Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Don’t mind the chewed corner.
Found this book in the Little Free Library around the corner from our house. I love those things. I read the back, thought, “This should be an easy read”, and went into it expecting a sort of in the Ruth Ware/Gilly MacMillan genre. Murder mystery/beach read deal. But no. Oh no. It was not. This book was…dark. The well-intentioned but destructive actions of family members towards one another, the misinterpretation of acts of love, the fallout of all of that…oh man. It was sad. I wouldn’t read this if you aren’t feeling particularly stable.
That being said, the book is good, so go ahead and read it if you feel up for it. (I know, I should go into sales.)
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
(Note, I did not take the above picture. I stole it from here. Let’s not pretend like I have my shit together enough to do a citrus photo shoot to match my book cover.)
Another LFL book! This book was chosen for a bookclub I was once in where the book choices veered into the relationship/love/woman-centric novels most of the time, which isn’t always my cup of tea. So when it came up for book club I read the synopsis, was like, “meh”, and just skipped it (but attended book club anyway).
Turns out I should have read it the first time around because…I liked this book a lot. I really did. It spans multiple decades and basically follows the members of a mixed family. Not super plot driven (as I mentioned, I wasn’t compelled by the back cover copy), but a great read.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Oh I loved this book. I went in having no idea what it was about. I finished the last page still not entirely sure I understand what it all means, but I so, so loved reading it. The story is like Roald Dahl meets Ray Bradbury meets Madeline L’Engle. It is dark and fantastical and scary and warm and confusing and beautiful all at the same time. It’s a book I never would have picked up if I had read the synopsis, reads like YA, and one that I was sad to see end. Haven’t read any other Neil Gaiman, so can’t speak to how it holds up to his other work. But give it a try.