The week in review

Today is my bday! I like a big fuss on my birthday even though I am an adult. It’s been a busy week with the kids on spring break, but I got to go to hot yoga today, which was literally the only thing I wanted to do. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore was an instant favorite for me. The main story is the five teenage girls on the disastrous summer camp outing, and it jumps back and forth from that story to each girl’s individual path afterward. I really loved the structure of this book, I loved how orderly it was, and I loved how each girl’s story went in such different directions. Every one of those could have been a standalone short story. The writing was so insightful and interesting, and really there was nothing I didn’t love about this.

Since Lucy was on break this week, we did a little mini-book club and read Liar & Spy. Young adult is not really a favorite for me, but I love Rebecca Stead, and this was another stellar novel from her. She’s really great at making a story that’s dramatic enough for kids to be interested, but realistic enough not to turn off an adult. I was afraid this was going to be sad, because I’m still teary eyed over Goodbye, Stranger, but this didn’t get too weepy. I loved these characters.

The reason I was drawn to Improvement was that someone on goodreads compared her to Elizabeth Strout, and since I’m a Strout superfan, that’s all I needed. I don’t really see the connection, but I really enjoyed this book. It took the concept of connected stories to a new level. I loved how it felt like the narrative was being handed off from one storyline to another between chapters, and it all came together in a very interesting way at the end. There was one chapter that got a bit dull for me, but it did pick back up right away after that. Very solid recommend for this one.

I’m almost done with Girls Burn Brighter and I’m not sure what to say about it. It’s really all over the place. I loved it for about the first 100 pages, and the story of Savitha’s father and the sugar birds was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever read. The sweetness ended there though, and it quickly became the feel-bad novel of the year. A LOT of bad things happen in this book, and it feels pretty dreary. That said, it’s most definitely a page turner. Very hard to put this one down; I’m dying to know what happens next but I’m also worried it’s going to make me mad. This is a frustrating one. Hoping I don’t have a downer ending tonight!