I’m going to be 100% transparent here and admit to the fact that I had never heard of Lindy West or her writing or this book. What I had heard of, however, was . . . .
I have such a wicked crush on Aidy Bryant it’s not even funny. From being one of the driving forces behind the female counterpoint to The Lonely Island . . . .
To owning everything there is when it comes to playing oversexed teens . . . . .
Aidy Bryant is a continual over-the-top laugh-out-loud force every week on SNL and has become a quiet force in proving both the “women aren’t funny” and “fat people are disgusting” troll armies wrong . . . .
When I heard she was getting her own television show I was thrilled – followed by nearly immediately being crushed because I am not a subscriber to the Hulu. So I did what I do best and I looked to see if Shrill had started off as a book.
I started listening and thought this was going to be a little memoir on navigating the world as a fat female. Being that I myself am a fat female, I have definitely spent my adult life embracing my plus size and trying to present a confident/body positive image no matter what trolls might have to say otherwise about the subject. I was pretty sure I would like this book. And I did . . . . until I didn’t any more. Body positivity = good. Believing overweight people should be declared a protected class????
Again – this is coming from someone who is probably around the same size as Lindy West, but I’m not about to let my white privilege show through so much that I’m going to back her up on that argument.
Wishing comedians didn’t joke about things like rape = good. Spending 1/3 of a book arguing that you believe in free speech while kinda doing whatever was possible to take away other’s (albeit disgusting uggos) free speech = notsogood. And speaking of that part of the book. On what planet does Daniel Tosh deserve more attention than he already has received? At some point I think that turd would have dried up and blown away by now if it weren’t for all the attention he receives in response to his “bad boy” brand of humor. Oh and dare I forget the focus on the boypig Tosh (or even better the sour grapes presented to the non-offensive Patton Oswalt simply for being famous enough that people listen to him when he speaks) while Louis C.K. gets a pass . . . . .
Hindsight is 20/20 on that one!
I ended up not being the target audience for this “fat, feminist, abortion story” – obviously YMMV. If I didn’t have such a hair trigger when it comes to wanting instant gratification I would have taken a second to look at the blurb and see that West is Lena Dunham’s kind of girl which means she probably wouldn’t be the kind of girl for me. Guess that ol’ hindsight works for me here too ; )...more
I think my expectations may have been set a little too high here due to the fact that epistolary novels (confession: I just learned that word about a week ago – I always used the term “mixed media” as my descriptor of stories like these (and probably will continue to do so after this)) have become sort of my bag. The premise here is a decent one: Iris Massey has succumbed to cancer at the young age of 33. In passing, she has bequeathed to her former employer a blog she started upon learning she was not long for this world . . . . .
If you think this is any good, feel free to publish it. No pressure just because I’m dead.
What comes next is said boss Smith’s attempt to save his flailing business, his interactions with Iris’ half idiot/half mastermind replacement and his ever-evolving relationship with Iris’ sister.
This was a giant win for my friends who have read it. Unfortunately, it fell in the “meh” category for me. It took me a good 20% before I even felt like there was a chance I would become interested in any of the characters, I never did grow to like the blog posts and it didn’t make me have any feelings (and I totally just had a feeling about a porny the other day so I do get stricken by them every once in a while). If you want something light and cutesie (I know, creepy term to use about a death book, but it is fitting), this might be just the thing you’re looking for. ...more
Let me begin by pointing out that the cover of this book looked like such for me . . . .
There is very little chance I would have picked up the “girl with umbrella” version. Let me also say that the comparisons to Eleanor Oliphant or Where’d You Go, Bernadette? miss the mark as well. At best, this could be compared to specific moments such as . . . . .
Or . . . .
I’m giving The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom 2 Stars simply for my own personal enjoyment. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the writing and a modern Orthodox Jewish main character was certainly refreshing and not the cookie-cutter norm when it comes to female leads. However:
1. I don’t like twatty dudes . . . except occasionally when I pick up a motorcycle/shifter porno.
2. I don’t tolerate liars . . . . except occasionally when I pick up an unreliable narrator type of thriller.
3. I don’t accept cheating. Pretty much EVER.
That being said, my reaction to pretty much this entire thing was a big ol’ . . . . .
If you can get past the issues I had, you’ll most likely have a reaction totally opposite of mine.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
Once again I am the dissenter in the ranks amongst my friends and their high ratings. However, at 3.68 this book doesn’t have a high rating from the masses in general so maybe I didn’t read it completely wrong??? I also chose to pick it up during a time when my attitude was like such . . . .
So maybe that can shoulder part of the blame. Thanks work for being so extra last week, you turd!
I really wanted/expected this to turn my frown upside down. I mean, you know your homegirl likes the stalkers. And all the comparisons to a certain someone being dropped had me expecting You 3.0 - only . . . .
The Perfect Girlfriend had potential. Hell, it started out with our main gal breaking into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment while he was out of town. Her lack of self-awareness even made me chuckle at times . . . .
“I have seven missed calls from Nate and one from James. It feels like harassment.”
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, it was really slow going for me – the ridiculous(™Ron2.0) was off the charts – which would be A-okay if things didn’t go from farfetched over-the-top storylines to ones that . . . .
Also? I would have MOTHER.EFFING.LUUUUUUUUUUURVED it if Juliette had actually been (view spoiler)[obsessed with her former schoolmate rather than Nate and the opener was simply a red herring before she Single White Femaled her to death (hide spoiler)]. That would have been a fun twist I didn’t see coming. Buuuuuuuuuut, it didn’t happen and what did happen just left me feeling meh.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
“A John Doe has an exact identity. It’s just yet to be discovered.”
Well looky looky I completed the Winter Reading Challenge and received my major award . . . .
My final stop on my “Passport to Everywhere” was everyone’s favorite dream vacay destination . . . .
And with a Pulitzer Winner even! I know what you’re thinking, and my response to you is . . .
Or not because I read this one supah wrong and thought it was booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring (and also if this can win the Pulitzer then why didn’t The Interview win the Oscar????). Whatever the case, I read it and even wrongreading counts when it comes to getting free swag so yay me . . . .
Many thanks to my awesome library for creating these challenges (and handsome rewards) each year. I poo-pooed the notion of this theme when I first saw it, but have now traveled to Sweden, Alaska, Fallujah, Russia and North Korea because of it and removed books from my TBR that would have remained there indefinitely if it weren’t for this forcing of my hand.
What my face would look like if any of you were to approach me and ask: “Wellllll, did you love it as much as I did?!?!?!?!” . . . .
Because I am a terrible liar. Sorry I read this one wrong, everyone. Your billions of 4 and 5 Star reviews shall serve as evidence of my failure.
First, to all of you who were aware how hesitant I was to try this after my experience with A Man Called Ove and who promised this was really not a hockey book, I have this to say . . . .
