It's the last Quick Lit of 2017! I have been trying to get to some books that have been on my list all year, so there are some really good ones here. I also rediscovered my love for audio books!
This was the biggest surprise. I picked it up on Hoopla strictly for the cover. I saw it on Bookstagram and didn't know much about it, but was hooked from the opening line: "You aren't going to like me very much". I love when narrators speak directly to the audience. This is domestic noir done right. Ethan and Sutton seem like the perfect couple- both are successful authors that live in a beautiful home. They seem to be crazy about each other, until one day Sutton leaves and tells Ethan not to come looking for her. You think you know what is going to happen, but there are plenty of twists that are thrown in to keep you guessing. Highly recommend- and the audio version was pretty good too!
This is one of the books that has been on my list for a long time. An English teacher from present day gets let in on a secret- his friend Al has stumbled upon something of a worm hole that allows him to travel back to the 60s. Al's mission is to go back in time and stop Lee Harvey Oswald from shooting JFK. When Al gets terminally ill, he asks his friend Jake to finish what he started. I made it a mission to finish this by the end of 2017. It's a huge book- 849 pages- but I finished it in just a few days. It is not your typical Stephen King in many ways. It's not scary, but the characters were so compelling and the world building was second to none. I love Jake Epping and could have stayed with him in his 1960s story forever.
This was the biggest letdown. I picked it as my Book of the Month choice for May 2017, thinking that it would be great because it was written by Dennis Lehane, who wrote Mystic River and Shutter Island. However, I did not enjoy it. It was a "literary thriller", which I am finding is not my genre. This was two books in one. Part I outlines a story of a woman dealing with her traumatized childhood who's trying to find her footing, and part 2 was mystery mixed with action. Its like he had an idea for a movie and forced into book form. Not for me!
Speaking of thrillers... The Good Daughter is well worth your time. It is typical Karin Slaughter in that it is extremely dark and graphic, but she tells a great story. A family is a victim of a break in that leaves the mother dead and the remaining family members devastated. Twenty Five years later, another crime takes place in their small hometown and Charlie Quinn, the "good daughter", finds that this brings up all of the things she's been trying to suppress about her own trauma. All or the trigger warnings for this book, but it was an excellent mystery/thriller with a satisfying ending.
Another favorite of the month. Dreamland Burning is YA and brings attention to the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921- something to which I had previously been unaware. Rowan Chase finds a skeleton in the backyard of her family home and uncovers the victim's wallet. She and her best friend uncover clues and try to find out who the body belongs to. Readers also meet Will Tillman, a man from nearly 100 years ago who is finding himself in the middle of his hometown that is segregated by Jim Crow. The story unfolds by weaving the past story with present day and I couldn't stop reading, trying to figure out how the two stories were going to converge.
One of my favorite books of 2017! Beartown has been all my list all year, and I finally got the motivation to pick it up this month. It's a perfect cold weather book. It is best to go in relatively blind- a crime takes place that threatens to dismantle this hockey loving community. This book is about so much more than small town small drama or gossip, or about hockey. The story features rich, well thought out characters that don't always do what you expect them to do. Full review here.
Finally, The Sisters Chase. This was another one that I listened to on audio and it was equal parts moving and heartbreaking. The sisters find themselves alone and penniless after the sudden loss of their mother, and have to move away from their seaside hometown in order to avoid the debt they've been left in. Not one to be kept down, Mary does what she has to do and moves around the country to keep her little sister safe. This is a slow burn. I never quite knew where this story was going to go, but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
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