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whelanmaria

whelanmaria

Joined May 2016

Publicist at Other Press. Avid fiction reader.
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Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
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whelanmaria
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Mehso-so

This book was a little too easy and not in depth enough but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I think it's a fun, quick murder mystery for the end of summer.

25 likes1 stack add
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whelanmaria
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Pickpick

So entertaining, I'm on a John Boyne kick right now and yet another book of his I've been enchanted by. This one is extremely different from the previous ones I've read (The Heart's Invisible Furies, The Absolutist) as it's a Victorian ghost story but it's riveting and lots of fun. Highly recommend!

whelanmaria @Yeah_I_Read It was scary but I found it more intriguing than frightening! 2y
Yeah_I_Read @whelanmaria thanks 😊 2y
Chelseylovestoread I'm so in love with The Heart's Invisible Furies that I absolutely need to read everything he's ever written 😀 2y
See All 7 Comments
whelanmaria @Chelseylovestoread That's EXACTLY how I felt. I devoured two more of his books and have three more next to my bedside table. I'm taking a quick break from him based on my library stack but I fully plan to read most, if not all, of his stuff. 😍 2y
reluctantangeleno I have yet to read The Heart's Invisible Furies (it's next on the TBR stack!), but I love the words Victorian, ghost, and story when put together! 2y
whelanmaria @reluctantangeleno Oh you'll like this one then! :) 2y
21 likes3 stack adds7 comments
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whelanmaria
Absolutist | John Boyne
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Pickpick

John Boyne is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors! This book is so devastating, heartbreaking, and real. I found myself swallowing back tears. Such beautiful writing, lovable characters in depths of pain, Boyne is a truly special author. A must read!

Yeah_I_Read One of my favorites by him is... 2y
whelanmaria @Yeah_I_Read I have that on my TBR by my bed! I just started 2y
Yeah_I_Read @whelanmaria lmk if that one is really scary bc I can't read anything too scary 😬🤦🏾‍♀️ 2y
whelanmaria @Yeah_I_Read Haha, I understand completely! I'll let you know! 2y
TrishB This is my favourite ❤ 2y
22 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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whelanmaria
For Two Thousand Years | Mihail Sebastian

But I feel good in this prison of books, into which nothing penetrates from without or within.

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whelanmaria
Lying Game | Ruth Ware
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Mehso-so

I really like Ruth Ware. I loved In a Dark, Dark Wood, I liked Woman in Cabin 10, and I am contented by The Lying Game. I think her writing is strong and her character development is good. Unfortunately this novel just needed a little more oomph for me. BUT if you like Ware, Hawkins or even Gillian Flynn, I would still give this mystery/thriller a try.

Reviewsbylola I liked her other two books but didn't love them, so I reserved this one from my library. 2y
whelanmaria @Reviewsbylola Good idea! My copy was a library copy too and I'm happy it was. Hope you enjoy it though! 2y
23 likes1 stack add2 comments
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whelanmaria
Emma in the Night | Wendy Walker
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Pickpick

This book is a fun, wild psychological thriller. I really enjoyed the narration between Cass and Abby. One of my favorite thrillers this year (it reminded me a bit of The Sisters Chase)!

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whelanmaria
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Mehso-so

Between a pick and a so-so, the protagonist is so emotionally detached, it's hard to maintain interest in the plot line but I found myself sympathetic to many of the characters and kept going. I really enjoyed the end. Strange but lovely book.

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whelanmaria
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Pickpick

Favorite book of 2017 so far. Can't rave enough about this one. Already excited to read his backlist.

emilyhaldi Right!? 2y
reluctantangeleno I might have to move this up on my TBR stack! 2y
26 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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whelanmaria
Girl in Snow: A Novel | Danya Kukafka
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Mehso-so

Between a pick and a so-so, I'm leaning more toward so-so. While this mystery was engaging and fun, I thought it was a little too simply written. I was hoping for more concrete depth from the characters and maybe more scenes of other characters besides the three narrators. It dragged a little but I was still entertained.

