This book is the first in Sarah Jessica Parker’s new publishing imprint with Hogarth. My recently went to an Indian wedding with some friends and so I had some initial interest just from that. One of the friends I went to the wedding with told me it was a great book so that was my official queue to pick it up. I listened to most of it, and almost missed the fact that the last part, the father’s part, is narrated by a different person. Which I found interesting.
I want to warn you. I cried. A lot. Not through the whole book, but with the last 50 or so pages. SO MANY TEARS.. So if that’s not your jam then do not read this book. Like I said, I recently went to a three day Indian wedding and was attracted to this book initially to hear about the back story, themes and culture of the families who participate in these wonderful cultural celebrations. And I got that, but also so much more. It was such a moving story of parenting, being a child and trying to live up to your parents’ expectations, and just life in general. I loved the perspective from all of the family members. Highly recommended. Can’t wait to see what else SJP picks for her imprint. Also, Fatima went to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Go Iowa! 🙂
Great NPR review
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : a book set in or about India (it’s more about Indian family and culture but I thought it counted)
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book from a celebrity book club (SJP new publishing imprint)
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book recommended by someone with great taste
I heard a lot about The Dry when it first came out. Then, when the second book came out heard a lot about it as well. I decided I should try out the series and read book one. Second books are rarely ever good. There are exceptions of course. Thunderhead, book two in the Scythe trilogy, was amazing. But typically, I’m not on board. So if the second book is also getting buzz, it must be a good series.
I did like this book a lot. I thought I knew who the killer was midway through, but I was wrong. It was a bit slow moving for a mystery, steady burn and all that. Similar to Tana French and In the Woods. I have book two, and I’m going to start it see what I think. Book one was connected to Aaron’s past and book two doesn’t seem to have that personal draw. So it will be interested to see how it flows.
Also, I think this will be the first book I could towards summer reading this year. Now that it’s past Memorial Day, I think it counts.
I liked this cover. That’s it. I picked it up because of the cover. I kept reading it because of the characters. Zadie and Emma are friends from the very beginning of medical school. They were roommates and hit it off. At the start of the book you know something happened to them in their past, specifically their third year of med school. You don’t know who did what or why. Most of the book is figuring out what the heck happened. There are flashbacks from present day to med school that reveal bits and pieces as you go along. I love flashback books and multiple POV books. You get the perspective of Zadie and Emma, which is very helpful when things start going down. I liked it but I must say, I loved the characters so much I was a bit disappointed in the ending. One of them seemed to change so much and the other kind of laid down and took it. I didn’t feel like that was true to what I’d read about them throughout the beginning of book. But, I ended up liking it nonetheless. Great read, and good audio. Having listened and read, I can say that listening was much easier because each of the two characters had a different person reading. So you could tell when it was a Zadie chapter and when it was an Emma chapter. In the book, it wasn’t quite as obvious. Great summer reading (not fluff) and Modern Mrs. Darcy agrees because it’s on her Summer Reading Guide.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book that’s published in 2018
I just finished reading The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. I tried reading it ages ago and stopped. No idea why. Here is the premise. Myfanwy (like Tiffany with an M – don’t ask how I feel about that) wakes up in a field surrounded by dead people wearing latex gloves. It’s raining, and while she’s freaking out, she puts her hands in her pockets to warm up and finds a letter with the number 1 on it. In the letter, she tells herself that she lost her memory and she needs to either run or become her old self. Spoiler alert (not really, it happens in the first 20 pages) she chooses to become her old self who it turns out is a secret agent for England against fantasy villains (i.e. vampires, people with special powers, etc). There are 30+ other letters written to herself and to give her back story on her life. Through most of it she’s just trying to survive and figure out who killed her the first time. I liked it a lot. I did. But the ending was kind of drawn out. There is apparently a book two, but I probably won’t read it because this one wrapped up fairly nicely.
Side note, I was explaining to my husband what it was about and he said, “Oh it sounds like The Long Kiss Goodnight.” Which we watched last night. And it is nothing like that.
