American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis - I'm not sure why I've been reading so many short story collections. I like them, but am always left wanting more. American Housewife was dark, funny, and irreverant. Some of the stories were laugh out loud funny (Dumpster Diving with Celebrities comes to mind) and some were brutal (the one with the two women emailing back and forth over what to do in their shared foyer). Overall, these were highly entertaining.
Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford - Evelyn is in her twenties, living in Manhattan, and has a fabulous new job working at a new social media website aimed at gaining elite members. Evelyn is what we like to call a social climber. She leverages her position at the company to make herself friends with the young, rich, and powerful. In short, Evelyn is the worst. Eventually, her behavior spirals out of control when her spending gets out of hand, she begins blowing off her commitments, and tries to seduce one of her targets. I really liked this book, but I couldn't stand Evelyn.
The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen - Mercy Louis is a high-schooler, the star of the basketball team, a virgin, and was abandoned by her mother. She lives with her evangelical grandmother, who is incredibly strict. When a baby is discovered in a dumpster behind the local convenient store, every high school age girl becomes a suspect. Which of them have been having sex? The scent of shame roils through town. This was a perfect, beautifully written book. It reminded me a bit of Megan Abbott's Dare Me. I loved it.
The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy - Yes, yes, and yes. Someone needs to make this into a movie or a series immediately. In a post-apocalyptic future, a group of people live behind a wall. Outside their walls, wild animals, more fierce than you can imagine, roam. Inside, there is a serious shortage of water. When a strange rider shows up from the west, some people realize that the only way to survive is to leave. This is a re-imagining of Lewis & Clark and it is incredible. The cast of characters are wonderfully diverse, their cross-country journey is in turns terrifying and delightful. And when they arrive at their destination, everything comes to a head. Fantastic. Read it.