Quick takes- January 2017

Something Borrowed. 1 star. I usually like this author, but “It’s ok to have an affair with your best friend’s fiancee as long as she’s kind of a bitch,” is not a great concept to build your story on.

The Couple Next Door. Very generous 3 stars. So over the top, goofy thriller, where every possible twist happens. This needed a few red herrings.

Behold the Dreamers. 4 stars. Can’t believe this was a debut. Totally worth the hype.

Truth and Beauty. 3 stars. I don’t usually like memoirs, and I didn’t like this one. Sad story of friends who don’t seem to like each other is sad.

How This Night Is Different. 5 stars. Short stories by Elisa Albert who is a goddess and can do no wrong.

The Making of Us. 3 stars. Two storylines were good, two were not good. The definition of a mixed bag.

Nude Men. 3 stars. I loved it when I was 21, not so much at 44. Some of it is genuinely hilarious, most of it is pointlessly absurd.

The Regulars. 2 stars. Could have been interesting, but was clumsy and tone deaf.

The Burgess Boys. 5 stars. I loved this! Elizabeth Strout is another one who is just aces every time.

The Two-Family House. 2 stars. Why the hype for this? Dull writing and a silly story. It reads like an abandoned Judy Blume first draft.

The Opposite of Everyone. 3 stars. This goes back and forth between two uninteresting stories. The voice felt off and the ending felt rushed. Kind of surprised I gave it three stars.

The Book of Summer. 5 stars. Exactly the kind of thing I want to read, just when I needed it most! Parallel stories that are equally interesting, unforgettable characters. Prepare to be seeing this at the beach this summer.

The Lifeboat. 3 stars. This could have been better. Maybe a lot better. Or maybe it’s just boring to read about people lost at sea for weeks, who knows?

Mischling. 2 stars. I could tell I’d hate this from page one, so it’s on me for finishing it. Very very overwritten. If you’ve read a Holocaust novel before, you’ve read a better Holocaust novel than this one.

Dark Matter. 3 stars. Mixed bag here. Some of this thriller is actually pretty thrilling, kind of cheesy though. Very annoying style. Are sentences and paragraphs the same thing? They are not. Will be a better movie than a book.

Top picks: The Book of Summer, Behold the Dreamers, The Burgess Boys, How This Night Is Different.

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