What I'm Reading

Stuff I’ve Been Reading

"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend, and inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -- Groucho Marx
“Outside of a dog, a book is probably man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” — Groucho Marx

So, I hurt my finger. Not badly, just badly enough that typing became difficult for maybe a week, which meant I had an excuse to sit around and read all the things. Now I’m finally getting around to writing my book report(s). Have you read any of these? Tell me what you think about them in the comments.

Stuff I read:

Carrie, by Stephen King. I had never read this book because I knew the basic story and it sounded unpleasant. When I read King as a kid, it was strictly “horror” to me–slightly forbidden, definitely scary, but mentally in the realm of “popular novel.” Reading as an adult (and an author) I’m fascinated by how twisted and textured the novels are as well. If this were a different post, I could point out the elements of classic Tragedy (with a capital T) in Carrie, and a lot of King’s books. There’s a kind of Greek Chorus of observers, and Carrie is, like Lear and Hamlet and Antigone even, someone who evokes more pathos than empathy. (I’m trying to think what her fatal flaw would be. Tell me in the comments if you have an idea.)

I love when a book tells a great story AND I think about it months later and go “Ah ha. I see what you did there.” Which is not to say I don’t love a Dan Brown novel on an airplane, but that’s sort of like Fruit Loops. It tastes good as you gobble it up, but it’s not something you chew on and savor.

The Day She Died, by Catroina McPherson. This is an English author, and a random pick from the library’s new books shelf. A lucky pick, as it turns out. I was expecting more of a mystery triller, and it works on that level. But it’s also a sort of psychological piece as well. I’m continually on the lookout for mystery/thrillers like Gillian Flynn’s books, and this is kind of along those lines, though not as hard-edged. For me there was the mystery and suspense (Who should she trust? Who is lying? Is she even reliable as a narrator?) but it was also interesting how step with good intent can lead to another, and another, until you’re totally embroiled. I think I read this in one sitting.

I Want it That Way, by Ann Aguirre. This is the kick off title in Harlequin’s New Adult line, and here’s what’s cool about it. I have ambivalent feelings about the whole “New Adult” genre, because I loved books about college aged protagonists when I was in high school. But they used to simply be shelved on the fantasy/mystery/romance shelves. So what makes book “New Adult,” age or content? I don’t know.

However, I know a good book when I read it.  And I Want it that Way is a good read. You should know the characters have lots of sex without guilt or moralizing. The heroine is 20; she and the hero develop a good rapport/friendship before doing the deed. Nadia is in college and sees her hot neighbor and is all “What’s up with the brooding hot guy?” Turns out that what’s up is brooding hot guy is not a secret BDSM master, or a vampire CEO. He’s a single father at an age when he should be in college going to keg parties. But Nadia really really likes him. And he’s totally charmed by her, though he has to think about the effect a relationship would have on his son. So this is primarily a romance (I mentioned lots of sex, right?) but it also is about taking on adult responsibilities and knowing when you’re ready for that.

This is what I imagined when I hear the term “New Adult.” It’s basically a book for people who love YA, but also love racy romance. Which is a lot of people, because that’s how 50 shades happened. If New Adult is going to be a thing, then I hope there’s more of it that’s like this.

Have you read any of these? Share your opinion in the comments. And I would love a recommendation for what to read next. (Or add to my TBR shelf. Whichever.)

(Picture credit: jamelah e. on Flickr. CC License)

2 thoughts on “Stuff I’ve Been Reading”

  1. Try Boomerang. It is, in my humble opinion, everything the NA category has the potential to be. About the immediately-post college experience, so sex is part of the equation, but there’s also a rom-com adventure and questions about what to do with your life and struggles with money and family and jobs and all the other things that are true to the experience. I really enjoyed it.

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