Deftly avoiding the problem of the Robinson Crusoe tale that bogs down in repetitious behavior, Weir uses Watney’s proactive nature and determination to survive to keep the story escalating to a riveting conclusion.
Intense character studies complement the realistic plot. Hawkins creatively uses the unreliable narrator as "The Girl on the Train" alternates among the first-person recollections of Rachel, Anna and Megan...Hawkins delivers an original debut that keeps the exciting momentum of "The Girl on the Train" going until the last page.
I could hardly find the courage to turn the page. Almost 40 years later, I've changed, the world has changed, the planet has changed — and Stephen King is still scaring the hell out of me.
Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.
...The Ocean at the End of the Lane is not only for adults who remember being children, but, perhaps more importantly, for those who’ve forgotten.
It felt like watching a long-awaited, much-touted extreme martial arts match end in a tie. At least I learned something about Dante, Florence, and the H+ movement—and it was more fun than a typical history lesson.
Although not deeply interested in the astrological symbolism, I was appreciative of Catton’s story-telling prowess and enraptured of her characters. In persuading us to fall in love with them, she accomplished her goal.
Fey has a great sense of pace and timing . . .and a love of language that echoes early Nora Ephron and, before that, the marvelous Jean Kerr.
Though it does not represent Harper Lee’s best work, it does reveal more starkly the complexity of Atticus Finch, her most admired character. “Go Set a Watchman” demands that its readers abandon the immature sentimentality ingrained by middle school lessons about the nobility of the white savior...
Joyland is a small marvel of a book, a novel of loss and heartbreak, of growth and discovery, a book that combines a coming-of-age story with a mystery, supernatural elements with keen human intimacy...
Wein balances the horrors of war against genuine heroics, delivering a well-researched and expertly crafted adventure.
With Asperger’s growing visibility in pop culture in recent years, as on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, this novel is perfectly timed.
Skloot narrates the science lucidly, tracks the racial politics of medicine thoughtfully and tells the Lacks family’s often painful history with grace.
...the story is so complex and so intricately woven that it does not lend itself to summary...But it is involving, zigging and zagging, going where least (or never) expected...
An exhilarating narrative and a future we can fear and believe in.
But Between the World and Me is no ordinary book, and the writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates...is no ordinary writer. This personal account, written in the form of a letter to his 15-year-old son, who has experienced great emotional pain around the Ferguson incident wherein police killed Michael Brown, this personal account demands a personal response.
An artfully balanced mystery, thriller and coming-of-age story, Louise Erdrich's "The Round House" is the gripping tale of the effects of violence on a family.
Zusak's descriptions of a childhood in Nazi Germany were absorbing...This one adds another layer and shows that suffering wasn't limited to those the Nazis sought to invade or destroy. For that reason and for all the ones I outline above, I highly recommend The Book Thief. I can say without hesitation it's the best book I've read all year.
One weak link, though, does not undo the novel. Mr Mitchell has conjured up multiple thrilling worlds, enough for the reader to get happily lost in.
...The Orphan Master's Son deserves a place up there with dystopian classics such as Nineteen Eighty-four and Brave New World...