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  • Writer's pictureKristina Atkins

RTW: Best Book in February

Paired with any other books, John Green’s wonderful The Fault in our Stars would win. It’s uplifting, it’s heartbreaking, it’s brilliant. It could win over most other books I’ve read/will read.

BUT! I read an even better book this month, which means you should read it because it’s obviously mind-blowingly good. It’s not YA, but one of the protagonists is a 15-year-old girl, so almost? Anyhow! The book is …

The History of Love  by Nicole Krauss

Here’s the Goodreads blurb (which is also where the image came from):

Inspired by her four grandparents (from four different countries), Krauss tells the story of a man who, 60 years ago in the Polish village where he was born, fell in love and wrote a book. And though he doesn’t know it, that book survived, inspiring fabulous circumstances, even love.

That blurb isn’t as good as the one on the back of the back, but I’m in a hurry so it will suffice. Let me tell you … this is one of those rare books that has the power to change your soul. It’s achingly beautiful and so well-crafted that I just can’t fathom Krauss’s level of talent. Here’s my Goodreads review*:

I can’t stop recommending this book to people, and probably never will. I haven’t given a 5 start review in a while, but this book completely deserves it. It is beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful, funny, and poignant. This book is truly about love–every kind you can think of, and such beautiful depictions. Krauss is an incredible writer. While she keeps the writing more streamlined (i.e. non-flowery) there are some incredible lines that just made me stop and re-read them several times, just to savor the words. She has incredible virtuosity, writing a pre-teen boy, teen girl, and elderly old man well and believably. Seriously, do yourself a favor: read this book. Note: I found the first 80 – 100 pages to be a bit slow, but as soon as I hit page 100 (or so) I couldn’t put it down. And those first pages aren’t bad–they’re still beautiful, and this isn’t a quick-read–but once you hit 100, the pieces start falling into place and you want to race ahead to see how it all fits. Which, by the way, is brilliantly.

I usually recommend books with caveats–“This book is pretty good, but this-this-and-this were not-so-brilliant,” etc. But I have no caveats for this book. Just a simple READ IT.

What was your favorite read in February?

*I don’t write newspaper-worthy book reviews on Goodreads. I don’t have the time. My reviews are mostly for a) future reference for me and b) to give my friends an idea of what I think about it, whether I recommend it or not. So, yeah. No NYT reviews here, sorry!

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