ARCs Update: Reviews (This One Sky Day, The Odyssey)+ Received

Hello readers!

I finished a couple ARCs this week and received a few more, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about what I read and what I added to my shelves!

Reviews

This One Sky Day by Leone Ross

Pub Date April 13th 2021

I was a bit in an audiobook mood this week so decided to pick this up in audio since I have tried before to read it and was so supremely bored I considered DNF-ing it (which I did), but then saw so many 5-star reviews from bloggers I admire that I decided to give it another chance (which I now did). And, well, it was fine.

I am shamefully late with this one, but in my defense… I didn’t want to read it. This is one of those books where I can see its merits, and I can objectively admire how vivid and viscerally this is written, the characters coming alive in Leone Ross’ brilliant writing. I also thought I’d like it because it was a magical realism literary fiction, which is something I absolutely love reading, but I just did not click with it at all. I am not able to articulate exactly why, but something about the storytelling did not grasp me, and even when I enjoyed the writing, I could not enjoy the story itself. This is a slow-paced novel, which made the chore of finishing this drag on even more. It just never seemed to really pick up steam and then the Big Event that happens around half or two-thirds in was just so weird and absurd. It just really put me off.

It did not work for me, I was simply not the right audience – so I guess it will be a better match for other readers, perhaps if you enjoy absurd humor and magical realism. Don’t let me my uninspired review stop you from reading it if this book interested you.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Odyssey by Lara Williams

Pub Date 21 Apr 2022

I loved Lara Williams’ ridiculously visceral Supper Club, so I was pretty excited to see receive The Odyssey – it’s a contemporary about a woman who works in a luxury cruise and when she gets accepted into a mentorship program, she has to confront the reasons why she joined the cruise in the first place, which is in fact a pretty intense cult. I can’t describe this book appropriately, it’s just… bonkers, completely bonkers. Watching Ingrid as she reacts to the world, with absolutely no emotional balance or making any sort of good choice throughout the entire book, plus having very little empathy and serious mommy issues, I could not look away from the train wreck that is this book. If you love books about people in serious need of therapy and enjoy reading for the ~vibes more than an actual sensible story, I can highly recommend this! I devoured it in a couple days and it left me so confused!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Received ARCs

Okay so I went a bit wild with the ARCs and requested a bazillion things I didn’t even have on my TBR (or my secondary TBR) but I’ve seen some early reviews absolutely raving about them and I am weak. So I got approved for three of them so far, Cherish Farrah which is a horror full of social commentary (my favorite kind of horror), Vladimir which is…. something (I re-read the synopsis and remembered it’s a very dark and edgy novel about a highly problematic guy, sounds intense) and Our Wives Under the Sea which is a horror novel and I don’t need to know anything else because the cover alone totally sold it to me.

Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow

From bestselling author Bethany C. Morrow comes a new adult social horror novel in the vein of Get Out meets My Sister, the Serial Killer, about Farrah, a young, calculating Black girl who manipulates her way into the lives of her Black best friend’s white, wealthy, adoptive family but soon suspects she may not be the only one with ulterior motives. . . .

Seventeen-year-old Farrah Turner is one of two Black girls in her country club community, and the only one with Black parents. Her best friend, Cherish Whitman, adopted by a white, wealthy family, is something Farrah likes to call WGS–White Girl Spoiled. With Brianne and Jerry Whitman as parents, Cherish is given the kind of adoration and coddling that even upper-class Black parents can’t seem to afford–and it creates a dissonance in her best friend that Farrah can exploit. When her own family is unexpectedly confronted with foreclosure, the calculating Farrah is determined to reassert the control she’s convinced she’s always had over her life by staying with Cherish, the only person she loves–even when she hates her.

As troubled Farrah manipulates her way further into the Whitman family, the longer she stays, the more her own parents suggest that something is wrong in the Whitman house. She might trust them–if they didn’t think something was wrong with Farrah, too. When strange things start happening at the Whitman household–debilitating illnesses, upsetting fever dreams, an inexplicable tension with Cherish’s hotheaded boyfriend, and a mysterious journal that seems to keep track of what is happening to Farrah–it’s nothing she can’t handle. But soon everything begins to unravel when the Whitmans invite Farrah closer, and it’s anyone’s guess who is really in control.

Told in Farrah’s chilling, unforgettable voice and weaving in searing commentary on race and class, this slow-burn social horror will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page.

Vladimir by Julia May Jonas

“When I was a child, I loved old men, and I could tell that they also loved me.”

And so we are introduced to our deliciously incisive narrator: a popular English professor whose charismatic husband at the same small liberal arts college is under investigation for his inappropriate relationships with his former students. The couple have long had a mutual understanding when it comes to their extra-marital pursuits, but with these new allegations, life has become far less comfortable for them both. And when our narrator becomes increasingly infatuated with Vladimir, a celebrated, married young novelist who’s just arrived on campus, their tinder box world comes dangerously close to exploding.

With this bold, edgy, and uncommonly assured debut, author Julia May Jonas takes us into charged territory, where the boundaries of morality bump up against the impulses of the human heart. Propulsive, darkly funny, and wildly entertaining, Vladimir perfectly captures the personal and political minefield of our current moment, exposing the nuances and the grey area between power and desire.

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

Miri thinks she has got her wife back, when Leah finally returns after a deep-sea mission that ended in catastrophe. It soon becomes clear, though, that Leah is not the same. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded on the ocean floor, Leah has brought part of it back with her, onto dry land and into their home.

Moving through something that only resembles normal life, Miri comes to realize that the life that they had before might be gone. Though Leah is still there, Miri can feel the woman she loves slipping from her grasp.

Our Wives Under The Sea is the debut novel from Julia Armfield, the critically acclaimed author of salt slow. It’s a story of falling in love, loss, grief, and what life there is in the deep deep sea.

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