Tag Archives: Adult Fiction

Does Shelter Always Equal Comfort?

Shelter by Jung Yun
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I was so excited for this book when I first heard about it. This is a debut novel that sounded like it was going to address the Korean-American child experience with sheltertheir Korean immigrant parents. This story follows Kyung Cho and his wife, Gillian, as their debts and bad decisions catch up with them and begin to threaten their livelihood. They live very close to Kyung’s parents, Jin and Mae, who gave Kyung everything they could’ve, but never showed a shred of kindness or love or patience. Seemingly out of the blue, a violent act towards Jin and Mae force them to move in with Kyung and Gillian, which also forces out the many issues that the family has bottled up over time.

In reading the synopsis for this, I was strangely excited for the opportunity to read about a struggle that I could partially relate to. My parents were much kinder and more loving growing up, however, we still had to learn the tricky balance that immigrant parents and their American-Born children typically need to learn. How does the family balance the importance of culture and the new culture that they live in? How does the child balance honoring where their ancestors come from and figure out making a new life for themselves? These are so many questions that don’t get addressed or represented in books, so I was excited for a Korean author to take a leap in addressing these issues in this debut novel. Warning: Spoilers ahead and trigger for abuse/rape. 

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Quick Takes: After You

After You (#2) by Jojo Moyes
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I’m going to go down the “quick take” review route for this read, mainly because there isn’t a after youwhole lot to say and this book pretty much speaks for itself. This definitely isn’t a knock on the book because as you can see from my star rating…I obviously enjoyed this book.

I read “Me Before You” last month and I absolutely loved it. Oh how I loved it. I sobbed for nearly 15ish minutes after I finished this book. The book was unbelievably sad and while I knew how it was going to end, Jojo Moyes did an incredible job of weaving together the most heartbreaking of love stories I’ve ever read. So of course, I NEEDED to pick up this continuation of the story. I literally couldn’t resist.

As this is a continuation of a story, I can’t say much without spoiling the first book. If you want a good love story that tugs at all of your heartstrings, I highly recommend picking up Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes or you can also check out my review of it on the blog. And then, if you want more fun romance, woman trying to find herself and hot guys, pick this one up for a light beach read 🙂

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TL;DR Gillian Flynn

Now that grad school has stopped for the rest of the summer, I decided to look into what to read next. After some browsing on GoodReads, checking what was available at my local library, and reminiscing on my love of Gone Girl I settled on Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. While picking the book up from the library, I decided to grab the other Flynn novel on the same shelf.

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The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
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The first thing of note about this book is that it is tiny. Like size-of-my-palm-and-only-62-pages tiny. The second thing is that the first sentence was not at all what I was expecting. Mind you I had no idea what to expect, but I definitely had an “oh boy, what IS this book about?!” moment. Once the initial shock wears off, about 10 pages in, this is a very quick read of an interesting story: complete with lots of mystery and a twist ending. Worth the 20 minutes it will take you to read it 🙂

 

dark placesDark Places by Gillian Flynn

One thing I didn’t know is that this came out as a movie shortly after Gone Girl: must not have done too well. This was another great mystery, right up my alley. The story is about Libby Day who was the lone survivor of her family massacre. Her brother sits in jail for having committed the crime and Libby refuses to go see him. She gets invited to a “Kill Club” meeting, where enthusiasts of the massacre of her family slowly make Libby question if despite her testimony her brother was not the one that killed her mother and sisters.

Having been the only survivor of the crime, Abby has had trouble adjusting to normal life since the age of 7. When she starts to question her own words and convictions about her brother, she slowly starts trying to dig up her past to get answers. The story is told through Libby in the present alternating with her dead family members the day of the murders.

 

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One Cranky Man, One Charming Story

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
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a-man-called-ove-9781476738024_hrWell, that was just the cutest.

This is one delightful, feel-good story. It is the equivalent of that favorite, well-worn DVD you pop in when you wanna remember there’s still some good in the world.

Ove (pronounced “OOH-vuh” apparently, based on the audiobook) is one curmudgeonly old man that seems to get bombarded by annoyances that take the form of his neighbors, when all he wants is some peace, and to be with his recently-departed wife. What follows is a charming, sometimes cheesy set of events that slowly work to warm both Ove’s and readers’ hearts. Continue reading

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Pass on The Passenger

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz (Out Today!)
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the-passenger-9781451686630_hrNot gonna lie, I’m pretty bummed! I totally thought this book would be right up my alley, but there were a few things that kept it from holding the same rating as Gone Girl or Girl on the Train–two books this one’s often been compared to. Ultimately, I think the reason I wasn’t wowed by this book was because our leading lady simply wasn’t as interesting as her counterparts in other bestsellers.

Tanya (the first name she goes by) is a woman on the run from both her past and mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of her husband. In an attempt to remain anonymous and out of the hands of authorities, she takes on multiple identities throughout the book. It made sense to the story, but it only added to the sense of her total lack of true identity. Even physical appearance like hair and eye color, easy ways to picture a character, changed throughout the book. Continue reading

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3 For 3 – Moving Right Along!

91lUeBR2G1LBetween the three of us, we’ve read a lot of books. Like, a lot. This means that we’ve also read some of the same books. So, I got super stoked when the three of us were all going to be reading The Girl on the Train. This will be the first trio cross-over that we have on the blog and we’re pretty excited for it! If you haven’t had a chance to, check out Ranie’s individual initial review! In this review, Amelia and I are going to each give quick non-spoilery reviews, and then we’re going to go into a spoilery group discussion on the book. Let us know what y’all think of this group review style!

Mina’s Rating: 4/5

I literally read half of this book in one sitting…before going to bed…which is definitely not a good idea, haha!!! But that definitely speaks to the addictive quality of this book and books like it. I am generally not one for thrillers, but the constant POV switching kept me intrigued the whole way through. That being said, that is the only reason why I did not give this book 5/5 because initially the POV switching totally threw me off. It didn’t feel cohesive at the beginning, and I had to keep flipping back and forth. It eventually gets its stride though, and then it just sucked me right in. All the characters had so much depth to them, which added even more layers to the mystery/thriller aspect of this book. While our focus is Rachel and the blacked out memory, it was great to see Megans’ life and even Annas’ life, which I was pleasantly surprised to read from. This book is definitely twisted, dark, and real creepy – a great pick for October and if you enjoy a quality thriller read! Continue reading

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October Book Haul

I never really felt the need to do a book haul blog post because I don’t really buy that many books.

I…I don’t know what happened. There are so many books. My bank account is crying. And October isn’t even technically over.

Well…here’s the damage.

And a breakdown of the damage:

  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini — it’s got a high rating on Goodreads, and it’s been on my to-read list for forever
  • Blindness by Jose Saramago  — also on my to-read list for forever. Also the premise sounds terrifying.
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett — you guessed it: on my to-read list for forever.
  • The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor — a sweet birthday gift from a sweet friend of mine, who understands the value of beautiful covers.
  • Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor — absolutely love their weird podcast, so I had to go out and buy the book!
  • Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich — one of my favorites. I must’ve lent this out to someone since I haven’t seen it in a while, so when I found it for two bucks I had to replace that one.
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson — because I think I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t read this book. Continue reading
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