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...

Continue Reading

Quick takes- September 2018

The Bed Moved. 2 stars. You can barely call this a collection. There is some decent stuff buried here but most of it feels like writing exercises than actual work.

The Golden State. 3 stars. So many mixed feelings about this. The deliberate run-on stream of consciousness style ultimately didn't do it for me, but I seem to be in the minority.

Confessions of the Fox. 3 stars. A very rare DNF for me. I wanted to like this one so much, and I kept with it for 250 pages, but this was just so...

Continue Reading

Quick takes- summer favorites edition

Young Jane Young. Oh man, did I love this book. This is really sharp, feminist, and funny. In a nutshell, it's about a Lewinsky-esque scandal and how she and her family dealt with the aftermath. One of the few things I love about the time we're living in is that Monica Lewinsky is awesome now and we're realizing how we should have looked at that scandal way back then. The final section is in the form of a Choose Your Own Adventure book, and that really brought it up a notch for me. Seemed...

Continue Reading

Quick takes- August 2018

Visible Empire. 3 stars. Great story, but it's based on a true event, so real life is doing most of the work here. The characters all felt flat and undeveloped. A real missed opportunity.

All We Ever Wanted. 4 stars. High four stars. I was totally into this story, I loved the issues of parenting in the age of social media, and what happens when you discover your kids don't share your values anymore. The book goes too easy on its main character but this was terrific and would be a great...

Continue Reading

Quick takes- June 2018

Young Jane Young. 5 stars. Holy smokes, did I love these characters. The choose your own adventure section at the end will stick with me forever. I might read this again sometime, this was an instant favorite.

Providence. 3 stars. This was compelling and unusual, but it didn't have the humor of her other books and I couldn't get past that. I'm sure you get more out of it if you've read any Lovecraft. I have not.

Before We Were Yours. 4 stars. The main...

Continue Reading

Quick takes- July 2018

The Hypnotist's Love Story. 3 1/2 stars. Very mixed bag. The main storyline is not that interesting, but weirdly, the stalker is the most relatable character in the book. Could have used a good edit.

There There. 4 stars. I loved the structure of this book. You got to see everyone's point of view, and you felt it building up to a strong climax. Very impressive debut.

Social Creature. 2 stars. The Talented Mr Ripley, but if Ripley was dumb and unoriginal and would have been caught...

Continue Reading

Quick takes- May 2018

Red Clocks. 4 stars. High four stars. I love feminist dystopian fiction, especially when it's not by Margaret Atwood. sorrynotsorry

You Think It, I'll Say It. 5 stars. Perfect, perfect short story collection. Man, there are some *awkward* incidents in this book. I honestly can't imagine Curtis Sittenfeld writing something I don't want to read.

The Gunners. 2 stars. Fine premise, but what a mess this book is. Bad writing and bad characters. I am still laughing about the scene where a...

Continue Reading

Quick takes- April 2018

The House of Impossible Beauties. 5 stars. Five million stars. Great story and great writing. I will always be haunted by the detail of the HIV+ character riding a crowded subway because it's the only human contact she can have. This was a heartbreaker.

She Regrets Nothing. 4 stars. This was racy and glitzy and decadent. I didn't totally love every direction the plot went in, but still a very solid and enjoyable page turner. Lots to love here.

The Female Persuasion. 3 stars. Once...

Continue Reading

Quick takes- March 2018

Girls Burn Brighter. 3 1/2 stars. This was very hard to put down, but also very hard to enjoy. Good story, flat writing. Really mixed bag.

Liar & Spy. 4 stars. One of the best YA writers today. Lucy and I both loved this.

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore. 5 stars. Loved every page of this one. Great story and structure, great characters. A real standout.

The Woman in the Window. 2 stars. This was so dull and boring for an alleged thriller. At first I enjoyed all the movie...

Continue Reading

Quick takes- February 2018

Everything Here Is Beautiful. 5 stars. I can't get enough of novels about sisters, and this is a great one. Strong recommend.

The Power. 5 stars. Women suddenly develop a physical advantage over men. They do not use their power for good. Cathartic as hell and I am here for it forever.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle. 5 stars. I'm mortified by how little I've read of Shirley Jackson! Super creepy and flat out awesome.

An American Marriage. 4 stars. My kind of love...

Continue Reading