To participate in this weekly meme hosted by MizB, simply answer the following questions:
WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?
Us by David Nicholls is the new novel by the author of One Day. It’s the story of Douglas Petersen, a fifty-something husband and father who reminded me of a milder, less intense version of Don from The Rosie Project. Shortly before Douglas and his family are set to leave London for a month-long summer vacation through Europe, his wife tells him she no longer loves him. They decide to take the trip anyway, as this will most likely be the last summer that the three of them will spend together. Douglas, however, has an extra agenda—he views the trip as his last chance to mend his relationship with his wife and his son.
The book alternates between the present vacation and the events that took place when Douglas first met his wife, as well as the history of their marriage. Nicholls does a great job of portraying the tension, the optimism (on Douglas’ part, anyway!), and the hopelessness that surround this vacation, and the atmosphere of Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, and Barcelona are portrayed vividly—even to someone like myself who has never been to Europe.
I enjoyed the first half of this book immensely. The second half seemed to drag a bit, and parts of the end of the novel seemed a bit unrealistic to me (I can’t be too specific here as I don’t want to include any spoilers!), but I’d still recommend this book as a very unique portrait of a marriage and a family at a crossroads.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
Nothing yet—I just finished Us yesterday and haven’t had time to start anything new!
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?
I’m pretty sure I’m going to start the new YA novel Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley in the next day or so. I’ve been hearing a lot about this book—it’s being billed as one of the most important YA books of the year–and one of my reading goals this year was to read more YA novels.
Told from alternating points of view, this historical fiction novel is set in Virginia in 1959 and tells the story of two female students—one white, one black—who attend a newly integrated high school. I’ve read a lot of African American history, so I’m very interested in how this YA novel will compliment the nonfiction that I’ve read about this topic. I know that this isn’t going to be a light-hearted read, but everything I’ve heard about this book tells me it’s a book that needs to be read.
How about you? Have you read either of these? What are you reading this week? Please share!