So back in June I hit an amazing reading streak and read four books in a month (and 1 that i read a majority of and then a skimmed the end because I was so over it) and I was totally gonna review them later and *cough* *looks at calendar* looks like it’s later! Since it’s been a while since I read those books I’m just gonna do some mini reviews of each of them.
1. The Pisces by Melissa Broder
You already know it’s about a woman who fucks a merman so I’m not gonna bother with much set up here. Basically, the main character is a depressed woman who’s been writing her dissertation for over a decade when her boyfriend dumps her for another woman. She moves out to Venice, CA to housesit/dogsit for her much more successful sister. While walking on the beach she meets Theo, whom she doesn’t realize at first is a merman.
The book kind of reminded me of Made for Love by Alissa Nutting. It has a similar “Displaced and depressed female character” storyline and is focused on sexuality. I can easily see people hating Lucy, the main character. She’s very snarky and judgemental, and doesn’t exhibit the best decision making ever. (Also, she starts drugging her sister’s dog so she can spend time with Theo because the dog barks like crazy when he’s around so if you’re sensitive about animals I’d probably skip this book). She’s also hurt and lonely and kind of lost so I empathized for the most part. I also got the impression that Theo may have been Lucy’s hallucination.
2. The Power by Naomi Alderman
WOMEN GET SUPERPOWERS AND OVERTHROW SOCIETY SIGN ME THE FUCK UP.
I really enjoyed this book. This was so cool. It’s told from different perspective and I didn’t think any of them were weaker than the others. I think you could call this speculative fiction since it is an exploration on “What would happen if the gender power dynamic in our society completely flipped?” I found the book kind of cathartic in a way. It’s not really a female power fantasy, but in a way it is, so I enjoyed the idea of women having the ability to say “FUCK THIS SHIT” and shooting lightning at horrible men.
Definitely recommend this one.
3. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Huang
So full disclosure: I’m not a romance reader. I heard good things about this one and my library had it so I gave it a shot. I’m glad I did!
Stella is a successful econometrician and also has Aspergers. Because of this, she has not had a great history with relationships. Being a very logical thinker she decides to hire escort Michael to teach her all the sexy things. Naturally, he’s mega hot and they end up falling for each other. I thought the characters were well-written and I liked Michael’s backstory. I did kind of feel there were too many wrenches thrown into their relationship unnecessarily, like the book needed to keep them apart in order to maintain dramatic tension. I just felt it could’ve been done in a more honest and realistic way. The sex scenes are sexy and very well done.
4. Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
Red Clocks I think got lumped in with all the other women’s reproductive rights dystopia books and it’s really not that. It’s not The Handmaid’s Tale. In this one, there’s a new law that makes all fertilized embryos people so IVF is now illegal because embryos can’t consent to being moved into a uterus and another law that states all adoptive children must have two parents. I didn’t find it full on dystopian.
The characters were a little flat and there are quotes from a fake biography one of the characters is writing interspersed throughout the novel that I thought was unnecessary. I wouldn’t strongly recommend this one, but it wasn’t bad.
5. Social Creature (I’m going to spoil this book because it sucked so beware)
Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. I wanted this book to be good, but holy shit. It’s going for a Talented Mr. Ripley thing with Millennials thing but fails to make me give a shit. The main character (I can’t remember her name and don’t care enough to google it.) becomes utterly fascinated with her new mega rich friend Lavinia. Lavinia is deeply self-centered and only pretends to care about other people.
(SPOILERS) (SPOILERS) (SPOILERS)
So Whatsherface starts fucking Lavinia’s exboyfriend and then ends up accidentally killing Lavinia after she finds out about their relationship. The next, like, hundred pages are Whatsherface continuing to post from Lavinia’s social media in order to hide her death. Now, a murderer hiding her crime for months should be interesting, but in this case it’s soooo not. I finally skimmed the rest of the book because I just wanted to know how she gets caught. Ready? Lavinia’s sister demands to see her, Whatsherface admits that she’s dead and then FUCKING LEAVES. Just dyes her hair, grabs her fake ID for her new identity and then just disappears into the New York crowds. End of book. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! Lavinia’s parents haven’t spoken to their daughter in months, yet she keeps spending their money and NOBODY CALLS THE COPS!?
The bulk of this book is just Whatsherface and Lavinia going to parties with other drunk rich assholes and Whatsherface deciding whether she hates Lavinia or not. I hoped that maybe it would pick up once she killed Lavinia but no. Skip this one, please.
All righty, that’s what I got. Not sure what my next review will be. Right now I’m reading People Who Eat Darkness, but I’m not 100% sure I’ll finish it.