Vacation Reads I

I have read a lot of books so far this summer…and the list of must-reads is still a mile long! I have been anxious to share them with you…and I hope you’ll share what you’ve read too.

The Smart One by Jennifer Close

There is nothing special about this book but it was still worth reading. Weezy is the main character, the “smart one” in her family, and nothing in her life is going right. She has three grown children, she has retired and she’s feeling a little lost. Her oldest daughter, Martha, has left her stable nursing job to work at J. Crew. She can barely function on her own and lives at home. Her middle daughter, Clare, has recently called off her engagement and moved home due to financial reasons. She takes a job as a temp. Her son, Max, is still in college and gets his girlfriend pregnant and, you guessed it, moved home. Nothing really exciting happens. There is no mystery, no twists, no major plot twists. But it’s still a fun, easy, worthwhile read because Close does a nice job of developing her characters to where you start to care for them and want to know what happens to them.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

This book is going to stay with me for the rest of my life. I put it right up there with A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Red Tent, etc. Those books you read that grab your heart and never let go. Picoult is back with one of her showstoppers with this book. Sage, the main character, is a 20-something baker who is having an affair with a married man. She tries to hide from life after a car accident left her face disfigured. Sage meets Josef, a 90-something man, in grief therapy after losing her mother. Josef asks Sage to help him die. Sage discovers that Josef is a former Nazi officer and, being Jewish and the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, turns him into the FBI. The FBI investigator, Leo, turns out to be a handsome, kind, single Jewish man. Picoult does a beautiful job of weaving everyone’s story, especially Sage’s grandmother Minka’s, together in a heartbreaking tale of all that was lost during the Holocaust. It’s also a wonderful story of forgiveness and love. If you are a Picoult fan, and find the Holocaust and WWII interesting, you have to read this book. Be prepared to have major bread cravings as you read all of the bakery scenes!!

Long Gone by Alifair Burke
This was a great murder mystery story with many twists and turns and surprises along the way. Alice, the main character, is a woman in her late 30’s who has just lost her job. Along comes a too-good-to-be-true job offer running an art studio. She takes the job from a mysterious man she just happened to meet at an art gallery. Things go downhill from there. One day shortly after taking the job, she shows up at the studio to discover her boss has been murdered. Before she knows it, she’s the main suspect. Someone has framed her and done a very good job. As a murder mystery aficionado, I have to give Burke credit because I didn’t see any of the twists coming and I didn’t figure out whodunit. Definitely give this book a try!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy
I couldn’t wait to read this Young Adult novel next. I read about it in People magazine and it made me excited because it sounded like The Hunger Games or The Host. The world is being taken over by aliens in this book. There have been four waves of destruction so far and Cassie is one of the few humans left on earth. She’s 16 and separated from her 5-year-old brother. She’s on a mission to stay alive and find her brother, Sammy. Cassie meets Evan, a teenage boy who saves her life, and decides to trust him. Turns out he’s an alien. She struggles with her feelings towards him because he is “an other” but she desperately needs his knowledge and help to find her brother. This book was exciting, a real page-turner. There are many other characters that make the story interesting, including Ben, a boy who Cassie had a crush on in high school who turns up where Cassie least expects to find him. Yancy leaves you hanging at the end, obviously opening his options up for a sequel. If you liked The Hunger Games or Divergent, you’ll love this one too.

More books to come tomorrow!!!


7 responses to “Vacation Reads I

  1. Are you into memoirs? I’m a memoir freak and have read so many this summer!!

  2. I love it when you do book reviews!

  3. Just added The Storyteller to my list after reading this. This is the second time in a short amount of time Ive heard how good it is .

  4. Just finished reading summer rental while on vacation. Good suggestion. Thanks

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