I’ve had my eye on these new releases for months, and I’m sure many of you have, too.
Here’s the lowdown on three of summer’s hot new releases.
by JoJo Moyes
Release date: July 1
It was almost what I expected: an entertaining novel that won’t win any prizes for great literature, but is nevertheless un-put-down-able. But the plot was unlike Moyes’s previous works, focusing on a single mom, her weird kids, and a geeky tech guy.
Of note: blogging ends up playing a small but significant role. I’ve gotta admit I liked that part.
I listened to this book on Audible, which I really enjoyed. The story is told from four different points of view, with different voices for each. (New Audible customers can listen to it for free.)
by Liane Moriarty
Release date: July 29
Ever since I read—and loved—What Alice Forgot, my expectations for Moriarty’s novels have been alarmingly high.
Her latest focuses on three Aussie moms who have children in the same kindergarten class. We know from the prologue that the book culminates with a murder at the school’s trivia night fundraiser; what we don’t know is who, or how.
At first, I was bewildered by the tone and format. I enjoyed it much more once I realized it was quite similar to Baz Luhrman’s awesomely ridiculous screwball ’80s movie Strictly Ballroom.
Don’t read Big Little Lies straight. (Oh, calamity. That’s a mistake.) Read it as a satirical take on the strange relationships of kindy moms, and you just might enjoy it. (But pay close attention to how adroitly Moriarty addresses domestic violence. That plot line was all too real, and I hope proves to be an empowering one for readers who have been in Celeste’s shoes.)
But if you’ve never read a Liane Moriarty novel, start with What Alice Forgot.
by Rainbow Rowell
Release date: July 8, 2014
It’s possible Landline is a helpless victim of my high expectations, but I didn’t love it. It’s aimed at adults, but reads like young YA. The voice feels immature, and all wrong for the storyline. The discrepancy is jarring.
The “landline” of the title is a magical yellow rotary phone that can call the past. I’m perfectly willing to roll with a fantastical plot line if the story is good, but I need some good material to work with.
There is some good writing here, and a sweet backstory here, which draws attention to why people make the choices they do, and how relationships drift over time.
If you’re really curious, I don’t think you’ll feel like you totally wasted a few hours of your life by giving Landline a try. But prepare to be underwhelmed.
Have you read any of these yet? Are you planning on it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in comments.