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Leave the World Behind
Leave the World Behind | Rumaan Alam
260 posts | 249 read | 2 reading | 99 to read
A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they've rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older black couple--it's their house, and they've arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area--with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service--it's hard to know what to believe. Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple--and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other? Suspenseful and provocative, Rumaan Alam's third novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped--and unexpected new ones are forged--in moments of crisis.
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review
magyklyXdelish
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Bailedbailed

Woof. The writing is way too pretentious for me to try and continue. No thanks.

#BookSpinBingo

TheAromaofBooks Sometimes you just gotta cut a book loose!! 2mo
23 likes1 comment
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Erinreadsthebooks
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Pickpick

Entirely unsettling, but it‘s a pick for me. I know the ending (or non-ending) is a point of contention for some. For me, I‘m good with not knowing what happens but being left with enough clues to guess at a couple of outcomes. Alam sprinkles in details about what‘s going on in other places across the US that are really interesting, but I definitely could‘ve done without the unnecessary and unwanted sex/bodily fluids/body parts details.

EatSleepRead I really liked this one too, but same about the unnecessary sexual stuff. Lol. I found the whole story fascinating.
2mo
33 likes1 comment
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Erinreadsthebooks
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“She packed a book, as you never knew when you‘d need a book.” My book goes everywhere 🤷‍♀️✊🤓 #lifemotto

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Erinreadsthebooks
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“She wasn‘t terrible, his sister, and she was still a little kid, so she couldn‘t help being a dumbass. Had he been that stupid at thirteen?” 😏😆😂🤩 #siblings

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TrishB
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Mehso-so

I did like the actual story and I‘m not sure what is creepier- reading it in first lockdown with not a clue what‘s happening to us all or reading now on brink of another war/invasion 🤷‍♀️ we all know the dread of uncertainty.
But I hated the authors overblown writing style with totally inappropriate sexual descriptions- come on - some of them just made me go ewww.

Cathythoughts I agree with the sexual descriptions you mention 👎... apart from that I loved the suspense, the beauty of the countryside, I really loved it. 5mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts I think the author wrote those bits well. Maybe it‘s people he struggles with 😁 5mo
Itchyfeetreader Yes it was just oddly disjointed and creepy 5mo
See All 7 Comments
eanderson I agree with your review! Especially the sexual stuff... way to much for me. 5mo
Caroline2 Ok unstacked! 😆 5mo
BkClubCare I thought it excessively wordy. 4mo
93 likes7 comments
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TrishB
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Exactly Rose! Have to be prepared!

Cathythoughts Rose👏👏👏😄 5mo
Caroline2 This happened to me once when I was younger, I finished my book and didn‘t bring a back up! 🤦‍♀️ I learnt my mistake and never let it happen again!!! 😆 5mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts @Caroline2 definitely wouldn‘t want that happening! 5mo
See All 9 Comments
AmyG One of my biggest fears....getting stuck without a book. @Caroline2 ...I have had this happen a few times and made my husband take me to the supermarket to buy a book. (edited) 5mo
swynn I keep a paperback in the glove compartment for emergencies. Even though I now have, like, a megatillion unread books on my phone. I mean, that battery won't last forever, right? 5mo
Megabooks Yes!! 👍🏻👍🏻 5mo
CarolynM I can definitely relate! 5mo
TrishB @Megabooks @CarolynM always best to have too many! 5mo
TrishB @swynn always be prepared! 5mo
98 likes9 comments
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Oryx
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And further to my last post, here's the stack with the lovely edges.

Cathythoughts Nice ! I loved the book on top of that lovely stack, and the book on the bottom 👍👍 5mo
Oryx @Cathythoughts me too! I think Leave the World Behind is the best of this stack for me. 5mo
squirrelbrain Didn‘t guess any… but I think I read most of them digitally so it‘s no surprise really! 5mo
Oryx @squirrelbrain I think this stack is evidence of a misspent (or well spent) pandemic... Treating myself to pretty versions. And now it's hard to break the habit! 5mo
69 likes4 comments
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BookLineNSinker
Pickpick

I liked this as a lit fict pick but as others have mentioned, the ending left a lot of unanswered questions. Overall it was a solid ⭐⭐⭐

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juliehope1019
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Mehso-so

I really wanted to love this book. I devoured it in one night. The plot was so mysterious and intriguing, I couldn‘t put it down. Unfortunately, the end felt rushed and was a complete let down. I am still left with questions and the story did not feel as resolved as I would have liked it to be.

