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Review Roundup

By on March 14, 2017

Sometimes, writing book reviews is hard. I have a lot of feelings about the book or maybe none at all. I hated the book, but don’t feel like dissecting why. I loved the book and just don’t know how to expand on that feeling. But, I always manage to write a short Goodreads review. They’re usually only a few sentences long, but they manage to capture how I felt about the book. This works great when making a reading recommendation to a friend and it’s fun to look back and see what your thoughts were at that time. So, without further ado, here is my Goodreads’ review roundup. These are actual reviews of the last few books I’ve read that haven’t managed to write full-fledged reviews about.

Dark Matter

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Dark Matter

I am writing this at 1:45 a.m. Yes, you read that correctly. I just finished this book and there’s no way I can fall asleep. This book was mind boggling, terrifying, suspenseful, and thrilling. It’s difficult to explain without spoiling, but this is a mixture of sci-fi, a love story, and a philosophical mindf**k. It’s good. The writing is direct, but has moments of clarity that are often poetic. It makes you think about what you value and what makes you you. Is it your choices, your family, your accomplishments? I should also mention it’s entertaining and I read it in three days and most of it tonight. You should read it. Now. 5 out of 5 stars.

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies made me laugh. It made me cringe. It sent me on a guessing game of who could possibly be murdered at a costume-trivia-fundraising party for elementary school parents. Moriarty does a great job of painting characters who are believable, but just caricature enough for you not to totally identify with the wacky things they do. The story and characters balance the heavy topics with funny dialogue and totally nail what I imagine the “Mommy wars” look like in real life. I read this in about twelve hours while high on cold medicine and it was the perfect remedy to my influenza. Highly recommend! 4 out of 5 stars.

Sweetbitter

Sweetbitter follows Tess, a 22-year-old who moves to New York and gets a job in one of the top restaurants as a

Sweetbitter

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

backwaiter (the person who runs the food between the kitchen and the dining room). The story depicts the competitive, crazed, and chaos-fueled environment that is working in the restaurant industry. Days and evenings are spent tending to the needs of patrons, refilling the stockroom of wine, and evading cockroaches. All hell breaks loose after midnight and continues until five in the morning. It’s a cycle of drugs, half-remembered nights, and bad choices. I found myself thinking about my favorite restaurants. Are the wait staff just dying to get off their shift and snort a line of coke in the bathroom?! I kind of doubt it, but who knows?!

I enjoyed this because it was so wildly outside of my own life. I understand some of the criticisms, namely that this book lacked a real plot and there wasn’t character development, but I felt it was realistic for a 22-year-old’s life. I didn’t have it together at that age, I made really dumb choices, and it took awhile to realize how dumb they were. I’m giving this a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but I enjoyed it!

Swear on This Life

Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

Swear on This Life

I don’t understand my feelings about this book. The writing is…mediocre, at best. The story is lackluster. And somehow, SOMEHOW, I told my boyfriend to be quiet and leave me alone on multiple occasions so I could read this. It’s a story within a story. Emiline and Jason meet as young children, growing up in rural Ohio. Both have shi**y lives. They get separated. Jason writes a book about their childhood, Emiline reads it, and the rest is very Nicholas Sparks-esque. I truly don’t know why I enjoyed this, but I did. I would recommend this for a plane ride or a beachy vacation, but the middle of February on a regular old weekend worked for me. So. Read it or not. Whatever. 3 out of 5 stars.

 

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2 Comments
  1. Reply

    RK

    March 14, 2017

    Love these mini-reviews! I enjoyed Sweetbitter as well.

    • Reply

      Janna

      March 14, 2017

      Thanks! Not sure what it was about Sweetbitter, but it was a fun read.

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