I have managed to read quite a bit recently, but have not managed to blog much. But here I am to get in a post before Christmas hits, though honestly I should probably still be outdoors enjoying this freakishly warm weather.
1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell Rowell is the queen of the slow burn. She pulled it off beautifully in Eleanor and Park as well as Fangirl, both YA romances. Attachments is a romance featuring adult characters. (I dislike using the phrase "adult romance" because it makes me think of "those" kind of adult romances.) It does not pack quite the romantic power of the YA stories, but it was Rowell's first and I think she just needed to settle into her romance groove. Beth and Jennifer are friends who work together and use work e-mail to chat through the day. (The books takes place in 1999 and 2000.) Lincoln's job is to monitor employee e-mail that is flagged for inappropriate content. This leads to Lincoln falling for Beth because of her witty banter. Her cute freckles do not hurt once he sees her. It is a sweet story that is not saccharine and though the set-up could be creepy, but with Rowell's way it is not.
2. Meet me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenni Colgan This story on the other hand is far too sweet, but I love it anyway. For crying out loud, the story centers on Issy opening a cupcake cafe. It does not matter to me that the ending is predictable, and even some of the more major plot points. I read mainly for enjoyment and I do not take umbrage at a story that does not surprise me. I like Colgan's style and enjoy the storytelling, and I like a happy ending.
3. Less a straight love story is Adriana Trigiani's The Supreme Macaroni Company, which picks up just after the end of Brava, Valentine. Valentine and Gianluca's romance has progressed to engagement and marriage. This story is really about how two independent people come together in a marriage. It is not all birds singing and romance, but instead Trigiani focuses on how each person must give a little in order to be married successfully. I always like Trigiani's stories and look forward to more.
4. I took a bit of a break from YA with the titles above, but I have not neglected it entirely. I have had The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle for a few weeks. I have not read any of Myracle's Internet Girls series (ttyl, ttfn, and l8r,g8r), but I have read Shine. There is no doubt this is a romance. Wren and Charlie meet just as high school is ending, the set up for a summer romance. However, what they find with each other is more intense and probably long-lasting than a summer fling. The issues with which Wren (overbearing parents) and Charlie (foster home) deal keep the story from being purely romance, but the two fall hard for each other in the way only teens can. Sadly, adults tend to be a bit more jaded about love and romance. The story has some pretty graphic sex scenes, but I would not label these as gratuitous. They serve to illustrate the intensity of the relationship as well as present the reality that teens are sexual beings no matter what some churches, schools, and parents would like to believe.
4. Just to avoid having to write an entirely new post for one book, I am going to include From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos in this post. While it does contain an element of romance I would place it more in the comedy genre than anywhere else. I loved Dead End in Norvelt to which I listened (narrated by the author). In that novel, Ms. Volker takes center stage when she composes the fasinating obituaries for all the women who are murdered. In this one, Ms. Volker and Jack travel from Pennsylvania to Florida with more than a few stops in between. Note: These are the only two books by Gantos I have read. I found this story to be empty. I did not care much what happened to anyone, which really made me sad. The tale was just so far-fetched I had trouble suspending my disbelief, which led to apathy.
Now that I have a break from work I am planning a full scale attack on my TBR pile, hopefully followed by lots of posting!