Book Review: Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawaii Strong Washburn
Book Review: Burning Roses by S. L. Huang

Book Review: The Great Godden

I think that when he said those words he meant them, though perhaps not in the deeper sense of actually meaning them. I racked my brain to figure it out. Was this just what relationships were like these days? Whatever you felt like with whoever was there? I didn't want to look as if I didn't understand the rules.

Great goddenMeg Rosoff's first novel, How I Live Now, is one of my top-ten favorite young adult books. Her writing is edgy and surprising and a bit risky in the YA market (hence it was perfect when it won the Printz). Plus many of her books are set in England, which I appreciate, so I watch when she has a new book released.

I was excited to read her newest, The Great Godden, which tells the story of the—well, we're never given the family's surname, but —a family's annual summer trip to their beach house on the British coast. Their adult cousin, who also has a beach house, surprises them when they arrive: she's getting married, and this summer she is hosting Kit and Hugo Godden, the sons of one of her friends, who is a famous actress. The narrator—also unnamed, unless I just somehow missed it—tells the story of the impact of Kit (the golden, sexy, confident brother) and Hugo (the dark and moody one) on her family.

This is a coming-of-age novel, I suppose. A lyrical summer read. I enjoyed the characterization and the atmosphere.

But, I must confess: it was just kind of meh for me. OK, but not memorable like several of her other books. The big twist just felt ridiculous to me, and never knowing the narrator's name just made me think why? I did think she nailed the confusion of adolescent first love (as in the quote above) but there just didn't seem to be any sparkle here.

It was OK. And I can check it off my summer reading list. But not, alas, amazing like some of her other works.

Book #3 of my Summer Reading Challenge.


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