The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen is the latest from this author, and I've liked her other works, so I was happy to pick this one up. On a tropical island, a group of college friends reunite to celebrate the birthday of the geeky guy down the hall who turned into a billionaire. Of course, everyone has baggage with them - overrun with kids, infidelity, a possible fatal illness, and a need for perfection...it all blends together in this one week with a group who aren't as close as they once were. I read this novel in fits and starts, unable to get into it and just roar along, which is unusual, but I ultimately liked the novel, but not as well as her previous ones. Still, a solid read.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is an AMAZING young adult novel. Eleanor is the new, weird girl in school who ends up sitting next to Park on the bus, and slowly, quietly, gently, they form a bond, then a friendship, then a love between them. Wrenching and sweet, awkward and horrifying, this novel really encompasses so many things, and does it so well. This is a great romance story, but is also just a great *story*. This isn't just for young adults - the themes are universal and the writing appropriate for all ages. Totally recommended!
The Lost Husband by Katherine Center is like a candy bar - fast, satisfying and sweet. Libby is a young widow with two children, who is tired of living with her mother. Her "crazy" Aunt Jean offers her a place to stay on her Texas farm, and Libby takes the offer gratefully. Of course, a crusty farm manager, plenty of goats, some soul searching and some family secrets round out this little novel. I enjoyed it!