Penny_LiteraryHoarders Thanks! I allllmost bought this and now I'm really happy I controlled myself. Reading a simplistically written book right now - not interested in another one. Especially one I would have spent (wasted?) $$ on! I'll maybe someday pick it up from the library. 🙂 2y
whelanmaria @Penny_LiteraryHoarders If you do, definitely let me know what you think!! 2y
16 likes3 comments
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whelanmaria
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Mehso-so

While Messud's writing weaves a relatively interesting story, the plot lagged and the characters felt flat. I grew bored of this book early on and pushed to the end only to see if it got better--it didn't really. I think if you are a fan of Messud, you can give this book a try but otherwise, I wouldn't really recommend. It's too flat.

shawnmooney I was deeply underwhelmed by The Emperor's Children; sounds like I can safely give this one a pass. 2y
15 likes1 comment
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whelanmaria
Aftercare Instructions | Bonnie Pipkin
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Pickpick

I don't often read YA but I picked up this book for its mature themes (abortion, death of a parent) and the quality of the writing and strength of the characters really impressed me. It's a sad but hopeful story of a teenage woman in the throes of heartbreak and pain. Pipkin does a wonderful job sharing first love heartbreak. This book is great.

18 likes1 stack add
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whelanmaria
Aftercare Instructions | Bonnie Pipkin

I'm fine.
I'm fine.
I'm fine.
Say it three times, and make it come true.

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whelanmaria
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Mehso-so

Hmmm this book was twisted and relatively creative but it just didn't click for me. The narrator was grating and while I found myself empathetic to many of the horrific experiences she underwent I wasn't pulled emotionally into this book like I expected to be. I'm a little surprised it was as popular as it was.

cariashley Agree completely, I bailed on this one. 2y
13 likes1 comment
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whelanmaria
White Fur | Jardine Libaire
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Mehso-so

I just saw that this book is being made into a movie! It's fun, enticing book that rolls along quickly. A young, rich boy falls for a poor girl and they struggle together to find happiness in a world that doesn't support them. It's a little silly but the ending was surprising and I was relatively impressed with the character depth. Not too shabby.

Demanda I got this from BOTM. I was skeptical about the description, but it got so many good reviews. 2y
whelanmaria @Demanda Have you tried it yet? I'll be interested to hear what you think! 2y
Demanda @whelanmaria not yet, but maybe this weekend. I'll definitely post my opinions when I do! 2y
21 likes3 comments
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whelanmaria
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Pickpick

This short little novel about being with a parent during the decline of their health is so beautiful. Khong pairs notes a father took about his daughter when she was younger with the daughter now detailing the account of her father's daily life with dementia. It's sweet and funny and poignantly sad. I loved it.

Megabooks 👍🏻👍🏻 2y
emilyhaldi I agree 💯 2y
Cinfhen Oh wow, initially this one sounded terrible- now I'm looking forward to reading it 2y
28 likes1 stack add3 comments
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whelanmaria
Hot Milk | Deborah Levy
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Mehso-so

This book is beautiful and devastating, a young woman searching for love, life, happiness, and home. I found the plot to be engaging enough but, while the writing is impressive, it felt very slow. It's a quick read but I had some trouble staying with the narrator's existential crisis and questioning page after page. Worth a read but it's a slow one.

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whelanmaria
Hot Milk | Deborah Levy

My love for my mother is like an axe. It cuts very deep.

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whelanmaria
Loner | Teddy Wayne
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Pickpick

This book is creepy and sad and brilliantly written. I was completely numbed by the narrator's emotional distance and psychotic actions. I couldn't put this book down. Definitely worth a read if you like college reads and thrillers.

18 likes1 stack add
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whelanmaria
Dare Me: A Novel | Megan Abbott
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Mehso-so

This book had such good reviews from my Litsy friends I thought I'd give it a try. You almost hate every character, every situation they put themselves in, but you end up searching for answers and flipping the pages faster and faster for more. I thought the ending dragged a little and felt like she wrapped it up too nicely, it seemed a little obvious for awhile. A fun, quick read.

19 likes1 stack add
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whelanmaria
Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Pickpick

Woah. I did not expect this book. I judged it by its cover and reluctantly picked it up because #BOTM sold it so well that I thought I would give it a try. I read it in less than a day. I couldn't stop. The story was like candy, absolutely delicious. It was thrilling and mysterious in all the ways you want a story to unravel. How fun!

