Yes, it’s August first and this is a July reading recap but I like to make sure the month is well and truly over before I post something called a “recap”. That’s just me. July was an interesting month. Despite hitting a patch of reading blahs when I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read on my shelves (pretty sure that’s one of the signs of the Apocalypse) I ended up reading seventeen books. A lot of them I reviewed but here is a recap of the ones I didn’t write about: the good, the bad, and the indifferent.
The Yonahlosse Riding Camp for Girls: posh riding camp for wealthy girls with “troubles”. Thea is sent by her family for reasons that don’t become clear until 3/4 of the way through the novel. Somewhat intriguing but Thea is a tough nut to crack.
When the World was Young: a little girl, World War I, a love of ants, and plot aplenty but just did not come together.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Rainbow Rowell is the author of two young adult novels that have earned her fanatical followers. Now she is out with her first adult novel, Landline, the story of a woman whose marriage seems to be falling apart over the span of the week before Christmas. Georgie McCool is a successful television show writer who is informed that her big career break means working through Christmas—even though her husband has already planned a long overdue vacation to visit his family. She opts not to go but moves into her mother’s house while her family is out of town.
I was so anxious to read a Rainbow Rowell book and that may be part of the problem—overhype in my mind. I simply could not get into Landline. The premise of Georgie being able to reconnect with her husband through an old landline phone in her mother’s house was at best confusing and at worst annoying. The fact that she moved into her mother’s house after Neal and the girls left seemed far-fetched. None of the pieces added up and I was unable to muster any emotion for the story. Instead, I felt as if I was reading a novel about a grown-up relationship as imagined by a teenager.
The Antiquarian: Superficially, reminiscent of Carlos Zafon’s trilogy The Cemetery for Forgotten Books in that the writing is dark and gothic but with none of Zafon’s poetic prose.
Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) by Jojo Moyes
Published by Penguin Books
Publication date: July 30, 2013
This story about a vibrant active man in his thirties who becomes a quadriplegic after an accident is a tear jerker but in the best possible way. Author JoJo Moyes gives the reader a story that combines humor with pathos in such perfect proportion that by the time the heavy drama hits you have been reeled in without feeling manipulated. I cried. You’ll cry.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication date: February 26, 2013
This is Rainbow Rowell writing young adult fiction and it works. Two misfits, one shared bus seat, and a story that touches while staying painfully real. No fairy dust and unicorns here. This is age appropriate for teens but has the chops to keep adults reading.