Oh, this week. I’ll just say I’m glad this blog is mostly about books because The Other Stuff is kind of out to get me this week. But I got some decent reading in, so let’s get to it.
The Two-Family House. Jeez. This is one of those books where I’m double checking about halfway through to see, is this really that book that everyone’s raving about? I’m baffled by the high ratings on this one. Really flat writing, and a melodramatic plot that does not know where it’s going. I’m clearly in the minority here but this read like an at-best forgettable young adult novel. It was fast and short, which is the best I can say about it.
Moved on to The Opposite of Everyone. Weird confession time: I have avoided Joshilyn Jackson for years because I don’t like her name. It makes me think of Carol Channing trying to say “Jocelyn.” That is admittedly a bad reason not to read an author, and lots of my friends are fans of hers, so I finally tried one. Did I get a dud, or was I right to be avoiding her? I did not like anything about this. The voice felt very forced, I did not get into any storyline, and the ending felt very rushed. I don’t know what was going on here.
After I finished that one, I was really torn about what to start next. I had The Lifeboat and Mischling out from the library. I’d been waiting for a while on both of those but I wasn’t feeling especially drawn to either one in the moment. I had decided to start The Lifeboat but when I got home, surprise! An ARC of The Book of Summer was waiting in my mailbox! That was exactly what I needed to get out of my mini slump. I knew this was going to be great and it was. Michelle Gable has been saying that this one is her personal favorite of what she’s written so far and I can see why. This is a beautiful work of historical fiction that went much deeper than I was expecting and was very thought provoking for me at this time. This one’s going to be big and I’m so thrilled to watch her career take off like this. A real gem.
Sadly, The Book of Summer had to end, so I went back to The Lifeboat. I’m almost finished with it and very on the fence about it. I don’t know if it’s one of those things where the premise just sounds better in theory, or if it is just poorly executed. It’s kind of a fascinating idea; people stranded in a lifeboat after a shipwreck and they begin to turn on each other to survive, it’s essentially a social experiment. But, is this kind of thing just inherently boring to read about? It’s had its high points but I’m wishing this wasn’t a debut; I feel like it needs a more experienced author. But I definitely want to see how it turns out, so, signing off!