennial thrills
If You Like: The Princess Diaries, Kate Middleton
My Review: Coming from someone who doesn’t check the royal headlines or What Kate’s Wearing ever—this book was a delight. Perfect fan fiction for the millennial girl. It is smart, funny, sexy, and a quick read despite its 500+ page length. Most of all, this novel is exactly what it was intended to be. Tip: You can love a pop song just as long as it doesn’t call itself Mozart. If you want to get lost in a love story this fall, this is the perfect pick. I wish I could read it for the first time all over again. In my best (worst) English accent: brilliant.
Their Review: “An entertaining read-but also a sharp critique of how we treat celebrities and what happens to people always in the paparazzi glare . . . Cocks and Morgan also know that daydreams should stay daydreams because the reality is much harsher. That’s what elevates The Royal We from just a good beach book to a beach book with a message–while remaining entertaining enough to keep your butt in your beach chair.” –Philadelphia Inquirer