- Never Tell by Alafair Burke
I don't read a ton of detective stories but I enjoyed this book. I found the characters interesting, even some were a bit cliched. I did feel like the ending was a bit too neat. I expected the stories to converge and they did but there was one element of the conclusion that just pushed it too far for my tastes. Still, I enjoyed the read, taking a detective story for what it is. I'd definitely consider picking up another book in the series (though I am not sure if this book gives away some conclusion-type elements of the prior installments). 3.5 stars, rounded up where needed for "full star only" rating sites.
- The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
I won this book on Goodreads and I'm glad I did. The story is hard to read at times but there are many moments of hope throughout and it ends up falling into the heart-warming category. There is also a lot of emphasis on communication and the perils of being trapped without it as shown by both the story of Lynnie, unable to speak of the abuses at the School, and Homan, who spends years on the run and is also unable to communicate. There's a good bit of cliche, especially in the character of Kate, a teacher who cares for and mentors Lynnie despite the prevailing tone at the School, but I still enjoyed the read. Parts did drag and it felt a bit predictable, but still rooted a good story with some good folks to cheer for throughout. I can't really call it "light" given the portrayal of how the mentally disabled were treated fairly recently in our culture (the story opens in 1968), but it was still an easy read for someone who wants a bit more substance than typical summer fare. Four stars.