I read articles all the time about how sometimes we all have to go into survival mode–not literally, fighting for our lives, but figuratively, nixing any activities that we don’t absolutely have to do to stay afloat. Ordering takeout if you have to rather than cooking, etc. I determined in July, which was somewhat of a crazy month, that when I’m in survival mode my reading shoots through the roof. We moved at the end of July, so in the stress leading up to that (which included listing our current place and closing on the new one) I read 9 books. I added loads of books to my various wish lists from Book Riot over the course of the month, and that’s where a number of these came from.

This was a fun collection of short stories. I read it in a single day, on the 4th of July no less, which felt sort of appropriate. There are a lot of weird twists in these, so be prepared!

I wanted to like this more than I actually did. It was timely in a fun way, though, given that I just celebrated my own 10 year high school reunion this year. The characters were interesting, and I liked the undertones of their relationships, but it didn’t leave much of a mark on me beyond that.

This book was so fun! I am not a video game player, nor was I sentient for any of the 80s, so I’m sure many of the references went straight over my head, but I enjoyed that they were there. This to me was almost like a less dark Ender’s Game. And I loved the ending!

I didn’t feel like this book really bore any relation to its description on the jacket. It was a little bit quirkier than the plain vanilla chick lit I expected, which was okay, just surprising. I liked it enough that I then read a second Close book….

…which I liked a bit less. Both of these were written in an odd, vignette-like sort of style, when I really wished they had just let themselves be fluffy fiction.

I had a book on my library wish list that I realized was the sequel to this book, so I checked it out first, and it was terrible. It felt like it was written for even younger than YA (tween?), which usually doesn’t bother me, but this one didn’t cut it for me. It was a cute concept, and it’s neat that Picoult and her daughter wrote it together, but let’s just say I didn’t check out the second one.

Okay, but then what had happened was I finally discovered Liane Moriarty. For some reason I have resisted picking up What Alice Forgot for years, even though I kept hearing about it, and I’m so glad I finally did. It was such a sweet book. Big Little Lies was a little darker but equally good, and now I’m on the libary waiting list for like everything else she’s ever written.

I’ve discovered that “boarding school novels” is a specific sub-set of the coming of age story, and that I like it. Prep is a recent classic in that genre, but I have to say I was underwhelmed. There were certain elements of it that rang very true for me, having gone to boarding school myself, but I can’t say I really liked the protagonist. (Maybe I wasn’t supposed to?) I had a bit of trouble making it all the way through this book.

Have you read any authors lately that have been popular for awhile but you’re just now jumping on the bandwagon? What’s your favorite time of life to read about in fiction?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman