Friday, July 29, 2016

Vacation Reads 2016

Hey guys, I just got back from a family vacation, which means a few things. One: Summer is going to start winding down, and two: I've just been reading a ton of things. I had some long drives and some days at the beach for reading--my favorite things.

I started by reading My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. I mentioned this in my last post, and the first impression still stands: it was hilarious. And I really loved it. Then I read This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which I also mentioned. I'm still not quite sure about this one.

I also read Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I've been watching Parks and Recreation, and I've been wanting to read this for a while, so I did! And I loved it! I loved her stories about starting out in comedy, and the stories about her life during SNL and Parks and Rec. 

Then I read Sophie Kinsella's I've Got Your Number. I'd never read a Sophie Kinsella book before, but this one was really good. It's about a woman who loses her engagement ring and then her phone, so when she finds a new phone, she decides to use that one instead. After all, she needs a phone for people to contact her in case they find her ring. But the phone comes with old contacts (Kind of a complicated synopsis for how predictable it was, but okay). This one was super fluffy, just what I wanted. Seriously, part of it was like straight out of a romantic comedy. 

I read The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle next. Oh my gosh. If you're looking for a funny YA while you wait for Jesse Andrews to write another book, try this one. It's about a boy who wants to write screenplays, but hasn't written or really come out of his house since his sister died. It doesn't sound like it would be funny or heartwarming, but it is. Once more, I can't overstate the amount of times I laughed out loud while reading this.

Okay, then I went for a classic beach read: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I've been really enjoying "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812", a Broadway musical, and so I picked up this 1400-page beauty. And I. LOVED. IT. It was so good and I loved so many of the characters. The only problem with reading this is that now I kind of want to read Anna Karenina, and I've got other things to read now.

I re-read Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, as I do every year at the beach. It's so good in so many ways--it's hilarious, it's feminist, and it's got commercial breaks. What else could you want??

In other really great, light beach reads, I read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I think I've read all of her books now. Each time, I find myself going, "huh. I didn't actually like those characters. And I'm pretty disturbed." But I read them all, didn't I? So, make of that what you will.

Right before we left for vacation, I grabbed Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein because it looked cute and I needed some fluff to balance out the Gillian Flynn and the enormous Russian novel. It's about a girl and boy whose moms have organized for them to carpool to school. The first fourth of the book, I really disliked the characters, especially June's condescending attitude about high school, but by the halfway mark, I was into it, and she didn't seem so annoying anymore. And then by the end, I was really happy with it.

I also read Saga, volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I can't talk about the synopsis too much, because it could spoil earlier volumes. Just know that it's a great series and I can't wait for the next volume.

Finally, I read The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. It's about a family on the verge of getting their trust fund, but there are complications. This is another one where I didn't really like the characters (except Louisa and Nora, the twins), but I liked the story. And I'm such a sucker for stories about families and about growing up. So, I was pretty much going to like it no matter what.

It was a good vacation with a lot of good books--I think my favorite was probably War and Peace, actually. How can you not love an extremely long Russian novel about war where all of the character's names are like one letter off from each other? I'm going to see if I can read some more good books at home. Up next: Lumberjanes Volume 4! 

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