May Reads – 2018

1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

This book was a Goodreads Choice Winner in 2017, so I decided to give it a try. I loved how the author structured the narrative. The story starts with Mrs. Richardson waking up late one morning to the smell of smoke. Someone has lit fires in the bedrooms. From here, the author takes us back to the events leading up to the arson and introduces us to the lives Mr. & Mrs. Richardson and their four high school children. The perfect, painstakingly planned out community of Shaker Heights is disrupted by the arrival of a mother-daughter duo and by a custody battle. As a read this book, I was struck multiple times by the human desire for something that can’t be fulfilled on our own. Some characters take control of their lives and follow rules only to find some things are still out of their control. Others break the rules in search of a fun, happy life and find they are still discontent. In the end, all the characters are still searching for something to complete their lives and bring them joy. Overall, this wasn’t one of my favorite books, but it was thought-provoking.

 

2. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (audiobook)

I LOVED this book! There are so many WWII historical fiction books out there, but this one quickly became one of my favorites. The story is told by four very different people who find their lives intertwining due to the war. The audiobook was fantastic because there was a different narrator for each character’s part of the story. I liked seeing into each character’s thoughts as they fought for survival. This book was also an interesting way to learn the history of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship shrouded in more tragedy than the Titanic.

 

3. The Song of Glory and Grace (Outlaws of Time book 2) by N.D. Wilson

I am a huge fan of N.D. Wilson, but I’m struggling through this series. I have trouble engaging in the story line, and I miss Wilson’s imaginative descriptions and humor that pervade his other books.

 

The book I abandoned…

The Magicians by Lev Grossman (audiobook)

A high school student receives a mysterious invitation to join a secret college of magic where he meets other brilliant young adults with magical capabilities. With that kind of premise, I can see why this book is described as Harry Potter for a more mature audience. I made it almost a fourth of the way through the audiobook before giving up. None of the characters were enduring, and I didn’t care what happened to any of them. Several times, I fell asleep while listening to this book and found that I didn’t mind missing a large chunk of the story. I also quickly grew tired of the language/swearing.

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