This would have been number 4: 'A book your friend loves.'
'Americana' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (J):
(read May 2015)
Splendid! The third of Adichie's I've read, and the first to listen to as an audiobook more than reading (using whispersync, which was only partially successful in terms of synching).
What was it about? Lots! Primarily the difficult moral world we all live in, and the many ways we deal with it. Taking place in Nigeria, the US and London from the late eighties to about 2010, and seen mostly through the eyes of Ifemelu, who is a mid teenager when we first meet her, and Obinze, her contemporary and soul-mate (though I don't think that phrase is ever used). It is also very good on the complex subject of race and racism in modern America.
That all sounds rather dry, and I didn't find it so at all. There are lots of lovely characters who I cared about (maybe too many) and I feel as if I learned a lot about places and ways of life I know nothing of through the lives I'm shown.
And although whispersync was a bit graunchy, it was read by a wonderful voice who did all the accents, adding tremendously to my enjoyment.
'Stolen' by Lucy Christopher (E):
(read June 2015)
I was a little disappointed with this book; people have really raved about how brilliant it is. Don't get me wrong: it is a good book, but it isn't revolutionary. It's the writing I had an issue with, it felt banal and not very well thought through. The plot was really interesting though, and gave me a real insight to how an individual can become attached to their captor. Ty's obsession reaches the absolute height of creepiness, but Gemma's response to him was actually believable. I wanted to read on after the ending.
So, a very good premise and plot, let down by, what often seemed like, sloppy writing. It feels like Christopher may have needed more help from her editor, but I seem to be in a minority thinking this.