Archive | February, 2018

February Reads

20 Feb

All of the sudden another month has gone by since my last entry! Good thing I’ve been reading and reading and have lots to share.

Oprah’s new pick is An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. It’s the story of  a young marriage – fraught with small arguments that you can tell will grow over time. The husband and wife come from different backgrounds, one cause of tension, and seem to want slightly different things. AND THEN SOMETHING HAPPENS (as in all good novels) and the story takes an entirely different turn. I enjoyed the way this novel unraveled, but in the end thought it wrapped up to quickly. 3.5 stars

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance was kind of a weird/magical read. I guess I liked it, I definitely LOVED the main character Weylyn. When Weylyn was born, his summer birth was greeted with a fast and furious snow storm. Weather just did weird things around him period. It rained when he was feeling mad, rainbows followed his good moods. His parents were killed in a snow storm when he was young and he lived in the woods with a pack of wolves for a while. I loved the way that the novel was narrated by a series of people who knew him and whose lives were changed by him – such a lovely way to get a feel for a truly good character. 3.5 stars

This year’s Girl on the Train has arrived in the form of A.J Finn’s The Woman in the Window. I’d say that the first, oh, fifty percent of the novel I was thinking “I’ve read this before! Drunk protagonist who thinks she’s seen a crime but can’t be believed…hmm” but then the twists start turning and turning and before I knew it I was blindsided by the ending. The story is about a woman named Anna – agoraphobic, alcoholic, obsessed with black and white movies. She’s been stuck in her home for almost a year and spends her time watching her neighbors (ala Rear Window) when she sees a crime occur in her newest neighbor’s home. She calls to report it but can’t be believed because not only is she an alcoholic, she has been mixing a bunch of meds -dosing and overdosing because she can’t remember what she’s taken when – and the side effects of those drugs include hallucinations. Fast paced, surprise ending, 3.5 stars

Ok these next two were my favorites this month. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a middle-reader (so, ages maybe 8/9 to 12/13) and the start of a new series. I know everyone compares everything to Harry Potter, but this really does have the same sort of readability and charm. It’s the story of Morrigan Crow, born a cursed child and hated in her hometown (her father is mayor). Morrigan gets blamed for everything from bad weather to upset stomachs to lost pets. Good thing that cursed children are all killed the night before their 11th birthday and for Morrigan Crow, that is tomorrow. Just before she is set to be killed, a mysterious stranger whisks her away to a realm she didn’t know existed where she finds herself being groomed to compete for a spot in an illustrious school for the gifted. The magically gifted, that is. She has to compete in a series of trials to earn her place but she is just not so sure what her magical talent is –  you’ll love her. 4.5 stars

The House of Broken Angels is heavier, but so good. Big Angel knows that he is dying. He knows that he doesn’t have a lot of time left. So for his birthday – next and last – he organizes a giant party to celebrate his 70 years of life. Big Angel is the patriarch of a giant, tempestuous, colorful family of Mexicans now living in California. When the whole family gathers, lots of secrets and feuds and laughter and storytelling occur. I loved getting to know his family, but what I loved most were Big Angel’s thoughts on his impending death. His is the truest, most sincere voice in the novel and reading it I felt like he was telling the truth about what it must be like to know your day is coming. Everything he thought about, all the things he thought he’d miss, the things he most loved to remember, felt so genuine. 4.5 stars