20th Jul, 2009

Real Life & Liars by Kristina Riggle

real-life.jpgSince Need To Read is on a summer hiatus, and this is adult fiction, I thought I’d just write about it here on the main blog.

I won this book in a contest over at The Debutante Ball. I was a little nervous about reading it because A) I’m hoping to become one of the five new Debs for 2010, and if I hated the book, well…that might not help my chances B) Whenever an author gives you a book, you kind of have to read it and if they know you only write about books on your blog that you love, but then you don’t write about their book, they know. You know?

Luckily, I had nothing to worry about! I LOVED THIS BOOK. A LOT. And can I just say it’s not really the kind of book I normally like to read. It falls into adult literary fiction. While I’m not a bubblegum reader by any means, I really don’t read a lot of literature. At least, not contemporary adult lit. It’s just not my thing. It’s usually so full of angst and unlike YA, it’s angst without the hilarious embarrassment factor. Or the belief that eventually the characters will grow up and get past it.

RL&L is full of…if not angst, then familial tension. But it’s often hilarious and laugh out loud. And while the first sentence hooked me, it was really this sentence that got me:

….I have a finite number of words left — who can say how many? — and each one that’s less than loving is a squandered opportunity.

I mean, who doesn’t have a finite number of words left? I might even print this up and post it on my wall as a reminder. The thing is, RL&L is filled with things like this. One way I judge the quality of a book is by how many things I want to read aloud to my husband and by the time I got to this on page 27, I’d already read him a bunch of stuff. I also know that if it starts to be too many things to read to him, then to stop and simply pass him the book. This book will be handed over to him for sure. And to my friend Wanda, who I know will love it.

Also, another reason I know this is a great book is because I’ve already plotted out the sequel. Kristina, feel free to email me and I’ll detail it for you. When you finish a book and you can’t help thinking about what the future holds for all the characters, you know you’ve read a winner. I’ve got ideas for all of them, but I could write a synopsis* for the character Katya’s book already because I’ve figured it all out in my head!

Anyway, congratulations to Kristina Riggle on a great debut, and I hope some of you will read it too!

*If you follow me on twitter – joellewrites – then you already know that it’s amazing that I could write a synopsis for the sequel because I am horrible at synopses!


Aren’t you sweet! Thank you!

This was on my list anyway, but it just moved to the top! Thanks, Joelle.

Joelle, I hope you know that I won’t be able to wait to read this book. Even though it means driving 75 miles to my nearest independent bookstore. But, luckily, we plan to go to Nashville this weekend anyway to hear Neko Case at the Ryman! Kristina, if you’re reading this, congratulations on your debut novel. Looking forward to it!