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BookLineNSinker
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Next up, Leave the World Behind. I love Marin Ireland as a narrator so hopefully it works out.

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MicheleinPhilly
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Pickpick

This is a VERY light pick, tomorrow it may be a so-so. Fantastic premise and set-up but it all sort of fizzled out. I couldn‘t put it down which means it was more successful than my previous attempt with this author. Ultimately I think he‘s just a wee bit too pretentious for me.

swishandflick I remember feeling similarly! 6mo
eanderson Samezies. For whatever reason I just can‘t. You worded it better than I could. 5mo
BarbaraBB I felt similar too. All of those useless details. 5mo
69 likes3 comments
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JillR
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Pickpick

Amanda and Clay rent an AirBnB in remote farmland as they can‘t quite afford the beach. Then the owners return; is it true something terrible has happened in New York? Or is it a scam? We watch the following days unfold with tantalising teasers, undertones of racism and privilege, and a sense of dread, unease and claustrophobia. This is unusual, clever, entirely absorbing and feels extremely timely.

TrishB Great pic 👍🏻 this one has been on my kindle a while. 6mo
JillR @trishb I‘d avoided it for a bit as I wasn‘t sure from the reviews whether I‘d like it, but it‘s a really good, quick read! Did I see you‘ve got/had Covid? If so hope you‘re feeling better x 6mo
TrishB Thank you 😁 just getting over the tiredness! 6mo
See All 6 Comments
Cathythoughts I really enjoyed this book too 👍❤️ 5mo
Cathythoughts @TrishB I‘ve been wondering about you too. So glad your nearly better ❤️ (edited) 5mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts thank you Cathy ❤️ 5mo
42 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Avanders
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Panpan

Finished the tagged… very disappointed. I‘ve left a short spoilerish review on goodreads, for those who‘ve read it & want to know why 😕

Started Wintering. The 1st chapt was like listening to someone describe one of my greatest nightmares. I‘m glad I pushed through, of course. I‘m about 10% in & … I feel like I *need* this book right now

Also rec‘d #LMPBC #groupw book last night - Thank you Katie! ♥️

And rec‘d #fantasticstrangelings Jan book 🥳

BookHoarder32 Love the pillow! 6mo
blondie I dnf‘d Leave the World Behind. This makes me feel better about doing so. 6mo
Avanders @BookHoarder32 thanks 😁 One of my favorite gifts from an old boss! @blondie I know some people love it but… I think if you don‘t like it from the beginning, it‘s unlikely you will… 5mo
84 likes3 comments
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brushlo
Pickpick

Would be a great movie. Tackles so many interesting themes about technology, information and isolation. great and really well written!

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Nikki_E
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September 2021

37 likes1 stack add
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LeslieO
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It was tough choosing my top ten fiction but here they are. I read so many good books this year. My clear number one is the tagged book. It was the first book I read in 2021 and I loved it! #TopTen #Favoritesof2021

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I love Nina💛💛💛 6mo
Cathythoughts I loved it too 👍👍👍📚 6mo
40 likes2 comments
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mjtwo
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Mehso-so

21-25 Dec 2021 (audiobook)
A family rents a home in remote Long Island for a chance to enjoy the other half‘s life. In the night, an older black couple knock on the door, re-claiming their house having fled the city because something is happening. Unusual activities follow - animal migration, unexplained illness, and disconnection.
An eery, disconcerting novel which reflects on the Other, human bonds formed in catastrophe and our fragility.

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KarenUK
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Pickpick

It‘s all about the atmosphere, which is an unsettling, unknown dread and a mysterious event that is occurring ‘off-screen.‘ A family staying at a remote Air B&B, are unexpectedly confronted with the return of the possible owners, and the loss of communication to the outside world. The Omnipresent narrator, POV-hopping works so well. Tackles race, class and human behavior in crisis so well. Not for anyone who likes an ending tied up in a neat bow!

squirrelbrain I loved this one - great review! 7mo
Cinfhen I enjoyed this one too!!! Nice choice for prompt 💚 7mo
See All 7 Comments
Cathythoughts One of my faves this year.. I got it for my son for his recent birthday.. great book 👍🏻 7mo
AmyG Wonderful review. I was one of those who loves this, too. 7mo
TrishB Seems I have this on my kindle! Interested now 😁 7mo
BarbaraBB Great choice for this prompt. 7mo
61 likes1 stack add7 comments
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keithlafo
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Panpan

Sad to say this one didn‘t land for me. There‘s a cool concept in here, but the prose was way too purple for my taste, and the story spins its wheels for a long time before ending abruptly. Just wasn‘t for me in the end.

