Sunday, August 03, 2008
A Little Sunday Reading v. 14
I'm not sure how I feel about this but two of my recent reads involved torrent love and....arson. Strange. I don't know that I've ever read a single book that involved arson and then BAM! two in one week.

Both were fantastic...albeit a little dark. But fantastic.

The first was The Outcast by Sadie Jones. This book was so desperate and so sad. Yet it was so well-written that when I wanted to put it down and step away from the depression and darkness I couldn't! I was completely immersed in the story. Completely. All the details (including the pain and loss) were so vivid, I felt like it was a memoir.

Lewis, a troubled teen, returns home from incarceration and tries to deal with the consequences of his decisions. The tale weaves the story of many characters all suffering from particular demons and regrets. The characters are all so similar that you love and hate them all (almost) equally. My heart broke on each page for one reason or another.

There was one turn in the plot that annoyed me so it isn't perfect. And I felt the book was a little bit *too* dark at times. Jones could have given us a bit more hope. But the writing was outstanding. One of the best books of 2008 to be sure.

The second arson themed book was Endless Love by Scott Spencer. Never heard of it? Me neither but it was recommended to me t
hrough the site "What should I read next?" when I typed in Charles Baxter. It is touted as the best story about young love. I love Baxter. I love how he portrays love, loss, jealously....everything, really. Baxter is awesome. I was skeptical of this recommendation. I had never heard of it and I thought the title was totally cliche. But with a publication date of 1979 (the year I was born), I decided it was fate! So I picked it up.

Once I started reading, I could not put it down. The story and characters were truly riveting. The thing I still can't get over was how intimate the writing was. So intimate. I felt I was privy to the most secret of all secrets. And I was constantly blushing. I felt uncomfortable for and by the characters. I love books that make me feel uncomfortable.

While I adored this book, I am hesitant to recommend it to others because of one aspect--the sex. This book was over sexed and the reason it doesn't get 5 stars. I'm no prude. But this book was too much. At some points it was necessary to make the reader feel the desperation and yearning of the characters. But most times, I felt the sex was a gimmick.

The writing, even during the sex scenes, was breathtaking. I pretty much covet Spencer's writing style. Loved the details he shared and the ones he let me infer.

These books were perfect companions. They were so similar in so many ways that I felt I was reading a continuation of stories. Young people in love, arson....what more could you ask for?

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Blogger Suzy said...

Hi. I just moseyed on over from Quaker Dave's blog. I just want to say that I read Endless Love some years ago, and I think your review is pretty much spot on. Compelling, but oversexed. Kind of like a teenager. Plus, I kept remembering a review of the movie that described Brooke Shields' eyebrows as wooly bear caterpillars ...

I love book reviews. Thanks.

Blogger Andi said...

Love it. The first paragraph made me laugh out loud. This happens to me too that books that are unexpectedly thematically linked pop up in my reading. It's sort of disconcerting sometimes.

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