Immortality by Milan Kundera - I had such a difficult time with this. I was awed by the language and the poetry of it, but couldn't become invested in the characters or their stories. Much of this has to do more with me than with the book, I'm sure. I just wasn't in the right space to be reading something as philosophical or metafictional. This is the type of book that will require a second reading in a couple years.
The Secret Place by Tana French - Tana French can write. Let's get that out of the way. When a young boy is murdered on a private school campus, the investigation leads to two feuding groups of girls. French masterfully navigates through the friendships of teenage girls, the battles they have within themselves or with others, and the fierce loyalty that they can feel towards each other. The Secret Place really delves into the psyche of the teenage girl, maneuvering through her new found sexuality, sometimes by acting like they think men want them to. The novel is smart, tightly-written, and a page-turner.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter - Italy, 1962. A young man owns a hotel in a coastal town that he hopes to make into the latest and greatest resort town in the world. His small world becomes rocked upon the arrival of an American film actress, Stretching across decades and across oceans, Beautiful Ruins has so much story, wonderful characters, and a truly beautiful resolution. It's the perfect beach read.
One More Thing by B.J. Novak- Oh, B.J. Novak. So funny, so adorable. I had high hopes for this little book of short stories, but they were quickly crushed. None of the stories felt fleshed out to me. They read like first drafts of an interesting idea that was never followed through with. Also, they almost all had the same tone and the same sense of humor. I was disappointed, to say the least.