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rmaclean4
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Pickpick

Great atmosphere of building tension. Reminded me of A Children's Bible by Lydia Millet. 3 🌟 #BookSpinBingo

Cathythoughts I really enjoyed this book 8mo
Cathythoughts I‘ll check out A Children‘s Bible 👍🏻👍🏻 8mo
17 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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#conflictedworlds #disaster (a day late)
@eggs @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

I am a lover of a slow burn read and one which doesn't have all the answers is perfect. This is a great disaster read where you are not quite sure what is actually going on.

Eggs I‘ve wondered about this one....,👏🏻📚👌🏼 10mo
27 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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TamTracy
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Panpan

This book had a lot of potential. I feel like it promptly ended as soon as the story got moving and I got interested. It‘s like the author didn‘t know what direction to go so just ended it mysteriously. ⭐️⭐️

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TamTracy
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MonthlyBookClub entered 10mo
37 likes1 comment
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Lauram
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I often get to enjoy this spot by myself and leave my worries and the world behind. My sister filled me in on all the spoilers for the tagged book. If she hadn‘t, I‘m not sure I would have finished. 3.5/5 ⭐️

bthegood Beautiful spot😊 11mo
charl08 Wow. 😍 11mo
Suet624 So lovely 9mo
63 likes3 comments
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LadyCait84
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Mehso-so

Despite a great premise — a family‘s vacation comes to a halt when the owners of their rental house show up unexpectedly, with news of an evolving crisis — I didn‘t like this book. I wanted the tension & movement to be about the underlying precariousness we all have to just ignore in order to live our lives. Instead, I got unlikeable characters & the implication that all people are inherently terrible underneath a thin layer of forced politeness.

BarbaraBB I felt the same. 11mo
52 likes1 comment
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Karisa
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Trying to use psychology by only letting myself listen to this audiobook while out walking. Hopefully, my face is not scaring the others out on the walking path as I react to the book as it goes more and more off kilter. Wow! What a wild ride!

Karisa It‘s definitely a book of this time. Though the plot is much different than real events (mostly), the novel perfectly captures the feelings of chaos and confusion (while trying to convince oneself that everything is normal) of the past recent years. 11mo
squirrelbrain I listened to this on audio too… just when you think it can‘t get any weirder…it does! 11mo
Karisa @squirrelbrain So true! Listened to the teeth part this morning and kept saying, “No! Wait, no!” So glad that no one else was around to see me tripping out to the audiobook. What a nightmare scenario! (edited) 11mo
52 likes3 comments
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j9brown
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Pickpick

Finished this is two days. The atmosphere of dread was so strong that it leaked out of the book and followed me while I tried to work and do my stupid little errands. That's what this book was, atmosphere, rich descriptions, a growing unease. Really great. Loved it.

Edit: Looks like it wasn't very liked here. That's two unpopular opinions in a row, I'm not usually this out of sync with the Litsy reviews! 😆

mdm139 I liked it too for the same reasons. 11mo
mdm139 You may also like 11mo
AmyG Exactly why I loved this book, too. 11mo
See All 7 Comments
j9brown @mdm139 I did enjoy Severance! Near the end when she's still going to work and everything is more and more quiet and empty, those parts were amazing 😄 11mo
KatieDid927 I liked it too! 11mo
KatieDid927 I think it would make an amazing play. 11mo
j9brown @KatieDid927 Yeah! A play would be very cool 11mo
45 likes7 comments
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sprainedbrain
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Pickpick

This book has very mixed reviews, but I loved it. Full-on creeping, existential dread, and I absolutely couldn‘t stop listening. Decent writing with a very mysterious, very big, world-changing event happening, but we just get little hints about it while we watch a cast of only somewhat likable people experience it together in an isolated vacation home. Great character study that made me think and cringe… perhaps a bit too plausible.😬

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

mcctrish Yes!!! All these things. Great audio book 11mo
vivastory I really liked this one & I would love to see it adapted as a play 11mo
105 likes1 stack add2 comments
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fredthemoose
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Panpan

Something bizarre/powerful/dangerous is going on and no one knows what it is. I can‘t say how I‘d react in a similar situation, but I‘m pretty sure it wouldn‘t be the way these characters did, so it sort of lost me.

