Read a Book
All of these books I got at a book swap; I never would have read any of them otherwise. Lesson learned: book swaps are awesome.
The Education of Robert Nifkin reminded me of "Sideways Stories from Wayside School" but geared toward younger teens. Which makes sense because it's a Young Adult book, which I didn't realize until I was almost finished with it. It had a weird premise (a college application essay? really?) and no real story, but enough kooky characters to make it a fun evening read.
Mathilda Savitch focused on coming-of-age teen Mathilda and her family falling apart after her older sister dies. I loved the voice of the main character at the beginning of the book, but it ended up being swallowed up by the story. I did like the twist of Mathilda-as-narrator not telling the truth all of the time, but it left me wondering about the real story of her sister's death and how much of her stories and lies she believed.
I wished the story had dealt more with Mathilda's version of the events and what really happened, instead of right at the end introducing the possibility that Mathilda was more involved with her sister's death than anyone knew. It gets a Meh.
"Like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. Always."
Set in the tumultuous Middle East, A Thousand Splendid Suns follows the lives of two women who are thrust together as wives of the same abusive man. They form a strong bond in a culture where bombs routinely fall from the sky and women are routinely treated and mistreated as property of their fathers and husbands.
I read Jennifer Weiner's In Her Shoes shortly after my sister died. In my grief I was seeking out everything I could about sisterly connections, and this fit the bill perfectly. I don't remember much of the book, only that I cried most of the way through it. Then I grabbed her Good In Bed based off of some magazine suggestion and found the main character sassy and fun, different that other chick-lit characters I've known.
I found the main characters in Little Earthquakes to be carbon copies of her other characters, all very caricature-ish. Overweight main character with strong opinions and a healthy-to-the-point-of-loving-porn sex life? Perky type-A blonde who has her life planned out in 5-minute increments and won't let her bumbling, no-pants-wearing husband do anything to help? Lonely and misunderstood gorgeous mixed-ethnic wife of a national sports player? Mother figures who are overbearing, uncaring, and misunderstood? This book has it all.
It was a quick read and very predictable, just like her other books.