Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Keiko Furukura, a socially awkward 36 year old woman, has worked at her local convenience store for years. Keiko struggles with social interaction, but at the store, she thrives on the rules, procedures, and structure. She studies the interactions and becomes adept at being an exemplary employee. Here is a world she can understand and succeed in, but her family feels she is wasting her life and education. They pressure her to find a romantic partner and to do something better with her life. Keiko’s story is told with deadpan humor. Translated from Japanese.
What a great read! It was weirdly engrossing and different in a good way.
Quirky and funny.
I LOVED the book, but was left slightly off balance by two instances of dark humor.
I didn’t see the end coming, but it makes perfect sense and is the perfect resolution for this story.
Easy to read. Recommended.
Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman
A must read for all teens and preteens. This one knocked my socks off. My emotions took ever, the strongest of which was anger. The story ends satisfactorily, although I wanted harsher revenge on one particular character. Rarely do I have a character I love to hate, but the mother of the bully is on my short list of fictional characters I despise. Told from multiple points of view, all aspects of the situations arising from an incident of cyberbullying are put under the microscope. My kindle did not read the headings, and yet I was easily able to tell which character’s POV the story was in. That’s good writing.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls-Anissa Gray
This book was jam packed with emotion. Talk about a complicated family life.
What struck me was the fact that the family members still tried to have relationships with each other even though their past wounds had formed and shaped them, teaching them to deal with life in a variety of unhealthy ways. The book is uncomfortable to read at times, and I had the feeling I was eavesdropping on intensely personal moments have a family in crisis. At the same time I found it difficult to put the book down. It’s one of those books that makes you examine your own family history, and either be grateful you survived, or grateful you didn’t experience certain situations. Possibly both.
The characters in this book had tremendous depth.
This is a novel that explores various issues that could be triggering for some people.
The Thing With Feathers by McCall Hoyle
“Some people see the liquid and think half full. Others only see the air and think half empty. Sometimes I get the sense Chatham sees it all, which is kind of terrifying. I don’t know if I want him to see me–the real me.”
This book caught my eye because I love the Emily Dickinson quote and I loved the cover. It’s been on my list for quite some time.
Emilie is struggling with the loss of her father, who died from a terminal illness four years ago. She also has epilepsy.
I had loads of sympathy for the main character and liked her right away. It is an easy to read, sweet, heartwarming type story. Emilie must navigate a new environment and learns that she has been wrong about many of her assumptions. It has a bit of romance, a bit of mother/daughter relationship (y’all know I love a good mother/daughter story), and, of course, it is a hopeful book as the title indicates. I love a book that is about hope.
I will confess, I got a little teary sometimes. I found myself chuckling every now and then, as well.
Emily Dickinson is given quite a few nods, which I appreciate. I learned something about her that I did not know.
The story ties everything together nicely.
I liked it.
I’m Not Dying With You Tonight
By Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal
Wow. This was a fast paced read that kept me turning pages. Well written. I was completely immersed in the story from the first page. Highly recommended.
At a Friday night football game a fight breaks out. Lena and Campbell go to the same school, but aren’t friends. When a fight breaks out at a Friday night football game, it turns into more than just a fight. The situation escalates. Lena and Campbell try to get home, but the violence seems inescapable.
Told from alternating viewpoints. This is a great book club selection. I read it as part of the Big Library Read. It’s one worth discussing. Good topic.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Blind Dates Bridesmaids and Other Disasters. It’s funny and fun to read, but had a few tear-jerking type moments as well.The writing was great.
Our heroine is twenty-seven years old, is a second grade school teacher, and shares an apartment with two other women friends. One of her roommates is planning her wedding, and this catapults Rachel into a dating frenzy. She’s been gun shy after a breakup that happened seven years ago and it’s time to move on.
The series of blind dates was hilarious and the predicaments Rachel got herself into echo the experiences I think we have all had. The difference being Rachel managed to get stuck on bad date repeat.
The relationships between the women were well done, the second chance romance sweet. The cast was large but didn’t feel cluttered.
All in all, and enjoyable, laugh out loud read.
A solid, second chance romcom with lots of five star moments.
The Impossible Knife of Memory
by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is a book about a family in crisis. I was deeply affected by the difficulties Hayley faced. In this novel, we are given a clear picture of how the child or children will struggle and develop their own mental health issues when the parent is not healthy. Post traumatic stress disorder is such a devastating condition, and it is an issue that deserves more attention.
During many of the scenes in this book, the tension was so high that I had to stop reading. Because it mirrors situations that are all too real and many of our serviceman’s lives, The scenarios were too easy to imagine.
The book isn’t all serious or tragic. We have the usual cast of high school characters and the endearing love interest with humor to lighten the tone at times.
The relationships are complicated. The characters are well rounded and realistic. This is an emotion packed read about a timely topic. There are discussion questions at the end. Sensitively done and beautifully written.
All the stars
Due to subject matter, there is mild language, alcoholism, drug use, and violence. Read this one with your kids and talk about PTSD.