I guess it’s time for my monthly wrap-up. November was a decent month in light of my recent reading slump. I had two ARCs of which I only read one …. whomp, whomp, whoomp. I particularly hate being late on ARC reviews. Genre-wise I was all over the place ranging from thriller to memoir to chick lit and horror just to name a few. I do like promiscuous reading best though. Overall, I am happy with my book choices for November (though I had a few big misses) and am looking forward to December and my end of this decade cramathon.
Books read: 6
Books listened to: 0
Total pages read (includes “pages” from audiobooks): 2308
Stranger in the Woods (Anni Taylor) ♠♠
Ok, this book felt like a soap opera. There were so many plot points and red herrings that I lost track of the actual story. The narrator was unreliable making this even more confusing. All of that though, I could’ve handled, but the ending, oh boy, was just beyond ridiculous. This book is a trainwreck, but once you begin reading you can’t put it down, because you just have to find out how all this concludes.
I do not recommend this novel.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown (Talia Hibbert) ♠♠♠♠♠
I super, duper adore this book. Talia Hibbert created a relatable, flawed, quirky, and lovable protagonist. I loved that it was an own-voices story. I haven’t come across too many novels with a chronically ill but yet self-sufficient lead. Chloe Brown is just that and more. She is smart and funny. She is driven. She is stubborn. She loves lists and schedules. In summary, I see myself in her. I enjoyed the budding romance with artsy and moody Red. The relationship felt real and I loved how he made her feel. Chloe’s twin sisters are hilarious and were the perfect side stories who become the leads in the sequels to this book. I am looking forward to reading those. This was my first Hibbert book and it was such a hit that I am going to keep her on my radar from now on.
If you’re looking for a quirky but real romance, I recommend this book.
Oryx and Crake (Margaret Atwood) ♠♠♠♠
As most of us have, I read The Handmaid’s Tale quite a while ago and decided I should explore more of Atwood’s writing. Oryx and Crake came highly recommended by a friend and so I began my journey with this book … and a journey it was. It took me so darn long to get into the story. I technically started reading this book in the middle of August but could never make it through more than a few pages at a time. I almost DNF’ed this novel. Boy, am I glad I didn’t. By about the halfway point I couldn’t put it down. This story is so damn smart and poignant. Atwood has such a keen and critical eye and creates, yet again, a very important social commentary. The story is scary because it seems this could actually happen. In fact, some of the described events appear like they were plugged straight from our current news outlets. I will read on in this series and hope that the sequels start off a bit easier for me.
I recommend this book if you enjoy a good dystopian plot that just feels much too real.
Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner’s Daughter (Loretta Lynn) ♠♠♠
I am admittedly a huge Lorette Lynn fan. I love her everyday-woman songs and thus was really looking forward to her memoir. After reading it I feel conflicted and disappointed. Some of her views on women and marriage are very questionable and almost contradictory to her songs. Of course, this memoir was published in the late 1970s, so maybe some of her beliefs have changed since then, but I don’t know that for sure. Reading this didn’t change how I feel about her music and in the end who am I to judge … Every woman has the right to form her own opinions and voice them. I guess I was just expecting to read a more empowering autobiography.
I recommend this book if you’re interested in Loretta’s life story but caution you to be open to some outdated views.
The Dead Girls Club (Damien Angelica Walters) ♠♠
The only exciting part of this novel were the teenage Dead Girls and the Red Lady. Grown-up Heather was entitled and boring. The ‘now’ plot was unbelievable and the ending was just a hot mess. The novel is marketed as horror and that is just flat-out not the case. It is a psychological thriller at best. The premise was so promising but execution completely lacked any appeal. The author seems like a talented writer. I enjoyed the ‘then’ chapters but could’ve done completely without the ‘now’ episodes. Walters should’ve stuck with stories about the Dead Girls Club and played up the Red Lady occurrences. Check out my full review here on my blog or on Goodreads.
I do not recommend this book.
Murder at the Vicarage (Agatha Christie) ♠♠♠♠
This is a re-read for me. As a teenager, I devoured pretty much all of Agatha Christie’s books. Miss Marple is a personal favorite and I loved that I had the time to revisit her very first story.
I wholeheartedly recommend any Agatha Christie book. If you enjoy British village gossip and the occasional murder, the Miss Marple series is for you.