Quick takes- May 2017

No One Can Pronounce My Name. 4 stars. Maybe a little long and forgettable, but great characters and solid writing. Poignantly captures how it feels to be an outsider, in many different ways.

Saints for All Occasions. 5 stars. Big east coast Irish family saga, dealing with loss and long-buried secrets? Yes please.

I Found You. 3 stars. Solid but not Lisa Jewell’s best. Awesome main character, melodramatic plot.

The Leavers. 4 stars. I liked this a lot. Asks questions about what really defines a family and doesn’t give easy answers.

The Hate U Give. 4 stars. Young adult “issues” books are not really my thing, (issue here is Black Lives Matter) but very well done. Great main character.

I Liked My Life. 1 star. I’m still reeling from this. My vitriol toward it actually kind of worried me. Hit a bad nerve here.

Class. 2 stars. I’m weary just thinking about this. It’s like a “not all white people” hashtag in book form. Extremely tedious.

Castle of Water. 2 stars. Did not believe the story, hated the main character, hated the writing style.

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley. 3 stars. I liked the writing and the structure, but I wasn’t digging the father-daughter relationship that’s the center of the book. A miss but I won’t count this author out.

Marlena. 4 stars. There was a lot of hype about this one, and I love coming of age novels, and stories of female friendship, so maybe my expectations were too high. It was fine, I just wanted it to be so much better.

Anything Is Possible. 5 stars. Love is not a strong enough word for my feelings here but it’s all I have. I love connected stories, love the characters, (especially Lucy Barton) love love love her writing. Major favorite.

A Separation. 2 stars. This is really short but somehow it’s still incredibly boring. The writing style is positively glacial.

The Light We Lost. 2 stars. Maybe good for a very light, mindless beach read. Or to read on a plane? Easy and fast but not a good book by any means.

Last Things. 4 stars. Graphic memoir about a 40something man tragically dying of ALS and leaving behind a wife and three boys is very very sad. You are welcome for that keen bit of insight.

The Big Love. 4 stars. Sarah Dunn is so funny. Nothing groundbreaking here but quick and hilarious and I wish I was friends with the author.

Forever. 5 stars. Judy Blume! Classic YA first love story that takes place in my hometown. Loved it then and now.

Top picks: Saints for All Occasions, Anything Is Possible, Forever.