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DrLReads

DrLReads

Joined August 2020

review
DrLReads
Mehso-so

Part memoir, part medical and cultural history. Fay makes some astute observations, but this book felt a bit disjointed, swinging between academic tome and memoir. The footnotes are plentiful, which also slowed down the pace quite a bit. An interesting approach to the subject, but the execution did not quite work for me.

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DrLReads
Pickpick

Love or hate Marnell, this is a compelling read. The behind-the-scenes look into the glossy world of beauty magazines of the 2010s is fascinating. Set against Marnell‘s harrowing descriptions of her addiction, this is a unique memoir of celebrity, fashion, and addiction. CN: drug use, disordered eating, sexual assault.

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DrLReads
My Heart Is a Chainsaw | Stephen Graham Jones
Mehso-so

I really wanted to like this book, but I found the plot muddy and the plot holes were frustrating. There were shimmers of gorgeous writing though, so will be giving Jones another try. (Maybe this just wasn‘t the book for me?)

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DrLReads
We Were Liars | E. Lockhart
Mehso-so

I almost bailed on this book. I also guessed the twist at the end, but the ending does make up for the rather slow first half.

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DrLReads
Pickpick

This isn‘t the typical true crime read. Couple Found Slain dives into the aftermath of a murder and offers a heartbreaking deep-dive into a broken mental health care system. CN: discussions of violence, abuse, sexual assault.

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DrLReads
A Town Called Solace | Mary Lawson
Pickpick

A slow-burn, character-driven book. My first Lawson, but definitely not my last.

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DrLReads
Pickpick

Part memoir, part science, part literary and cultural analysis. A fascinating and moving read! (Yes, a book about eels made me cry!)

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DrLReads
Even If I Fall | Abigail Johnson
Pickpick

I struggled to finish this book, the middle felt a bit meandering, but ultimately, a strong ending and solid read.

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DrLReads
Vanishing Girls | Lauren Oliver
Mehso-so

I went into this book knowing nothing and had no idea there was a big twist. Vanishing girls feels unfocused, a mishmash of genres. (Is it a thriller, love story, coming-of-age tale?) For a YA book, it took me some time to finish—mostly, because I was feeling rather uninspired about it all. While some chapters were captivating, this book was ultimately just ok.

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DrLReads
Unpregnant | Jenni Hendriks, Ted Caplan
Pickpick

A funny and at times, moving, YA read. Highly recommend!

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DrLReads
Fan Club | Erin Mayer
Mehso-so

Am interesting premise, but a slow-moving read. Was expecting more of a thriller, but Fan Club is a bit more introspective. A good, but not great read.

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DrLReads
Like Me: A Novel | Hayley Phelan
Mehso-so

I am still digesting this book. It is a tough read (content note: sexual assault, discussions of disordered eating, violence. The story isn‘t quite what I expected and the ending fell fell a bit flat, but a solid debut novel otherwise.

julieclair Thanks for this helpful review. 7mo
3 likes1 comment
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DrLReads
Pickpick

A fascinating pop-academic read. Looking forward to reading more from Montell!

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DrLReads
The Plot | Jean Hanff Korelitz
Mehso-so

This elevator pitch of this story is solid: a professor from a middling MFA program cribs a plot from a student. I wasn‘t quite expecting this to turn into a murder mystery though—the twist of which I figured out early on. A small irritation: the author is a big fan of parenthetical asides (with exclamation!) which was oddly distracting. A fine, if forgettable read.

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DrLReads
The Wonder | Emma Donoghue
Pickpick

This book was a stellar historical novel that touches on fanaticism, gender, hysteria, and doubt. I agree with other reviewers that the first half felt a bit repetitive, but the final chapters…wow.

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DrLReads
Panpan

While the ending was okay, the humour just did not land for me and I found much of the dialogue stilted and cringey, too. (Although I am likely not the target audience…) Will be giving the move a try to see how the film adaptation compares (perhaps the rare case in which the movie is better?)

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DrLReads
Not a Happy Family | Shari Lapena
Pickpick

I flew through this book. While ultimately forgettable, it is an easy, domestic thriller that is impossible to put down. The perfect weekend read.

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DrLReads
Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay
Pickpick

While I feel uncomfortable with the author drawing a parallel between mental illness and possession (the ambiguity is a crucial question in the novel) this was a compulsive read—and the twist…. 😮I could have done without the blog posts embedded throughout, but otherwise, a strong pick.

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DrLReads
Final Girl Support Group | Grady Hendrix
Panpan

I actually let my loan lapse and almost bailed. One of the weaker entries in Hendrix‘s oeuvre, this book felt like quite the slog compared to his other works.

Blueberry My least favorite was My Best Friends Exorcism. 10mo
4 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
DrLReads
Mehso-so

Tremblay is an expert at crafting unsettling atmosphere (there were a few chapters that were stellar) but I ultimately had trouble finishing this novel. A solid start but didn‘t quite keep me engaged throughout.

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DrLReads
Mehso-so

The first chapter had me HOOKED however, I wasn‘t a fan of the ambiguous ending. I will be giving this author another try. All in all all, a quick, solid enough read.

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DrLReads
Near the Bone | Christina Henry
Mehso-so

A quick but somewhat underwhelming read.

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DrLReads
Misery | Stephen King
Pickpick

Not my favourite King, but a solid read. I found the protagonist‘s novel a bit of a drag to read (often skimming these parts) otherwise, I enjoyed Misery.

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DrLReads
The Winter People: A Novel | Jennifer McMahon
Pickpick

This is a spooky and atmospheric read. The ending felt a bit disjointed, but a solid pick regardless.

