Ah, yes. The lure of summer, with its long sultry days spent out by the pool with a dog-eared novel or two. Hot , lazy nights spent with only the quiet whir of the air conditioning unit and a good romance . Wait, what? You don’t have any idea what I’m talking about? Me either. I’m clearly delusional. In Miss Riki’s world, this summer has been non-stop with summer coursework. Yes, it sounded like a great idea to get 14 college credits out of the way in only 10 short weeks, and yes, it will be fantastic when it is over. However, at this moment I am not so keen on the grueling schedule and even less thrilled that my personal reading time has suffered.
For those of you who missed my initial post on this topic, I have decided to embark on a most enjoyable challenge to read 52 books in 2012. I have chosen the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge in which I select my own goal, and a book a week is what I came up with as truly doable this year. Each month I will give you an update on where I am in the challenge and what books I was lucky enough to indulge in. I’ll also include a link to Amazon for each book in case you would like to pick a read up for yourself.
In the month of July I have read two books and according to the graph on Goodreads, I am at 44% of my goal, which is six books (12%) behind. I’m choosing to not dwell on my reading goal shortcomings and focus on the fact that I have completed 23 of my planned 52 books already and have had a grand time enjoying them!
Stolen by Lucy Christopher-Completed July 3rd
In Lucy Christopher’s second novel, she brings us the story of 16-year old Gemma, who is drugged and abducted from the Bangkok airport where she is traveling with her parents. From there Christopher draws us in with the story of Gemma and her mysterious abductor Ty. The book is written in the form of a letter from Gemma to her abductor, which can be frustrating to read sometimes. At first the very limited point of view leaves the reader wondering about Ty’s motivations, but as the book progresses it becomes clear that Gemma’s story could not have been written in any other way. In order for us to understand her ordeal, we must be dragged into her every thought and feeling.
This book will leave you torn between emotions of pity, love, and horror for what Ty has done to Gemma. You will begin to understand how her feelings for her abductor change and confuse her. Testing other alliances, I also found myself wondering about her parents and their love for their daughter.
Stolen is gripping and fast-paced, fraught with emotional drama and action. Nothing untoward or sexual happens between Gemma and Ty, making this book well-suited for the teen reader, but adult readers will appreciate the well-written characters and intense emotional struggles.
I would recommend this book to mature teens and adults alike. Lucy Christopher has crafted a masterful work of fiction.
The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner-Completed July 5th
I have to start out by saying that I am a big Jennifer Weiner fan. Anything by the author that brought us Cannie Shapiro in Good in Bed cannot be bad. I have read all of Weiner’s books and have loved every one of them. I was extremely eager to check out her latest novel. Since I follow the author on Twitter, I was aware of each passing moment until the book came out and even had it pre-ordered. So, was it everything I had hoped it would be? Yes, and more!
The heroine of this novel set in the cruel world of Hollywood is Ruth Saunders, who sets off to make her dream of becoming a screenwriter come true. The twist in Ruth’s story is that she makes the trek to Hollywood with her beloved seventy-year-old grandma by her side. Without ruining anything key for the reader, Ruth’s sitcom The Next Best Thing gets picked up and the story takes off from there. Along the way I realized that I was totally and completely in love with Ruth’s wonderful grandmother, as well as Ruth’s love interest, Little Dave. He is flawed and perfect all rolled up into one tidy little package.
Weiner’s writing in this novel is witty and fast-paced, which is right in line with her previous work. While I laughed out loud in parts, Weiner also develops the relationship between Ruth and her grandmother in such a tender and revealing way. The plot twist at the end draws the perfect conclusion to Ruth’s story. I was grinning from ear-to-ear and turning pages at lightning speed to find out how things worked out, and then was promptly sad it was all over.
I highly recommend this book, and if you aren’t familiar with Jennifer Weiner, get with the program and read her other novels. *On a side note, she is hysterical on Twitter (@jenniferweiner) and does a fantastic commentary during the television program, The Bachelorette. Check her out. If you need more laughter in your life, you won’t be disappointed.
I am looking forward to the end of the summer when I have a few weeks of peace to get caught up on my goal. As usual I look forward to hearing your book recommendations and hearing your thoughts on my featured books.