Alice Hoffman wrote Practical Magic. This is super weird to me because Faithful is nothing like that (I have only seen the movie). She also wrote The Museum of Extraordinary Things, which I tried to read and didn’t finish in 2014. It was too slow. I did read her book of short stories, Blackbird House, in 2013 and enjoyed it.
Anyway, Faithful was very good. I read it with a friend with hopes that we could discuss afterwards. It started out super depressing but then it changed, as people do. Quick summary,
“Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt… Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.”
If you’re going to read this book, you can forget about the accident before you even start. The friend I was reading with said she was considering not reading it because her friend died in an accident and worried it would be to close to home. First, Helene, the friend she’s in the accident with, doesn’t die. So no trigger warning there and no spoiler alert because you find that out at the beginning. It’s never about Helene. We don’t even meet Helene as a character. It’s all about Shelby and how she moves on with her life and learns to love and be a functioning person in society. We never even find out how the accident happened so if you’re also going into it thinking its going to be some Liane Moriarty nonsense with revealing flashbacks you can drop that idea too. There are no flashbacks or windows into that tragedy. It is literally all about Shelby and how she grows. I loved that. I’m kind of sick of flashbacks and twists and turns. Shelby is such a great character and I felt for her throughout the whole book. Sometimes she was a bit too angsty but she was a teenager at the beginning so there’s bound to be some angst. She grows, moves past it. It was such a compelling story. I finished it in a few days over a holiday weekend. Recommended!
National Book Award has announced their winners. No surprise that The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead was the adult fiction winner. He had Oprah behind him after all and she’s basically God. I have Underground Railroad on my Kindle from a long time ago via Netgalley and should probably get to reading it. I also just got the first and last books in the March series so I can feed educated on that, waiting on book two. I’m not sure the other two peak my interest. But there are a few on the short / long list that did.
News of the World by Paulette Jiles was a finalist. I bought it a few weeks ago and was going to give it to my best friend for Christmas but she asked for something else instead so I guess it’s mine.
Miss Jane by Brad Watson was on the longlist. It is a book I checked out a few months ago and then didn’t open, per usual. I adore the cover. Isn’t it so beautiful? This would be a good paperback purchase.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo was a finalist for the youth selection. I read it back in April. I didn’t love it.
The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon was a finalist as well. I believe I have it at my house right now. It’s getting lots of buzz and I even heard them talking about it on the All the Books podcast this morning.
Okay, I finished. According to my Goodreads account I have read / listened to Discovery of Witches four times since 2012. That’s essentially once a year. I have only read books 2 & 3 once when they first came out in 2012 & 2014. Now someone, another person I know who loves these books, said there’s going to be a fourth! I’ve heard no news of that and I follow the author on Facebook. However, having read the third book a second time now and looking at my past review of it I can say that it’s open ended enough that a fourth book isn’t completely out of the question.
I hope this holiday series continues forever. Book one, Winter Street, and book two, Winter Stroll, set up a lovely little family who live on Nantucket. Most of them anyway. This third book has one of my favorite characters on his way to heaven. I really hope they don’t die. Anyway, this is a great series to get in the holiday spirit and I adore reading them every year to put me in the mood for presents, trees & mistletoe. It ended with a horrible snowstorm so I can’t say its helped alleviate my hatred towards snow.
Best book lists are here y’all. Get excited! Get those credit cards ready and start your Christmas shopping. Or self shopping..
Publishers Weekly has released their list. Here it is for Children’s / YA. Books of note in their choices that I agree with are as follows.
The Best Man by Richard Peck – it’s at my house right now. Must read immediately.
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier. My review here.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman. I literally put this on my hold list 30 minutes ago. Comes out 11/22/16.
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge won the Boston Horn Book Award this year. I checked it out back in June when that happened but never opened it. Per usual. Must try again.
This book is on a lot of the “best of the year” book lists – which are coming out slowly now that fall book season is in full swing. I’ll have to gather some of those together..
Anyway, this book is a debut. It was very very good. Especially for a first novel. I read it while I was traveling home and my dad asked me what it was about and I wasn’t sure how to describe it. On the surface it’s about a girl who gets pregnant by the pastors son and has an abortion. But really that’s not it. That happens in the first 30 pages? I was reading an advanced copy on my Kindle so I’m really not sure how many pages in it happens but it seemed very quick. The book is about the reprucussions of that decision for her (the pregnant girl), the pastor’s son, their parents, the church, the town, etc. I find multiple POV novels to be amazing and page turning and this novel is no different. It was a great book to get me out of my reading slump.
Don’t trust me, read the buzz : New York Times, Washington Post, Vogue, The Guardian