Megabooks The depth and strength of the plot was surprising to me! 👍🏻👍🏻 2y
Suetara I LOVED this book!! 2y
33 likes1 stack add2 comments
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whelanmaria
Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo | Taylor Jenkins Reid

You wonder what it must be like to be a man, to be so confident that the final say is yours.

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whelanmaria
Good as Gone | Amy Gentry
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Pickpick

This book continued my creepy reading after I finished The Handmaid's Tale last night but I devoured it so quickly, I have to call it a "pick." The writing could have been stronger but the plot was incredibly engaging and I couldn't put it down. An interesting (but disturbing!) summer read!

Jess7 I absolutely loved this book! 2y
whelanmaria @Jess7 It was so quick and, I hate to say fun, but I was totally riveted the whole time!! 2y
Jess7 I agree @whelanmaria !! I love it when I stumble upon a new author 2y
14 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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whelanmaria
The Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood
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Pickpick

The creepiest, most uncomfortable dystopian, I couldn't put this book down. I'm so mad I've waited so long to read it. I'm looking forward to the Hulu series, although I'll admit I'm pretty squeamish and might struggle to watch it. A fantastic insight on a world where women's right are limited even more and where history clearly overtakes herstory. A definite recommend (for those of you who haven't read it yet!).

ReadingEnvy Take the show slow. If I watched more than one episode at a time I had nightmares. But I think they did an excellent job at expanding it into show length... But it isn't in uplifting ways! 2y
whelanmaria @ReadingEnvy Thank you so much for the advice! I think I'm going to definitely take it slow, maybe one episode a week and see how I'm feeling after each. I won't force myself into it. But I'd love to see how they adapt the book! 2y
29 likes1 stack add2 comments
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whelanmaria
Madonna in a Fur Coat | Sabahattin Ali
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Pickpick

I don't write about work books often but I love my job at Other Press and I think everyone should read this book when it comes out in October. It's a unique tale of love and loss, with exceptionally beautiful prose. Majestic and elegant, MADONNA will stay with you, even after you put it down.

20 likes3 stack adds
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whelanmaria
The Idiot | Elif Batuman
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Mehso-so

I love college stories. Despite the rave reviews for this one, I struggled to stay completely engaged. Batuman's prose is alluring and her subject matter was interesting enough: college girl in existential crisis falls in love and is challenged by the philosophy of language and linguistics; I wasn't entirely pulled in. I often found myself with my eyes glazed. The first half of this book was good, but by the second half, I think I burnt out.

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whelanmaria
The Sisters Chase | Sarah Healy
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Pickpick

There are some books you want to shout to the world about how much you love them. This book is one of them. Maybe the best book I've read so far this year. Pick it up and read it immediately!

Reviewsbylola I found this to be very fast and engaging! 2y
whelanmaria @Reviewsbylola And so fun! It was so emotional and heartfelt. I loved it! 2y
25 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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whelanmaria
Do Not Become Alarmed | Maile Meloy
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Bailedbailed

It's due back at the library and I haven't been invested enough to rush to finish it. I know everyone is talking about it as the summer literary book so maybe I'll get back to it later. Oh well.

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whelanmaria
Do Not Become Alarmed | Maile Meloy

There was nothing sexy about incipient narcissism.

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whelanmaria
Since We Fell | Dennis Lehane
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Mehso-so

Like many others who've posted about this book, I enjoyed the first half a lot. I thought Lehane did an excellent job building characters and his readers' interest. But the second half, like an action movie, completely turned everything he had built in the first half on its head. He lost momentum and the second half felt disjointed. I wouldn't say I didn't like it but I wish I had be able to keep my interest.

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whelanmaria
Touch | Courtney Maum
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Pickpick

Although a little pretentious at times, I thoroughly enjoyed Courtney Maum's new novel, TOUCH. It was both devastating and inspiring to see how tech and innovation have diminished our sensory capabilities--our enjoyments in pure, natural experiences and feelings. I found this book to be informative and captivating.

