Teaser Tuesday: The Next Best Thing

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. I actually discovered the idea on one of my favorite blogs, Up All Night Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read.
Open to a random page.
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s teaser is from Jennifer Weiner‘s latest, The Next Best Thing. Even though I’ve only begun reading, I see another familiar Weiner Chick Lit. That’s not a criticism by the way. Reading her books feels like wrapping myself in a fuzzy bathrobe. No challenge, not exactly flattering, but really comfortable.

“The next morning, I woke up with the sun and looked around the wreckage of my room, the piles of unwashed clothes, the streaked mirror, the dusty hardwood floors, the boxes of scripts and memos and printed out e-mails from Rob that I’d hauled from The Girls’ Room‘s office. My cotton nightshirt was stuck to my chest, either with sweat or with tears, and my hair hung in chlorine-smelling clumps against my face. You can do this, I told myself, and swung my legs out of bed, first the right one, then the left, feeling the hooked wool rug beneath my feet, the one my grandmother had worked on in a series of doctors’ offices and hospital waiting rooms during my surgeries when I was a girl. I had survived all of that. I would survive this too.”

Perfect for an easy summer read.

Paperback Picks – May

SILVER SPARROW

by Tayari Jones

From the opening line, “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist,” to the closing, Jones hooked me with this wonderful, heartbreaking, honest novel. Within 20 pages, Jones has laid the characters’ baggage at the reader’s feet; but instead of stagnating, the narrative just continues to dig deeper into the themes of love, loyalty, friendship and betrayal.

I let go of the breath I didn’t know I was holding. This was what it was like to have a friend, someone who knew exactly what you were and didn’t blame you for it.” Each teenage girl’s voice is written beautifully, getting to the heart of those years. Each girl is searching for her place, identity and family — it’s just more complicated because they share a father.

Without ever choosing sides, Jones allows her story to do the talking. I was left aching for both girls and unsure if the ending is how I would have written it, just what I look for in a great book.

STATE OF WONDER

by Ann Patchett

I treasure the beauty in Patchett’s writing.

In an instant the veil of insects lifted and Marina saw nothing as she had never seen nothing before. It was as if God Himself had turned out all the lights, every last one, and left them in the gaping darkness of His abandonment.”

Add to this beauty the fact that Patchett crafts a wonderful story about science, anthropology, reproduction and loss, and it equals a true winner. I was lost in the Amazon, conflicted and drawn to possibility right along with the main character Marina.

In this life we love who we love. There were some stories in which facts were irrelevant.”

I was slightly disappointed in the book’s last 50 pages, which come so fast and so improbably, that I was drawn out of the story. Still, I loved this book.

THEN CAME YOU

by Jennifer Weiner

If you like Jennifer Weiner’s other books, you’ll like this one too. She doesn’t deviate from her tried and true formula of likable women struggling to shed their past skins. In this case, it’s four women connected by a Philadelphia fertility clinic. I was mildly surprised by some of the plot’s turning points, but by the end I was so frustrated by the unrealistic way it came together that I literally dropped the book. Weiner is such a talented writer and I don’t blame her for sticking with a formula that has proved successful, but wouldn’t it be great if she would stretch herself (and us, her readers) beyond our comfort zones?