Books Read in February & March

Not a ton of reading going on lately. I’m still in the middle of a couple of books and I’ve embarked on an exciting new journey which I will post about soon. Meanwhile, here are the two f books I’ve managed to finish in the last couple of months.

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“Exactly Where They’d Fall” a novel by Laura Rae Amos

Jodie hated adorable things: happy couples, children, puppies, hugs.

Being able to read and reflect on this book is a special treat since it is by a friend of mine. We used to be in a fantastic writing group that fell part after most of the members, one by one moved out of state. Sad for me, great moves for them. Laura continued her writing, found a new group and worked her butt off and finally self-published this novel. Big congrats!

There’s a love triangle, but not your typical one. Jodie and Amelia were close, almost like sisters since Amelia was dating Jodie’s brother. After he breaks up with her and real life intrudes with all of its demands, the women are stuck together in the same circle of friends. Amelia, wary of love, finally decides to open her heart to Drew, part of their close knit group. As they plunge headlong into a future together, Jodie is left on the sidelines, remembering one night long ago with Drew and feelings she is not sure what to do with. Should she ignore them or say something risking her relationships with everyone? This story spans about seven months in the lives of a group of friends as the precarious balance of trust and friendship and love is tested.

What I learned: I love how this novel is structured. That is something I often struggle with . Once the structure is nailed down it becomes a container for the story. Besides dividing the story into months, each chapter has its own decimal and unique title.

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” a YA novel by Stephen Chbosky

Dear friend,

I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.

I admit it. I saw the movie before I read the book. I always try to do it the other way around but that’s just how it worked out this time. Both ended up being fabulous, which is rarely the case. Who can’t love Charlie? His story just sucked me back into those intense high school days. The characters are so rich and textured. The story begs you to turn the page. Sure, Charlie has been compared to Holden Caulfield and I can see that but he is so much more, I think. Charlie has the angst but he also has this purity of hope that I don’t remember from “Catcher in the rye.” Maybe it’s been too long since I’ve read it.

What I learned: How much I love a simple, honest voice telling the story.