After a year of doing this blogging thing together, buddy reading, and having countless in depth bookish conversations, we figured it was finally time to swap favorite books. We each picked a favorite for the other to read this month, knowing we are very different readers, but also having a good grasp on the other's tastes. We're just here to share some thoughts about why we chose the book we did, and what we thought of the book given to us!
The Secret History | Donna Tartt
What Michaela says: Out of my little list of favorite books, I chose this for Rikki because it's just the perfect fall read. It's gorgeously written, has deeply real, deeply layered characters (even if they're kind of terrible), and creates lovely, magical tension while exploring young adult relationships in a way that rings really true. Basically it's just one of the most atmospheric books I've ever read, and I just love it. I suspect the unlikable characters will be kind of a turn off for her, but I think she'll appreciate the writing and the atmosphere!
What Rikki says: From the beginning, I instantly knew why Michaela loves this book. Tartt paints a vivid scene, has great characters, and overall wraps you up in this otherwise rough story. As Michaela says, "It's very atmospheric." I can deal with hard stories, most especially when there is good writing involved, literally, I'll read anything then, but I pretty much require having some sort of redemption. I was really hoping to see something decent come from this story, but it really never happened. However, the book wrapped itself up nicely to end it and I forgave Tartt by the end, either way, I appreciated her talent for writing and the story she built here.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society | Mary Ann Shaffer
What Rikki says: So most of my most favorites are in the historical fiction/nonfiction category, which I know Michaela simply doesn't read. While Guernsey is no different, there were much more charming elements to wrap yourself up in than others I love, hence the reason I suggested she read this one. Shaffer paints a solid picture throughout and it's overall quite warm and fun. I know she won't love it, but I also know she will appreciate the quirky characters and letter writing format.
What Michaela says: I can absolutely see why Rikki loves this one. The characters were super quirky and charming, and the small town island life community was so warm and fun. I really liked the main character's tone through her letters; it really reminded me of 84, Charing Cross Road with that blend of sass and warmth. However, it dealt a lot with what life was like for the Nazi-occupied Channel Islands and the bombings of London during WWII and I just could not deal. I really dislike war books, and that's frankly an understatement. I'm not super sure why...violence in other contexts doesn't phase me, but I just can't stand world war settings. So that fact will keep this off my favorites list, but I'm still glad I read it. This book is literally made for Rikki; I totally see why this is a favorite of hers and it provided worthwhile insight into what makes her tick as a reader.
Have you ever swapped favorite reads with a friend? How'd it go?