Greyson, over at Greyson Reads, was sweet enough to tag me in the Weather in Books book tag! I have no idea what I’m doing because I’m such a book blogging n00b, but thanks for putting some faith in my blogging skills, Greyson! She’s cool and if you’re reading this then you should definitely hit up her reviews.
Okay, let’s do this! *solo air guitar noises*
A book that made you smile.
This is kind of vague criteria for me. I smile for lots of reasons when reading, because it’s funny, because it’s cute, because it’s smart. Or because it’s fucking stupid and I can’t believe someone published it. Etcetera. So, we’ll go with one that covers most of those reasons: The Best of Dear Coquette.
If you don’t read The Coquette advice blog, you’ve been missing out. But now you can get all of her best advice, anecdotes and razor-sharp dissection of all life’s issues, in this compilation book.
The totally anonymous Coquette is everything I admire. Her advice is everything I need to hear when I need to hear it, and everything I wish I could say to others (or even to myself.) Sometimes I don’t even know I need to hear a thing until I read it from her and it becomes a new revolutionary slap in my chubby cheeks.
Direct. Clever. Smart. Funny. She’ll kick your ass, call you a whiny bitch and then tell you everything is going to be OK. And even when you don’t agree with something she’s said, I guarantee it will, at the very least, make you truly think and consider.
This is the first (and last) self-help book I have ever read, but honestly, there’s not a single topic or life issue you can’t find some advice for in here so I see no need to look further, personally.
“No thank you – I don’t need god. I already have a clit.” -The Coquette
A book that you couldn’t put down.
I read through Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter until I almost peed in my bed, right beside my husband, with zero concern for how something like that might affect our marriage. My eyes were burning and I was slightly dehydrated, but I. Could. Not. Stop. Reading.
This book was like a cross between feminist lit and the movie 8MM (which, if you haven’t seen it what are you waiting for?! Joaquin Phoenix as Nicolas Cage’s sidekick in leather and mesh? Come on.) The only thing missing from this book was, in fact, Nicolas Cage.
It has everything. Mystery (both past and present), suspense and thrills, murder and arson, tear-jerking emotion, pearl-clutching moments of shock, graphic violence, feminist empowerment and life lessons, family bonds and secrets, marriage insight, depravity and disgust, psychopaths and rich bitches, police and political corruption, soda, purple stuff, Sunny D and Robert Durst in a VIP room filled with Heprechauns – that’s Leprechauns with Hep C – and, yes I made those last couple things up.
“Marriage. That’s what he called it, though men like [him] do not marry women. They own them. They control them. They are voracious gluttons who devour every part of a woman, then clean their teeth with the bones.”
A book that blew you away.
There’s a couple of options that come to mind, but I’m going to have to go with Still Missing by Chevy Stevens.
This book literally blew my pants off. LITERALLY. I was an emotional, heaping mess by the time it was over. It stayed with me long after I had read the last page, and still, I find myself thinking about it from time to time.
I don’t have the patience for authors who pussy-foot around dark topics; who would rather use nuanced metaphors than just come out and discuss what needs to be discussed. I need a book to go there, you know what I mean?
And HOLY SHIT did this book ever go there. Chevy Stevens doesn’t mess around. She’s going to rip your heart into pieces. She’s going to tape your eyelids open so you have to deal with the kind of fictional-reality that causes physical emotional reactions.
And I’m not going to lie, it’s going to hurt a little. But it hurts soooooo gooooooood.
“I think people can be so crushed, so broken, that they’ll never be anything more than a fragment of a whole person.”
A tragic book.
Going back to my girl, Karin Slaughter, again. This time, The Good Daughter takes the prize.
Let me tell you about my fucking feeeeelssss for this book. It’s so beautiful and heart-wrenching. It’s perfect. The center of this book is tragedy. It is the sun this story rotates around.
Honestly, there’s is nothing but tragedy – from the events to the characters to the town they live in. Tragic. Like in every way a girl in high school in 1995 would have said it.
The Good Daughter is an in-your-face, visceral experience, that is as much disturbing and unflinching, as it is heartbreaking and human. I emotionally connected with this book more than I have any book in a really long time.
Slaughter’s writing is tough and dark, stark and raw. I’ve seen a lot of people say it’s not for the squeamish, but I didn’t find it disgusting or full of gore. It is brutal in its honesty, but never uses cheap thrills for the sake of gross-out effect. If by “squeamish” we mean readers who would rather not be confronted with the dark realities of life – then no, it’s not for the squeamish.
“Sometimes, your world turns upside down, and you need somebody to show you how to walk on your hands before you can find your feet again.”
A book you had high expectations for.
Burn me at the bookish stake if you must, but I fucking loved The Girl on the Train. LOVED IT (shit movie though.) So when Paula Hawkins released her follow-up standalone, Into the Water, I was so jazzed for it. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
Ultimately, I think my expectations were so high, that there’s was nothing left for me but to let down by how not as great it was.
It’s an okay book, don’t get me wrong. But I didn’t love it. It wasn’t a page-turner. The characters were not as sharp. The storyline was not as crisp and addictive. And at times, I was a little bored. It didn’t have the same compulsion to it that The Girl on the Train did.
I found the tone uneven, as if Hawkins was going back and forth between deciding if she was writing a mystery-suspense novel, or just a drama, depending on her mood.
On its own, a reader who may have not read/didn’t like The Girl novel might find that the merits of Into the Water are strong enough for it to stand on its own. There is heart to it, honesty and meditative emotion. But for me, it was a letdown in comparison to my expectations.
“Beware a calm surface — you never know what lies beneath.”
A book that you didn’t like at first but ended up loving.
This is a hard one for me because usually, I’m pretty certain once I start something whether it’s working for me or not. But I’ll go with a recent read for this, Stillhouse Lake.
This got a 4/5 from me, but I have to say, the first 40% of the book was pretty if-y, touch-and-go. There are parts I found far-fetched, a little too unbelievable and silly, and it was bringing my reading experience down. But as the climax was peaking and the ending was in sight, I was hooked. Like an addict.
And I’m honestly stoked for the sequel. Hook it up to my veins!
“…everyone runs from the monster. Everyone except the monster slayer…”
Until next time, Booknerds…