I have three books backed up to write reviews for, so I’m just going to bundle them all together in a short reviews post.
First up is
The Lola Quartet, by Emily St John Mandel.
Anyone who knows me will know that one of my favourite books ever is Station Eleven, by the same author. STATION ELEVEN (sorry.)
The Lola Quartet was recommended to me by Nymeth from http://www.thingsmeanalot.com/ and good golly what a ride. It’s a mystery, wrapped up in a series of character studies, presented with a bow of human errors and failings. When reporter Gavin Sasaki finds out that he might have a daughter by his high school girlfriend Anna - who disappeared years ago - he’s determined to find out the truth.
What he finds out is what kind of life-changing errors people are capable of making and how one bad decision can lead to years of them, and what choices are open to him now.
That’s … pale and feeble but I don’t want to give too much away because The Lola Quartet is one of those books that - even as it goes back and forth in time - it unfolds, and in the unfolding is where the true story lies.
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller.
This one was … difficult. Not to read, it actually reads pretty easily but THE THING that’s at the very heart of it - that’s difficult.
When Peggy is eight years old, she’s taken away by her survivalist father, to an isolated cabin in the woods in the middle of …. Germany? I think? He tells her that the rest of the world is gone, and that there’s just the two of them.
Eight years later, Peggy is back home with her mother, trying to come to terms with the past eight years and THE THING. The story goes back and forth in time, as the story picks apart what happened to Peggy, and how she ended up back home again.
I did find the characters annoying, I have to say. Especially Peggy but for a large part of the book she is a young girl, and eight-year-olds ARE annoying (I know, I have one) so there is that to consider.
And LAST BUT NOT LEAST
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Oh, Patrick Ness. Despite the THING in Knife of Never Letting Go, I do love you so. I love you to the moon and back again.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here focuses on the story of everyday teen Mikey and his core group of friends, as they go about finishing high school, figuring out their lives, and hoping the school doesn’t blow up. Again.
Meanwhile, the indie kids in the background are dealing with being the chosen ones and trying to stop the school from blowing up. Again.
It’s a story-within-a-story that took me a few pages to get my head around, but once I did, I was in. I was invested.
What DO normal people do anyway, when the chosen one is saving the world?