Books I Read This Month - May 2014

Far from You by Tess Sharpe
I hadn't read a Young Adult novel in a while, and this thriller sounded like something I would enjoy. It was a quick read, as I expected it to be and as I was in the mood for, but that doesn't mean it wasn't powerful. This book follows high schooler Sophie in the few weeks after she is released from a drug addiction treatment center. Right before she was sent there, her best friend was murdered in front of her, and now she is determined to find the killer. The pace is quick, which makes the narrative heart-pounding, though it feels like not a lot of space to fully develop the characters. Sophie and her deceased best friend are the most developed and well-rounded, with Sophie flaws making her realistic and her hopes and motives making her someone to root for. There are some big themes that are perfectly developed and rare in YA fiction: love, friendship, coming out, drug addiction, etc. Recommended for readers of thrillers.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
At over 600 pages, this book took me a while to read, meaning I had to put off reading others on my list. But it was totally worth the time and effort. The narrator, a recently unemployed married man in Japan, is a bit of a downer in that he has zero ambition. However, as he goes searching for his wife, who leaves him for another man, the story gets more and more surreal. He is on a journey toward finding his identity in a world that is strange and unpredictable. This is a wonderful read for those who enjoy literary fiction, as well as some supernatural themes. Murakami is one of my favorite authors. I wish I could write like him.