Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Social Creature by Tara Isabella BurtonSocial Creature by Tara Isabella Burton
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on June 5th 2018
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers
Pages: 288
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This is the second book I’ve read in the last couple of years that should just be called “The Talented Mr. Rip-Off”. Genuine Fraud was the other one. The moment you tell us that a book is like The Talented Mr. Ripley – which the blurb does – you basically spoil everything that happens for anyone who knows the plot of that book.

One Star

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth WareThe Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 29th 2018
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers
Pages: 384
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There was a lock on the door. Two, in fact. They were long, thick bolts, top and bottom.
But they were on the outside.

 

This book was so creepy. In a great way. I’m really glad I finally broke down and read a Ruth Ware book.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient by Helen HoangThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Published by Penguin on June 5th 2018
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 336
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Well, this book. I’m not even sure where to start. I guess I’ll begin with an overview.

The Kiss Quotient is a seriously sexy, fun book that has rekindled my interest in the romance genre. When it hits the spot, I LOVE a good romance, but I rarely find one that goes beyond cliches and instalove so I usually end up bored. Not with this one. Not one bit.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen MirzaA Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
Published by Crown/Archetype on June 12th 2018
Genres: Fiction, Literary
Pages: 400
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She could hold in her heart a belief in Islam as well as the unwavering belief that every human had the right to choose who they loved, and how, and that belief was in exact accordance with her faith: that it is the individual’s right to choose, and the individual’s duty to empathize with one another.

 

Do you love those slow-burning, quiet family dramas that take you so fully into the lives of the characters? The kind that show complex human beings trying, often failing, and trying again to do their best? It’s not an action-packed fantasy or a spine-tingling thriller, but get me in the right mood and I adore these kinds of books. Celeste Ng is one of my personal favourites.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin KwanCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Published by Anchor on May 20th 2014
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 527
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“Imagine wanting to marry a girl from such a family! So disgraceful! Really, Nicky, what would Gong Gong say if he was alive? Madri, this tea needs a little more sugar.”

 

This is some seriously trashy crack-lit. And no that’s not a typo– this book is as addictive and dramatic and ridiculous as you surely imagine it to be. I should probably hate it, but, well… oops.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room by Rachel KushnerThe Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 1st 2018
Genres: Fiction, Literary
Pages: 352
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It’s taken me a long time to admit that I just didn’t like The Mars Room very much. Even as I was struggling to keep my eyes on the page, keep reading, and not get distracted by that piece of fluff on the floor, I was doing my best to write a positive review in my head.

One StarOne StarHalf a Star

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle ZevinYoung Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
Published by Hachette UK on August 22nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Literary
Pages: 304
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Aviva Grossman, an ambitious Congressional intern in Florida, makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss - who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married - and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the Congressman doesn't take the fall, but Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins. She becomes a late-night talk show punchline; she is slut-shamed, labelled as fat and ugly, and considered a blight on politics in general.
How does one go on after this? In Aviva's case, she sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. She starts over as a wedding planner, tries to be smarter about her life, and to raise her daughter to be strong and confident.
But when, at the urging of others, she decides to run for public office herself, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet like a scarlet A. These days, Google guarantees that the past is never, ever, truly past, that everything you've done will live on for everyone to know about for all eternity. And it's only a matter of time until Aviva/Jane's daughter, Ruby, finds out who her mother was, and is, and must decide whether she can still respect her.

“I’m not a murderer,” she says. “I’m a slut, and you can’t be acquitted of that.”

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail HoneymanEleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Published by Cengage Gale on 2017
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 557
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No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . The only way to survive is to open your heart.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely 100% fine. She goes to her office job five days a week and then treats herself to a frozen pizza and a bottle of vodka on a weekend. She lives alone and doesn’t have any friends, but that’s okay. She’s doing real well, thank you very much.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Exit West by Mohsin HamidExit West by Mohsin Hamid
Published by Penguin on March 7th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Literary
Pages: 240
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In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .

“When we migrate, we murder from our lives those we leave behind.”

I thought this book was quietly brutal. And quietly beautiful, as well.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula HawkinsInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on 2017
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense
Pages: 400
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The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train returns with Into the Water, her addictive new novel of psychological suspense. A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.   Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from--a place to which she vowed she'd never return.   With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.   Beware a calm surface--you never know what lies beneath.

I’m going straight down the middle with a 3-star rating but, in truth, my thoughts are all over with this book. I think the only way I can make sense of it is to break it down into points.

One StarOne StarOne Star