OK so the last time I posted a review was back in May. It’s been a bit of a weird time since April. I lost my pup of 10 years (he was 15), and I’ve been mourning him for a little bit. He was my buddy for so long, and it took me / is still taking me some time to figure out life without him. The first few weeks were weird because I was still worried about him. Now I just miss him. Here’s his smiling face in case anyone wants to see Oscar:
Anyway, now I’m back. I’ve been reading this time (thankfully, or I’d be loonier than I already am), but I need to write like 17 reviews to catch up!
Here’s my first bunch of reviews, and it’s four books that I didn’t love for one reason or another.
My first review is Castaways. I borrowed this book from the library and listened on my phone at the gym. Oh man this book was bad. Like so bad that I couldn’t stop listening to it because I needed to know how the whole crapshow wrapped up. The premise was interesting – a bunch of people “trapped” on a deserted island for a reality TV show. They got voted off the island a la Survivor, and whoever was there in the end wins. That’s not the interesting part. There’s someone / a group of someone’s hunting the contestants on this show.
Unfortunately, the characters are suuuper awful. They were dumb, poorly written, and super stereotypical. I know it’s a bad one when I take notes of stuff along the way:
“His skin was smooth and soft, just like his eyes”. How the hell can eyes be soft and smooth?
“I’m not here to make friends” says every contestant on every reality TV show ever.
Ok, these are just some of my thoughts that I wrote down, not quotes:
-Jerry and Becca basically fell in love in a few days
-(here’s a fun one) All the freaking rape with disgusting detail
-He’s looking at the f*%king cave art!
-Sooo much philosophizing
-They’re running for their lives and Becca thinks about looking for her diary
Needless to say, I would NOT NOT NOT recommend this book to anyone. Please, if you value your brain and your eyeballs, don’t read it! I’d give it 1 star for the attempt at a good premise. Allll the other stars are taken away for literally everything else though. Even though this book sucked, it fulfills “Far and Away” on my bingo card! So, thanks for that at least.
OK number two is What You Did. Again, it lured me in with the promise of a good story. Six friends get together after not seeing each other for over twenty years. Some of them are married to each other, some of them are married to no one. There are of course some of them who have old crushes on each other, and hidden secrets. Anyway, during the party, one of them is raped, and she blames one of the husbands. (Sorry that my first two reviews involve rape, that is certainly not intentional). Everyone tries to figure out what happened, and old wounds are reopened.
Like I said – this had the opportunity to be an interesting mystery. Unfortunately, the characters aren’t great. They’re mostly all jerks, and it’s really hard to root for anyone. These people have been lying to each other for twenty years, and there’s only one of them who doesn’t know.
This book is fine if you don’t need characters that you like. The story is pretty interesting, and there are no graphic details. I just can’t like or recommend a book where everyone is an asshole!
I think I’d give this book 2.5 stars.
Here comes review number three!
All These Beautiful Strangers is another book I borrowed from the library and listened to at the gym. It wasn’t horrible. The “twist” or whatever you want to call it was actually pretty interesting. It just took kinda forever to get there.
We start out with a girl (I just can’t remember her name, so we’ll call her Christy) who is at an elite (it’s written as snobby) boarding school in Connecticut. She’s the daughter of a suuuper rich dude, who has a semi shady reputation, and may have murdered her mother. She spends some time trying to figure out what happened to her mother.
There’s this whole side story though of a secret group at school called the A’s. They’re like a secret society, and you have to be selected and initiated to get in. Some of that was interesting too. I guess I just could’ve done with one great mystery or the other. I really didn’t need two. I loved the flashbacks to when her mom was younger and first meeting her dad. I could’ve had a whole book about her mother and that mystery. I really didn’t need the snobby entitled teenagers plot! I think I’d give this book 3 stars. Like I said, it wasn’t awful, I just didn’t like it!
This is my final review of this “books I didn’t love” mass post. I need to start out my saying that this is not a bad book. I just didn’t love it because I was uncontrollably sobbing for the entire forty minutes I read it. I did not finish this book. I started it in the beginning of June, which I think was too soon after I lost Oscar. I thought it would comfort me, because it’s kind of a “sharing in loss” book where people talk about losing their pets. I guess I forgot that those stories slay me.
Oh, I should also mention that I lost my other dog Ernie just last year in April. In fact, four days after I lost Oscar this year would’ve been the one year anniversary of me losing Ernie. He also kinda looked like that dog on the cover!
Here are some parts I highlighted on my Kindle that I connected with:
-Talking about grieving “It’s all the love you still have that you want to give him. It has nowhere to go.”