It is 173% a hockey book – nearly exclusively for the first 38%, but really FOR.EV.ER. because “it’s a hockey town,” yo! And heaven help if they stop reminding you about that fact for one flippin’ page.
Next, here are some notes I made:
“If this another motherfucking book about a girl who goes to a party and gets raped by an overprivileged white boy who then either ends up killing/threatening to kill him or the boy who loves her/the bullied fat kid/her bestie/her daddy decides to kill/threaten to kill him on her behalf Imma burn the fucking building down.”
I didn’t burn the building down! Yay me . . . .
However, I am T.I.R.E.D. of these books. The subject matter at hand shouldn’t be a tired trope. Especially from an author who presents the viewpoint that “no one tells you it can be with someone you know.” Fuck you, dude. EVERYONE knows that it’s most likely going to happen by someone you know and unless you live in a “Beartown” where no one teaches anything other than hockey, that’s what you learn growing up.
Obviously I didn’t like this. I didn’t like the stuff mentioned above, or how un(or under)developed the OH-SO-MANY characters were, or that there always seemed to be HUNDREDS of pages left to read because the pacing was non-existent, or that it was so devoid of emotion. (I noticed that the same translator who was used in Ove was not used here. Maybe he can shoulder part of the blame?) I considered bumping up a half Star simply for Ramona . . . .
And Bobo . . . .
But JFC, at some point I have to stop rewarding clichés, ya know?
I think I need to cut ties at this point, appreciate the one beautiful story I read by this author and not sullen my own memory of him further.
Sorry I failed you all . . . yet again. The good news is I killed two birds with one stone – or hockey puck as the case may be here. I read a book I actually received as an ARC, but never opened because I was terrified of being the wrongreader (#nailedit) and I was able to check Book #1 off for the library’s Winter Reading Challenge by traveling to Sweden in my head for this selection . . . .
ARC provided by NetGalley (over a year and a half ago – whoops) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
You know what makes me want to punch someone in the throat more than anything in the universe? When the only words they can come up with during an argument are “wow” or “whatever.” The fact that this is pretty much the only response either of the two main characters in this book have to anything that offends them did not bode well for my enjoyment. Not to mention the laundry list of other things like . . .
1. I found Shatter Me to be okay, but I remember Mafi being quite the wordsmith. Definitely not the case here.
2. The female lead’s family has moved like a dozen times in her life – but apparently only to super racist uggo places (even before 9/11 took place which made uggos even more uggo) and yet don’t really have any money or anything to show for it so why move all the time???
3. If you want to argue that they weren’t poor – IT FLAT OUT SAYS THE OLDER BROTHER IS DYSLEXIC AND THEY COULDN’T AFFORD A TUTOR SO THE MC HAD TO “TEACH” HIM NOT TO BE DYSLEXIC ANYMORE . . . when they were middle schoolers. I can’t even talk about this topic further for fear my brain will explode.
4. How many teenage movies can be ripped off in one book? Let me count the ways – girl makes her own creations via altering thrift store finds à la Pretty In Pink and since there is no such thing as too much John Hughes (except somehow there is now because a subset of people are super offended by everything I thought was awesome when I was a teenager) we also have the unexpected show up by dream boy in his car à la Sixteen Candles and no clichéd story would be complete without every problem being solved via a breakdancing battle like the Step Up franchise has taught us.
5. While we’re on the subject of things that offend the younger generation – there are multiple occurrences of “being stopped with a kiss” so see Argument #4 above and the old lady generation teenie bopper movie stuff that now pisses people off as to my confusion.
6. These children DON’T EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER. Now I know that’s the mom in me speaking, but JFC I’d rather have the instalove than this supposed “deep” crap when he doesn’t even know she has a brother and she’s unaware he’s the star of the basketball team. Talk about self-absorbed douchebags.
7. Not everything is racist. Or there can be more than one reason. The dude in class who is disgusting and tells her he “sees nothing” when he looks at her (or probably any other random student) could have a multitude of reasons – they’re not on the same social plane as he is, they’re fat, ugly, gay, poor, rich, etc., etc., etc. The forest is missed for the trees when it comes to pointing out that individuals like him are AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWFUL people – and yes maybe blatantly racist as well because they are pigs – but a lot of these kids were probably just assholes and thought she was a bitch because she acted like a bitch all the time and could have given a rip about her heritage.
8. Our MC wears hijab, but basically for a fashion statement. Wear what you want to wear, but good grief don’t get peeved when a classmate calls you out for conduct unbecoming.
I won’t be responding to any comments telling me I’m wrong on this one because (1) I’m well aware and (2) I’m sure the majority of those statements will be coming from children and Homey don’t play that. Before you get all up in arms, please note this is actual footage of me typing this review . . . .
“What’s the opposite of a miracle?” Frances sat upright in her bed. “How many letters?”
As soon as I started French Exit it seemed very familiar to me. I went perusing my friends’ reviews and discovered Sam had experienced the same sort of déjà vu . . . .
And that should be enough to let you know if you want to take a roll of this dice with this one. There are no “sort of” Wes Anderson fans (and if anyone tries to tell you they “kinda” like his movies you should (1) ask them to name three of them as a test and (2) then cut them out of your life before they tell you a lie that’s actually harmful). The story here is of Frances, her son Malcolm and a little fella called Small Frank. Frances and Malcolm have lived high on the hog in the Upper East Side forever, but are being forced to change their lifestyle due to lack of funds . . . .
“What did you think was going to happen? What was your plan?”
“My plan was to die before the money ran out. But I kept and keep not dying, and here I am.”
This is a book that will constantly have you saying . . . .
But, if you’re like me, in the best way imaginable. Sam’s review points out that Frances and Malcolm may remind readers of another impossible-not-to-love mother and son duo . . . .
Which is pretty spot on.
I can’t tell you who I think would like this book. I just know I did . . . .
(And the fact that Sam did is pretty much like seeing a unicorn in real life so you might want to add it to the ol’ TBR just in case.)
EDIT: FLOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAT FOR THIS BABY'S BERFDAY. MITCHELL GAVE THIS STABBY GOOD TIME TWO TUSKS UP!
“Did I marry a psychopath?”
Stop me if you’ve heard this one . . . .
Yeah, you didn’t stop me because you haven’t read anything like this before. The story here is of Millicent and her husband. She’s a real estate agent, he’s the local tennis pro. They live in a coveted neighborhood with their two teenaged children, Rory and Jenna. Oh, and . . . . .
Everything in their lives has been going swimmingly until the body of one of their victims is discovered. And then?????
“Here we go.”
Obviously I can’t give away much more without ruining everything, but you know how I complain a lot about too many twists and turns and not wanting the kitchen sink thrown in to my thrillers?
