Saturday, August 2, 2014

Book Reviews for July

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This book is a lovely racing-as-a-metaphor-for-life-told-from-a-dog's-POV story. I know. There's no precedent for that. But it works.

This book made me literally sob. I loved it.

Adult fiction.

Warnings on: language, sexual situations, thematic material

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

This is an award-winning book, so the copy I read was covered with stickers, obscuring the beautifully designed cover. Note to the world: please stop putting stickers on my books.

This coming-of-age story is told from Aristotle's point of view, as he meets and gets to know an unusual boy named Dante. An exploration of identity and friendship, this is a book that would be perfect for readers looking for more YA books featuring diversity.

Warnings on: language, sexual situations, brief violence

Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida by Victor Martinez

I read a lot of award-winners, so I have to deal with a lot of stickers. This makes me mildly crazy. Books don't need stickers. Unless they're sticker books.

Here is another diverse book. A lush coming-of-age, the story of Manny is told in vibrant vignettes. This family and their neighborhood jump off the page.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

This book was written by a guy with a very polarizing style (critical responses to his work are pretty much divided down the middle between haters and lovers) whose debut novel made people sit up and take notice. It's about Oskar, a boy who goes on a quest to find meaning in his father's death. It is laden with imagery, both in the prose and in the literal images added as part of the narrative.

This book reminded me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. If you liked that, it's possible you'll like this too.

Adult fiction. Warnings on: language.

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