Review: The Secret History, by Donna Tartt

the secret history donna tartt

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery

Goodreads

The Secret History is the story of Richard Papen, a student who finds himself charmed by the small group of professor Julian Morrow studying classics  at University. Slowly, Richard is consumed by their intensity and slips into their obsessions and betrayal.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, and I’ve read so many mixed reviews I was terribly curious. I read If We Were Villains, which was compared a lot to this, so and which I enjoyed, but thought I’d enjoy it more if it had been an adult novel instead. After reading The Secret History, I definitely see the similarities and I’m quite glad I picked it up! Continue reading

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Review: The Unhoneymooners, by Christina Lauren

the unhoneymooners christina lauren

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Romance

Goodreads

The Unhoneymooners is the story of Olive, probably the unluckiest girl in the world. While her twin sister Amy wins prizes and giveaways and is planning her wedding basically for free, Olive has never had any luck in her career, love life or anything. To add to that, she is okay with her soon-to-be brother-in-law, but absolutely cannot stand his brother Ethan. When the buffet in the wedding Amy won for free gives everyone but Olive and Ethan really, really sick, Amy begs her to do this one thing for her: please take her free vacation in Maui, or the whole thing goes to waste. There is only one problem: Ethan is going, too, in place of his brother, and will pretend to be married to Olive. Could this be Olive’s change in luck or is it just another series of unfortunate events waiting to happen? Continue reading

Review: Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli

lost children archive valeria luiselli

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads

Lost Children Archive tells the story of a family on a road trip across the United States during Summer. As they go through what might be the last trip they take as a family, heading towards the area known as Apacheria, where the father tries to capture the echoes of the last people to give in to the white invaders, while the mother works on a collection of sounds that will, hopefully, together tell the story of the refugee children that are lost.

On the surface, this book is about a family trip, and with gorgeous writing the author takes us through the hot days, the slow pace of the story mirroring, I think, the pacing of something that is already a memory, a Summer day from years ago. But the story is truly about family, refugees, history, how documenting is important and the different ways of documenting. Quite fascinating! Continue reading

Review: Normal People, by Sally Rooney

normal people sally rooney

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads

Normal People tells the story of Connell and Marianne, who go to school together and have a complex relationship – in school, they pretend they hardly know each other, but at home, they have a quiet friendship with underlying, barely disguised desire. It follows them throughout the years as their relationship changes, ends, starts, develops and constantly threatens to break.

If you have feelings and want them squashed into a sobbing mess, well, this is the book for you! Let Sally Rooney break your heart and she will quietly and brutally do so. Continue reading

Review: Milkman, by Anna Burns

milkman anna burns

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Literary Fiction

Goodreads / Amazon

Milkman tells the story of an unnamed girl in an unnamed city, where the social rules to belonging are strict and don’t allow for straying too far. When the gets the unwanted attention of the Milkman and becomes the center of gossip in the city, she knows she’s in danger.

It took me several days to actually finish Milkman, because this gorgeous and witty book demands focus and can be dense to read at times. There isn’t a lot of dialogue going on and the paragraphs can be long, which by no means makes it a boring read at all, just a slower one if you’re used to, say, reading thrillers or other fast-paced stories. Although this was 350 pages long, it did feel more like 450-500 pages. Continue reading

Review: The Pisces, by Melissa Broder

the pisces melissa broder

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism, Erotica

Goodreads / Amazon

The Pisces is the most infamous book I’ve seen in a while, getting the same kind of reaction from people as did Fifty Shades of Grey when it came out – a snobbish dismissal and fascinated curiosity. When it came out, the only blurb I heard of was this was a book about fish sex. Then it made the longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and I heard people I really trusted saying that this book was amazing and to disregard its abysmal 3.23 rating on Goodreads. I am SO thankful for those people convincing me to read it! So shout-out to the Women’s Prize Squad: Hannah, Sarah, Callum, Steph and Rachel. Definitely check out their reviews, they’re amazing. Continue reading

eARC Review: A Prince on Paper, by Alyssa Cole

a prince on paper alyssa cole

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Romance, Contemporary

Goodreads / Amazon

I have received this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

A Prince on Paper is the story of Nya Jerami, knows very well what it means to have people assume things about her. Simple, fragile, perhaps in cohort with her traitor father. She went to NYC for her post-grad trying to turn herself into the strong heroine she has seen in so many movies, and failed. On the way back to Thesolo for the wedding of her cousin and friend Ledi, she realizes she will be seeing a lot of the playboy prince Johan. The insufferable, over-confident, handsome prince the tabloids seem to love. To keep the news away from his brother, and to stop people from still associating her with the treason from her father, they come up with a plan: they will pretend to be dating. Surely nothing can go wrong with this plan?

Continue reading

Review: An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

an american marriage tayari jones

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads / Amazon

An American Marriage was the fourth book I read from the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist for 2019, and my curiosity was even bigger for this one because this book was also picked for Oprah’s Book Club and I’ve been seeing several positive reviews from people I know.

Celestial and Roy have been married for a bit more than a year. She’s an artist and he’s a young executive. One night, during one of their worst fights, he walks out of the hotel room and helps an older woman – who then just hours later will accuse him of raping her. Incarcerated although he is innocent, Roy watches the life he knew shatter. The both of them must find out hard lessons on loyalty, justice, race, Black womanhood and Black manhood. Continue reading

Review: Ordinary People, by Diana Evans

ordinary people diana evans

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads / Amazon

This is exactly the kind of book that draws me in, with the couples trying to figure out if staying together will eventually heal their relationship or if it will break them. Those are always emotional reads that make me look into my own self and reflect on my choices. I was ready to let Ordinary People destroy me.

Ordinary People is the story of two couples, Michael and Melissa, and Damien and Stephanie, living in London and trying to make their relationships work while staying true to who they are. Melissa finds it difficult to be who she truly is, consumed with housework and her children. Michael sees Melissa growing colder and colder towards him and cannot seem to get their relationship to be how it used to be… which makes him look at other women with different eyes. All Stephanie ever wanted was to have her family and a lovely home, but since Damien’s father died, it has been nearly impossible to have any kind of relationship with him. He’s distant, quieter and in his heart he feels like he doesn’t belong. Continue reading

Review: Number One Chinese Restaurant, by Lillian Li

number one chinese restaurant lillian li

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads / Amazon

Number One Chinese Restaurant is the story of the decades-long loyalties and tensions in the restaurant from the Hans, inherited from father to son, a place where once politicians went to, actors, even presidents – but somehow has not met real prestige yet. Jimmy, the manager, has big dreams for a restaurant of his own. His older brother Johnny worked so hard for so many years on the restaurant that he became distant from his own daughter. Nan has worked there for decades together with Ah-Jack and yearns to be with him. With all of the underlying drama waiting to boil, no one notices when Pat and Annie get themselves into trouble.

They were all friends, if one defined friendship as the natural occurrence between people who, after colliding for decades, have finally eroded enough to fit together. Continue reading