Scythe, the first book in the Neal Shusterman trilogy, Arc of the Scythe, first came out in November of 2016. The second book, Thunderhead, just came out in January of 2018. I first heard about Scythe when it came out, it was a PW Best Book of 2016 and a SLJ Best Book of 2016 for teens. Exciting, right? I checked it out when I saw this and posted about the Best Books lists but didn’t read it. Then, an old friend from when I lived in Tennessee messaged me on Goodreads and said, read this book. So I did. Interestingly, she also said that she teaches Unwind (also a Shusterman book) to her high schoolers. So maybe I’ll investigate that too.
In my mind I had kept Scythe on the back burner for the same reason I avoided reading The Hunger Games. Now, I don’t want to compare these books to The Hunger Games, other than to say there’s violence and that’s why I avoided them. They are nothing like The Hunger Games. At all. I enjoyed Scythe and Thunderhead SO.MUCH.MORE than The Hunger Games. So much. They are so good.
Possible spoilers ahead. Quick setting explination. The cloud (yes, like Apple) has become something called the Thunderhead. It knows everything and has basically figured out how to run the world and keep people from dying. Therefore, a new occupation was formed called Scythes, people whose job it is to kill people in order to control the population etc. In book 1, Citra and Rowen are chosen to be Scythe apprentices. You quickly learn that this has apparently never been done before, having two apprentices, and it is decided that only one will survive. Moving on to book 2. I have inner feelings about the middle book in trilogies. That is not the case with this book. Book 2 might even be BETTER than book 1. No joke. I won’t tell you much about it other than to say, Citra has won the fight to be a Scythe, Rowen has turned into a semi-bad guy to everyone but Citra, and the real bad guy has taken over the world. It is the best.
I cannot wait for book 3. According to his timeline of release for books 1 & 2 it apparently takes him about 1 year and 2 months. Which means I have one more year to wait.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about death or grief (Scythe)
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion other than your own (Thunderhead)
More Lit Chat! It’s something I’ve talked about a lot.
Do you listen to audio books? Why or why not? Who would you choose to narrate your favorite book?
I listen to audio books all the time! Since last August I’ve had an Audible account that I got on Amazon Prime Day. I love them. I’m in the car about an hour a day so I can whip through them pretty quickly. Right now I’m listening to Thunderhead, the second book in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. Apparently I never wrote about book one, so I’ll do that soon. It’s very good. I listen to audio books because of my time in the car and because the narrators make the books feel more immersive. I often listen to audio books that are very long because I don’t like holding the real book or the book feels too daunting in it’s page length. As for who would narrate my favorite book, it would have to be Jim Dale. He is the best.
I finished the Precious Stone trilogy. I had no idea it was called that until two seconds ago but I wrote about book one, Ruby Red, last week and I finished books two and three this week! I actually read Ruby Red in 2011 but went back to read it recently because all 3 books are out now. They weren’t back then and I don’t like waiting.
Aren’t these covers divine? I adore them. Sapphire Blue is book 2 and Emerald Green is book 3. I read them both within a few days so I can’t remember what happens in each individually but basically, Gwyneth has found out she’s a time traveler in book 1. In book 2 she starts traveling with her cohort, Gideon, the male time traveler with the gene. Their alliance is run by a man named Count Saint-German, someone Gwyn has been told not to trust. She soon finds out why, with the help of her time traveling cousin (or is she) and her best friend. I won’t get into specifics of what their goal is because it’s too complicated to explain but eventually Gideon and Gwyneth work together to sabotage the Count’s plan, and they also fall in love. Of course. Because it’s a YA novel. Thankfully, there is not a love triangle. I highly recommend these books to anyone who likes YA and wants a good time travel / historical feel. I listened to them on audio, one from Audible and the others from Libby / Overdrive / Hoopla. The reader is great.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : the next book in a series you started (Sapphire Blue)
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about time travel (Emerald Green)