Super hectic week! The kids are really excited to be back in school, and it’s nice to have a minute to myself, but summer ending is a real downer for me. This was an exceptionally great summer all around. On the bright side, only 108 days until Christmas. I can’t seem to judge The Burning Girl on its own merits, because I was so fond of her last one. But I think I’m going easier on it because of my love for The Woman Upstairs; there was really nothing that grabbed me here, and I doubt I would have picked it up at all if it were an unknown author. There’s nothing especially bad about it or anything, just has a YA vibe which isn’t my thing, and is kind of ordinary. I will not remember anything about this in a month. The Antiques should have been right up my alley. Dysfunctional semi-estranged siblings coming together after a death in the family? Yes, please! But this is pretty badly done. A lot of this feels like writing workshop exercises: “I’m playing with voice, I’m writing female characters, I’m doing a slapstick scene, I’m tugging at heartstrings…” I was totally aware of the author’s efforts at every moment; nothing felt authentic about this, and the writing was not so good. Big miss for this one. Moving on to Caucasia. I loved Danzy Senna’s most recent book, but I wished it was twice as long. So this one is actually twice as long as New People, and it…is kind of a slog. Maybe if you mush the two together you get perfection. This definitely had some interesting moments, good writing, and good characters, but it took a very long time to go not very far. I definitely have my eye on her and am excited for whatever’s next. I think Cruel Beautiful World will get me out of this mini-slump. I’ve never cared much for this author in the past, but this one looks interesting and comes highly recommended from one of my most discerning and trusted reader friends. Just started it last night, and am already more than halfway through, so that’s a good sign. I’m liking this a lot, and very interested to see what happens next. So let me post this and get back to it!