Nearing the end of the catch-up list. Looks like tomorrow I'll be all caught up. Remind me never to be a week between posts again.
'Lola and the Boy Next Door' by Stephanie Perkins is an absolutely charming YA romance about first love and true love and friends and family and fabulous clothing and finding yourself and figure skating. Okay. Figure skating is really only tangental, but it's there. Perkins is an author who is quite adept at putting to paper all the hurt and confusion and self-centeredness of being a teenager without making you want to kill yourself or her characters. Lola is both charming and kind of an asshole, as teenagers--or anyone--can be. She's easy to root for and easy to want to smack upside the head, sometimes at the same moment. By the end of the book, I was glad and more than a little relieved that she had finally started figuring shit out. And, oh, the "Boy Next Door"? His name is Cricket, which I pretty much can't forgive, but, other than that, he's completely awesome and it's a damned good thing Lola shaped up or she never would have deserved him.
'The Stranger You Seek' by Amanda Kyle Williams is a solid, but unsurprising and fairly unexciting crime novel about an alcoholic former FBI profiler who gets brought in on a serial killer case. It wasn't bad, and I liked the character of Keye Street okay, but I'm not jonesing for the next in the series. I think the problem might be that I read too much crime fiction, so it takes something truly unique or somehow spectacular to get me excited. It's no fault of the authors', but lies entirely with me, the jaded reader.
Teri Hall's 'Away' is a sequel to 'The Line'. It's decent post-apocalyptic older-Middle-Reader fare, but I think I'm getting burned out on the post-apocalyptic thing. And on authors being coy with the causes of the apocalypsi and how the subsequent changes to society came about. It's always some vague technological or atmospherical or viral or eveolutionary "Event" (or some combination) , but it's always just "Shit happened and now the world is like this." Sometimes, an author can pull it off--usually by dropping enough clues through the narrative that an alert reader can piece together the series of events--but mostly it's just annoying. Or maybe I'm just reading too many post-apocalyptic stories written for younger readers. They can't all be 'The Hunger Games' or 'The Maze Runner' or 'Gone' and I should stop expecting them to be or just stop reading them altogether. But, I keep hoping that I'll find the next gem, rather than another series that's just okay.