Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dana Diaz is a Latina comic trying to make it in the Austin Comedy sceThank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dana Diaz is a Latina comic trying to make it in the Austin Comedy scene after leaving Los Angeles and her life with her best friend Jason behind. After one of her sets, she meets Amanda and the two of them begin sharing secrets.
What starts out as a friendship ends up turning into a revenge scheme that Dana is both happy and appalled to be a part of.
One of the biggest themes throughout the book is that of male apathy towards rape culture. Both women were abused in some form or another. Either through emotional or physical abuse, these women had to put up with multiple instances of having their minds or their bodies violated.
There are some minor spoliery bits ahead…proceed with caution.
I had some problems with this book but at the same time some of it was so true to life that I couldn't help but be impressed by the narrative skill of the author.
I'm not going to sit here and pretend like I understand anything remotely tech related, but it seemed as though some of the things that Amanda was able to do in order to track people down weren't as detailed as they could have been. Don't get me wrong, they were listed in detail, but they didn't feel very real.
Amanda herself was also a problem for me. She went from friend to crazy town super fast. I think that the more dynamic story would have been for Amanda to go Single White Female on Dana rather than just coming up crazy right away. Maybe the author was attempting to avoid that?
One of the biggest problems I had with this book was Jason. I realize that the character is meant to be both the love of Dana's life AND a total dick. The problem was that there were such major transitions in character so swiftly in scenes. One second he's kind and sweet and the next he's a raging raving jerk. I had trouble believing that Dana would somehow not know that her best friend of 20 years was like this. Or that his controlling behavior suddenly began when she moved out. Surely he was controlling women long before it's revealed that he does.
The motivation was never 100% clear with Amanda as well. She'd never hurt a woman, only men, right? But she threatens Dana with jail, or threatens Dana's loved ones if Dana doesn't follow her plans. What's the endgame here?
What I did like, though, was the pacing of the book. You're certainly not going to feel like this story is dragging on. There are a few plot points that are really quite unnecessary, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they detracted from the overall storyline.
I also enjoyed the comedy scene that gets portrayed. Kim (the other female comic) was one of my favorite secondary characters. I wish there had been more comedy sets written about, but at the same time, a good portion of stand up success is in body language so I understand why it wasn't.
While I did find this thriller short in some areas, I was overall OK with it. It was a quick read for me and I did stay up a little extra late so I could finish it. It's worth a read if there's nothing else around. ...more
As a fellow book nerd, you're probably a sucker for any novel that has to do with books or libraries. I'm assuming that anyway. I feel like anyone whoAs a fellow book nerd, you're probably a sucker for any novel that has to do with books or libraries. I'm assuming that anyway. I feel like anyone who goes out of their way to read a blog review about a book is likely on the same reading wavelength as I am. Otherwise you wouldn't be here.
The Invisible Library has, in one book, become my next favorite series. I feel confident in saying this despite the fact that I've not actually read the other books in the series yet. Amazon (good ol Amazon), recommended the fifth book to me, so naturally I had to try and find the first. Luckily, my local library is pretty well stocked in random ebooks and I was able to borrow this one (and soon the next four) relatively quickly.
The Invisible Library is a parallel universe type story. The concept is that there are multiple universes and thousands of books in each. In order to preserve all written word, the Library collects different versions of different books. Or singular copies of whatever books are unique to each world.
The main character is Irene and she is given a mission and a trainee. They are sent in search of a Grimm's Fairy Tales collection in one of the Londons. Naturally, nothing goes well otherwise there would be no plot.
The author weaves such an intricate world together in this novel. First novels in a series can be quite daunting to read. So much world building must occur if you're not going to set your story in modern times. Here we have magic, dragons, werewolves, etc. We have a language specific to the Library itself that follows very specific rules. Add to that the fact that we're coming in to the story in the middle of Irene's life. We're introduced to her backstory a little at a time, all while ensuring that nothing is lost in this web of plot.
