I'm slowly finishing up the reviews of the books I had piled up over the past few months. And while I don't think I'm going to make it to a full Cannonball of 52 books, I outdid the original half-Cannonball that I pledged, so I feel good about things.
I recently read two great stories (both considered YA, but really, they could relate to anyone), both with two strong female characters: Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King and Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty.
Vera Dietz is a high school senior who also works a full-time job as a pizza delivery driver. She lives with her dad (her mom left them years before) and is still grieving the death of her best friend Charlie, who died earlier that year. Before Charlie's death, they had severed ties and he had gone to make new, questionable friends and do things that were out of character.
Only Vera knows the truth about what happened the night that Charlie died, but Vera is not ready emotionally to talk about it to anyone -- her father, the police, etc. And until then, she is constantly haunted by thousands of images of Charlie, which scares her but also gives her a bit of comfort.
I really liked Vera as a character -- she was smart and funny and full of delicious sarcasm -- and I could barely put the book down.
I also really enjoyed Sloppy Firsts, the story of Jessica Darling. Jessica starts the story as a high school junior, upset that her best friend Hope has recently moved away due to the horrible death of her brother. Jessica feels alone -- she doesn't really like her friends, she doesn't think her parents like her, she isn't interested in Scotty (the boy who likes her). It isn't until she meets Marcus, the school stoner and notorious ladies man, that she seems to feel anything at all.
I saw that there are 4 more Jessica Darling books and can't wait to tear through them. This was entertaining and breezy, but still filled with funny and realistic scenarios from high school (of course her high school crush turned out to be gay -- didn't everyone's?).
Definitely recommend both books.