Sometimes to get back into reading, I just need to read some feel-good, straight-to-the-heart, can’t-put-down, read-in-one-day books. Some of these books worked wonderfully, and some didn’t really work at all.
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
I really enjoyed American Wife by Sittenfeld, which I read a couple of years ago, so I thought I’d listen to Prep on my commute into work. It’s always one of those books waiting on the notable paperback table. At least, it used to be. I haven’t worked in a bookstore for quite some time now! Lee Fiora is attending Ault, a boarding school in Massachusetts. She’s on scholarship from South Bend, Indiana, and couldn’t be more out of her element. The story follows Lee from freshman year to graduation. Truth be told, I really did not enjoy this one. Lee is insufferable as a completely insecure teen and passes up on so many opportunities for very little reason. She seems to harbor a resentment against herself and her situation, even though she put herself in that school and nobody seems to care. She’s constantly embarrassed, second-guessing herself, and doesn’t seem to grow out of it. The climax of the book is her being even more of a jerk and I was really disappointed, because I was waiting for a big coming-of-age moment, but there wasn’t one. Sure. The whole thing captures teen angst, but setting it in a boarding school really does more to speak to differences in economic class than anything. Lee is constantly over-analyzing every interaction, saying no to every chance to hang out, and spending so much time thinking about those things that she doesn’t even do well in the competitive school. This was so disappointing, and I might say something I regret if I continue. 1/5
Phew. Let’s move on, shall we?
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
I think Rainbow Rowell is an author that I could read everyday. I really enjoyed Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, Rowell’s two YA novels, but Attachments was released a couple of years ago as her debut novel. I finally got my hands on it from the library, and went to town. Lincoln has been hired to work at night, monitoring office emails near the turn of the millennium (Y2K throwback!). He is supposed to make sure that personal emails are not sent, and has to send warnings and “flag suspicious emails” when he comes across them. But he just can’t seem to stop the day-long, back and forth emails between Beth and Jennifer. He also can’t stop reading them. He’s fallen in love with Beth, but doesn’t know what to do about it. He’s still stuck in the heartbreak of his last relationship, works the graveyard shift, lives with his mom, and knows every detail that Beth has decided to divulge to her friend at work. “Hey. How ya’ doin’? So I saw in your email that your boyfriend is a jerk. Dinner sometime next week?” I don’t think so. Lincoln is such a sweet guy. He’s considerate, working to improve his life, and goes out of his way to help people out. He’s a guy you fall in love with. If you can give him a chance. I loved this book! It’s so heartwarming and too good to put down. 4/5
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
I am so so excited to share this book with you! Emery Lord’s debut YA novel is a perfect way to kickstart your summer reading. Reagan is a little rough around the edges and she’s looking to get away from it all when she boards a tour bus with her best friend, Dee, who happens to be a very popular young country musician. So, it starts off sounding like a Disney special we’ve seen once or twice, right? Wrong. Right away, Reagan and Dee prove to be spitfires who love each other fiercely and have more than a little snark to share when it comes to the craziness around them. When publicity gets a little rough for Dee, Matt Finch is asked to come aboard as an opening act, and Reagan’s feathers get a little ruffled. This was supposed to be her summer with Dee. And she didn’t expect to be so thrown by Matt, in a good way. Reagan marches all over the country in her stilettos with Matt and Dee working to bring down that barrier she’s stood behind for so long. This is a great read, especially for the girl who fiercely loves her girl friends and for the girl whose heart might need a little melting. Side note: I kind of know the author of this book. So, I’ve linked reviews from other people of this book to prove how awesome it is! I can’t wait to see more from Ms. Lord in the future. 4/5
What are you looking forward to reading this summer?