So, yeah, this seems to be one of those books that every blogger loves; I've loved several other Rainbow Rowell books so I expected to enjoy this one, too. And it was... okay. But "troubled girl meets wholesome boy; they fall in love; he rescues her" has been done too many times (and causes me some feminist discomfort). I know it was supposed to be full of overblown teenage emotions but it was a bit too teenage and emotional for my liking.
I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live In It by Jess Kimball Leslie*
So funny. Jess writes about growing up alongside the internet - about it being the safe place where she met other Bette Midler fans; the embarrassing place where she became a professional Twitter waffler; and the magical place where she met her wife. This will be familiar, uncomfortable and oddly comforting to anyone whose coming of age involved a blog with a scrolling marquee.
Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon*
A wealthy young woman abandons her illegitimate baby in a pear orchard; an impoverished mother-of-many finds the child and raises her as her own. Ten years later, fate brings the two women together - one of them realises the truth; meanwhile, the other's world is falling apart. This is a story of two very different lives and I had two very different reactions: on the one hand, a fascination with the story, wanting to know how events would unfold; on the other, absolutely no fondness for any of the characters, which made it hard to care what happened to them. Worth picking up from the library but you don't need a copy of your own.
The Cows by Dawn O'Porter*
Tara is a single mother with a successful career - she doesn't feel like she or her daughter need a man in their lives, but she hasn't ruled one out. Cam is a mega-successful blogger who is single by choice and fast becoming the face of childfree women. Stella is trying to decide whether to have a baby before going through surgery to avoid the cancer which killed her twin. All three of them are about to face unexpected changes in their life, and all three of them are about to find out how much they will allow other people's judgements to affect them. I had my issues with this book (for example: could none of the characters call out the assumption that lesbians can't have babies?! And why do all the men smash crockery?!) and it does have some fairly ludicrous plot twists, but it's an easy read about important issues and, frankly, more mainstream fiction needs plots which don't end with a handsome prince and a baby.
The Decorator Who Knew Too Much by Diane Vallere*
Ah, comedy whodunnits are great, aren't they? They're like hangover TV in book form. In this one, a retro obsessed interior designer and her handyman boyfriend head to Palm Springs for work, only for their plans to be derailed when she discovers a body in a river. Great fun, a quick read and I genuinely wasn't sure who to suspect until the very end.
Every Other Wednesday by Susan Kietzman*
I slogged through SO MUCH of this, in the hopes that something would happen. It didn't. It was just a bunch of women sitting around talking to each other in implausibly full paragraphs. Unconvincing dialogue is my biggest book bugbear and I'm afraid I couldn't get past it.
*Provided for review