BookMusings I liked it too. And better than her other novel. 2y
whelanmaria @BookMusings Agreed! Much better! This one had more depth and heart! 2y
Lacythebookworm I liked it except for the ending! I haven't read her other one, though I've had it recommended to me. 2y
BethFishReads I need to get to this 2y
21 likes1 stack add4 comments
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whelanmaria
Startup: A Novel | Doree Shafrir
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Mehso-so

A fun, quick satire about the tech industry and startup culture in NYC. It was a bit fluffy and the character development was on the lighter side but I found myself engrossed several times during my reading. It's between so-so and pick for me. A good summer fun book to enjoy at the beach!

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whelanmaria
Fever: A Novel | Mary Beth Keane
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Mehso-so

I loved learning about Mary Mallon, or Typhoid Mary as she's known in history books. This story was a little bland and rambling but the content was emotionally engaging and brought you to the heart of NYC at the turn of the twentieth century. An engaging read, I would recommend. I'm still on the lookout for a stronger book about Typhoid Mary if anyone knows of one!!

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whelanmaria
All Grown Up | Jami Attenberg
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Pickpick

Beautiful and moving and painful and heartbreaking and unbearably relatable, this book was an amazing short journey into the life of Andrea, a woman struggling to find her place as she slogs through life. I could not put it down. Depressing but worth every witty, well-crafted word.

20 likes2 stack adds
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whelanmaria
The Possessions | Sara Flannery Murphy
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Mehso-so

A really creative, thrilling novel I was impressed with Murphy's originality but I think she lost control of the plot and her characters by the end. It dragged along towards the end and felt a little sluggish. Overall, an interesting read that did hold quite enough water for me.

aeeklund I felt exactly the same about this one! 2y
20 likes1 comment
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whelanmaria
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Pickpick

Heartbreaking, hopeful, and real, this memoir stood out to me as a book that champions difference and asks (no, demands) acceptance. I don't know Lindy West but I'm excited to go read her pieces on the internet now. She's a bitingly funny, honest woman whose book will hopefully help us change the way we think and act. A great, powerful read.

BookishMarginalia She also reads the audiobook version - it's great! 2y
whelanmaria @BookishMarginalia Oh good to know!' Thanks for the heads up! 2y
20 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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whelanmaria
Chemistry | Weike Wang
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Mehso-so

This book was very thoughtful, in the head of a woman who is very much in her own head. The detached writing of the characters, rarely knowing someone's name except the boyfriend, I found it moving but also frustrating. While it was an interesting, short piece into the life of a complicated academic, I did not love the execution.

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whelanmaria
Saints for All Occasions | J. Courtney Sullivan
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Pickpick

I love J Courtney Sullivan's writing and this was like all her previous--a quiet, domestic novel with so much heart it'll tug at your heartstrings again and again. I could barely put this book down. Not because it was thrilling but because I loved the men and women in it. Highly recommend.

20 likes2 stack adds
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whelanmaria
Into The Water | Paula Hawkins
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Mehso-so

A compelling and gripping story, I flew through this novel but I have to say, I'm not totally satisfied. I enjoyed the multi-character perspective (although it was a bit much at the beginning) but I think maybe Paula Hawkins could have used less voices and more depth to the story/town history. A good thriller but not a perfect one.

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whelanmaria
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Pickpick

I devoured this book in a day. Lisa Ko impressively captures characters who are so real, so captivating, you won't want to leave them. A heartbreaking and truly emotionally gripping tale, it's in incredible debut. My only complaint is that I felt the end seemed a bit rushed as she tried to wrap everything up, but it was still very well done. A great novel but an exciting new writer!

28 likes2 stack adds
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whelanmaria
Woman No. 17 | Edan Lepucki
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Mehso-so

The plot was engaging and the characters held my attention but I couldn't truly enjoy this book. I thought, at times, it was too disjointed and not fully fleshed out. There was a lot going on and I'm not sure the author had complete handle over all that happened. Intriguing but not wholly captured, it's a so-so for me.

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whelanmaria
The Animators: A Novel | Kayla Rae Whitaker
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Pickpick

This book is packed with raw emotion, devastating events, love and friendship, and most of all--the ways we find to kill off loneliness. I devoured this crazy, heart-pounding, traumatic debut. I'm so impressed by Whitaker's writing, I'm already looking forward to reading what comes next.

