Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately.
This is total coincidence, but this past month I happened to finally finish one book my daughter’s been begging me to read for months and three books I’ve been meaning to read for YEARS. Plus one new release (that I’ve nevertheless been meaning to read since Christmas!)
I've been meaning to read this 2006 novel for ages: it's been highly recommended by my local booksellers and a few friends with good taste. But whoa, it was NOT what I was expecting! I was expecting a Very Serious Literary Book, and instead it *almost* read like YA. The narrator is Blue van Meer, a teenager who has been moving from town to town with her father ever since her mother died, accompanying him to each of his short-term professorial stints at tiny liberal arts colleges across the country. Her senior year of high school, her father declares they will spend the whole year in one place, and Blue falls in with an enigmatic teacher and a hand-picked group of students she's gathered around her. The whole book is strongly reminiscent of The Secret History, yet despite this I still didn't see that big left turn coming. Smart, snappy, and interesting.More info →
My 9-year-old adored this Beverly Cleary title (that I'd never heard of until this year!) and has been begging me to read it for months. It was even one of her 3 favorites when she was a guest on the What Should I Read Next podcast. I finally tracked down a copy and read it in an hour. It's the same Beverly Cleary we know and love, although this one is aimed at a slightly younger audience than the Henry and Ramona books we love so much around here.More info →
I'd heard enthusiastic reviews about this new release, but was intimidated by its length. If you cringe at a page count that's 500+, don't worry: it's a relatively fast read. The title character takes her name from her startling origins: as a tiny infant, she's found in a snowbank by a young heiress, who persuades her parents to take her into the family. Amy Snow is subsequently raised by this wealthy family, an uneasy combination of companion and servant. Years later, when Amy is just seventeen, the heiress dies, but she's left behind letters that send Amy on a treasure hunt of sorts all over England. Lovers of gentle historical fiction (think Susan Meissner, or a toned-down Kate Morton) will enjoy this. Published June 7 2016.More info →
What have YOU been reading lately?