The Great Mariano

jess.jpgIt’s been more than a few days and I still cannot get over the Gilmore Girls revival brought to Netflix on November 25. I began watching this show at the end of August when one of my friends told me that I remind her a lot of Rory. Before the opening credits of the first episode, I was hooked. Not only because I do see a lot of myself in Chilton-age Rory, but because of the fast-paced, intelligent, frequently book-based banter that takes place.

Rory was someone I found myself admiring, even at 22, a significant number of years older than the show’s young protagonist. She was driven, determined to make it to the Ivy League despite the hardships her and her mother faced early on in their journey together. She was also absorbed by classic literature, drawn in by the words of the literary greats, yet well-rounded and social as well. She had everything going for her.  Continue reading

The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards

devil.jpgIt was the job she had dreamed of since childhood. But on her very first day, when an unnerving encounter drags up memories Sophie Greenwood would rather forget, she wonders if she has made a mistake. A fatal mistake.

What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie’s predecessor? When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years.

As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job…before it kills her.*

I had just 60 pages left in this book when I closed up the library I work at last night. 60! It doesn’t seem like a lot, but in a thriller, there is no end to the amount of crazy things that can happen in 60 pages. The entire two-hour drive home (gotta love rush hour on Long Island), I found myself wishing that I had the audiobook so I could end the suspense. I shouldn’t have been so surprised, considering I read half of this book in a day–it’s addicting. Continue reading

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The VegetarianA beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul
 
Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams—invasive images of blood and brutality—torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.
 
Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman’s struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.* Continue reading

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

thanks for the troubleTommy Wallach, the New York Times bestselling author of the “stunning debut” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) We All Looked Up, delivers a brilliant new novel about a young man who overcomes a crippling loss and finds the courage to live after meeting an enigmatic girl.

“Was this story written about me?”
I shrugged.
“Yes or no?”
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty.
“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.
I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote on my palm.
I can’t, I wrote. Then, in tiny letters below it: Now don’t you feel like a jerk? Continue reading

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

everyone brave is forgiven

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Little Bee, a spellbinding novel about three unforgettable individuals thrown together by war, love, and their search for belonging in the ever-changing landscape of WWII London.

It’s 1939 and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin.

Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known. Continue reading

Happy February!

I can’t believe it’s already February! One month closer to summer! I don’t have any plans set for summer yet, but aside from hopefully getting a job/internship I’ll finally have time to read all the books I bought around Christmas and haven’t had a chance to get to yet. I’m most excited right now for the Lunar Chronicles because a couple of my friends have read them recently and loved them! Continue reading

The Travelers by Chris Pavone

the travelersIt’s 3:00am. Do you know where your husband is?
 
Meet Will Rhodes: travel writer, recently married, barely solvent, his idealism rapidly giving way to disillusionment and the worry that he’s living the wrong life. Then one night, on assignment for the award-winning Travelers magazine in the wine region of Argentina, a beautiful woman makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Soon Will’s bad choices—and dark secrets—take him across Europe, from a chateau in Bordeaux to a midnight raid on a Paris mansion, from a dive bar in Dublin to a mega-yacht in the Mediterranean and an isolated cabin perched on the rugged cliffs of Iceland. As he’s drawn further into a tangled web of international intrigue, it becomes clear that nothing about Will Rhodes was ever ordinary, that the network of deception ensnaring him is part of an immense and deadly conspiracy with terrifying global implications—and that the people closest to him may pose the greatest threat of all.
 
It’s 3:00am. Your husband has just become a spy.* Continue reading