Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
I was a little worried about the book in the first half because the suspense build up was slow, but it definitely picked up. The story is one of a small suburb in Sydney filled with meddling and gossiping parents who are too involved in their young childrens’ lives. The tension begins with an alleged bullying incident between two 5 year olds at kindergarten orientation, and it escalates within 6 months to the potential murder of a parent at a school fundraiser. The suspense is generated through quotes of biased parents being interviewed about their account of the night of the death, but you don’t know who died or how it happened until you actually reach the chapter dedicated to that night. And that chapter is a doozy!
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Have you ever been in a relationship where all of a sudden you realize that everything is going wrong, and you don’t know how you got there? Landline follows the story of Georgie McCool who chooses to stay and work over the Christmas holidays rather than join her husband and kids on a trip to Nebraska, knowing it would exacerbate the other existing problems with her marriage. With her family away and her marriage collapsing, she spends time at her mother’s house in the evenings, where she discovers that her old bedroom landline phone allows her to talk to her husband, well mysteriously her husband when he was just her boyfriend years ago, with her present day perspective. Are these conversations enough to show Georgie her next steps? The book was an easy, enjoyable read.
Just One Day/Year/Night Series by Gayle Forman
I absolutely loved Forman’s two-book series chronicling the love story of Mia and Adam: If I Stay and Where She Went. I had hoped to have the same experience with this follow-up trilogy. The story was good, but not that stimulating, so I’m keeping it in the Lazy Weekend category. The first book takes the viewpoint of an unhappy girl on a post-high school graduation organized tour of Europe. She makes a connection with a guy who was acting in a street version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The next day, after coincidentally bumping into him on the train, he convinces her to spend her last day before going home with him in Paris. The second book is from his perspective and tells the story of what happened the year after the day in Paris. Finally, the trilogy concludes with a reunion.
The Curiosity: A Novel – Stephen P. Kiernan
The premise of The Curiosity was intriguing. Scientists are hunting in the arctic circle for a particular type of iceberg that is known to contain small organisms that were instantly frozen, ending their lives, thereby making them prime candidates for their reanimation experiment. This trip, they find something bigger than a collection of frozen krill. This trip, they find a man. The book explores the multi-faceted ethical dilemma of reanimating this man, who froze to death when he went overboard in 1906. The book suffers from the author’s choice to rotate narration between four of the main characters: the greedy head of the study, a irrationally over-sympathetic scientist, a suspicious reporter, and a reanimated man who has missed over 100 years of history. Exposing all the flaws of these characters made me dislike them and dismiss their narration efforts. I even got annoyed by the frozen man because he was just plain boring. Would you be boring if you work up and so much to learn and see? He missed two world wars, television, internet, globalization, etc. for gosh sakes! There’s only so long before a comparison of how manners and customs have changed becomes tedious and unoriginal.