Quick takes- October 2018

Suicide Club. 2 stars. Fine premise, bad execution. The prologue was so good, but it went straight downhill from there. So, just read the prologue I guess.

Lake Success. 5 stars. Rich people in distress, and complicated, hard to love characters, both very relevant to my interests. I’m sure I liked Barry much more than most readers will, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still read it. Just don’t expect to like Barry.

Putney. 5 stars. I could not put this one down. So often when something purports to be about the #metoo gray area, what that means is “he’s probably guilty but everyone likes him.” This is much more nuanced, in the sense that it sure looks like sexual assault, but the woman in question doesn’t consider herself a victim. I was crazy about this one, very well done.

Ohio. 2 stars.  A generous two stars, because I really hated this. I did kind of want to see how it turned out, but the structure of this book is terrible, the writing is condescending, the characters feel inauthentic, and it does an absolutely terrible disservice to its female characters. And readers, for that matter.

Fame. 4 stars. Do you want to read ~200 pages of Justine Bateman kind of rambling about the concept of fame? It turns out, I do. But I can see why you might not. If you have any interest in this at all, then pick it up. Lightning fast and surprisingly interesting.

The Caregiver. 3 stars. This had dual storylines, which I typically love. Sadly, neither of them were really developed enough for me. This had a heartbreaker of an afterword, and I loved the characters, but overall this didn’t really do it for me.

Innocents and Others. 5 stars. Five million stars. This is exactly the kind of thing I want to read all the time. Perfectly done and an instant favorite.

Tell the Machine Goodnight. 4 stars. This book almost has too many good ideas. Every time a storyline started to get interesting, we switched to something else, and didn’t always come back to it. I liked the writing a lot, but I’m being kind of generous with the four stars here.

The Haunting of Hill House. 4 stars. Not as scary as I was expecting, but great writing and amazing characters. I’m so late to the Shirley Jackson party but I finally see why everyone loves her.

Motherhood. 3 stars. This is very rambling, and at times I kind of hated it. I felt like she sort of pulled it together at the end, but I doubt I’ll read her again.

The Pisces. 5 stars. This book is completely bonkers. I loved the writing, loved the super flawed main character. Didn’t totally love the whole merman romance, but it went in a very interesting direction.

Top picks: Innocents and Others, for sure. Putney and Lake Success are solid choices, and tread carefully with The Pisces.

 

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