6 likes1 stack add
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fredthemoose
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I don‘t know, man… I‘m a little more than halfway through this and I‘m not sure I believe it enough to feel the suspense I think I‘m supposed to be feeling. Same narrator as Beartown—she‘s very good, but distinct enough that I‘m imposing some of that story into this one in my head…

fredthemoose Ugh. Town is 20 minutes away. Why are four capable adults with two cars agonizing about whether to go to check on things now or the next morning? Just go to town! 11mo
2 likes1 comment
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Shakesteve
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Pickpick

A white family on vacation in a rental house is surprised when the black couple who owns the house shows up, claiming that some kind of blackout has occurred. Throughout the rest of the book a slow realization happens, that some unknown world-changing thing is happening. This book reminds me of an existentialist play where not much happens but a sense of dread hangs over everything and you leave the theater wondering what happened.

BookishMarginalia I already live with existential dread — I don‘t think I can handle it in my reading right now 😳 12mo
Shakesteve @BookishMarginalia Yes, it hits a little close to home! 12mo
5 likes1 stack add2 comments
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LeslieO
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Some of my top books of the year so far. I‘m not doing a very good job of reading books that have been on my shelves for awhile, which was one of my goals this year. I‘m too distracted by the new and shiny. 😛 #ReadingGoals #Reading2021

drokka I really enjoyed the Thursday Murder Club. I can‘t wait for the sequel. 12mo
LeslieO @drokka I know! Me, too! 12mo
36 likes2 comments
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sharread
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Mehso-so

I knew going into this book there would be disappointment. So, that being said I found it interesting. It seemed to me the main focus was the interaction between characters then the story or the characters themselves. It's a quick read. #20IN4 @Andrew65

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SamAnne
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Mehso-so

A mixed bag for me. I loved the beginning, reminiscent of Get Out. I loved some of the descriptive writing. But the story fizzled for me, becoming too unbelievable to carry me along.

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staci.reads
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Panpan

Great concept - badly written, even cringy at times. The author tried too hard, using obscure words, sometimes not even in the correct context - it was pretentious and distracting. He used a ridiculous amount of metaphors/similes, really bad ones too. And had weirdly sexual descriptions of things, including a mother describing her children. Still, the storyline was so intriguing, I couldn't put it down. #LMPBC #GroupG @Jerdencon @shellleigh33

BarbaraBB I felt the same. Well said. 12mo
52 likes1 comment
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mcctrish
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Pickpick

I custom ordered this bead for my bracelets. This book wasn‘t what I was expecting but I often don‘t fully read up on a book that intrigues me from a blog or post. Some of the details were more than I thought I needed 🤣🤣🤦🏻‍♀️ but I sped through this on audio trying to figure out what the hell was going on

DivineDiana I love your bead! 13mo
mcctrish @DivineDiana I was so happy to get to custom order a word!!! I hope the company opens it up again as I have a few more 4 letter words I‘d like to try 🤣🤣 13mo
DivineDiana 😀 13mo
SamAnne I‘m halfway through the tagged doing audio and print. I‘m enjoying so far. 13mo
mcctrish @SamAnne it‘s quite engaging 13mo
37 likes5 comments
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mcctrish
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Started this ( another book I‘ve read about - can‘t remember where ) and I‘m totally engaged

ShelleyBooksie I couldn't get into the language of this one. It's very descriptive. I've hears that many people love it though 13mo
mcctrish @ShelleyBooksie a few times I have thought “that‘s a lot of specific details” but I‘m listening to it and I‘m flying through it ( weeding today and I‘m over half way 🤷🏻‍♀️) 13mo
36 likes1 stack add2 comments
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EmilieGR
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Pickpick

Alam poses more questions than he answers with this book, and you wonder what you would do in this situation. I quick read and more of a set up for rumination than a complete story.

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shellleigh33
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About to start this one and enjoy the rest of my holiday reading in bed #LMPBC @staci.reads @Jerdencon

shellleigh33 ?? I can not find Lauren on here anymore to tag her 13mo
Jerdencon I will be getting my book in the mail this week - sorry for the delay! June kind of creeped up on me! @shellleigh33 @staci.reads (edited) 13mo
Jerdencon I couldn‘t find Lauren either 13mo
28 likes3 comments
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wen4blu
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I‘m ready for a break, but not the type of escape that occurs for this family (at least so far, I‘m not sure what‘s going on).

35 likes1 stack add
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Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

There are lots of mixed reviews on this book but I enjoyed it.

The slow build was perfect for the foreboding feel this book created in me. I loved that the typical format for a dystopian was challenged delivering a thought provoking look into how much we depend on technology and how disconnected we have become from the natural world around us.

