Here’s what I read this week:
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares:
It’s been 10 years since the girls lost the Pants on a trip to Greece. Although they all have careers and men in their lives that they love, they feel like something is missing. When Tibby reaches out to them and plans a reunion trip in Greece, they all realize they need to see one another. But a tragic accident sends the girls reeling in another journey of self-discovery.
I read this when it came out and haven’t revisited it since. I remember really liking it, but I wonder now how much of that was fueled by my love for the series, because this was Not Great. The characters are totally stalled in terms of development, and they’re all kind of the worst, to be honest. There’s a lot of stalling in terms of the plot, too, which makes for a strangely bogged-down read. This is one that didn’t age well.
Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick:
Nanette O’Hare is a star soccer player and straight-A student. But she’s lonely, and when her beloved English teacher gives her his copy of The Bubblegum Reaper, she becomes obsessed with the piece of fiction. She befriends the author, falls in love with a troubled young poet, and discovers more about herself than she ever thought possible.
The first half of this novel feels like well-trodden ground, and then it veers off into something quite different. The result is a strong offering from Quick, who is a smart writer of prose and an even better writer of dialogue. A strong female protagonist also makes this one a standout. I really liked it.
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller:
Olivia Rawlings is a renowned pastry chef who literally sets the Boston dinner club she works at on fire with her flambeed dessert. Since her love life is also a fiery mess, she decides to hightail it up to rural Vermont to crash with her best friend. But then a job offer at the Sugar Maple Inn comes available, and Olivia finds herself settling down out of the city and forging connections she never thought possible.
I loved, loved, loved this one, devouring it in about two sittings. It might be a case of the book coming to me at the right time, but it hardly matters, because it was pure escapism. Something about this reminded me a little of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books, although hers might delve deeper into her characters. Even so, this was a delight from start to finish and I hope Miller has more to offer in the future.
What did you read this week?