The Clasp by Sloane Crosley These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

Summer Reading: Part Three

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
WHAT'S THE DEAL? June discovers comfort in the least expected place after her best friend, Uncle Finn, loses his battle with AIDS. As she comes to terms with her loss, June learns about the prejudices held by many outside her small town, which only spurs her on more to walk to the beat of her own drum. 

ANY GOOD? Beautiful and heartbreaking. I LOVED June - what a voice! This is the type of book that really gets under your skin. I finished it a while ago now but I still think about June and Toby and Greta. The relationship between June and Toby was absolutely heart wrenching but extremely well handled. There have been some comments here and there recently about relationships (often platonic with a dash of unrequited love) between older men and teenagers and whether there's a growing trend for this kind of material (and whether or not this is a good thing). However, I must say, in the instance of Tell the Wolves I'm Home, it was a perfectly drawn sketch of an imperfect friendship. 

ADD TO BASKET? Yes, definitely. Obviously, it's not the kind of book you'd pick up if you're looking for something light and airy but buy it, put it down, and then pick it up again when you're ready. Probably when the nights suddenly start to come around quicker and there's a hint of a chill in the air. Oh and don't forget to tape a packet of tissues to the back - you'll need them. 

All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue

WHAT'S THE DEAL? Vanessa, Kate, and Dani are best friends who have grown apart as the realities of adult life sweep them off to pastures new. However, a change in circumstance, an unresolved conflict, and years of buried guilt, brings them back to together at Dani's summer house in Avalon, NJ. 

ANY GOOD? This was on my summer reading list and if I'm honest, I was a little disappointed. The story was a bit too slow for my liking but I enjoyed the summer setting (I sent some of my characters off to Avalon once too!) and it was nice to have a bi-racial main character in Vanessa. I enjoyed reading the author's notes at the end too. It's interesting how we all see the characters so differently. Meg Donohue's imaginary cast included Anna Kendrick, Jessica Szohr, and Kirsten Dunst. On the other hand, given how the characters were described, I pictured Jessica Biel, Paula Patton and Olivia Wilde (with the blonde from the OC days) as las tres amigas. I also liked Meg Donohue's recommendations for summer reading. 

ADD TO BASKET? If you're still looking for a quick beach read. 

Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith

WHAT'S THE DEAL? Isabel is a librarian in Seattle who loves the stories held within the vintage products she collects. We follow Isabel over the course of a day when a startling revelation from a colleague throws her into turmoil. 

ANY GOOD? This was an impulse buy but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Glaciers is a delicate little thing with a big, rich story of poor timing, heartbreak and longing at its core. Again, we have another view of The War (I loved that it wasn't immediately obvious which war we were dealing with here due to the shifts in time thanks to the vintage items - I won't spoil it for you either) and the impact on those left behind. The uncertainty of time and space was clever because gradually it all starts to make sense and it is almost like watching a story move from black and white to technicolour. Very clever. Extremely bittersweet. 

ADD TO BASKET? For fans of the Zooey Deschanel type brand of quirky, hipsters unite lifestyle who also appreciate a well written, carefully crafted novella. 

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