First up we have The Hate List by Jennifer Brown reviewed by Ali at Worducopia
I'd seen a couple of other reviews of this book around the same time as Ali's review, but I liked the inclusion of a Love List on this review. It makes me happy making Love Lists. I'll share one with you coming soon. There's also a playlist for the book. An interesting concept.
This book does sound quite powerful though and quite emotional. Not one to enter reading lightly, I think.
Blurb from Amazon: Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend opened fire on their school cafeteria, killing five students and one teacher before turning the gun on himself. Valerie, who was shot trying to stop him, is initially implicated in the shootings because of the hate list she helped create. The hate list her boyfriend used to pick his targets. As Valerie integrates back into school, more of an outsider than she ever thought she was before, she is forced to confront her feelings of guilt and loneliness. Exploring the gray area between hero and villain, she navigates the rocky relationships with her family, her former friends, with the memory of the boyfriend she still loves, and with the girl whose life she saved five months ago. As she moves toward graduation and the year anniversary of the shooting, Valerie must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it all in order to make amends and move on with her life.
The next one seem to be any more cheerful...
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer reviewed by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness
I tried reading Jonathan Safran Foer previous book, Everything Is Illuminated, but I didn't make it very far into it before I gave up. It would have been very easy to dismiss this book in the same way, until I read Kim's review. She gives it an A+ and admits to lots of crying. Sounds really powerful and emotional, plus Oskar sounds like a fun little kid with all of hs quirks. I'm slightly worried about some aspects of the writing format, but I'm pretty convinced that I will read this. Soon.
Amazon says: Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he disovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.
This list isn't all about depressing books, next we have The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld reviewed by Diane over at Five Minutes Peace
I've never read anything by Curtis Sittenfeld, and hadn't even heard much about Sittenfeld's other books, including American Wife, but what caught me in the review, was when Diane writes..
'Women who were teenagers in the 90s, or who have tendency to social awkwardness will especially relate to this book'
..which HA! describes me perfectly. How about you?
Blurby thing from Amazon:
In the summer of 1991, Hannah Gavener is fourteen. In the magazines she reads, celebrities plan elaborate weddings; in Hannah's own life, her parents' marriage is crumbling.
Over the next decade and a half, as Hannah moves from Philadelphia to Boston to Albuquerque, she finds that the answers to love's most bewildering questions become more rather than less complicated. At what point can you no longer blame your adult failures on your messed-up childhood? Is settling for someone who's not your soul mate an act of maturity or an admission of defeat? And if you move to another state for a man who might not love you back, are you being brave, or pathetic?
Full of honesty and humour, The Man of My Dreams is an unnervingly insightful and beautifully written examination of the outside forces and personal choices that make us who we are.
Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas reviewed by Natasha at Maw Books Blog
OK, this goes back to depressing. I couldn't find a proper product description at Amazon, but it's the story of Anke and her family as they suffer under the abuses of her father, whether it be mental, emotional, physical abuse, or of neglect. It's written in verse, and I'm finding that I absolutely adore verse novels. Though the subject matter of this is heartbreaking, I feel like novels such as this are important to read.
And to wrap this up, we have Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck reviewed by caribousmom
The bit in caribou's review that caught my eye was the comparison between Tortilla Flat and King Arthur and the knights of the round table and 'their skewed view of morality' I like that it's Steinbeck, that it's short and apparently, funny.
Amazon says: Steinbeck's first major critical and commercial success, TORTILLA FLAT is also his funniest novel. Danny is a paisano, descended from the original Spanish settlers who arrived in Monterey, California, centuries before. He values friendship abovemoney and possessions, so that when he suddently inherits two houses, Danny is quick to offer shelter to his fellow gentlemen of the road. Their love of freedom and scorn for material things draw them into daring and often hilarious adventures. Until Danny, tiring of his new reponsibilities, suddenly disappears...