Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland

Family drama is not usually my cup of tea, but Last Summer at the Golden Hotel was a perfect summer read. In the 1960s, two Jewish families bought a hotel in the Catskills. Back in those early days, the hotel was the place to be seen and the Catskills was the place to vacation. Sixty years later, the hotel is run-down and the clientele is definitely slipping. The two families' children are grown and have families of their own. They decide to meet at, "The Golden" for one last summer vacation to reminisce and discuss whether it's time to sell and leave the business. I loved the mix of tension and love between and within the families. I loved the touch of nostalgia and wish I could visit The Golden in its heyday. We've got secrets and scandals, money issues and memories. And honestly I liked all the characters, well except the one who was just clearly a bad guy. And...
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The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

To be honest, I don't really have much to say about this one. I enjoyed the first in the series, maybe partly because of the novelty but also because it was fun for the most part. This time around the Watson and Holmes were both a little more annoying and we didn't get to spend much time with the characters I liked. Maybe overall is was a little too full of YA drama for a mystery for me. Yes, you're angry and jealous and whiny - I'm tired of hearing about it. Yes, you have a variety of issues, few of which are your fault, but you should definitely see a therapist. Can we get back to the mystery? But then the mystery's a bit disappointing. And I hated the ending. The thing is, I really want to like this series. Since it's only a trilogy, I'll probably borrow the last from the library when it comes out and hope it makes up for...
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A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

I have a soft spot for Sherlock Holmes, so when someone (I forget who) said they enjoyed this take on the characters, I had to put it on my to-read list. Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are descendants of the famous duo and they "just happen" to meet at boarding school. In Connecticut. But don't worry, the story will get to that. Coincidences are never really coincidences in a Holmes world. Charlotte is pure Sherlock, complete with drug problems, brilliant deductions, and violin-playing, which comes off a little differently in a 16-year-old girl. She can be tough to like, but we're seeing her through Watson's eyes, and he's either falling in love with her or is obsessed with her or both. When a student they both hates ends up dead, everything points at them, so of course they have to solve the mystery. What else could a Holmes and Watson do? The mystery was clever, with plenty of connections to the original Holmes...
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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl was all the rage a couple of years ago, but I didn't get around to listening to it until now. I shouldn't have put it off. It was unique, well-done, definitely attention-grabbing, maybe not quite unputdownable, but close. Nick and Amy are not nice people. Neither is really the good guy, although you do sympathize with Nick. The audio had two narrators, one for Nick and one for Amy, which I thought was a great choice. It always takes me a while to get used to anything different than one narrator of the same gender as the main character, but this format worked so well with the story it was the perfect choice. Both narrators did a great job capturing the points of view, the dark humor, the nuances in the phrasing. I think that listening to it probably made it even better than reading it in print would have. I can't say much about the plot without ruining it,...
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