Amanda Gates

Three books: Wild, The Fault in Our Stars & Broken Harbor

Wild: Everybody raved (raved) about this book. And it was fine. It’s an entertaining and thoughtful account of the years that followed her mother’s death and her lonesome trek on the Pacific Crest Trail. However, she's very detailed, which set the scene well, but I didn't have the patience to read about the trees and the paths all the time, so I did skim over parts. She's also quite extreme in her personality and I had hard time relating to her promiscuity and addiction issues in the face of her grief. Because, hey, I’ve lost a mom too but I didn’t go out and screw people and get addicted to heroin. Everyone handles grief differently, of course, but there were times when I wanted to shake her and say, “You don’t have to behave this way.” But, following her journey was interesting and learning about the PCT was really cool. It definitely makes me want to travel West, though never camping (I'm not a camper). In the end, I'm glad she came out on the other side. She deserved to.  

The Fault in our Stars: It's pretty impressive to me how someone writing heartbreakingly about kids with cancer can make you bust a gut at the same time. The two main characters are pretty inspiring and hilarious. I admire their moxie and disdain, yet acceptance, of their disease, as well as their perspective—a perspective much greater than many adults in their life. The story, of course, is heartbreaking too. A good mix of both, I suppose. A very fast read and definitely worth the time. I really liked it.

Broken Harbor: I’ve read all of Tana French and I read this faster than I've read a book in a long time, but French has that way. I liked it and was swept up in it. I enjoyed the main character (though makes me want to re-read Faithful Place just to remember Scorcher's role in that book; is that the case they kept alluding back to?). The ending wasn’t quite as surprising or as satisfying as her others, but I also like that none of her characters/stories wrap up in a pretty bow. They’re still screw ups or imperfect, even when their story ends. Order of enjoyment still puts The Likeness at No. 1 & In the Woods at No. 2 for me. But these last two are neck and neck. Can't wait for the next one, whenever that is (and who will the main character be? The Super, maybe? Or maybe Larry the tech... hmmm.)


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