This truly is an exception to the rule. The fact that it is completely over the top and errrrrrrrythang that happens happens is exactly what makes it so fun. All the Starzzzzzzz (and sorry y’all have to wait until March for it to come out.)
Advanced copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. They obviously know who the crazies are....more
I didn’t even really “like” this book – and yet a mere two hours after starting it . . . . .
Good Christ am I under the CoHo spell. I’m not going to go into much detail (so this will pretty much be exactly like all of my other reviews, I guess) because this is a story about infertility and I was fortunate enough to never have to experience that. I will say that I did not enjoy being in Quinn’s head even one little bit – and if that makes me a uncompassionate monster, so be it. I also didn’t buy into this huuuuuuuuge monumental love affair like no one has ever seen before. For me, the only thing these two had going for them was a hot and horny sex life because it never even really attempted to dig beyond surface level. But that’s just me and everyone else loved it.
I run about 50/50 when it comes to Hoover and since I fawned all over Without Merit, I assumed there was a good chance this one would not be the story for me. I’m not into tragiporn and I am devoid of emotion so there’s zero chance this was going to make me have any feelings. Obviously that didn’t deter me from reading it – just like I’ll be the first in line for the next thing she releases and probably the one after that and the one after that. If you’re looking for an emotional romance, there’s a good chance All Your Perfects will be right up your alley. Looking for something more on the smutty side? I can give you a couple other CoHo recs ; )...more
Let’s get real. That’s the reason everyone and their damn dog read this thing. Now that I’ve read it, I’m fairly certain that’s why many users rated it so high as well. I actively avoided it for months because I wasn’t quite sure if I was still a drinker of the Oprah Kool-Aid and wanted to maintain my fond memories of a bygone era. But then a co-worker told me about a podcast she listened to where Tayari Jones was interviewed and convinced me to add my name to the waiting list because she sounded so nice. There’s a good chance that she’s the nicest person in the universe . . . . but the characters she wrote about sure weren’t.
For me, it all boils down to . . . .
“Young people don’t respect the institution.”
While I don’t believe that is the case, the message that THESE YOUNG PEOPLE in particular didn’t respect the institution of marriage was broadcast loud and clear throughout the duration of this novel. As a woman who has been married for 22 years, let me tell you this story pissed me plum the fuck off. These people weren’t in an “American Marriage” – or if they were I’m declaring I want different categories because they didn’t even LIKE each other FFS. He was an overgrown manchild who screwed women on the side while vilifying his “little missus” for not being interested in getting knocked up on their honeymoon. She was so worried about losing herself to a man that she wouldn’t give ANY part of herself for the greater good of their union. Their “marriage” of a year and a half was full of lies and omissions and both of them sickened me.
I’m a person who LOVES reading about the underdog or the “bad” guy. I don’t shy away from vile characters – often times I even find myself cheering for them. But these people? Ugh. If this is what “real” people are like then let me stay in my bubble because I could just vomit. From giving up on her supposedly innocent husband nearly instantaneously (don’t argue semantics – just because she pretended to stay with him for two years doesn’t mean she didn’t move on with her life/career immediately), to falling into bed with her childhood friend (and again, this relationship had zero actual love that translated to the page – only convenience and a copout) to him having a one-night-stand with a woman the day he’s out of prison and then informing his wife that he could rape her if he wanted to when she dares to tell him he needs to use protection if they are going to have sex (while she’s supposedly engaged to her (and his – can’t forget they were college buddies) best pal). Again - vomit.
I don’t know this reviewer, but the first few lines of THIS REVIEW asks the questions I kept asking myself. The answer for me? My rating comes from how much I enjoyed a book – not for its literary merit. I LOATHED this book, its characters, the glossing over the trial/incarceration/appeal/etc., its jumping of the shark that somehow a man whose father ran out on his mother when he was but a baby somehow MAGICALLY ends up in not only the same penal institution (and don’t forget there’s roughly 2.3 MILLION PEOPLE currently incarcerated in the United States), but also winds up his cellie in some attempt at tragi-porn that never delivers ANNNNNNND the beyond the grave letter from his dearly departed mama. GTFOOH. It doesn’t matter that the writing was clearly good, the snippets of imprisonment left me wanting more of that story, the final showdown in the front yard FINALLY offered me something to believe in or Big Roy . . . . .
“When I look at Mr. Roy out there, at his wife’s grave, I feel like I’ve been playing at marriage. That I don’t know what it is to be committed.”
Oh Big Roy. You were nearly enough to make me change my mind, but I’m sticking to my guns and this solo star.
Nearly ALL of my friends loved this novel thoroughly. There’s a good chance you will too. After all, the power of Oprah compels you. And if you think I’m kidding about that, here’s a pic I took last night when my kid challenged me to a “minute to win it” type of event where I pulled all the Oprah books I could off the shelves while he timed me . . . . .
I hate that that’s my reaction to this book, but good god almighty was it a slog for me. And it sucks double because I obviously read it wrong being that the handful of my friends who have already read it really enjoyed it. I don’t know what happened. I mean, the story is one that’s been told a time or twelve before. . . . .
“Man should be better than monsters.” “Ah, but who are the monsters?”
But that’s not something that ever deters me from a book (seriously, I’m totally the sucker gal who’s always going to be first in line for “the next Gone Girl”). It also can’t be because it was “weird” because one of my favorite films of all time will forever be . . . .
The only thing that can be blamed? The writing. Overwritten literary fiction good v. evil with a side of monstersmex is apparently not my cuppa. Not to mention all the various sideplots about becoming a modern woman in the 60s or a closeted homosexual ready for love too late in life and the Russkies and good lord almighty once again . . . . .
Before you troll me please note I am NOT a reader who willingly seeks out things I will dislike in order to post some ragey review (in fact, those people are all on my bottomless blocked list). I want to loooooooove every book I read . . . or at least I want to not feel like I wasted my (and potentially a buddy’s) time. Since I’m not a big moviegoer as soon as I saw The Shape Of Water also had a print version I immediately went to the library. And I waited. FOR MONTHS. Not even kidding, Stepheny has been waiting for this journey to begin since her baby was born, it seems. For the past three days all I’ve done is think about all of the other books I have waiting to be read that are sure to bring me more joy than this. And that’s not a good thing.
Stepheny opted for the audio version. I hope to all that is right in the universe the Wizarding World that she ends up having a better experience than I did.
And speaking of Stepheny. I was smitten with our resident Harry Potter re-reader extraordinaire pretty much from the jumpstart, but the moment where she told a 12-year to go eff off sealed the deal and had me saying . . . .
