5 Good Books: Volume 2

The Darlings, Christina Alger

The Darlings: I highly recommend this book. The Darlings is a captivating thriller and I could not put it down. The author was excellent at profiling people at the very top of the one percent, the financial industry, the recession, and family loyalties. One thing that really stuck with me was the author’s ability to make all of the characters feel real and relatable at some level. I found myself empathizing with certain characteristics of each character – given the nature of the book and the frauds committed, this is a really remarkable achievement! I did a bit more research and learned that the author actually grew up in Manhattan – she went to Chapin like the daughters in the book. She also studied at Harvard and NYU Law and worked as an analyst at Goldman and a corporate attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr. There are a lot of parallels to the character Merill. One part of the book that I found really poignant was the storyline about a character who lost her father on September 11th. I was amazed at how raw and realistic the character’s emotions seemed and later learned that Cristina lost her father on September 11th. I don’t want to give up more of the book, but read it!

The Interestings: I loved this book. I became invested in all of the characters, in part because I got to learn about them throughout the course of their lifetime, and in part because Meg Wolitzer described each character in such a thorough way that I felt like I knew them. The book spanned forty years and it was interesting to read about the societal changes – especially since a lot of it occurred in and around New York City. One of the biggest themes of the book is envy and how people’s lives change over the years, while they try to keep their friendship the same. I highly recommend this book!

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for GirlsI bought this book to read while I was in Montauk and I ended up finishing it by the end of the first day. I thought that the author did a great job of transitioning between Thea’s life at school and slowly unveiling the tragedy that sent her there. The book discusses money, sex, love, scandal, tradition, guilt, growing up, friendship, and family. The guilt and family plot reminded me a bit of Spring Awakening and the friendship, school, and boarding school tradition plot reminded me of Prep.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: I ended up really liking this book. At first, I thought it was a bit slow but once Bernadette went missing, I had to know what happened. I liked that the book was written through various pieces of correspondence between characters. It was fun to read emails, faxes, FBI reports, and more. Bernadette’s daughter, Bee, narrated throughout the book and it was interesting to read from her perspective. The book was funny, satirical, and exciting. I recommend it!

Me Before You: This book was hauntingly beautiful. It was a story about friendship, love, family, wealth, sickness, and adventure. The book is thought-provoking, emotional, raw, and exceptionally well written. If you liked The Fault In Our Stars, you’ll love this book.