Thursday, November 16, 2017

Netgalley mini-reviews: The Lauras and Warp

In the middle of the night, Alex's mother decides it is time for a road trip. The two of them head across the country to find people from Ma's past. As they travel, Ma tells Alex about her life and they stop for a while to see someone or earn enough money to keep going. Their journey will bring the two closer together and push them apart, as they decide how they want to live the rest of their lives.

The Lauras is a very unique story. Taylor's debut novel The Shore did some creative things with storytelling as well. But The Lauras can be a difficult book to read; Alex is coming to terms with their sexuality and complicated family and Ma is trying to find peace with a painful past. At certain parts, this book seems to be an ode to human resiliency, but it never becomes trite. I didn't adore this book in the way that I loved her previous one, but Sara Taylor is an inventive and talented writer and I will be interested to see what she does next.

The Lauras
By Sara Taylor
Hogarth Press August 2017
304 pages
Read via Netgalley

Hollis has graduated from college and now lives a listless life. He and his friends wander through their days at meaningless jobs and wonder what happened to their dreams. Hollis and his friend decide that the best way to spend their weekend is to break into an abandoned mansion, get drunk, and talk about the people they know and the people they wish they could be.

This book was republished after the success of Grossman's Magicians Trilogy. Hollis is very clearly an early iteration of Quentin Coldwater. It's a really good thing that Quentin became a magician because without magic, the moody twenty-something protagonist is painful to witness. There's an inevitable comparison here to Holden Caulfield. If you are a fan of that character, this might be a good read for you. The rest of us should probably stick to Grossman's more magical books.

By Lev Grossman
St. Martin's Griffin September 2016
192 pages
Read via Netgalley


  1. I so agree with you about The Lauras. The story had flaws but the big picture Taylor was writing about still shone through.

  2. I like the main story of the Lauras.