I am 100% aware that I absolutely S.U.C.K. as a buddy-reader for a multitude of reasons, which makes me ever-the-more thankful she still wanted to play in the same sandbox as me....more
Nearly everyone I know has given this off-the-charts marks . . . which is why I avoided it until this point. I’ve read a few Summers’ books now and, despite rating them all fairly high, I always feel like the missing link after finishing. Same was the case here. I think my problem is twofold:
1. I have no heart. The thing is, I’m not sure the author has one either (and no, I don’t mean that as an insult). While Summers presents material that draws emotions out of readers, she doesn’t present it in an emotional manner to me. Since I don’t fire on all cylinders I feel a sense of detachment when reading her characters. I believe other readers have an abundance of feelings/empathy that they can project onto a story when it’s lacking and never feel that void. Sadie probably would have earned more stars from me if it had focused solely on the podcast transcription and not included the narrative by Sadie herself; and
2. Summers’ books seem to ride the coattails of the latest trend. That’s not to say she can’t spin a yarn, because I’ve blown through all of her books I’ve picked up. There just comes a point where things are a little too coinky-dinky. I could ignore This Is Not A Test, because errrrrybody was writing zombies – maybe I could do the same with the “mean girls” trend and Some Girls Are. I steered clear of the rapey All the Rage 100% and never looked back after my bestie read it wrong because I didn’t want to get in that line for fangirls to kick my ass along with hers. Now revenge stories are the new black and here Summers is with her own spin. If she’s an “anything you can do I can do better” type of gal, she certainly puts her money where her mouth is because her stories are good. I just wish she’d come up with a fresh idea . . . .
“What follows is an account, as I choose to remember it, of my twelfth year on this planet – the summer of the Saturday Night Ghost Club.”
When I received this from my Book Fairy, it was like . . . .
A new selection from an author who has never failed me? What could possibly go wrong? Well, allow me to take you on a journey that will hopefully eventually get to the point . . . but since it’s me maybe it won’t.
Many years ago I came across a free book written by someone I had never heard of and I thought it was the bees knees. A few months later I read . . . well pretty much the same book, but a more well known version written by a more famous author. I overlooked it because hey, we all gotta start somewhere, right? Then it happened again . . . . and again. Yes, the writing was good, but the concepts/storylines/characters took “inspired by” to a level I wasn’t comfortable with so I washed my hands of that person.
So what does that have to do with Craig Davidson? He’s too gooooooooooooooooooood to have to resort to riffing on others’ old work. Dude is so good he writes under THREE names (that I’m aware of – hell he could write under a dozen more for all I know). His stuff is the original, envelope pushing type of book other people borrow from in order to attempt to write their own, less than, pieces. And the Saturday Night Ghost Club? It’s basically this kid . . .
(That part gets a pass because pretty much every coming of age story about a male human child could be this kid.)
Telling this guy’s story . . . .
Remember him? Uncle Red? Even my friend Trudi (who loved this book and who called dibs ages ago on being the Annie Wilkes to Cutter/Davidson/Lestewka) said the same thing in her review.
There just wasn’t much to this story – either in substance or page count. The characters felt hollow and future Jake’s profession made it glaringly obvious what Uncle C’s problem was/what everything was leading up to – not to mention I cared absolutely ZERO PERCENT about the inserts regarding his patients and their brain issues. Oh, and the “big reveal????”
While some things were awesomely reminiscent of true urban legends spread throughout my youth – like KFC having to drop the term “chicken” due to creating some sort of mutant that was pretty much only breasts and legs . . . .
Other things that I would usually dismiss ended up really getting under my skin – like a teenage girl in the 1980s taking medicine for depression/bi-polar disorder (her diagnosis is not disclosed). Sorry, in the ‘80s puberty would have been blamed for this child’s mood swings.
So there it is. Sucks that I suck, but I do and so does this rating : ( ...more
Go read EVERYONE else’s review of this because I am the odd one out and wrongreader here. And I’m totally willing to admit it this time around too. You see when I heard that The Kiss Quotient was about a young woman with Asperger’s who hires a “professional” (if you know what I mean) to make her more comfortable with intimacy, I have to say I was really banking on it being a light little rom-com like The Rosie Project. I can’t help it . . . . .
I was expecting Stella to be sort of like this . . . . .
While looking like this . . . .
(At least I got that second part right.)
What I did not expect was this to be like SUPER porny - and y’all know I ain’t skeeeeered of the pornos, it was just not what I had in mind which made my face look kind of like this a lot of the time while I was reading it . . . .
I’m also get a little burned out with the Autism spectrum being turned into a tired trope. This is the same thing that happened for me with rape storylines before this and mental illness/depression before that. At some point I get squicked out by every author hopping the same bandwagon of these real-life issues. Not to mention this was the insta-loviest lovefest I’ve read in quite an age – and that pretty much never works for me unless it involves some sort of shapeshifter.
The one thing I did like? ETHNIC DIVERSITY! Once again we finally got some non-white peeps in a G.D. bestseller. I have to confess I was totally terrified that I would be labeled a racist because when it comes to casting an Asian male I only have eyes for . . . .
Who is most definitely NOT Vietnamese, but then the author said her leading male Michael looked like Daniel Henney and I was like . . . .
I’m giving this 2.5 Stars because I found it to be perfectly average. I'm rounding up because I read it over a month ago and still remember it. Go old lady brain! You is getting better at this : )
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
I had a feeling I would be the dissenting opinion on this one right from the start when the author performed a Google search for some stolen cufflinks based off of a sketch (not an actual picture) and swore she found the exact items (for a bargain price of $8 even) and that she would be able to identify the original owner/identify the perp due to the fact that “names starting with the letter N” weren’t very prevalent on the Top 100 Baby Names list at the time and also thought it was perfectly reasonable to Ziploc baggie the things and present them to the police (because DNA evidence would still be present 30 years later??? Zoinks). I stopped watching Nancy Grace once my firstborn started sleeping through the night and I wasn’t held prisoner by the lack of viewing options at 2:00 a.m., thank you very much.
I feel I need to disclose that I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Patton Oswalt’s book . . . . that I still have not read because he broke what is left of my dried out rotten apple of a heart when his wife died unexpectedly and he shared how shattered he was and I can’t bear to even think about picking the damn thing up to this day. That being said, I understand why getting I’ll Be Gone In The Dark to print was so important to him. But it’s MY belief that reviews should be honest - and honestly??? I don’t get the hype. I don’t think McNamara’s writing is particularly brilliant unless you are interested in what type of clothing and music were popular at the time of a crime rather than details of the cases (not to mention the fact that she only wrote half of it before she died, making it EXTREMELY choppy); the timeline itself is 100% disjointed and hops from past to future to past again without rhyme or reason; despite the “EAR” or “ONS” or “EAR/ONS” being responsible for 50+ crimes hardly any are covered in this book; and last, but certainly not least, McNamara doesn’t seem to have had too much insight into the case at all, but rather an obsession/borderline addiction where conjecture rules and fellow couch commandos are considered experts (if you’ve ever been on a site like Websleuths or the like, you’ll know the exact opposite is true).
