I had a difficult time titling this week’s post, particularly because these are the kind of books that could be easily spoiled (in the first book’s case, my friend literally handed me the book and said, “read this” without another word). “Love” seems to undersell the books. “Afterlife” seems to oversell them. Both of these books deal with immortality in a way, but that doesn’t seem to encompass the truly human element presented. So, non-macabre mortality describes them as best as I can think of: mortality and death without verging on the grim and gross.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Hazel is living in a bubble of depression and disease and has been for years. As a terminal cancer patient, Hazel seems to simply go through the motions because she feels more like a burden than a human – she describes herself as a grenade: anyone too close to her might get caught up in the explosion when she passes. Everything changes when she meets Augustus Waters, a seriously awesome kid that reminds me of a less-mean Jess from Gilmore Girls.
If you’re not a John Green fan yet, prepare to become addicted. Of course, how could I not love a book with a title derived from my favorite Shakespeare quote? This book manages to be adorable and awesome without verging on gag-reflex-inducing-romantic-gush.
You’ll like this if: you’re a fan of Jodi Picoult, you like Nicholas Sparks and you like your humor mixed with a bit of sadness.
Quote: “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.“
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
Laurel is all about keeping everything in its neat and tidy place. Thalia is all about chaos and catastrophe. Due to their completely conflicting personalities, these two sisters are estranged and have been for some time. However, Laurel’s life gets turned upside-down when she is visited by the ghost of her 14-year old neighbor Molly – well, Laurel is kind of used to the whole ghosts-from-her-past-hanging-around thing.
This book is one part ghost story, one part Southern-Gothic and one part mystery. The book goes somewhere a bit unexpected, but that’s what I like about Joshilyn Jackson. She spins a great tale, and there are usually a few twists on the way. I’d recommend you pick this one up on audio book and freshen up your southern accent.
You’ll like this if: you’re a fan of good southern drama, you like ghost stories and you want a mystery that’s not too CSI/Law & Order.
Quote: “Saying it out loud, she felt every inch of distance between them.”