Five Reasons to Read & Recommend Caroline Leavitt's Cruel Beautiful World
by Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books
That Smokin' Hot Cover
The front of this book pretty much says, “Welcome to the time machine. Splash on a little Love's Baby Soft and step inside.” Detail after sensory detail, Leavitt holds readers in thrall to her story and keeps us immersed in the era of peace, love, and simmering danger.
A Family Both Recognizable and Unique
The relationship between sixteen-year-old Lucy and her older sister, Charlotte, epitomizes the big sibling–little sibling dynamic: deep love mixed with jealousies and misunderstandings. The family structure here is a little unusual—the girls are parented by a much older woman named Iris, and there's a backstory as to why, of course—but the ties that bind are universally relatable.
Get Out of Unwanted Weekend Plans!
Cancel brunch. You're not going anywhere until you find out where Lucy went and what happens next. The plot unfolds at a pace that hooks you from the first page to the last.
The Writing—Oh, the Writing
The story itself is entertaining enough—who doesn't love a disappearance drama?—but if you're a reader who writes (or just one who digs good prose), you'll appreciate this book on multiple levels. Don't be surprised if whole sentences stick in your brain.
It's a Crowd Pleaser
I read it. My husband read it. My younger co-workers read it. My older colleagues read it. Everyone loved it. Keep Cruel Beautiful World in mind as a go-to when a reader comes in and asks, “What's something good I don't know about yet?” Hand this over and rock their world.
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt * October 2016 * 978-1-61620-363-4