(P.S. I'm trying a new recap style this month—instead of listing every book I read or added to my TBR, I'll just tell you about the ones I'm most excited about.)
highlights from my reading list
I'm sure you've heard plenty of praise for this title already, but in case you're still not sold, let me add my voice to the mix: if you're a fan of emotional, gritty, realistic-but-original contemporaries, you need to read this book. It's set in an atmospherically-built small town full of characters whose close-minded outlook will make you livid as well as characters who are tragically trapped in a cycle of missed opportunities. And at the center of the story are three best friends, all of whom are fascinating to read about. Dill is trying to decipher his religious beliefs and what it means to be loyal to family after his extremely-religious minister father gets sent to prison. Lydia has a superbly relatable dream of escaping from her hometown (and runs a popular blog!). And Travis is a quiet, thoughtful, caring person who loves books as much as we do. I can't stop thinking about this book—the emotions, the setting, and more—and, especially given its 4.25 average Goodreads rating, I'm fairly sure you'll feel the same way.
This upcoming release is quiet, subtle, and stunning. Most of all, it's very timely. Told from several points of view—a girl whose superior autobiographical memory allows her to remember every tragedy she's ever witnessed or learned about, a boy whose father died on September 11, 2001, a girl who spiraled into depression after being the victim of a cyberbully, and more—it examines the roles of catastrophes (from the international to the personal) in our lives. The rotation through several characters makes the plot patchworked, but it always feels cohesive, and it always left me desperate to read another chapter. To top it all off, the story is set right after the Boston Marathon bombing, an eerily recent historical backdrop that will seem extra realistic thanks to readers' still-proximal personal memories of the event. Mark your calendars for September 13; you don't want to miss this one.
highlights from my tbr
When I first heard about this book (AKA when the cover reveal dominated my Twitter feed a couple weeks ago), I didn't even bother reading the blurb; I simply saw that Nina LaCour had a new book coming out, questioned why I didn't know earlier, and slammed the "want to read" button on Goodreads. But now that I've finally checked what this book is actually about, I'm even more excited; it centers around college students, and it's sure to feature Nina LaCour's signature emotional writing. I can't wait for February.
highlights from my life
- I went on a trip to Amsterdam! I didn't have time to do a recap post when I returned home, but I had a fantastic time. I went with my mom and my grandma, and we stopped by several museums (saving significant sums of money by using the membership cards that came with our Airbnb—an A+ benefit), took a train to Delft and the Hague, embarked on several walking tours, tried unsuccessfully to bike like the locals, and more. It was my first real trip out of the country, and I can't wait to head back to Europe (or elsewhere!) someday soon.
- I started college. A few days after returning from the Netherlands, I left home again—this time to move in to my college dorm. For those of you who don't know, I'm studying business (and probably some journalism and PR) at Indiana University's downtown Indianapolis campus. Classes have now been in session for 1.5 weeks, and while I'm feeling overwhelmed by the classwork and the major life change, I'm doing my best to make time for socializing (and, of course, for blogging!). Stay tuned for more college updates in the future.