The week in review

Been a challenging seven days. My kids have been sick most of this week and I’m going a little stir crazy. Also, something else happened today, right? Oh how I wish it was as unreal as it feels. Anyway, being stuck at home so much at least led to some decent reading time.

I finished The Making of Us first. I love this author but this one was kind of a miss overall for me. I like multiple viewpoints but here the quality varied too much; I loved Lydia and Dean’s chapters but dreaded reading Maggie’s sections, and Robyn’s were just so-so. Also, while it may be true to life, there was a whole lot of referring to a sperm donor as the “real father” throughout this book and that ruffled me a little. I probably wouldn’t recommend this one.

Speaking of things I wouldn’t recommend, next up was The Regulars. I’m not sure why I even read this book, because I felt sure it was going to be pretty bad, but I decided to give it a chance. I tried, I really did, but it’s really terrible. The plot is that three “regular” looking girls happen upon a magic potion that makes you drop dead gorgeous for a week, and I guess everybody learns some valuable lessons. There’s a decent idea somewhere in there but it’s really badly done, and does a lot of reinforcing the stereotypes that it thinks it’s shattering. Toward the very end, it lost any credibility it still held for me when the main character totally dismisses a young pop star because she’s so “plastic” and fake. Ugh, I really hate when a book doesn’t know what message it’s actually sending. I really have nothing positive to say about this one.

Elizabeth Strout to the rescue! The Burgess Boys is exactly the kind of thing I want to read, all the time, and it’s fantastic. I’m fast becoming a huge fan of this author. This one doesn’t have all that much going on plot-wise but I feel like if you have good characters and great writing, you don’t need much beyond your basic family saga setup. I’m champing at the bit for her next one to come out.

I started The Two-Family House today and am having a very hard time focusing on it. This is at least 50% on me, as I’m just really distracted right now, for obvious reasons. This is really fast and if I wasn’t so distracted I would probably finish it in a day; even as it is, I’m halfway done already. I’m not loving it, not hating it. The writing is a little flat and the plot is pretty soap opera. Harmless enough but I don’t think I will even remember this one a month from now. Who knows, maybe it will pick up in the second half. I doubt it, but you never know!