This week was way too eventful to sum up on Friday. Did you know that AAA will tow your car up to 100 miles? And, um, totally unrelated fact, Great Wolf Lodge is 80 miles from me.
Well, anyway, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life was good. I love her writing style. She’s very funny and charming; you definitely feel like it would be a blast to hang out with her. The collection as a whole kind of wavered for me a little. It got too self deprecating at times, and there were a lot of essays that weren’t really about much of anything and it felt a little repetitive. I would love for her to write a book that’s more focused on a specific theme. Still, very solid four star read and if I did get to meet her in real life I would explode.
I was expecting Stray City to be a slam dunk. It’s gotten great buzz, and contemporary fiction set in Portland is totally up my alley. Starting out, it felt like it would be kind of a lesbian version of Girl, which is such a fond old favorite for me. But damn, it went downhill fast, and never came back up. I can’t believe how boring this was. The main character is such a dud, and the writing is just so dull. For an alleged lesbian novel, it spends an awfully big chunk of time on a hetero relationship. Other than a mention of the Sandy Jug, this was absolute torture to read.
Could only go up from there, and things went sky high with How to Be Safe. Oh my god, did I love this book. I had to return it today, but I’m going to check it out again so I can reread (or at least re-skim) and do a little write-up to add it to favorites. This was one of those rare amazing times when I felt like the author wrote it just for me. You have to have a pretty specific, dark sense of humor (i.e. mine) to appreciate this. The fact that you need a sense of humor at all for a book that’s about the aftermath of a school shooting should tell you something. And for this gem:
“Every time a man meets a woman, he should have to give her $5. He should have to give her $5 and say, “I’m sorry.” Then he should never talk again.”
5/5 would read again, please give me $5.
So I went from terrible to great and now I’m wrapping up the week on pretty good. What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw is very entertaining so far. I’ve always enjoyed this author before, and I always always like to read novels about Hollywood, whether they’re based on true stories or not. (This one’s not.) It loses points a little for me because there’s an unplanned pregnancy with no explanation, which is always a pet peeve of mine. Still, a good story with two charming main characters, and I’m excited to finish it even if I’m pretty sure how it will end. Who know? It may surprise me!*