Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Love is on everyone's minds this hot, steamy summer in Brooklyn: there's old love, new love, infatuation, blind devotion, friendship and more, all smoldering within this tight-knit neighborhood.

Before they got married, Elizabeth and Andrew were in a college band, along with Zoe who lives down the block. Now, there's a film in development about the fourth band member (a sterotypical rock star comet who flared then burned out), and each is emotional about reliving their youth on the big screen. Meanwhile, the two family's teenagers are filled with raging hormones, which puts a whole new wrinkle in the neighborhood's soap opera drama.

I liked the book a lot - as I'd also liked the author's The Vacationers earlier this year. The characters aren't simple cookie cutters - Elizabeth is a perfect real estate agent and a devoted mother, but she's also a flawed friend and prone to fits of drama when faced with something unexpected. I actually found her a bit of a pill and couldn't wait for her to get karma-slapped for her self-absorption.

My only criticism is that the book wraps up with a tie-it-up-in-a-big-bow chapter that's just scrapbook tidbits telling you what path each character took. The book could have been stronger with a more ambiguous ending that finished with summer's end.

I listened to this one in audio narrated by Jen Tullock, who was awesome.

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