I know that book groups might be hesitant to read a book that falls into the Young Adult genre, but truly I think any story that can depict childhood and coming of age in a way that can immerse both young and adult readers, is a story that is well worth discussion. In When Things Come Back 17 year-old Cullen narrates what happens when his small town suddenly becomes a hotspot after what was thought to be extinct woodpecker is spotted. Cullen is both impressed and mortified by his town's transformation—suddenly his peers are sporting woodpecker inspired haircuts and bird-watching becomes an ideal date. But then when his 15-year-old brother goes missing amidst the chaos, Cullen’s surprise turns to something more vigilant and shadowed. The gift of this YA novel (which was the winner of the coveted Michael Printz award) is the way that regret, surprise, and humor are all interweaved. Layered and remarkably unique, this novel calls to mind how ordinary and extraordinary are only a coin’s throw apart.
This is a good pick for someone who loved The Year of Magical Thinking. It’s not quite a memoir, but not entirely a novel either—somehow, I like to think of it as a shrine. Francisco Goldman had been married for only two years when his beautiful, talented wife was killed in a freak accident at the beach. Say Her Name is sad, yes, but what brings it to life is the glow of love and devotion in every sentence. Reading it, one gets the feeling that no one has ever loved anyone as much as Francisco loves Aura. And that’s not going away. Visceral, delicate, unrelentingly beautiful, and so worth the tears.
This vividly detailed book follows the lives of several slum dwellers, all with different positions and castes, whose lives intersect through one event. Boo completely removes herself from the narrative, letting the people pull you in, and the result is a fascinating look at a violently different culture that reads like a novel. This is non-fiction at its best.
This ia a fast and enjoyable read with plenty of depth and emotional resonance. The backdrop of the Cultural Revolution shapes the lives of the three youths in this love triangle and Min's storytelling gives great insight into this chilling period.
I was floored by this novel. Told by Kevin, the blind protagonist, Touch and Go follows a road trip halfway across the nation to deliver a handmade casket to a dying grandfather in Florida.