books and reading

What I Read This Week

These are the books I read this week.

5161066Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris: Because the reveal of vampires went fairly well, shifters decide to come out to the world. But things don’t go as smoothly for the magical community, and when Sookie’s brother’s estranged wife Crystal is found dead, it’s clear that something evil is brewing. Once again, Sookie finds herself at the center of the turmoil.

These are starting to really drag, guys. I’m determined to finish the series but these are not as charming nor as compelling as the first titles in the series.

 

Recovery Road by Blake Nelson: Called Mad Dog Maddie at school, sixteen-year-old 8712290Maddie Graham has ended up in rehab for alcohol and anger issues. It’s there that she meets a boy named Stewart, and even though it’s forbidden, the two begin a relationship. But what happens when one person really wants to get better, and the other one doesn’t?

I loved the woefully short-lived series based on Nelson’s book about addiction and recovery, and I wanted to love this as much. But I didn’t, not because it isn’t an interesting novel–it is–but because it tries to condense too much time into a relatively slim book. The result is a story and characters that fall way short of potential.

30900136Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach: Ava and Zelda are identical twins, born into a dysfunctional family of alcoholics. Ava escaped to France, leaving her wilder sister to care for their ailing mother. But Ava has to return to upstate New York when news arrives that her twin is dead, having perished in a barn fire. But is she really dead? Ava finds notes from her sister, leading her on a scavenger hunt to uncover the truth.

A patron recommended this book to me, and after waiting on the list at the library forever, I wanted to love it. And there’s a lot to like–Dolan-Leach is an author with promise–but the book felt overly-long, bogged down with characters I never quite connected to. The ending isn’t as shocking as it thinks it is, either. But it’s definitely an interesting debut, and there’s plenty of suspense to go around.

Who was Michael Jackson? by Megan Stine: A biography geared at the elementary-25310624middle school set, this short, accessible non-fiction title takes a look at the life and struggles of Michael Jackson, world-renowned pop star. It spans the star’s entire life, from his childhood in the Jackson 5 to his later years as a reclusive celebrity and father.

I tore through this as part of prepping for a “Who Was…” book club we’re doing at the library this summer, and I was surprised by how accessible and interesting the book was. I really appreciated the fact that the book didn’t shy away from the darker and more controversial aspects of Jackson’s life, while also not dwelling on them.

What did you read this week?

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