Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
When I was 16 years old I read The Hotel New Hampshire, and I fell in love. John Irving has been my favorite author for 19 years. Over half my life. And today, this book, that changed.
This isn’t my first NG book. Maybe my 5th? 6th? And each book I fell a little more in love. He’s magical. He makes words – simple every day words – into more than themselves.
Neverwhere will stand with Stardust as my favorite books by my favorite author.
This is the story of the secret world under London. That’s all well and good. I’m not going to summarize what’s on the back of the book. I am going to tell you that you should prepare to fall in love. Every single character in this book is divine. Nuanced. Funny. And so so so true to themselves. The good guys are bad guys and the bad guys are funny. I will love Mr Croup forever – the moment he came on the page I knew the dialogue was going to another level. Door is Door – a catalyst for all that happens around her. The marquis is wicked. The rats are more than rats. Richard – so thick headed. And I fell more than a little in love with him. Islington. The monks. NG’s imagination is nearly unparalleled. On each page you’re in the presence of a master.
If you don’t adore this book after the first floating market then we just don’t enjoy reading the same things.
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
This book invites trite reviews. “A little book with a big heart,” and “goes down smooth” actually popped into my head. Or “a book for people who love books.” And all of that is insulting to this book. I was not head over heels in love with this book, though I was head over heels in love with AJ Fikry.
It is immensely easy to read. Funny. Sweet. Full of one-liners and literary reference.
The title tells you what the book is about. AJ owns a bookstore. He’s bitter after his wife’s death. People come into his life who make his less bitter. It’s a love story about family and friends. Easy on the emotions – good to the heart. A book that’s kind to its reader in every aspect.
Ps – this book mentions Neil Gaiman and John Irving. Casually. Like they’re the every day thing that they should be. Made me so damn happy.
The Siren by Tiffany Reisz
I’ll tell you that I’m an open-minded girl. Whatever floats your boat, and all that. But of course I have my prejudices. Preferences. And judgments. I also have my hard stops – at my parties there are no chips, dips, chains and whips. Ever. And I’m not down with the sharing. You love a fella. He loves you. It’s just that simple.
But this book was recommended to me by someone I trust implicitly. So without overthinking it I jumped in. I’m endlessly thankful I did.
Nora is a writer – among other things. Zach is her editor. Wesley is her neighbor. Søren is her priest. It’s that simple. And that complex.
The writing is superb. Out of this world. Nearly unparalleled. There were moments when I lifted my head surprised to find myself in my living room – shocked to realize it wasn’t real – Nora was so much more than a character.
The entire book reads like film noir. That’s a constant feeling of suspense. Waiting for it all to fall apart.
And then there are these startling moments of bliss. Just absolute beauty that you never saw coming. Breathtaking in their depth.
Nora was everything to me. She never had a crap moment. Strong. Funny. Smart. Sexy. Brave as fuck. Exactly what I want a heroine to be.
The fellas. Yes. I fell in love with one. Hated another. And then that all changed. While staying genuine. The characters came out to meet me. Showed me how wrong my assumptions were.
I sobbed at the end. Huge fat tears. I can’t wait to read the next book. This will be an all-time favorite – for the things i learned, the things I felt, and the prejudices I left behind.