Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Slew of reviews
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
This review is long overdue, as I read and enjoyed this book a while ago now. It’s really a wonderful story of a friendship I can’t say much that isn’t in all the rave reviews out there, but if you haven’t heard the funny story about Weiner’s potty-mouth on her book tour, here is an article about that. I attended her reading at the Framingham Barnes & Noble of the “sternly-worded email” and I’m pretty sure it had to originate with the lady in the orange sweater who repeatedly reminded us of the rules for the book reading and signing and who can’t possibly be a Jennifer Weiner fan. Despite the fact that I don’t usually buy books (and an unemployed) I bought a copy to be signed and told her she could swear in my inscription. She didn’t, but punctuated it with a verbal “Enjoy, bitch!” which is good enough for me. As you may suspect from her writing, Jennifer Weiner is hilarious – if you ever have a chance to attend one of her readings, be sure to do so!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Katniss lived in a future US where each of the 12 isolated districts must give up one boy and one girl every year to the Capitol to take part in a televised fight-to-the-death event known as the Hunger Games. As someone who intensely dislikes reality tv, I appreciate this dystopian view in which it is taken to a bloody extreme and used to keep the population complacent. I don’t want to give anything away – you should read it for yourself – but will just say that I haven’t been this sucked into a book for a while. A great story well told. (The second book in this trilogy is out this fall!)
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
This has been on my list for a while and now that I’ve finally gotten around to reading it, I’ve found that 100 pages in it’s time to give up. The basic premise is that Kathy has just been evicted from the house she inherited, which Behrani then bought at auction and has moved in with his family unaware of the legal battle that is now brewing. Behrani is a familiar, and sympathetic, character; an immigrant who has been forced to take the kind of jobs he never would have had to resort to in his native country, purchasing the house represents a long-awaited step towards the American dream. But I quickly grew tired of Kathy’s story and, honestly, wouldn’t care if she ended up living in her car for the rest of her pathetic life. Had she actually opened her mail and taken a little bit of responsibility, her eviction wouldn’t have been a surprise, nor would it necessarily have happened at all. But she just lets everything in her life happen to her, her actions too little too late. I couldn’t get much of a handle on her character or why she was this way, and her budding relationship with the policeman who helped evict her was painful to read about. Perhaps if I read to the end of the book I would understand the critical acclaim and rave reviews, but frankly I have more interesting things on hold at the library.