Bottom line is: I don’t think this would have ever been published were it not for her husband being famous and making it happen as part of his grieving process. Good news for everyone involved is that the Golden State Killer wound up being caught which gave I’ll Be Gone In The Dark new life and a sort of cult following and very few people who want to go on record as “poo poo-ing” it due to McNamara’s untimely death. Obviously I drank the Kool-Aid because I read the thing too. I’m just also willing to shit on everyone else’s sundae....more
I picked up Less for one reason and one reason alone . . . . .
“It’s not Pew-lit-sir. It’s Pull-it-sir. Holy fuck, Arthur, I won.”
Occasionally I like to prove that I don’t live on porn and murder alone and venture out. The world of award winners has generally worked out pretty well for me and, although I’m not a zealot about it, I try to squeeze in a Pulitzer, Man Booker or Edgar Award winner a couple times a year.
The story here is about Arthur Less. Quickly approaching 50 with one former partner dying and another getting married, Arthur feels he has no choice but to do one thing . . . .
Except the staying in more part. No, on the contrary Arthur will be going out more. A lot more. And all over the world. From Paris to Berlin to Morocco, Arthur will become quite the globetrotter in order to avoid facing the facts that he’s not getting any younger . . . or more successful . . . or better at relationships.
Less has the hardware that proves unarguably that I read it wrong. I don’t even have a valid reason, either, because the “off the top of my head” excuse why I didn’t fall over myself loving this one is that I didn’t really relate to Arthur. Obviously I can’t truly relate to all of the meth manufacturers, moonshine runners, cannibals and serial killers who manage to make their way into my cold, dead heart either, so like I said – invalid argument. I guess my main problem with poor Arthur was . . . .
“You talk like a child. You look and act very young.” . . . “Maybe you never grew up.” Maybe he never did.
I guess there’s no place in my life for middle-aged manchildren. It still gets 3 Stars, though, because even I couldn’t eff up and read it wronger than that ; )...more
“To compete in these mountains, you have to be strong and tall. Otherwise, you won’t be able to reach the light.”
The year is 1952. The place is Howl Mountain, North Carolina. Allow me to introduce you to a few of the residents. First up is Rory. He fought in Korea and was sent home missing a leg. Ever since he’s been back he’s been earning a livin’ runnin’ that rye whiskey all up and down the hills . . . .
Rory lives with his Granny May. She used to be known for this . . . .
But she’s since left whorin’ behind and has made a name for herself when it comes to folk healin’. In her spare time she does a little of this . . . .
And a lot of this . . . .
Rory’s momma has been out of the picture for an age ever since a superbadawful happened to her that took her voice and left her in the looney bin. She came out of it with a little souvenir, though . . . .
Rory’s become quite fond of the local preacher’s daughter, but he ain’t quite sold on their church . . . .
If you know me, you’re probably well aware of the fact that I like my stories to be a . . . .
So why the hell the fair to middlin’ rating, right? I will admit the problem here is most likely a result of my wrongreading. Taylor Brown’s writing simply painted readers into Appalachia. Thus was the problem for me. I read about this area as often as I can. I don’t need to hear about the land in great detail every other paragraph. When you have characters like those mentioned above (as well as Eustace, Eli, etc.) I was looking for a story that focused on the people, not descriptions of the place. Once you meet Granny May, there’s a chance you’ll feel the same way too . . . .
“Christ’s father let him die on that cross,” she said. “I understand why he done it.” She leaned closer, whispering in his ear: “But Christ never had no granny like me.”
That cover, tho . . . I might should round up instead of down for that alone . . . .
Please note that I am the odd one out with this 3 Star rating because nearly all of my pervs . . . errr, I mean peeps on Goodreads splooged their daisy dukes over this one and it has a cumulative rating of 4.30 from them . . . .
I know right? What can I say? These broads love them some KA motorbikey porns. And so do I. So why the low(ish) rating from yours truly here? Well, it’s pretty simple . . . .
I pick up a book like this for one reason and one reason alone. Because I want to get in the mood to . . . . .
Know what I mean????
Or am I being too subtle? If so, allow me to quote the immortal words of Chase Rice and say when I’m finished with the book????
I give zero farts about all the “honey” calling by the female lead, and caveman equivalent elocutions of the male lead and dirty talk and swampy sexyparts and anything else. Kristen Ashley gets a pass on all of it because her shit GETS. THE. JOB. DONE. But add in a baby????
It doesn’t even matter that Joker was described as my ideal man: Zac from The Challenge fame. Ohhhhhhhhhhh Zac . . . . .
Someone mix up a stronger batch of this Kool-Aid before I read the next one! ...more
So what was my problem? I mean, aside from the usual . . . .
For me it was I just couldn’t make sense of the thing. I mean you have a woman in the present whose sister was murdered 20 years ago. The person our MC always thought was the guilty party was not only accused, but also convicted and has been behind bars all this time. And yet the sister is still obsessed with “solving” the case due to a snafu in the presented timeline. Then there’s a story 50 years in the past about a girl who went missing from the local boarding school. And also a potential ghost . . . . .
I have to say that this was compulsively readable. Despite there not being a whole lot of action, I never wanted to put it aside. I’m giving The Broken Girls a middle-of-the-road rating (but rounding up for the readability factor) because I think if I recommended this to my friends many of them would come back to me saying . . . .
Normally I don’t have a problem suspending disbelief. I’m the first to accept the average housewife morphing into a supersleuth and solving crimes the Feds can’t figure out. Maybe it was because this was written so well that I couldn’t get over that niggling feeling of “this WOULD NEVER happen.” Not to mention the back-and-forth timeline is a gimmick that doesn’t always work for me to begin with and this one really lacked cohesion in the two storylines. Or three, I guess, if you count Mary Hand’s . . . .
I’ll go to the shame corner now. I still want a participation medal for playing along with this week’s theme, though ; )
EDIT 2/7/19: Because YES I've seen the New Yorker and Guardian articles. I don't know why authors (especially talented ones) choose to shoot their own feet off. Best guess? Undiagnosed or untreated mental issues. That being said, I read this book nearly a dang YEAR ago and as a Hitchcock superfan it knocked my socks off. The upcoming Agatha-Christie-inspired follow up was sure to be an auto request. Hell, who am I kidding, it probably still is - assuming dudebrah doesn't lose his book deal and I can get it from the library in order to not pad his pockets. I won't be removing my rating or review, but definitely won't be shouting his praises from the rooftops either.
“Cat and mouse, cat and mouse, but which is the cat and which is the mouse?”
