Somebody Else’s Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage
Published by Viking Adult
This book was HUGE when I first started blogging (it was published in 2008) and I’ve had it on my shelf since that time. I finally picked it up, and wow, what a story! Basically the book is about a high school girl named Willa who was adopted as a baby by a somewhat affluent couple. Unbeknownst to her, her biological father decides to accept a teaching position at her high school, triggering all sorts of events, dramatic and shocking and some heartbreaking.
This novel is definitely one of those books where the author means to shock you, and there’s no limit to the craziness that the families depicted in the novel are up to. I mostly liked this book simply because I couldn’t put the thing down. I really liked Nate (the biological father) – even though he’d made some huge mistakes in his life (including going back to the town where he put his daughter up for adoption to teach at her high school), he was really trying to get his life together and grow as a person. The book’s summary suggests that the book is mostly about Willa, but in reality it’s more about the people in her life – her parents, Nate, her best friend and her best friend’s parents – and yes she’s the center of it, but the novel is about so much more than this one girl. So yes I liked Somebody Else’s Daughter, but the subject matter is not for the feint of heart and there’s serious drama going on. If you like those kinds of books, it’s a good choice.
Her by Harriet Lane
Published by Little, Brown and Company
Emma is a stay-at-home mother who meets a new friend, Nina, who is just a bit older than she, has a grown daughter, is super focused on her career, and seems more put-together than Emma thinks she could ever be. At first it seems like the women have nothing in common, but they quickly develop a friendship despite their differences. What Emma doesn’t know, though, is that Nina has an ulterior motive for this friendship, and Nina is simply not what she seems to be.
UGH. I did not like this book at all. I was annoyed by both characters, didn’t like either one, didn’t understand either one really, and all I wanted to do the entire time I was reading was find out Nina’s secret. In the end, it was revealed, and oh my goodness what a let-down. I know others have liked Her quite a bit, but it was just not the book for me.
Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
Published by Pocket
Most people are familiar with the movie that was based on this book, starring Ewan McGregor, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, and Helena Bonham Carter, among others. The book is almost exactly like the movie, except I actually feel like the movie took the story and theme from the book and made it even bigger and better. That being said, reading the book was a good experience, and I liked it, but I was expecting more. Usually the book is more detailed and better than the movie, in this case the opposite was true. But I do like the way Wallace writes, I like the magical realism and the way he turns a simple story into an inspirational tale. I think I’ll read more from him, but in this case I definitely liked the movie a lot more than the book.