I didn’t have a stellar reading week this week, for reasons I don’t really know. These are the books I read this week:
Perennials by Mandy Berman: Rachel and Fiona went to Camp Marigold together as children, and now they’re back for the summer as counselors. But their first year of college has changed them both, and while they used to be inseparable, the two find that now they keep secrets from one another. Over the course of a tumultuous summer, the two grow up, and the summer’s events alters their lives forever.
I devoured this debut from Berman, and it’s a fast, compelling read. But the longer I sit with it, the more questions I have about it, so I’m going to have to think on it some more before I review it.
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali: Janna Yusuf is an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager trying to figure out how to blend her secular life with her religious one. She has a crush on a non-Muslim boy, which is bad enough, but she can’t date him. Or shouldn’t. Or won’t, because Muslim girls don’t date. As she grapples with what kind of person she wants to be, she also struggles with what kind of people other people are…even when they’re pretending to be something else entirely.
This sweet, smart novel by S.K. Ali has plenty to offer teens and adults alike. Featuring a smart, realistic Muslim girl dealing with contemporary life makes for a captivating read, and there’s a lot of great stuff here. I do think the book could have used a stronger editing hand as it feels longer than necessary, but on the whole this is a great debut.
Such a Good Girl by Amanda K. Morgan: Everyone knows that Riley Stone is perfect. She’s such a good girl, always organizing charity drives, volunteering in the community, and is on track to be valedictorian. But she’s also crushing majorly on her French teacher, and she’s pretty sure he’s interested, too. It’s a dangerous game to play, but Riley’s always a few steps ahead of everyone else.
I wanted to like this one, and I did indeed tear through it, as it’s compulsively readable, but it’s also a complete mess of a book. It can’t decide what it is so it tries to be everything, and the result is super uneven and more than a little bit perplexing. But there’s definitely teen appeal here.
What did you read this week?