In an effort to prove I read everything wrong – even the stuff I like – I’m giving The Woman in the Window the full monty of Stars while the majority of my friends experienced “meh” . . . .
Credit goes to debra and Trudi and Melissa and Liz and Deanna and Diane S whose mediocre ratings helped lower my expectations. (Now that I’m done I can go read all of your reviews.) Credit to myself for putting my name on the looooooooong wait list and then nearly forgetting all about this one until it was due to be returned. Braintrust. I is one.
Here’s what I knew before starting: The Woman in the Window was going to be about . . . . you guessed it, a woman in the window. Said woman was housebound for some reason and also liked more than her fair share of the drinky drinky. Same woman would see “something” from her window – or maybe not. And almost everyone thought it was too long and slow-going for their liking.
Now that I’m finished and have read the blurb, I’m actually quite surprised to see it not being compared to The Girl on the Train because really? Not only was this kinda like The Girl on the Train, but it was EXACTLY what I was hoping The Girl on the Train would be like. I am quite pleased, however, to see proper credit given to A.J. Finn’s inspiration . . . . .
I think that is why this one worked so well for me. I am a Hitchcock superfan. Please don’t get that twisted to think I wrote some thesis analyzing his works or know the answer to every trivia question about him. I appreciate Hitchcock the same as I appreciate a book – for the entertainment value it provides me. As a kid I was raised on Hitchcock classics (as an adult I’ve discovered some of the books/stories his films were based on) and they are my go-to films of choice even if I’ve seen them a thousand times. The Woman in the Window succeeds in bringing little snippets of so many of Hitchcock’s films together seamlessly. From the obvious selection . . . . .
Which is brilliantly the one mentioned the least by our leading lady, Anna. To the selection that is applicable in so many cases of an “unreliable narrator” . . . .
To the twists and turns that serve as an homage to . . . .
A reader who isn’t a fan of Hitchcock might easily miss out on some “inside info.” Or they might just think it’s slow because it’s definitely not a roller coaster full of twists and turns. For me, though, it was the perfect mystery. Not only due to the Hitchcockian shout-outs, but also because Anna was a phenomenal unreliable narrator. Bonus was she even had a sense of humor about how fucked up she was . . . .
“I’m running on fumes. Grape fumes.”
It also didn’t bother me one bit to know what was coming. Some things were foreseeable because they were events that followed their movie inspirations and some were just things that an avid mystery-thriller reader is going to pick up on. For those of you who think I’m full of shit when I say I tend to be able to guess what’s going on when it comes to mystery/thrillers here are some REAL SPOILERS SO PLEASE DON’T CLICK THEM IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED:
Once again, thanks to all for making me go into this with no hopes at all. It obviously worked out great : )["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two types of grown women in the world. Those who love Disney and all of its princesses and then there’s me . . . .
I don’t understand how the other half thinks and they probably feel the same about me. That being said, I requested this from the library after seeing it being equated to “a female version of Jack Sparrow” which had me immediately going . . . .
If I had known I was getting a Disney princess story I wouldn’t have wasted my time. Especially if I had known it was going to remind me of the most vapid of them all . . . .
Who doesn’t turn out to be a mermaid, but instead is . . . .
Just kidding. She ends up being part siren. Buuuuuuuuut you don’t find that out until you’re a goodly chunk into the story because we’re too busy finding out this crap is going to be a kissing book which had me all like . . . .
And also saying things like . . . .
When bitch can take a bloodied lip, but god forbid the bad guy decides to cut off her fiery red locks (because OF COURSE she has red hair). Not to mention rather than kicking ass like a real pirate, this chick relies on her feminine wiles and opts to seduce multiple male characters which left me all . . . . .
FFS – in case you didn’t get the message – TIME’S SUPPOSED TO BE UP. Why don’t you female authors get on board and stop writing stupid bimbos and instead write some stabby ones. I have been so impressed with the Young Adult genre recently. This one was like taking twelve steps back. Oh, and OF COURSE it’s a series . . . .
It appears I may have kinda read this wrong, but just . . . .
I don’t know if I had a sixth sense that I would be a wrongreader or what, but I have owned this sucker in paper format where it sits prominently along with so many other “yeah I bought it but I probably won’t get around to reading it unless I’m housebound due to illness or a zombie apocalypse” selections on my bookshelves. When this popped up as a recommendation on the WRC in order for me to earn my annual coffee mug from the liburrrrrry . . . .
I put my name on the wait list for an e-copy (easier for me to read on the go/at lunch/etc.). My friend Christine’s review convinced me it really was time to stop procrastinating. So what (sorta) went wrong? Welllllllll, since this is a mystery let me give you a list that will hopefully ‘splain my reaction without offering up any spoilsies.
1. My copy was 600 PAGES long. That was reason numero uno for me not reading this sooner and I was absolutely right in my thinking that there was zero reason for a mystery to contain so many pages. A quarter of this book could have been cut without a problem.
2. Everyone else seems to really appreciate Tana French’s writing, but the flowery style interwined with Rob’s narrative in combination with this being simply a “whodunit” was jarring to me.
3. A superbadawful had happened to the leading male when he was just a kid. Somehow dude ONLY STARTED GOING BY HIS MIDDLE NAME and no one ever put two and two together that he was the kid from way back when. And he’s a cop. Please don’t ever let anything bad happen to me in Ireland if you can really become a murder detective without a better background check than this.
4. Rob and his partner Cassie were the bees knees and an example of how male and female co-workers can be equals and not fall into the sack with each other . . . until they weren’t. I literally screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and scared the crap out of both my husband and the cat. And Cassie’s wrap-up at the end????
What a cherry to put on top of that shit sundae. I just noticed that she’s the main character in the next book and there’s no chance I’ll be reading it because I lost all respect for her.
5. Apparently the whodunit came as a big shocker to a lot of readers as well, but again I was like . . . .
Maybe it’s because mystery-thrillers are my genre of choice, but there were tons of not-so-subtle hints dropped throughout the book that pointed a spotlight on the truly guilty party.
In The Woods was a decent book, but I’m rounding down rather than up because it just didn’t stand out enough compared to the billions of other murder mysteries on the market. But again, I read it wrong and if it’s on your TBR it should stay there.
Since the Winter Reading Challenge doesn't end until March, this still counts even though I already scored my mug. Yay me for being an overachiever ; )
EDIT: Because now that I've read some more of my friends' reviews it appears that the one thing consistently complained about (the ending regarding the superbadawful from wayback) was the thing that I really thought stood out from other stories like this. Those issues tend to get waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too convoluted and/or wrapped up too prettily for my liking. I also appreciated NOT having to endure the wibbly-wobbly timey wimey for the entire book and only being presented snippets of Rob/Adam's story....more
The basics of Providence is that it is about a boy who disappeared and returned four years later . . . different than he was before. It becomes his mission over the years to “fix” himself of this change in order to be with the girl he has always loved. In addition to that story is one that runs parallel about a detective trying to figure out what really caused a series of death by heart attack in various young/healthy people and the wife who is trying her best to keep their marriage intact.
