July Reads

Friday, July 28, 2017

Book 30:
"The Girls" by Emma Cline
Plot: Set in 1969, "The Girls" tells the story of Evie Boyd, a lonely and curious teenager. One day while at the park, Evie sees a group of girls for whom she immediately feels a sense of admiration and envy. They're different, carefree, wild. Evie is drawn into their friend circle, which she soon discovers is actually a cult. As the summer progresses, Evie spends more and more time in this new world, oblivious to the dangers and violence to come.

At that age, I was, first and foremost, a thing to be judged, and that shifted the power in every interaction on to the other person."
Thoughts: This was a unique and unusual story, but wow Cline is a skilled writer. She really captures the insecurities and clumsiness of adolescence and how impressionable teenagers can be. It was hard getting into it at first since it's such an odd plot – certainly different than what I usually go for. I stuck it out because the writing was so intriguing, and I'm glad I did.
 Though I should have known that when men warn you to be careful, often they are warning you of the dark movie playing across their own brains." 
Rating: 4/5

Book 31:
"The Alcoholic Bitch Who Ruined Your Life" by Molly McAleer
Plot: In her memoir, Molly McAleer opens up about the struggles in her life – her relationship (or lack thereof) with her addict father, her own struggles with alcohol, her time in rehab, and how love and friendship impacted her life.

Thoughts: This was a quick read, as it's specifically an e-book. It's very honest. Molly owns up to her behavior and flaws, which I find to be a very brave and admirable thing to do. There's even a section where she "interviewed" a few of her friends to get honest feedback about her past, with questions like, "Have I ever disappointed you?" and "Did my substance use/abuse ever hurt you?" I liked that chapter the most. Of course when Molly's telling her story, it's from her own perspective, and so it was interesting to hear it from another angle, from the people around her.
I am decidedly not roaring. I'm moving forward slowly and quietly and trying to figure things out because my sparkle feels dull."
Rating: 3/5

Book 32:
"My Husband's Wife" by Jane Corry
Plot: Lily and Ed rushed into marriage. Only a few months in, it's not going as smoothly as they had hoped, but they're determined to make it work, especially Lily, who wants to bury the secrets from her past and focus on the future. She's a lawyer, spending most of her time on her first murder case, defending a man named Joe Thomas who she feels oddly fond for, and the rest of her free time babysitting nine-year-old Carla from next door. But sometimes things we try so hard to bury rise to the surface, and 16 years later, Lily is going to find that out.

Thoughts: I brought this one with me during my vacation, and it turned out to be a great choice for an 8-hour car ride – I didn't want to put it down. I wasn't sure what to think when reading the summary, but it was surprisingly good. I'd say it was more of a low-key thriller. It almost sneaks up on you. It's not so obviously intense where you sense a plot twist coming. It's more subtle and seems to come out of nowhere, which is almost more disturbing.
It's an exhilarating feeling when someone gives you permission to break all rules – especially when that person is yourself."
Rating: 4/5

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