In the summer I lean toward escapist books and lighthearted reads. In the fall I begin the hunt for deeper, darker (though not necessarily both!) novels. While summer slipped through my fingers, I’m determined to hold onto fall as long as I possibly can. This is my favorite season and it’s the shorted season here in Denver, making it that much more precious to me. These are my top fall reading recommendations as you settle in for the cozy weather. Please note, affiliate links are used below to support Modern Martha.
I just finished this book. I’ll start by saying, not everyone will love this. It wasn’t a traditional beginning-middle-end kind of story. The book follows Andrea throughout her life, short snippets of time, like a series of short stories. You get glimpses of moments that define Andrea (the time she became obsessed with her movie star neighbor, the time she caught her dad doing drugs, the reason she gave up on being an artist).
What sticks with me after reading this is the way the story is told. It’s told from Andrea’s perspective as if she’s talking to a friend or therapist. It’s very personal, and the way she talks is casual and comfortable.
In everyday life when you become friends with someone you learn all of their big stories over time, the stupid, silly, epic, dramatic moments that make them the person they are. That’s exactly how this book felt.
This one falls into the young adult realm. I read this book for the first time when I was 13. It’s really powerful, and I can’t fully describe the book without writing spoilers. So, spoiler alert! Dreamland is about a teenage girl that feels overshadowed by her seemingly perfect sister who has pulled a vanishing act. While her parents are preoccupied with her sister’s disappearance, Caitlin finds herself getting pulled into the world of an intriguing, mysterious type, Rogerson.
She does a lot of things that are out of character. It happens slowly and gradually, so you forgive these things, and when the relationship becomes dark, you feel everything Caitlin feels.
I love this book because it shows you how easily any woman could fall into an abusive relationship. People criticize abuse victims for not getting out, but in this story you see just how it could happen. I’ve re-read this book over and over again (it helps that it’s a very short read).
If this ever gets made into a Lifetime movie, I volunteer to play Caitlin! Just writing this, I’m thinking about going to the basement and digging up my copy right now.
We just read Final Girls last month in the Modern Martha book club. While it doesn’t make it on my “best books of 2017” list, it’s a perfect fall read.
Final Girls follows the story of three women who were all sole survivors of separate massacres. It’s told from the perspective of Quincy, an unreliable narrator at its finest! Quincy has a black hole where the memory of her massacre experience should be. She copes with her baking blog (#relatable) and the support of her public defender boyfriend and Coop, the police officer who rescued her. Her semblance of normalcy starts to show cracks when one of the Final Girls dies and the other appears on Quincy’s doorstep.
What was tough for me with this book was the main character and her boyfriend. They’re not very likable characters, so it’s hard to support them or root for them. But, what this book does have going for it is suspense. It was an absolute page-turner. I couldn’t put it down. The moment I was like okay, yeah, let me put this book down so I can get some sleep, NOPE!
The author brilliantly layers together chapters in current day and chapters revealing what happened to Quincy the night of the murders. So, as Quincy is getting closer to getting her memories back, you’re seeing firsthand what happened. Well done, Riley Sager.
Pride and prejudice fans, this one is for you! Margaret Hale’s family unexpectedly moves from the slow-paced countryside to the industrial town of Milton. Adjusting to her new life is incredibly difficult for her, and she instantly finds an enemy in John Thornton, the man who runs the biggest cotton mill in town.
The book is very good, but the BBC miniseries adaptation is even better. I rarely say a movie is better than a book, but the movie is able to give the modern reader/viewer a more satisfying ending.
Either way, I love this story, and I can’t believe someone didn’t tell me about it sooner! If you like a good “Mr. Grump Grump” as my friend Laurie calls a good Mr. Darcy, then you’ll enjoy this.
I hope you enjoy my list! Have you read these? What do you think of them? Any recommendations for me? Leave them in the comments below!