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Jgacreations
Mehso-so

It was ok. Easy listening during my walks but a little boring. The ending was ehh. Lol

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Moray_Reads
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Panpan

Ugh. No. Full of over-wrought metaphors, no depth, weirdly sexualised prose. An unconvincing story that takes itself extremely seriously and just feels a little juvenile and silly in the end. #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks At least it's off the list!! 13mo
BarbaraBB Fab review. Totally agree. 13mo
30 likes2 comments
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Moray_Reads
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You know those times when you read a line and think "this was definitely written by a man"? That. This is a mother looking at her young teenage daughter ?

ImperfectCJ Definite eye roll. And an ew, too. Might have to reevaluate this one's place on my TBR. 13mo
Moray_Reads @ImperfectCJ so far, not impressed. Lots of try-too-hard metaphors and word choices and several weirdly sexual descriptions. I'm only 25 pages in 13mo
Palimpsest “Pundendum in relief”? Making a mental not not to read this author. 13mo
See All 9 Comments
LeahBergen It‘s the word “pudendum” in this context that makes me a little 🤢. 13mo
LeahBergen @Palimpsest 🤣🤣 We replied at exactly the same time. 13mo
Palimpsest @LeahBergen I almost used the exact emoji that you did. 😆 13mo
Moray_Reads @Palimpsest @LeahBergen such a weird writing decision, I mean, why? 🤢 Indeed 13mo
Flaneurette Ew, doesn‘t bode well… 13mo
BarbaraBB The rest of the book is not much better IMO. Very unrealistic even in themes like these. 13mo
29 likes9 comments
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The_Heeler_Booklife
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Panpan

Rating: ⭐️⭐️
This was definitely forgettable and boring. Not much happened in it either.
#botm #bookstagram #bibliophile #litsy #littens

DivineDiana Thank you for an honest review! 14mo
The_Heeler_Booklife @DivineDiana ❤️❤️❤️ 14mo
33 likes2 comments
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Leftcoastzen
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Mehso-so

The disquiet & slow build of an unknown disaster was enough to make me finish the book about a couple & their kids on a Long Island getaway in a rented home & what happens when the owners show up.All they know is that NYC has a blackout.Shows how dependent we are on our technology,how we are often disconnected from the natural world.Some of the writing style & inner dialogues of the characters were very WTF for me. 😟

LeahBergen Love that 🦩! 14mo
BarbaraBB Great review. I felt the same. 14mo
61 likes3 comments
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Leftcoastzen
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Ok , I‘m just to the part where GH and Ruth show up but my question is nobody has a transistor radio with batteries? 🤔 @vivastory @AmyG a car radio? When I was on my grandparents farm 40 some miles away from Kansas City , I could pull in WLS from Chicago on one of these bad boys .I‘m on chapter 13 , no spoilers please.Sometimes old tech is better than cell phones & satellite TV.

AmyG I was under the impression that radios, Tv and cell phone were receiving nothing....so no reports on anything. And right before hurricaine Sandy I bought a radio that I could “wind up”....neded no batteries. Why? Bcause my transistor broke and I wanted to always have a radio just in case. That radio was my link to the world for 8 days when we had no electricity. (edited) 14mo
Cathythoughts I loved this one ❤️👍🏻 14mo
Leftcoastzen So far , they haven‘t mentioned radio, maybe I‘m not there yet.😀 14mo
See All 11 Comments
AmyG I am not sure they mention the radio but.....I just assumed nothing as there was no cell phones or TV‘s working. I read this a while ago. But if the NYC couple was driving to their home...didn‘t they not get any info from the radio? (edited) 14mo
BarbaraBB I had that kind of questions all the time while reading it. Definitely not a favorite read of mine. 14mo
Leftcoastzen @AmyG that‘s why I still have a little battery radio, just in case .My car is 26 years old so I‘m not even sure if new cars come with a regular radio or just satellite radio .😂 14mo
null000 I'm with @BarbaraBB ..I didn‘t love this one 😕 14mo
vivastory I thought that the couple from NY said that the radio went down as they were driving. I might be wrong though. 14mo
Leftcoastzen Amanda asks about a hand crank radio on page 136.😄 14mo
AvidlyAlexis The thing about this one that I really enjoyed was that somehow the details aren't that important, it's more a general tone and sense of the situation. I have seen from other reviews that it was a love it or hate it kind of book and I loved it! The writing is incredibly unique. 14mo
AmyG @vivastory Right? I thought they had an issue when in the car driving out. @AvidlyAlexis I loved this, too. For me, as the reader, I felt as confused and scared as the characters. The characters and reader had the same info about what was happening which was nothing. (edited) 14mo
59 likes11 comments