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DrLReads
Abroad: A Novel | Katie Crouch
Pickpick

A dark, rich, and gorgeous novel. I simply could not put this book down. Crouch‘s writing is stellar and the sense of dread she instills through her writing and pacing is deeply affecting. Will be reading more from this author.

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DrLReads
Mehso-so

The first half is stellar, but the twists and turns are somewhat predictable. Definitely not Sager‘s strongest book.

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DrLReads
Being Lolita: A Memoir | Alisson Wood
Pickpick

Part Memoir, part literary analysis, this book is heartbreaking. The writing is gorgeous, but the subject is painful and you ache for young Alisson. An important, but tough read.

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DrLReads
You and Me and Him | Kris Dinnison
Mehso-so

I really wanted to love this book, but I found it difficult to connect, let alone even like, any of the characters. A quick read, but ultimately forgettable.

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DrLReads
Pickpick

A thoroughly researched work, Rule‘s book is the definitive work in Bundy. Rule‘s personal friendship with Bundy (predating Bundy‘s crimes) makes for a unique piece of true crime writing, too. A difficult, but compelling read.

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DrLReads
Pickpick

This book was massively hyped. It didn‘t quite live up to its reputation, but I tore through this novel. The ending felt rather rushed, but a strong read regardless.

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DrLReads
Mehso-so

Forgot to add my review! (Which maybe says something about my feelings towards this book?) My Best Friend‘s Exorcism was entertaining enough, but not My favourite Hendrix novel…

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DrLReads
The Gunslinger | Stephen King
Mehso-so

This isn‘t my favourite King, but I am glad I finally found the time to start the series. I found the middle lagged a bit, but am invested now! Waiting for book 2 from the library now.

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DrLReads
Something in the Water: A Novel | Catherine Steadman
Pickpick

This book was a real-page turner, but the ending left a lot to be desired. (Was absolutely 100% all-in until the final chapters). If you can overlook the finale, a solid read.

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DrLReads
Night Film: A Novel | Marisha Pessl
Panpan

I wanted to like this book more, but the casual racism and transphobia were hard to get past. I found the story to be dragging quite a bit (and almost abandoned this read) but the story was solid by the end enough I suppose. I had high expectations based on other reviews, but ultimately, I found this book largely tedious.

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DrLReads
Horrorstr | Grady Hendrix;
Mehso-so

Horrorstor is a unique concept and the packaging is creative. 10/10 for concept. The characters however, are comparably underdeveloped. A speedy and quick read, but not quite as strong as Southern Book Club.

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DrLReads
Home Before Dark | Riley Sager, Todd Ritter
Pickpick

This book was a real page-turned. While the ending felt a bit rushed, this was an engrossing read and the structure of the novel-within-a-novel was very effective. I enjoyed this much more than Final Girls. A solid read.

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DrLReads
Nothing Can Hurt You | Nicola Maye Goldberg
Pickpick

This is a short, but powerful read. A multi-voice story that examines the shockwaves of gendered violence. Although focuses on one case, Goldberg‘s book considers gendered-violence its many forms, from overt to covert. CW: sexual assault and violence

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DrLReads
Pickpick

My first Grady Hendrix novel and I am hooked! An outstanding piece of horror that is funny and has a bad-ass heroine at the centre. Would highly recommend. Cannot wait to read more from Hendrix.

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DrLReads
Final Girls | Riley Sager
Mehso-so

The second half of the book is strong with a twist I did but see coming however, the first half was a bit of a slog. Ultimately, entertaining enough but this is likely a book I won‘t be re-visiting.

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DrLReads
The Swap | Robyn Harding
Panpan

This is a speedy read (read the book in only a few hours), but the writing and characters are thin and superficial, and the plot unnecessarily contrived.

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DrLReads
Bag Of Bones: A Novel | Stephen King
Mehso-so

A re-read however, I remember this book being stronger. The first 2/3 are brilliant. The final 1/3 is comparably weaker. Mot my favourite King, but still solid enough.

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DrLReads
The Cider House Rules | John Irving
Pickpick

A re-read however, just as compelling and moving the second time around.

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DrLReads
Commonwealth | Ann Patchett
Pickpick

I originally bailed on this book but gave it a second go when I spotted a copy in a local little free library. This is a gorgeous book. Will absolutely be reading more of Patchett in the future. Patchett has a knack for description and writing complicated characters with empathy.

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DrLReads
Columbine | Dave Cullen
Pickpick

This is a tough read, but an amazing, thorough, and empathetic piece of journalism.

Annie1215 This is one of my favorite books of all time. Despite the subject matter it‘s just so brilliantly written. 1y
4 likes1 comment
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DrLReads
Pickpick

Continuing my YA streak. A nostalgic and funny read.

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DrLReads
Someone Like You | Sarah Dessen
Pickpick

A comfort read that I return to again and again. A bittersweet coming-of-age tale.

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DrLReads
What She Knew: A Novel | Gilly Macmillan
Pickpick

An engrossing quarantine read.

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DrLReads
Will Grayson, Will Grayson | John Green, David Levithan
Mehso-so

This book came highly recommended. It was a quick and solid enough read, but didn‘t quite live up to the hype.

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DrLReads
Creep | Jennifer Hillier
Mehso-so

The pacing of this book felt a bit off, but an entertaining enough read. I did not like this book enough to pick up the sequel though...

BooksCoffeeNurse Bummer. Jennifer Hillier has become one of my (newer) favorite authors, and I planned to read this. 1y
5 likes1 comment
review
DrLReads
Mehso-so

Morse‘s book tells the story of a brutal murder in a Bethesda-based luxury athletic retail store. Morse‘s narrative was sometimes convoluted and I felt like I was missing key details. (Perhaps, this is related to the brutal and chaotic nature of the crime though...) In my opinion, this is not necessarily the strongest piece of true crime writing, but may be more accessible to those familiar with the case.