Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda


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3 Stars

I read this book over the summer and failed to review it. I now remember nothing about it. I even made 21 highlights to serve as reminders to myself . . . . . but nada. I’m telling you folks . . . .



Don’t underestimate the failures of the Old Lady Brain. I’m giving it three stars because I do remember I didn’t hate it and I know I read it in a day. After perusing my friends’ reviews, this appears to have been a mixed bag for them as well with most falling on the fair to middling end of the ratings spectrum. My advice? Pick up All The Missing Girls. I still remember that one two years later and that’s obviously a marvel of modern science. It’s also told in reverse, which is sooooo hard to do and soooooo good when it’s done right.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris


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2 Stars

“Jojo Moyes meets Eleanor Oliphant “ . . . . .


A note to all publishing houses, blurbists, whoever else lends a hand in writing things like the above hoping it will sell a lot of books/earn high ratings simple due to the namedropping . . . .



I mean, I bought into it enough to request this from NetGalley, sure, but I wouldn’t hand over my hard earn dollars on a comparison like the above ever – mainly because I'm well aware that there is a snowball’s chance in Hades that there could even be something that resulted in a successful JoJo Moyes and Eleanor Oliphant mashup. Making statements like this backfires nearly 100% of the time. Stick with appealing to users via cutesie covers and titles like this one has. You'll find many of us are pretty much whores easy sales.

This one gets a “meh” amount of stars for the simple fact that I am not a music lover and this is a lot about music. Playing music, building instruments, music music music. It also didn’t help that the leading lady was supposed to be . . . .

“A fucking trainwreck of a forty-year-old who reads people’s diaries and shags other women’s husbands.”

Which would normally have me saying . . . .



But in this case only had me feeling annoyed that there was so little keeping my interest. And this was a story that should have really kept my interest. A woman discovers everything about her longtime relationship is not what she thinks, befriends her snarly employee and an elderly patron of her store and finds herself. Sadly, after finding myself lost in all the cello speak there was no hope for me.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you, NetGalley!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson


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2 Stars

Look at that rating! I only have one thing to ask . . . .







I realize I’m a monster for giving this so few stars, but it is what it is.

Before I get ahead of myself let me tell you that . . . .

“This is the story of how my best friend disappeared. How nobody noticed she was gone except me. And how nobody cared until they found her . . . one year later.”

Claudia and Monday were supposed to write letters every week during the summer while Claudia was visiting her grandmother, but Claudia heard zilch. Then Monday never showed up at school and no one seems to be able to answer where she went and HOW CAN A CHILD JUST GO MISSING?!?!?!?!

I think the problem I had with this book was my age. Mind you, I loooooooove some YA, but it doesn’t always work for me. This is an important story and one that needs to be told, but since I’m an old lady it was kind of a slog. I knew what happened to Monday right away, and while I am well aware that children fall through the cracks of the system every day, unfortunately I didn’t really believe the explanation of the big thing that happened here. (I’m really trying not to spoil anything so if you want to discuss, please use the comments section and spoiler tags – and also I will probably forget the details of this within six months so no promises I’ll be able to back up my low rating after that point.) I wasn’t a fan of the many timeline approach (we’re talking the After, the Before, the Year Before the Before, the Two Years Before the Before – it was a lot) and the extra (again, no spoilers) stuff at the end was unnecessary in a book like this (I literally only wrote “rude” for a note which must translate to #hatedit). What else didn’t I like? Ummmmmmm, well heck even the cover if I’m being 100% honest. It probably doesn’t help things that Allegedly completely blew my socks off either. And sophomore novels are haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard. However, if you have a middle-grader and are pretty liberal when it comes to what they are allowed to read (sex and underage drinking are present here), this is a relevant, contemporary book that they may find fascinating/terrifying/combo of both.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Regulars by Georgia Clark


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1 Star

“Settle down. This ain’t Oprah.”
I have a hard time believing anything will beat out The Regulars for my worst read of 2018. Not even a cameo by my beloved could turn my frown upside down . . . .



The premise here was a potentially fun one: three average girls are gifted a potion guaranteed to make them “Pretty.” My brain was swimming with visions of horrible comedy film good times from the past . . . .



Unfortunately, this was a complete and total fail for me. I don’t even know this woman, but Lisa Mossie says everything that needs to be said in her review so I’m linking it here. As for me? This gave me an anti-book-hangover – meaning I hated this so hard I think it gave me cancer I wasn’t even able to pick up a new book at all yesterday. I’m still not feeling it today either so I think Imma put up a Christmas tree when I get home and see if that cures what ails me. When the best thing about a story is . . . .



That’s not sayin’ a whole lot. As for what I would like to say to the three ladies in this book? It’s pretty simple . . . .



In case that wasn’t clear up there, I wouldn’t really recommend this to anyone. I know my subtlety is often an issue and leaves a real mixed message.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

You All Grow Up And Leave Me by Piper Weiss


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3 Stars

You All Grow Up And Leave Me popped up on the library’s Recommended To You feature due to me reading I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – a book I didn’t much care for at all, if the truth be told . . . .



Save your breath. I get it. I read it wrong and McNamara was not only a genius, but also this close to DNA swabbing the perp herself and solving the whole shebang. Whatever. I didn’t like it. I still downloaded this book, however, because . . . .



The funny thing is, I disliked I’ll Be Gone In the Dark due to it being so indulgent and lacking in content with regard to the subject matter it claimed to be tackling. This one is nothing but indulgent and no real “crime” actually took place . . . .



I know. Same here. Yeah, the intended victim (and her mother) were able to fight the attacker off and then he killed himself. Sorry, spoiler alert. Point being, if you are looking for a true crime story look elsewhere. If you are a firm believer that . . . .



This might be a memoir for you.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen

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3 Stars

When this popped up on my feed awhile back I immediately went to the library to see if it was available on audio – while simultaneously wondering how I had missed reading it back in my Zombies4Eva phase. Well, turns out I had read it but since I am a moron I had completely forgotten all about it. So unlike me, right? It also turns out back in the day I was even worse at reviewing than I am now because I straight up compared this to Zombieland. I’m surprised a hoard of townsfolk and their pitchforks didn’t show up on my front yard for that one! I guess it’s because they were both funny approaches to the undead? Or I used to smoke crack and have forgotten all about that too . . . .



Whatever the case, Shady’s back – back again – this time listening to a story I already read years ago. So what is the story, you ask? Sarah and Dave show up for their weekly marital counseling only to discover the “perfect” couple that has the appointment immediately before theirs nom-nomming on the good doctor. The two decide to call it a day and head home to . . . .



Plans change, however, when their neighbor tries to eat them. It’s then they realize that they’re going to have to go from passive aggressive to aggressive aggressive . . . .



And do whatever it takes to make it to their family . . . .



In the process? They might just save their marriage . . . .



This ended up being 3 Star fun the second time around. My only complaint? I HATED the narrator and it turns out she reads a shitton of audiobooks so now I’m sad for eternity.

French Exit by Patrick DeWitt


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4 Stars

“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.)