41: Shoveling Snow by Brett Sills
There is no way for me to describe this in a concise way, so I’m going to use the book description from Amazon:
Ben and Caroline barely recognize each other any more. Their once solid relationship now broken and beaten by unfathomable events, leaving only a shell of past promise. When pressure cracks the last vestiges of their bond, Ben hastily leaves their Southern California home, pointing the car east to what he hopes is the edge of the Earth. After driving until he can no further, he settles in the small, coastal town of Swintonport, Maine to lose himself in quiet and anonymity, renting the quaint guesthouse of Maggie and her ten-year-old daughter, Smoof. But when tragedy strikes his landlord’s family, Ben is confronted with a sobering truth reminiscent of the one he left behind.
Once I got into this story, I flew through it. I really enjoyed it and recommend it for sure.
42: Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin
A boy and his father move to a new town over the summer and are barely making ends meet. The boy begins working at a barn to make a little extra money, for a crazy horse trainer who has a love of gambling and drink. The boy falls in love with one of the trainer’s horses, Lean on Pete. Concerned for the horse’s well being, the two embark on a unique and heart-wrenching journey across the country.
I didn’t love this book, but mostly because it wasn’t anything like I was expecting. I guess I thought that it was going to be a feel good story about how the boy and his horse persevered and triumphed over the world… but it definitely was not. Also, the ending left me asking that question.. you know, the “what the fuck?” question. I’m not one who usually needs a well wrapped-up ending where you know the fate of every character. But I felt like this book ended rather abruptly.
43: The Scourge by A.G. Henley
A young adult futuristic novel, where after the fall of civilization people either live in the trees (Lofties) or the forest floor (Groundlings). The main character is a sightless water bearer, meaning when the scourge (“zombies”) come she must gather water for both groups of people. When the scourge come and stay for the longest period of time yet, the water bearer and her keeper go searching for the hidden waters, and discover a whole new world.
I enjoyed the story, although at times the writing was kind of meh. It was cute though, the romance between the two characters, and it was a quick fun read.
44: The Living and the Dead by Todd Travis
A collection of short stories and a short novel that were supposed to be scary I think. I’m not sure. Some of the stories were creepy, or just strange, but I didn’t find them all that scary. I don’t know. I wasn’t overly impressed by any of it.
45: Lost by Jacqueline Davies
Taking place in the early 1900s, the main character works at the Triangle Waist Factory. Told in alternating chapters (the present and a memory of the girl’s younger sister, Zelda) you find out that Zelda is not around, but you don’t understand why. She befriends a new factory girl and finds out that she is a famous missing person with many secrets of her own. The novel culminates with the famous factory fire.
I knew I would like the book if I stuck with it, so I did, although I was really confused about where Zelda was/what the deal was with that situation for a long time. Overall I enjoyed the story, and it all came together in the end so I’m glad that I finished the book. However, this is not necessarily an uplifting read (re: Davies subscribes to the George R. R. Martin school of writing… like a character? NOT FOR LONG! Death blah blah blah).