First things first, it goes without saying that I read this wrong. A handful of reviewers received copies before Providence even went on NetGalley and they all creamed their collective jeans over it. Maybe some of my fellow wrong-readers will be joining me in short order, but for now I will occupy the corner of shame all by my lonesome.
I’d like to say my “meh” reaction had nothing to do with The Books of Joe, but that would be bullshit. I mean, if I hadn’t fallen head-over-heels in love with Joe and instead had thought he was uggo and 1-Starred his stories I obviously would not have been running people over in order to obtain an advanced copy of this book. I also wouldn’t have had such high (or perhaps unrealistic) expectations for this book.
I’d love to be able to say that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by not being a Lovecraft superfan, but that would also be total bullshit. Part of Kepnes’ charm is that she is willing to go balls out with pop culture references and clearly gives not one rip if these contributions will date her books in the future. My knowledge of all things Lenny Feder . . .
Familiarity with a little more than just the basics regarding Jon’s dilemma . . . .
And an obsession with The Boss so extreme as soon as a mere song title was mentioned his voice started singing oh so relevant lyrics in my head . . .
♪♫♪“Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife baby edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley through the middle of my soul . . .” ♪♫♪
Definitely added to my reading experience. But it was because of my brain’s complete worthlessness except when it comes to trivia questions that I felt a glaring hole of stupidity and inability to truly “get it” when it came to references regarding I Am Providence and all the secrets that may be (are probably) contained within the pages of The Dunwich Horror - a book I have never read.
And worst of all was that I was really into this story at the beginning. I was smitten with little Jon, the outsider, and was enthralled with both his disappearance and reappearance. I was completely ready to fall in love with him as a man and form some freaky polygamist cult with him and Joe (and Eggs) as my brother husbands. The writing (which unfortunately I can’t quote because rules are rules when it comes to ARCs) was BRILLIANT – simply painted onto the page. But then??????
It got so boooooooooooooooooooooring. The knife-blade writing style that defines Kepnes’ voice became dull and nothing happened and there were still like nearly 300 pages left of the book and Chloe was a cardboard cutout of even more nothingness (and maybe she was supposed to be nothing, but she can’t have a voice and occupy so much narration time and be NOTHING FFS) and Eggs who was basically the amalgamation of every Bruce Willis playing the “old man” character you could ever imagine even lost his charm and I was like . . . .
I don’t have the genetic makeup that allows me to “DNF” a book, so I can’t say that thought ever crossed my mind. I will say that this should never have taken me more than one sitting to read if I had liked it as much as Kepnes’ prior two novels and I definitely shouldn’t have found my mind wandering to other selections on my TBR and wondering if I should have read them before this. I have no choice but to be honest. I didn’t love this. I am very appreciative for the opportunity to read an advanced copy, I’m even more appreciative that Kepnes and/or her publisher is so generous and appear to be willing to offer copies to nearly everyone who requests them, I’ll absolutely read the next thing she comes up with, but unfortunately for me Providence missed the mark.
2.5 Stars and I’m rounding up because I can’t in clear conscience round down. I can’t wait to see what my friends think. (As long as they leave their pitchforks and torches at home.)
Advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
Being one of the boys is a pretty simple task. Choose the right side in “the war.” What war, you might ask? The war between mother and father. Pick dad and you pick strength – fun – a new start in a new location – a chance to be one of the boys with him and your brother. Pick mom and you’re weak – nothing – less than nothing. It’s not until your new life starts that you begin to see what started the war to begin with. Dad’s volatile temperament, his inability to focus on his job at times, and the worst thing of all – the strange chemical smells that come out of his bedroom when he locks himself in there, sometimes for days at a time “smoking cigars.”
I’m pretty sure I read this wrong. Okay that’s a lie. I know I read this wrong. It was supposed to make me feel all the feels and it didn’t. That’s alright, though, because . . . .
And this time I’m blaming everyone in my household being sick as the problem instead of my lack of heart. Here’s an image of what I experienced this weekend. First with the husband . . . .
Then with the oldest boy . . . .
Then the baby of the family . . . .
Before finally succumbing to my own symptoms while at work . . . .
In addition to all that, here’s the deal: I would totally market this as young adult. Although it deals with some super serious mature storylines, I’m all about pushing the envelope. My (upper) middle schooler is currently reading an “award winning” recommendation from the school district. So is his teacher’s FOURTH GRADE son. It probably goes without saying my (not a voluntary reader to begin with) kid is hating every second of this experience. One of the Boys has a lot of things that might keep him interested: it’s short (remember, not a big reader), it’s contemporary and it deals with adult subject matter (drug use and child abuse). The thing that works for me when it comes to books I like discussing with the kid is the “book clubby” nature that generates conversation. Why do the characters not have names? What does he think was really up with the mom? Why does he think the boys chose dad in “the war”? Was dad healthy before they moved away from Kansas? Does he think the kids did anything wrong ever – either back in Kansas or in New Mexico? Why does he think they never tried to get away or tell someone about what was happening? Would HE tell someone what was happening if this was his life? THIS is the type of outcome I want to have after my kid finishes a book. Not to mention his privileged little hiney could stand a dose of “not everyone has it so good” every once in a while. If you’re like me, you might want your kid to read this one too. If you’re not like me I have a bunch of generic, vanilla recommendations from the school I can give you : ) ...more
Let me start by saying I really should have enjoyed this more than I did and I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t. The story here is of Desi Lee – an overachiever to the nth degree. A senior in high school, Desi has made a habit of setting a goal for herself and achieving it. Straight As, varsity soccer stud, on her way to early admittance to Stanford - Desi makes her own destiny. There’s only one thing she fails at – the opposite sex. When a new boy shows up at school, Desi decides she’s going to stop being a flop with boys and decides to get a little inspiration in the form of K-Dramas in order to script her way to romance.
Sounds like something right up my alley, doesn’t it? What can I say????
Have no fear, I’m not going to channel my inner Gretchen Weiners here when it comes to me not loving this as much as I should . . . .
Nope. I have no problem with rom-coms that use a little deception in order to get the ball rolling. Give me a “friends dared me to date you but then we fell in love” or “let’s pretend to date so you can get the guy you like, but really we’ll fall in love” and 9 times out of 10 my middle-aged butt will eat it up and be smiling from ear to ear the entire time. So that being said, obviously I didn’t really care a whole lot about the use of soap opera plotlines to be the inspiration on how to get the guy. Sadly, it was the guy himself. Well, not really. The guy was fine, it was how he ended up being the guy Desi wanted to go for that was the problem.
