Happy November! Can you believe 2016 is almost over? I spent more time this month studying for the LSAT than reading but I still managed to squeeze in a few good books.
Unknowingly all of the books I chose for the month were told with varying and alternating perspectives (either chapter by chapter or with separate parts). I don’t always love this method of storytelling as I often enjoy one character more than the others but this month I found it intriguing. One of my favorite parts about reading stories from multiple perspectives is that it reminds me to look at life through different lenses.
Buy it here: Replica by Lauren Oliver
This unique dystopian novel is told from two perspectives. Both Gemma and Lyra share the same story from two wildly different points of view. You can read either girl’s story first (I started with Lyra) or alternate between chapters.
Lyra, an experimental clone raised in a medical facility, strives to understand who she is and what her purpose is in the world.
Gemma, a wealthy and overprotected teen runs away from home with a boy she calls “the perv” on a spring break adventure of a lifetime.
When the two girls meet they are determined to discover the mystery surronding the creation of the clones Lyra comes from and how Gemma’s father is tied to the medical facility.
I could NOT put this book down, I was obsessed. I highly reccomend it and I’m crossing my fingers hoping for a sequel (don’t all dystopian books come in threes?).
Girls in White Dresses
Buy it here: Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
In a way Girls in White Dresses reminds me of the book version of Lena Dunham’s television show “Girls”. The story bounces back between a group of girls all in the same friend group throughout their twenties.
In some ways this book was a little depressing. It was realistic in that none of the girls had happily ever afters, each character had flaws and failures. I found it a little too over the top on the “life isn’t a fairytale” spectrum though. None of the women seemed to really like the men they chose to datebook or marry. None of the girls seemed remotely interested in their careers. Everyone drank too much wine and rolled their eyes at bridal showers. I get it…sort of.
You see, I’ve definitely been that girl who has been in a less than stellar job or lived in a junky apartment or dated guys I look back on and think “really? Him?!”. Yet I think I’ve been overall pretty happy and I think the problem with this book was that no one ever seemed happy, even for a moment. I still enjoyed reading it and I liked that the author chose to highlight the gloomier parts of young adult life that are often ignored. I could have used a bit more of a balance between life sucking and a few happy moments sprinkled in.
The Smart One
Buy it here: The Smart One by Jennifer Close
Written by the same author as Girls in white dresses, The Smart One has a smilar story telling pattern. The novel follows several women in a family and is told partially from each woman’s perspective. Claire is forced to move back in with her parents and older sister after calling off her engagement. Martha abandons nursing in exchange for a retail position at J. Crew. Weezy struggles with letting go of her adult children when her son Max and his girlfriend Cleo give her a reason to hold on even tighter.
I really loved this story, I listened on Audible and I found myself constantly looking for a time and place to listen. Every family has their secrets and drama, but the story of the Coffee family was just silly enough to be interesting without becoming too theatrical. This book is a great read for a long plane ride or relaxing vacation, it’s light hearted without loosing that interest that pulls you in and leaves you wanting more.
What did you read this month? I’m definitely looking to curl up with a good book on these cold, rainy days.