After I wrote about each of these books, I thought, “Wow, I sound like a cranky old lady.” Brace yourself. I read some bad (or just abysmally average) books this quarter. And also a couple of winners.
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
This one actually belongs in the first quarter, but I read it on the last day of the March, so it didn’t make it on to that list. I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book, particularly the ending, but I’m still thinking about it regularly three months later, and I totally sobbed my way through the last pages. Chick-lit with a little more (tear-inducing) substance.
- The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes
And clearly I liked Me Before You enough to run to the library and check out another of her books. But this one? Not anywhere near as good. Kind of stupid, actually.
- Every Day by David Levithan
I’ve never read anything by David Levithan (although I’ve seen him speak a couple of times), but this book. . . did not make me want to read more of his stuff. The basic idea is that the main character is a genderless soul who wakes up in a new body every single morning, sometimes a girl, sometimes a boy, always the same age as he/she currently is. Cool-ish idea, but. . .I just couldn’t buy the way it all played out.
- Always Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
This book was just pure fluffy fun. I read the entire Alice series last year, and it was fun to see the whole thing wrapped up. I had to write several impassioned emails to Jessica about the things I loved and the things that made me CRAZY.
- Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
I’m buying Bart a lunchbox so he doesn’t have to take twelve plastic bags to work/school every day. He blames Bea Johnson.
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I know that the book just ends with nothing happening, etc, but I don’t care. It was SO fun to listen to.
- How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler
I have a high tolerance, I think, for lousy YA books, but this one was so completely terrible I couldn’t stand it. If I hadn’t been stuck on an airplane, I’d have given it up.
- Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Not nearly so bad as How I Lost You, but still not a great book here. Is every teenager a complete idiot and also jerk?
- Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
I think about this book alllllll the time. I know people hate Sheryl Sandberg. I don’t care.
- This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Finally, some decent YA. Everyone was falling all over themselves about her last book The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but I thought it was a bit much. This one was better, but I basically think she comes up with excellent premises and then can’t quite finish the book – both books really tapered off at the end (this is the part where you say, “Well, I’d like to see YOU write a book and see how well YOU do.” I freely and fully acknowledge I’d be terrible).
- Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
I love Sophie Kinsella. But this book was so downright stupid, I couldn’t believe it. Not worth reading – reread I’ve Got Your Number instead.
- The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
We read this for bookclub and I didn’t finish it in time, so it was fun to read the second half AFTER a lot of interesting discussion.
- How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
Another bookclub book I didn’t quite finish in time (good thing I’m moving – they’re read these confessions and kick me out). I’ve liked other parenting/education/child psychology books better (Nutureshock, for one), but this one was pretty interesting.
- Minimalist Parenting by Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest
I so wanted to love this book. But actually, I can’t remember almost anything about it except that I was underwhelmed.
- Your Camera Loves You: Learn to Love It Back by Khara Plicanic
This was the best book on photography I’ve read (although I’ll admit that I’ve only read three, so it’s not like I’m comparing from a vast number of books).
- Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
I hope Heidikins and I are still friends even though I didn’t love this one.
- The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
You guys, I might be not quite the Sarah Dessen fan I once was. Maybe instead of reading each new release, I’ll go reread This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, or Just Listen. Yes, yes, I like this plan.
- Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This was just a fun read, although I’ll admit that when the main character talked about how, because she was a librarian, she has the highest starting salary of her peers upon graduation, I actually said aloud, “Are you KIDDING me?” And then I went to Twitter so I could laugh with all my librarian friends about how absurd a statement that is. Also, I kind of have to give the eyeroll to any book that talks down about Twilight because 1) hello, why don’t you date your book as quickly as possible and 2) Yes, yes, we all know you are way too awesome and high-brow to enjoy something like Twilight. Let us all bow before your elite taste in literature. Also, when it’s a chick-lit book about
- Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
This is the author who wrote Still Alice, and I liked this one almost as much. Interesting and a quick read (actually, I listened to the first half on my iPhone and then realized I’d only imported half the CDs before returning it to the library. Had to read the second half on actual paper).
- Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
Another book club book. Julie wasn’t a big fan, so I was expecting to hate it. I don’t know if it was my low-expectations or what, but after a bit of a slow start, I really enjoyed it (although, I did find Lily to be less and less likeable the more the book went on. Two child-beating scenes pretty much turned me off to her).
And now, go enjoy the Fourth of July.