DimeryRene I got that in the mail recently. Maybe I'll move it up on my list! 2y
27 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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whelanmaria
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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Pickpick

An epic, sweeping tale of a multi generational Korean family in Japan. Heartbreaking, heartwarming, this book gave me all the feels. I knew absolutely nothing about Korean-Japanese relations and am now determined to study up on my history. Definitely a pick for me!

rachelm Come join our discussion on this book @LitsyFeministBookClub ! We just started today 2y
30 likes1 comment
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whelanmaria
Beartown: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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Pickpick

I'm going to miss this book. It was maddening, frustrating, heartbreaking, loving, beautiful, kind, wild, and raw. The characters in Beartown are unforgettable, and sometimes unforgivable, but honestly, Fredrik Backman will have you rooting for many of them in the end. I love his novels, I love his characters, his writing style, and I enjoyed this one a lot. Warning: I found it started off a little slow but picked up quickly. Don't give up on it.

Cinfhen Great review! I loved it too! And good advice to encourage people to get by the slower start! 2y
27 likes1 stack add1 comment
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whelanmaria
Sorry to Disrupt the Peace | Patty Yumi Cottrell
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Mehso-so

The unreliable, unlikeable narrator was a lot to handle, even for this short, funny story. While I thought the entire novel was well written, clever, and poignant about death, being an outsider, and finding purpose in life, I still found myself struggling to enjoy it. I read this book in a day but it didn't grab me as I had hoped. Not a perfect, but well-crafted read.

Cinfhen Great review 2y
15 likes1 comment
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whelanmaria
Quicksand | Malin Persson Giolito
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Pickpick

It took me awhile to get into this one but I seriously recommend continuing even if you feel like the plot doesn't have much momentum. I found myself struggling to put it down as I moved further into the trial. I loved the intricacies of the trial procedures as well as the background story Maja shares. A great, complex read!

17 likes1 stack add
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whelanmaria
Quicksand | Malin Persson Giolito

Amanda pretended to be engaged in things and I pretended I didn't care. And we were so good at pretending that we fooled everyone, including ourselves.

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whelanmaria
Devil and Webster | Jean Hanff Korelitz
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Mehso-so

This book was problematic but I do like a good academic story. It wasn't deep enough, it felt too shallow but I still devoured the pages, wanting to know what happened. I really liked You Should Have Known, and this one didn't quite do it for me.

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whelanmaria
Devil and Webster | Jean Hanff Korelitz

I understand that, in normal times, we are defined by our differences, and differences are fine and beautiful things. But these are not normal times.

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whelanmaria
Truly Madly Guilty | Liane Moriarty
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Mehso-so

I picked this up after Big Little Lies, hoping for the soap opera drama that I loved about the show (I never read the book, I know, shameful). This book had the makings of a good story and at times, was extremely affecting, but I found it dragged too long and anticipated too often. It was a solid read but don't be misled: it's not a thriller, it's not a mystery. It's drama. Decent, slightly boring, drama.

Hazel0303 I would definitely recommend reading Big Little Lies. That is her best one in my opinion. 2y
whelanmaria @Hazel0303 It's on my to-read list! I liked her writing! I just think she ran a little long with this one. Thanks! 2y
Hazel0303 @whelanmaria I couldn't agree more. He last 150 pages were fluff to me. She could have ended it much sooner. 2y
19 likes3 comments
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whelanmaria
Problems | Jade Sharma
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Pickpick

A book about a spiraling heroin addict trying to take control of her life and failing. Her obsessive behavior with drugs, sex, men, and failed relationships is pervasive throughout. The language Sharma uses to depict loneliness, addiction, helplessness, apathy, anxiety, and sickness is jaw dropping. This book is hard to read but worth the struggle. It's relatable and frustrating all at once. A great read.

ramyasbookshelf I have this book but I've been kinda intimidated by it to actually pick it up! 2y
whelanmaria @ramyasbookshelf It's a lot. It's very heavy and triggering with content around addiction, eating disorders, and unhappiness but I found myself really diving it. If you do pick it up, I'll be interested in seeing what you think! 2y
18 likes1 stack add2 comments