I really need to read a book that grabs me. Everything has been pretty okay lately. Not bad, just not fabulous.
I Refuse: A Novel
Jim and Tommy were childhood friends, even after Tommy was separated from his sisters following the disappearance of his abusive father. They drift apart after one night and remain separated, until years later when Tommy--in a luxury car--drives past Jim fishing on the bridge. This book was just really honestly pretty depressing. I don't know if either man ever found happiness.
All the Rage
This book was pretty good, but it was a very heavy topic and I shouldn't have finished reading it right before bed. Romy is raped by Kellan Turner, who happens to be the golden boy sheriff's son. As a result, no one believes her, and she spends the aftermath with insults and brutal bullying hurled her away by both girls and boys alike. Romy tries to hide behind her red nails and her red lipstick, until a former friend of Romy's disappears after a party. Then Romy is faced to meet everyone head on. There was a lot frustrating about this book. The way the adults seemed to ignore the derision being thrown at Romy, the way Romy would make decisions without thinking, but it was powerful.
I love psychological thrillers, although this one was not overly surprising in that the ending seemed pretty clear from the beginning. That said, this book still set my teeth on edge. Dara and Nick are sisters. Dara is the wild one, Nick is the good one, until the night that Nick crashes the car with Dara in the passenger seat. Nick is relatively unscathed, but Dara ends up in the ICU with a long road to recovery. After this, Dara won't talk to Nick and Nick spends the summer trying to win back her sister's good graces, only to bet with constant silence. In the midst of this, a nine-year-old girl disappears and Nick devotes herself to the rescue efforts, finding a connection between the girl's older sister and her sister. Although the tie-in with the little girl threw me, I really did like this book. It kept me hooked!
A Fall of Marigolds
This book bounces between Clara in September 1911 and Taryn in September 2011. Clara lost a man she thought she might love in a business fire, while Taryn lost her husband in the World Trade Center. The two women are tied together by a piece of fabric and unbelievable emotional struggles. I enjoyed their stories, but I felt like the balance between the two women's stories was off--the first half was heavy on Clara, while the second half was heavy on Taryn, but I felt like I wanted more of each. Otherwise, this book was interesting and I actually learned quite a bit about Ellis Island that I didn't previously know.
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
Sage is the queen of bright and shiny things. A bright, bubbly girl, she leaves post-it notes on the lockers of her fellow classmates--sometimes a compliment on shoes, or hair, or a smile. Sage tries hard to be the perfect girl, otherwise she's afraid her other self, Shadow Sage, will come to the surface. In the midst of this, Sage meets and falls in love with Shane, who has his own shadows to hide. Although this was one of those YA books where the characters talked like Dawson's Creek characters, it was still an easy to read, engaging story.
What are you reading?