Book Report: March and April
Let's just pretend like I'm not doing my book report post for March and April in the second week of May. Wedding planning is like the very hungry caterpillar. Instead of fruits, this wedding "caterpillar" is eating all my time! You can't tell I'm a teacher, can you? But better late than never has become my official motto. So here's what I've been reading lately.
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner. This is an older Jennifer Weiner book but I've been happily going back through her work and finding new favorites. Her books often get classified as "chick lit" but they are much deeper than girl meets boy and falls in love. Her characters are always have real feelings and desires that aren't bogged down by the romance that's part of the plot. Best Friends Forever tells the story of Addie Downs who's long-lost best friends, Valerie Adler, shows up at her door one night with blood on her hands. Fifteen years after Valerie betrayed her during their senior year, Addie is thrust back into a friendship she's not sure wants anymore while trying to figure out how they're going to get Valerie out of this messy situation. While this book could have been a slightly strange and campy Thelma-and-Louise style story, the two girls had so much feeling and heart that you felt genuine sadness and elation for the characters as they discovered who they were and how their past shaped their future. It is not my favorite Jennifer Weiner book (I prefer The Next Best Thing) but I would recommend it for anyone who wants a twist on the typical best friend love story.
Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. Mindy's memoir is quite possibly the funniest book I've read all year. I loved Amy's Yes Please and Tina's Bossypants but I connected so much to Mindy. I loved the way she tells about her journey to where she is today and how it's still a work in progress and her self-deprecating manner. But what I thought was the best part of her book was how she approaches female friendships. She sounds like the best girl friend who only wants the best for the ladies in her life. It's the kind of book that I would want my best girls to read. You hear that, ladies? Go pick it up, now!
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I had high expectations for this book because of the many comparisons to Gone Girl. The comparisons are warranted; both books have plenty of suspense and are character-driven stories. But, while I was on the edge of my seat with Gone Girl, I didn't have the same feeling with The Girl on the Train. Yes, I wanted to know "who did it" but I wasn't invested. Maybe it was because I didn't connect with the main character and parts of the plot seemed unrealistic. It was not the thriller that I had been expecting. But it was a very well-written book and worth a read, just don't compare it to a suspenseful thriller like Gone Girl.