This novel tells the story of Alice, a very successful professor of cognitive psychology at Harvard, who is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s disease, and slowly starts to lose not only her memory, but the life she’s worked so hard to build.
This book has been on my “to-read” list for a very long time. Writing about a topic like this can be tough because although Alice’s story is fiction, the disease that plagues her is not, so it’s important to represent the disease in the most real possible way. I think this book is worth the hype for the most part, but for me the ending left me wanting a little bit more. I wasn’t totally left out to dry, but I wasn’t satisfied either. Maybe the movie will have more to offer?
Love May Fail by Matthew Quick (3 stars)
This novel is told from 4 different points of view, but the main character is Portia Kane, who finds out her husband is cheating on her and abandons her life in Florida to move back to her hometown in Jersey. Portia looks to find new meaning in her life and makes it her mission to find and save the one person who always believed in her, her high school english teacher, Mr. Vernon.
You may recognize the author of this book as the same author who wrote the huge hit, Silver Linings Playbook. Although I never read SLP (I saw the movie and I loved it) I’ve heard good things about Quick’s writing style and decided to give one of his other books a chance. This book kept a good pace and was interesting from start to finish. I read it quickly and really liked two of the four narrators. The ending was completely predicable and not creative at all in my mind, but overall it was an easy enjoyable read.
The Martian by Andy Weir (4 stars)
The Martian tells the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut who was presumed to be dead by his crew, after they are mixed up in a horrible sandstorm while landing on Mars. Mark has to find some way to make contact with Earth to tell them he’s alive and then he has to survive long enough for them to rescue him.
I’ve been seeing the previews for this movie all over and I’m pumped to see the movie so I knew I had to read the book first. By the way, Matt Damon is a phenomenally cast as Mark Watney in my mind. Anyway, moving on. This book is very technical. Meaning there is A LOT of science talk. I hate science. Like I hate science with the power of 14,948 joules per kilowatt (see what I did there). So for me, the science talk bored me, like bored me a lot. That being said this book was still incredible. Had the science stuff not bothered me as much I would have given it a 5 star rating.
How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz (3 stars)
This novel tells the story of 3 friends, Kate, Anna and George, who meet in college and form a bond that lasts through out their adult lives. Of course, there is ups and downs for all the girls, and their friendship grows weak and then strong again throughout those ups and downs, but the 3 girls face life and it’s problems head on, together.
I honestly don’t have a lot to say about this book other than I liked it. I didn’t really like it. I didn’t love it. I didn’t not like it. I just liked it. That’s it. Sometimes you read novels like these and all of the main characters seem extremely similar in personality and problems, but I appreciated the fact that the author gave all three of the girls their own distinctive personalities. In a lot of ways this book reminded me of Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan, which I also liked.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (4 stars)
This novel is about a man called Ove (no shit, right?). Ove is a curmudgeon in the most extreme way. but of course we learn his bitterness towards everything and everybody is only because he has a broken past and a sad story. Life is pretty awful for Ove until one day a chatty young couple with two kids and one more on the way move in next door. He wants nothing to do with them of course, but the same can’t be said for them.
I loved Ove from start to finish, and I loved how the book unfolded, with us learning about his past little by little while also keeping up with the events in the present. This book was absolutely adorable and heartwarming to me.
Side note: I actually have a friend named Ove and I had never in my entire life heard of that name before. In fact, I thought it was the strangest name I had ever heard of at the time when I first met him. Am I just out of the loop and this is a totally popular name? Anyone?