Book Review: a couple beach reads

July 12, 2011

This one:

Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer

and this one:

Ford County: Stories, by John Grisham

I read so much non-fiction that when I’m away from home on vacay, I crave nothing but fluffy, daydream-inducing novels. The couple that I stashed away in my suitcase for our recent trip to Mexico didn’t disappoint.

First, Grisham. Now just you wait. Don’t judge me yet! Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.

Was this written by John Grisham? Yes.
Is it anything like his most recent, fulfilling-contractual-obligation- esque books? Not in the least.

I typically don’t enjoy short stories, as I find that I don’t like the feeling of having to remotivate myself to start the same book a dozen times. I start the story, I quickly finish the story, and then I have to start over. Ugh.

So perhaps it was the fact that I was on vacation that that didn’t bother me this time. Or perhaps I just enjoyed Grisham’s stories.

Either way, this is a great read. Seven short stories, each centering around fictional events and characters in Ford County, Mississippi. They’re very Grisham.

They are all very A Time to Kill. You follow? Yeah. That.

Bonus: At 40-50 pages a story, they’re individually perfect for that short plane ride or an evening in the hotel room or the first hour sitting in the poolside lounge chair when you still contain the ability to sit still.

Ford County: Stories, Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars

Second, Life As We Knew It. I stole this one from my Mom’s bookshelf the week before we left. It caught my eye because a) it had an enormous moon on the cover, b) the physical book was square, and…huh?, and c) flipping it open, the font was well-spaced and visually pleasing, a huge factor in my fluffiness determination.

I know. All awful reasons to pick up a book, but ’tis the truth, my friends.

I didn’t know this until after I had read it, but this is the first book in a series of three. If you’re like me and simultaneously get excited and frustrated when you realize you’ve read a book that’s a part of a series – frustrated because that means the remaining members of the series are immediately and automatically added to your Must Read list, hanging over your head until you complete them, and excited because, well, the book’s not over! THERE’S MORE! – consider yourself warned.

The plot centers around the improbable (but strangely not completely unbelievable) possibility of a massive meteor crashing into the moon, altering its orbit, and sending Earth into a horrible, life-altering chain of events. Weather, economics, disease, etc.

It’s told from the point of view of a sixteen year old girl in diary-entry fashion, which lends itself to most of the comical lines in the book. Teenagers are weird, man.

The audience for this one might be tipped a bit in the direction of female readers, but barely. If you enjoy light, sci-fi novels, it’s one for your list.

Life As We Knew It, Rating: 3.5 (out of 5) stars

Happy vacay reading! Here are the Amazonian details on both:

Ford County: Stories, by John Grisham

Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer

(All links are Amazon affiliates. Cool? Cool. Over and out.)

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