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May 2017

Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer 3/5
I didn't realize Chris Colfer was an author!  He's Kurt from Glee!  Apparently, he also has a series of children's books.  This is a YA novel.
This book is about Cash Carter, a 22-year-old TV star, and four friends who have just graduated from high school.  The four friends are big fans of Cash's TV show, and they're very surprised when Cash takes them up on their (joking) offer for him to join them on a pre-college road trip.
All five of them have a secret that they haven't told the others, so of course, the secrets are all revealed by the end.  It was a good story.  The writing was fair, but not great.  I'm a fan of Chris Colfer, but maybe he wasn't the best choice as the voice for the audiobook.  There were too many times where it sounded like he was reading the book instead of acting the book.
The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion 3/5
Adam Sharp is a professional database architect and amateur pianist from England.  He and Claire have been together for 20 years, but never married.  They seem to have let their relationship drift into the realm of friendly roommates, rather than two people in love.  22 years ago, while working in Australia, Adam fell for a actress named Angelina.  A lot of the first part of the book is a flashback to show the time that they were together.  In the present, Angelina emails Adam out of the blue.  She is married to another man, but the emails quickly become flirty.  Angelina invites Adam to spend a week in France with her and her husband.  Then there are unexpected turns everywhere, and it all works out in the end.
This is the same author of The Rosie Project, and boy, these two books are verrrry different.  Where The Rosie Project was funny and charming, The Best of Adam Sharp is nostalgic, and full of characters making questionable choices.  I was engrossed in the story, despite the questionable choices.  The relationships were well-written, and the emotions were complex.  But if you read it, just don't expect The Rosie Project.
June 2017

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak 4/5
The Birch family is rarely all together for holidays anymore, especially since the older daughter, Olivia, is often away on medical mission trips.  It's almost Christmas, and she is about to return from fighting an epidemic in Africa, and has to be quarantined for seven days.  Her family decides to be quarantined with her, so they spend Christmas together at the old family estate in the country (somewhere in England).  The dad, Andrew, used to be a war correspondent, but now he reviews restaurants.  The mom, Emma, is dealing with a medical issue that she's keeping a secret.  The younger daughter, Phoebe, has just gotten engaged.  It's amazing how much happens to them and how many surprises they get during this one week of their life.  But that's why it's an interesting story.  I liked the format and how the secrets were revealed to different characters at different times.
A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams 3/5
This is a love triangle set in 1920's New York City.  Theresa is a married 40-something woman with a 20-something boyfriend, Octavian.  He wants to marry her, but she prefers their current arrangement, since divorce is so frowned upon in high society.  Theresa's brother is all set to marry 19-year-old Sophie, and it seems that Sophie is willing to marry him, until she meets Octavian and falls for him.  Octavian can't help but be swept away by Sophie too.  Throw in family secrets and a murder trial, and this is now quite a story.  I liked it, but I thought it got confusing near the end.  I understood how it all turned out, but the way it got to that wrap-up lost me a bit.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch 4/5
This is different from the books I usually read.  It's a suspenseful, mind-boggle of a story.  Jason has a happy life with his wife and teenage son in Chicago.  He is a physics professor at a small college.  One night, he is abducted and taken to an abandoned warehouse.  The next thing he knows, he wakes up in a lab facility and the life he knows is no longer reality.  His wife isn't his wife.  They have no son.  A bunch of scientists seem to know who he is, but he has no memory of them at all.  Jason has to figure out where he is, who he is, what is real, and how to get back to the life he knew.  Ultimately, it's about the choices we make, and how each choice, even small ones, shape our lives.
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