I’ve read more books lately than I can conceivably write comprehensive reviews for – mid-semester exams loom and study is what I should be doing. So I’ll make it quick…
It’s all families, feelings and friendships in A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon – these are the kind of big, sprawling, contemporary stories that really appeal to me. Plus Hershon’s saga includes college dorms, New York City and beach holidays in the Hamptons (or something similar on an island…). There are no shattering plot twists which is fine because really, life is rarely packed with twists, is it?
The most interesting aspect of the story is the use of narrative as a means of examining Dual-Inheritance Theory (DIT). DIT was developed in the late 1970s to explain how human behavior is a product of two different and interacting evolutionary processes: genetic evolution and cultural evolution (with culture defined as information and behavior acquired through social learning). One of the theory’s central claims is that culture evolves partly through a Darwinian selection process. Hershon declares her intentions early with a definition of DIT, alerting the reader to where the action will be – breeding versus behaviour. Given that genetics is the reason for my return to study, this book was irresistible. As to the conclusions on DIT, Hershon leaves it largely to the reader’s own interpretation.
3/5 I enjoyed this book however, having finished it a fortnight ago, I realise that while the concept has lingered, the detail has not.
I received my copy of A Dual Inheritance from the publisher, Random House, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Not even sure why Gayle Forman’s If I Stay was on my Kindle… An impulse buy after reading a review? I suspect so. One of the good things about Kindles is that you can’t always see the cover of a book so it doesn’t influence your decision to read or not read. I was a little way into If I Stay when I realised it was YA. No probs – not my usual genre but I do read a bit here and there.
It’s the story of Mia – a teen with a gift for music, a boyfriend, and a loving family. A car accident changes everything. Forman examines the choices people have the luxury of making against those that are simply ‘made for us’. Apparently there’s a movie on the way – suspect it will be right up there with The Fault in Our Stars in terms of teenage-girls-and-millions-of-tissues-used.
3/5 It’s at the better end of the YA spectrum plus there’s no vampires, so that’s a win.