I have a few books that I’ve recently finished to share with you today!
Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford is our current book group pick which we will be discussing in another few weeks. I had read Jamie Ford’s previous book, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and remembered really liking it, so I voted on behalf of reading this one.
“For twelve-year-old Ernest Young, a charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World’s Fair feels like a gift. But only once he’s there, amid the exotic exhibits, fireworks, and Ferris wheels, does he discover that he is the one who is actually the prize. The half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled off—a healthy boy; to a good home.’ The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, famous for educating her girls. There, Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam’s precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. Their friendship and affection form the first real family Ernest has ever known—and against all odds, this new sporting life gives him the sense of home he’s always desired. But as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition, and first love. Fifty years later, in the shadow of Seattle’s second World’s Fair, Ernest struggles to help his ailing wife reconcile who she once was with who she wanted to be, while trying to keep family secrets hidden from their grown-up daughters.”
While this book had a lot of interesting history, I didn’t love it. I found parts of it more boring than I would prefer as well. With that said, I still finished it pretty quickly. I look forward to discussing the book with my book club and possibly gaining more insight on it.
I got a few books from the library that had been on my to be read list for awhile. First up was Good As Gone by Amy Gentry.
“Anna’s daughter Julie was kidnapped from her own bedroom when she was thirteen years old, while Anna slept just downstairs, unaware that her daughter was being ripped away from her. For eight years, she has lived with the guilt and the void in her family, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night, the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. Anna and the rest of the family are thrilled, but soon Anna begins to see holes in Julie’s story. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she is forced to wonder if this young woman is even her daughter at all. And if she isn’t Julie, what is it that she wants?”
This book is told from the point of view of a mom whose daughter went missing years ago. Then the chapters alternate with chapters featuring women, each with a different name, and moving in reverse time. I caught on to the fact that the chapters moved backwards in time pretty quickly, but I imagine it would be confusing if you did not realize that. The story of what happened to Julie was compelling and took time to unravel. It wasn’t the best suspenseful book I ever read, but it wasn’t bad.
Next, also from my list of books I’d wanted to read, I read Before The Fall by Noah Hawley. This was another book that travels back to discover what happened to cause the tragedy in the beginning of the book.
“On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are the painter Scott Burroughs and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family. Was it by chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something more sinister at work? A storm of media attention brings Scott fame that quickly morphs into notoriety and accusations, and he scrambles to salvage truth from the wreckage. Amid trauma and chaos, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy grows and glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, morality, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.”
The best part of the book for me was the harrowing escape from the plane wreckage taken by Scott and the four-year-old boy. The rest of the book focused a lot on unlikeable characters and was supposed to make us wonder why the plane crashed. With a little more revealed in each chapter, it becomes clear what occurred, but it was not a huge twist or all that surprising for me in the end.
Lastly, I read Choker by Elizabeth Wood. Gabbie had read the book and liked it, so when I needed another book to read, she handed it over. It is meant for young adults, but it was well-written enough for me to enjoy it too.
“Zoe and Cara were as close as friends could be—until Zoe moved away in fourth grade. Miserable without Zoe, Cara grew into an unhappy sixteen-year-old, tormented by the popular girls and nursing a hopeless crush. Then one day Cara returns home from a miserable day at school to find Zoe sitting on her bed. Shocked and delighted, Cara agrees to hide Zoe from troubles at home and the two resume their friendship as though no time has passed. Zoe even helps Cara get up the courage to stand up for herself and talk to her crush. But when one of the popular girls winds up dead, Cara begins to suspect that Zoe is responsible, and her questions only feed Zoe’s anger. As Cara searches for answers, she is forced to confront a deadly truth….”
Somewhere in the middle of the book, I told Gabbie it was obvious what was going on. A few chapters after that, I realized what was actually going on! It was a twist, but it was one that I was able to figure out. As a quick, easy read with an ending meant to surprise, I think young adults would definitely enjoy this one.
What have you been reading lately?
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