Tater’s July 2022 in Books

It was the second month in a row of reading 5 books. I could probably finish at least one more if my book club books didn’t always slow me down.

Here’s what I read

1. We Regret to Inform You by Ariel Kaplan

Mischa Abramavicius seems to be the perfect candidate for college admissions. High GPA, high SAT, plenty of extracurriculars, etc. When she is rejected by every college, even her safety school, she is shocked. As she investigates why she was rejected she finds something that will shake the community of Blanchard Prep.

This was a decent YA book even though there were several holes in the plot. It has the standard YA tropes: poor girl bullied by a rich girl at fancy school, secretly in love with your best friend, a kid being pressured to do what their parent want over what they want, etc. Given all of that, it was still an enjoyable way to spend a couple of days,

2. This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

A YA zombie novel. When the zombie apocalypse begins, six students take cover in their high school. The typical drama ensues.

Typical drama, but Summers is a fantastic author and does it so well. One teen blames another for the death of his parents. One wouldn’t be sad to be eaten by the zombies. A stoner becomes the unlikely leader. Don’t get too attached to anyone. Summers isn’t afraid to break your heart. This was a very good book. I recommend pretty much everything she has written.

3. Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin

Nepenthe is a company that specializes in removing unwanted memories for people. There are two types of clients: self-informed and self-confidential. The self-confidential client also wants the memory of the memory erasure removed. When Nepenthe loses a court case after some clients have trace memories, they must inform all of the self-confidential patients of their procedure. We follow Oscar, a man who remembers nothing of his life; William, a police officer suffering from PTSD; Mai, a young woman with memories of a city she doesn’t remember visiting; Finn, an Irish architect in Arizona who believes his wife’s procedure was to forget an affair; and Noor, who works for Nepenthe.

As with most books told from various viewpoints, some stories were more interesting than others. Some of the stories interconnected with others and some never got closure and only had a tenuous connection to the rest of the story. It was well written and I was intrigued by the concept. Unfortunately, too much of the book made me want to put it down and do anything else.

4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is ready to tell her life story in all of its scandalous glory. Hugo will only tell her story to an unknown magazine writer, Monique Grant, She tells her story of her life in Hollywood, her seven husbands, and her one true love. Eventually, she also tells the story of how she is connected to Monique and why she is giving her the story.

This was the first book in a while that I didn’t want to stop reading. I loved the story. I loved the way the story was told. I loved how the author made Evelyn seem real, and not some heroic figure. I spent the book trying to figure out her connection to Monique but didn’t get there until a few pages before the reveal. This will be in my top ten at the end of the year.

5. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

The true crime classic about the murders of the Clutter family in Kansas. It starts with a picture of the family and the killers before the murders. It then takes us to the murders and the aftermath, the investigation, and eventually the trial.

This was a book club book that once again prompted me to write about how assigned reading slows me down. I had trouble sticking with the book until I got to the arrest and the trial. It was a very well written book and I gave it four stars on Goodreads, but some of the sections about Hickock and Smith in Mexico seemed long, dry, and unnecessary. I also read faster once I knew I could not attend book club. I guess I needed the combination of getting to the faster-moving part of the book and the ease of the pressure to finish. I do think fans of true crime would enjoy it.


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