I looooove to read. It's probably my most favourite thing to do in the entire world. What I don't like to do is read long book reviews. Hence, I'm keeping things short, hopefully just to whet your appetite. Here are a few of my favourite books that I read this summer.
The Favourite Sister
By Jessica Knowles
Do you watch reality shows like the Bachelor and the Housewives franchise? I don’t, but I did really enjoy this book that uses the genre as its backdrop. Two sisters star in the reality show Goal Diggers about young, rich New York business women. And shockingly, just because they’re successful, doesn’t mean they aren’t backstabbing. When one sister winds up dead, the rest of the cast members seem to have more motives than Manolos. But which of these crazy characters actually gone and done it? A deliciously soapy thriller, with pop culture references aplenty, I gleefully devoured these pages. The perfect beach read.
I also loved Knowles’s first book, The Luckiest Girl Alive, where once again, things aren’t what they seem. And if you like fictionalized reality shows, check out Unreal.
Everything I Never Told You
By Celeste Ng
In Everything I Never Told You, a daughter’s death causes a family to unravel. (Not a spoiler alert, you learn of the death in the first chapter.) Oh wow, what a downer, who wants to read that?! Yeah, it is kind of heavy but what I found really interesting was the subject of family and secrecy. We are reminded that you can never truly know or understand another person and their experiences, even if you live side by side. Ok, well that's another depressing thought. But I love Ng’s work because it’s very well written while also immensely readable.
Little Fires Everywhere
By Celeste Ng
In her follow-up to Everything, Ng again sets her story in the 1970, this time in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where the author grew up. Once again exploring the themes of family and secrecy, Little Fires also looks at the meaning of motherhood and the lengths some mothers go to protect their children. The story centres around the Richardsons, a traditional suburban family - mom, dad, and three kids - who are not as stereotypical as they first appear. And when a single mom and her daughter move into an apartment the Richardsons rent out, things go topsy turvy. A lot of the subject matter feels very ripped from the headlines, as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.
Reese Witherspoon and Kerri Washington are set to star in an eight-episode TV version for Hulu. Can’t wait!
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
By Bryn Greenwood
This is one stayed with me long after I finished the last page. Bryn Greenwood tells the story of eight-year-old Wavy, whose parents are meth dealers and crazy to boot. When her little brother comes along, it’s clear to Wavy that she’s the only one adult enough to take care of him.
She soon befriends a young man named Kellen, who also happens to be one of her father’s heavies. And while he’s hardly perfect, he’s the only support she has in her very messed up world. The story follows their relationship for well over a decade. I don’t want to spoilt it but I’ll just say that at times, it's uncomfortable to read. Or is it? The book asks big questions about family and love and all the ugly and wonderful things they can entail.