Recent Reads, Double Feature: Books 24 & 25

Usually, I like to do separate posts about my books, but I finished two books before sitting down to write.
Why not do a little combo post?


Book 24 was The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe (it’s also the most recent book that Katie and I have read together). I had heard about it (it’s Thorpe’s debut novel) from a good review in Entertainment Weekly (surprise).

The book tells the story of two friends, Mia and Lorrie Ann, from Mia’s perspective. We learn about their friendship as teenagers, as Mia tells Lorrie Ann that she has scheduled an appointment for an abortion. The basic idea is that Mia is the bad seed in the relationship, which she welcomes with open arms, as she admires the beauty and perfection of Lorrie Ann and her family life. Throughout the novel, as time goes on, Mia is transfixed by the fact that, despite how wonderful a person Lorrie Ann is and how terrible and selfish Mia believes she is, Lorrie Ann’s life has been completely encompassed in bad luck.

The story is ultimately about what it means to be a woman, a mother, and how relationships change as we age.
I found this book to be a fairly quick read, and a lot of the conversations had between the two friends bring up a lot of interesting arguments. I’m not shouting from the rooftops about this novel, but I am glad I read it.
Can’t wait to talk about it with Katie!


Book 25 is Panic by Lauren Oliver. Not only is this the second Lauren Oliver book I’ve read, it’s also the second Lauren Oliver book I’ve read this year. You may recall that I had many great things to say about Before I Fall.
She has a trilogy of books, and now Panic is her most recent novel, a stand-alone book.

Panic is the story of Heather, Dodge, and a game called Panic that occurs every summer in a small, boring town called Carp. There’s nothing else to do, so the seniors give money that ends up accumulating until the summer after their graduation, and then the winner takes the pot. The thing about Panic is that the stakes are always high. People have died in the past completing the challenges. Heather joins Panic on an impulse…she feels as though there is nothing left to lose.
Dodge, meanwhile, has been plotting revenge via entering the games for years. The story switches between Heather’s life and Dodge’s life, both third-person narrative.

I think this book had a lot of potential. The high-stakes game provided the occasional thrill, but it definitely could’ve been more exciting. And the end, which I don’t want to ruin, was so anti-climactic. It felt abrupt and so happily-ever-after. I think it was guaranteed to have a good ending, everything falling into place but…it felt forced and random.

A challenge update: I’m 63% done (1 book behind)!
My only problem is narrowing down the books I want to read. Over 50 unread books on the Kindle, so many unread books (old and new) that I’ve bought. And, of course, the library…sigh….

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