Sunday: The Swedish American Men’s Sporting Society

On Sunday, we get learn more about Jess’s life in NYC. Jess wakes up in a room that resembles a cupcake and to Kirk Cameron’s shining face. And Hope in the top bunk. The worst thing about the apartment for Jess is that she has to live with Manda and Shea, Manda’s genderqueer boifriend. But for me, this drawback is the best part of Jess’s living arrangement. After years of separation, Jessica gets to live with her BFF. Without Manda, the scenario would be too perfect. Even if Jess and Hope had another heinous roommate, said roommate wouldn’t have the same impact as Manda—she’s just so delightfully insufferable (and at least she’s working at Planned Parenthood). And only Manda could go from dating Len Levy to Shea.  Jess compares Shea’s aesthetic and attitude to a 16-year-old boy’s—so I’m just going to picture her as Justin Bieber from now on, even if that doesn’t totally match up with the rest of Jess’s description.

After rehashing Marcus’s proposal and Sara’s baby shower (poor little Destiny Estrella or Alessandro Destino) with the roomies, Jess does some unpacking. Just as we learn about Jess’s new space, she opens a box of mementos from her parents’ house. And destroys Hope’s mosaic in the process. Had Jess ruined the picture in an earlier book, it would have been the subject of much angst. Did her careless action kill their friendship, both symbolically and in reality? Even though their friendship is rock solid, Jessica still cries over their slit confetti throats.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, my recommendation, differs from what I would normally suggest. But I was thinking a lot about setting as I read this section, and Thisby, the island setting of The Scorpio Races, is a character unto itself. I love this book so much—there are killer water horses, a beautifully restrained romance, and November cakes. Sean Kendrick has won the Scorpio Races four times, but if he wins this time, he gets to buy Corr, the capaill uisce stallion he loves. Puck Connolly enters the races to keep her brother from leaving the island, and upsets traditionalists by being the first woman to ever try. The audiobook version is also amazing—I’ve reread many books, but this book I’ve ever wanted to listen to again.

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