You see, the story started with Desi having an actual crush on someone. Said someone being a Freshman, it created a lot of fodder for her friends to poke fun at her about. Then Luca walks into school and Desi decides to go for him. Based on what? That he was good looking? Just to say she was able to get a boyfriend? So shallow. I think if she would have gone with her actual feelings and tried to date the Freshman this would have worked a lot more for me. And for anyone who wants to say “ewwww, a four year age difference?!?!?!?!” – that could have been handled just as easily as Desi falling for a complete stranger like was the case here. He could have had a weird birthday that made him older than everyone in class, she could have either had the opposite sort of birthday making her younger or have skipped a grade or something. Also, Desi wasn’t a character who was looking for some serious thing when she started her little experiment so it didn’t need to end up with some “love of her life” situation – they could have went to the prom and had a little smooch and moved on with their lives. Why did the author even have to mention the first boy?!?!?!?!?!
I know I ruined my own good time by overthinking this one, but I couldn’t make my brain shut up. I also still can’t get this freaking song out of my head . . . .
I’m not even going to bother with a review on this one. I’m always aware that I’m not the target demographic while reading young adult stories, but this one really made me feel like a super geezer and very much a mom. And also . . .
Go look at what Matthew had to say instead. He felt all the things this book is supposed to make you feel and his review is perfection. Then come back and join me on the countdown to the release of They Both Die at the End next Tuesday because if there’s one thing I’m certain about – it’s that I’ll continue to read whatever words Adam Silvera puts on paper. He’s real good at them . . . .
“He broke me in a way everyone should be lucky to be cracked open at least once. I had the privilege of being destroyed by him until we found a better, real me inside of the person I was pretending to be. I hope I make him proud.”
He’s also real good at writing characters I want to adopt. It was Aaron in More Happy Than Not, and it was Wade this time around . . . .
Wrong Reader, Party of One??? Yep, that’s me! I put Ginny Moon on hold at the library because every single one of my friends who read it gave it at least 4 Stars. Now that school has started I’m assigned the task of finding stories my book-hating (I know, the hospital obviously gave me the wrong baby, but he’s grown on us over the years) kid might actually want to read without me tying him down and forcing him. One thing I know for certain is it won’t be this one because I pretty much looked like this the entire time I was reading it . . . .
Put your rocks and pitchforks down and give me a second to explain myself.
I’m not even sure if this is a young adult selection or not, but that really doesn’t matter. We’ve discovered the kid succeeds with “contemporary realistic fiction” so as long as I read the book first and make sure it’s not too adult for his developing brain to wrap itself around, it doesn’t really matter if it was marketed for teens or grown-ups. That being said, a lot of parents would be uncomfortable with the content here and obviously that’s totally up to each family to decide for themselves.
I am also not familiar enough with autistic children to determine how accurate Ginny’s voice was. To someone inexperienced such as myself, she seemed very realistic. Again, I’m sure there are others who will bash this character and/or the author and become super “offended” by her portrayal, but since it’s not a trigger for me I can’t participate in that party.
So let’s get to the plot. The story here is of Ginny Moon (you don’t say, huh?). Ginny was taken from her birth mother when she was nine years old due to severe neglect and placed in the foster care program. Fastforward nearly five years to the present and a Ginny who has been adopted by her “Forever Family.” The only problem is that Ginny has more than a bit of a tunnel-vision issue when it comes to a certain Baby Doll that was left behind all those years ago and she is willing to do anything to get back to it.
The above leads to my biggest issue with this book and why I won’t be recommending it to my kid . . . .
Ginny Moon was FIVE HUNDRED PAGES long. I understand the reader kind of has to become part of “the loop” which is Ginny’s thought process, but this thing should have been cut down to half the size. I’m going to try real hard not to spoil things, but let me just say as a grown up, it was 100% clear what was going on with the Baby Doll immediately and it should have been for all of the other adults in Ginny’s life as well which equaled a Kelly and Mitchell who kept getting more and more perturbed.
Leading to the other problem. The “Forever Mother” . . . .
I can’t remember the last time a character infuriated me this much. I mean I was literally screaming at my Kindle at one point. As the story developed, the less believable it was that this woman would have ever went along with adopting a special needs child to begin with. I mean, I know first-hand that pregnancy/new baby/postpartum can make you go a little batshit, but Ginny was a child with serious issues even before the “miracle pregnancy” happened just like the “Forever Mother” was probably a giant bitch way before then too. Ginny came into their lives looking like she “came out of a concentration camp.” She was a child with severe food issues (up to the point where a lock had to be put on the refrigerator to stop her from gorging herself and vomiting every day). She had been removed from another foster home due to an “incident” with the family cat. She had impulse control problems to the point of putting herself in harm’s way repeatedly. There is not one part of me that believes this woman would have adopted this child and when the whole point of the story is how realistic it is supposed to be, it becomes a glaring neon sign. But like I said, everyone else loved it, so you probably will too. 2.5 Stars for me : (...more
Anyone seen Shelby around? Here – lemme crawl in my safe space just in case she shows up . . . .
So I fully admit I read this wrong, but that’s what happens when people go 4 and 5 Star something and make me want it without knowing anything. Go read Shelby or Zoeytron or Diane S.’s reviews to see that you do want this on your TBR and read this one only to confirm that . . . .
The main problem I had with If The Creek Don’t Rise was the fact that I attempted to read it on what turned out to be the most stressful weekend of my young 20-something year old (just go with it) life. You see, one of my oldest friends passed away this weekend and she did so just like the filthy hooker she was – with a bunch of hollering and smoke pouring from both her front and her butt on a street corner. Said friend was my beloved Volkswagon Passat. This book was read while spending eleventy-three hours waiting to get approved for the opportunity to give all of my money away every month on a new “friend” who probably won’t end up being half as loyal as she was.
Anyway, I didn’t know anything about this book except for the swoony ratings – and really, even if I had bothered looking at the synopsis I wouldn’t have been aware that this wasn’t going to end up being the story of Sadie Blue like I was banking on. While Sadie Blue and her sad and sorry life were the jumping off point, If The Creek Don’t Rise ended up being more like little vignettes by alllllllll of the residents of Baines Creek. The writing was truly captivating, but I’m not a huge fan of books that “play on repeat” with various scenes looping and being told by multiple narrators. If that kind of thing isn’t your cuppa either, you might struggle too. I rarely (if ever) say this, but this is a book that could have benefitted from quite a lot more pages. I felt like every single one of the characters had so much more to give and would have liked to have had the chance to get to know them more. That being said, I’m interested to see what Leah Weiss comes up with next. I hope to shout it’s more from Appalachia, because I think she’s got a lot more to say.
Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more