Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

That Mariana Magic…

Ruby writes to Aaron through a volunteer program. The book begins with their letters. Their relationship, and the story, develops and deepens. You frequently don’t feel like you’re in a romance while reading one of Ms Zapata’s books. Until the toe-curling moment when everything comes together. I read this book in one sitting just bc I knew that moment was coming.

Ruby is a sissy – but that’s part of the story. She’s a relatable (if somewhat wimpy) heroine. The book takes place over more than a year – and there’s time for character growth. Aaron is slightly distant, strong and caring.

I smiled from about 65% on. I just love love love the way Ms Zapata writes. I haven’t disliked one of her books yet, and she’ll continue to be a buy-without-reading-the-blurb.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Let’s just get this out of the way – I hated A Man Called Ove. That book was smug and stupid – a dreadful combination. I had washed my hands of Backman without a backward glance. Enter The Book SoulMate. As I’ve previously stated – she has carte blanche. When she texted that I should read Beartown I requested it from the library within a minute – no hesitation – no questions asked.

Which leads us to now – me sitting on the couch, wrapped in a quilt, sobbing. Not the silent pretty tears – but the ugly cry with the trying-to-catch-my-breath and the where-does-all-this-snot-come-from-anyway.

I may have just read the best book I’ve ever read. We’ll see if it stands the test of time. For now I can say that is the best book I’ve read this year and in the last several years. No lie – on page 3 I stopped for a minute, sat up, took a deep breath and looked around my living room. I knew. Page. Freakin. Three.

So what’s it about? It doesn’t matter. What are all books about? People. Love. Fear. Family. Bravery. Hockey. That’s irrelevant. It’s a book to read if you like books – words, and slipping into the story, strong plots, stunning lines. If great books are your drug of choice – the way you get that tingle in the bottom of your feet and in your quads – if there’s no greater rush than the turning of the page – I’ve got your next fix. Utterly brilliant.

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

****DO NOT READ THIS BOOK WITHOUT READING THE FIRST ONE****

A stellar follow-up to a mind-blowing first book. Honestly, if you like smart, funny, conspiracies, robots, math, science, bad-asses, aliens, or anything amazing you should read this series. The first books is one of my favorites from last year – and this follow-up blew away all my expectations. Happy reader!