April was a horrible reading month for me. I was finishing up writing massive term papers for each class, and then dove straight into finals. It was hectic, and resulted in me only reading one book. May started off rocky but ended much stronger. I read two books in the first three and a half weeks, and then powered through the last two in three days! It took me a little while, but I’m officially back on my reading track!
APRIL/MAY WRAP-UP —
1. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
As far as debut novels go, this book was incredibly strong and I enjoyed it very, very much. It was twisted and dark and compelling, and even though I guessed the twist before it happened, it was so well done that I still found myself impressed anyway. The characters were all flawed and captivating – I especially the protagonist and narrator, Camille Preaker, to be fascinating. All in all, an extremely impressive first novel from Gillian Flynn.
2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This book was absolutely mesmerizing. The writing was stunning and I was a little bit in love with each of the characters. It was one of those books that, when I was done, left me sitting in a stupor, wondering what I was going to do without those words or those characters. It would be very easy for this novel to come across as pretentious, but I loved every bit of its New England, liberal arts pretention. It was incredibly twisted and dark, but the language was gorgeous.
3. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
I did not find this novel as good as ‘Sharp Objects’. While the writing was still well done, I was not as as captivated by the plot. Also, although I appreciate the fact that Flynn was representing a side of tragedy that doesn’t get reported by the media, or seen by the public – the side where the victim isn’t brave or heartwarming or inspiring – I found Libby Day to be beyond insufferable. She was not an interesting character to me and I felt like there was minimal development in her personality.
4. Burn For Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
I did not enjoy this book at all. I had heard so many good things about it, and the series, beforehand and was expecting great things from it. I was extremely disappointed. While the likability of a character doesn’t affect my perception of whether they’re a GOOD character or not, the characters in this novel were not likeable or compelling/interesting. Not a single one. Every one was petty and vapid and narcissistic. It’s only been three years since I was a senior in high school, so I think I have a pretty good idea of what highschoolers sound/talk like and I did not find any of this dialogue or narration to be believably. I will not be continuing with this series.
5. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
I am completely in love with this novel. It was simultaneously hilarious – in a dry, sarcastic and biting way – and heartbreaking. I’ve always had a soft-spot for stories of dysfunctional families and this one definitely fit the bill. I will be writing a review in the next few days, so for now that’s all I’ll say about it, but I absolutely recommend this novel (specifically, reading it before the movie is released on September 12th!).
JUNE TBR —
I’ve already started reading Gillian Flynn’s latest novel ‘Gone Girl’ so that’s the first one up. I also have a shipment coming that includes four books so those are the ones I will be taking a crack at next! I doubt I’ll be able to get through five novels (work is still partially burying me), but I’ll do my best. Those books are ‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt, ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ by Jenny Han, ‘The One & Only’ by Emily Giffin and ‘We Were Liars’ by E. Lockhart.