I don't want to give away too much on this because there is so much going on. It's not what I would call an edge of your seat type book, but it does a very good job keeping the pace and ensuring that you're never bored. The only books I would know to compare it to would be the City of Dark Magic series. But only in scope.
Highly recommend this book if you like book and magic related adventures. ...more
Admittedly I only picked this one up because I discovered that there's going to be a movie made about it starring Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig. TwoAdmittedly I only picked this one up because I discovered that there's going to be a movie made about it starring Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig. Two women whose careers I actively follow. Plus I'm a sucker for any book in general that gets made into a movie.
Bernadette; wife and mother, goes missing. The novel is told through the random emails and reports and anecdotes as told by the people around her. In this way it's sort of like Big Little Lies. You might also draw a Big Little Lies parallel in the way that the other mothers treat Bernadette and she in turn treats them.
While on the surface, it appears that this novel is about the disappearance of a woman; it's also about our perception of ourselves and others. Sometimes the lies we tell ourselves and the realities we ignore creep in and make themselves known.
The characters are fully formed and varied. No two are alike. The supporting players are just as in depth as the main characters.
It will be interesting to see how this translates to film. Overall I really enjoyed the book. I found it to be a good and quick read. ...more
Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I also saw this one come up as a selection for the Book of the MonthThank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I also saw this one come up as a selection for the Book of the Month club.
I do love a good memoir and Maid by Stephanie Land was definitely one that interested me. I had just finished Educated and I wanted something else along the lines of overcoming adversity when it feels like the world is conspiring against you.
This memoir follows the author's struggles to make ends meet as she raised her daughter on less than minimum wage jobs. The book covers the first few years of her daughter's life when they were living on government assistance.
Land is a natural storyteller and in going through this book we are treated to rich details about her life as a maid/housekeeper. With some memoirs, it can be easy to sit there and judge the author for the choices they made in the moment. Even though you don't know what you would do if presented with the same challenges, you find yourself saying "why didn't they just…"
To my point; I was explaining the book to someone and the responses were, "why didn't she go to her family for help" or "if she had chosen not to have her daughter, she would not have ended up in this situation in the first place". Those may or may not be valid critiques but since these aren't characters in a story, but real people…I'll avoid my own commentary on the subject.
Land takes us through the complicated process of obtaining government assistance and assistance from other means. It is a system that sets you up to fail. Multiple forms of assistance were needed merely to survive and keep herself and her daughter fed. Many times she had to depend on the kindness of those around her in order to keep a roof over their heads.
The only real critique that I have about the plotting of the story is how it ends. We don't actually find out how she managed to get to where she is now. She spends the entire book taking us through her life right up until the moment she creates a major change for herself. I would have liked to have known what happens when she gets to Missoula, MT.
Overall, I think this one is a great one to read if you're looking to better understand the lives of people on government assistance. It's definitely eye opening. ...more
Oh man, I can't tell you how excited I was to find out that this book exists. I thought that the fourth Miriam Black book was going to be the last. NoOh man, I can't tell you how excited I was to find out that this book exists. I thought that the fourth Miriam Black book was going to be the last. No idea where I got that idea from, but to find out that there's a book five AND a book six coming soon? Completely over the moon.
Miriam Black is hadns down one of my favorite characters in a decade. If you haven't read any of these books and you like snarky and sarcastic female protagonists, then I would say this series is for you.
The author won me over years ago with his in your face writing. The chapter titles alone are cause for laughter.
Miriam is living in Florida in her mother's old home and raiding the homes of the recently deceased with her neighbor Rita. She's busy living her best version of her life when everything gets upended.
Old foes return and new foes emerge. Everything is a life and death struggle with her as it always is. Yet even though we end up rehashing a lot of material here (think series wrap up), it still feels relatively fresh and new for the reader.
Yes, this is a little shorter than most of my reviews, but I feel like if I give too much away it'll ruin it.