Quick takes- June 2017

Single, Carefree, Mellow. 4 stars. You know just what you’re getting into with the title and cover. I loved the writing and I have a feeling that I’m going to like her novel even better than these stories.

The People We Hate at the Wedding. 2 stars. You would think this would be a fun, bitchy kind of romp, but you would be wrong. Really uninteresting characters and I didn’t care how any of it turned out.

The Chalk Artist. 3 stars. This one is kind of all over the place. Some of the subplots are more interesting than the main story, which is a snooze of a love story. Toxic guy, boring girl, I did not care if they ended up together. I usually like this writer a lot but this one was a miss.

The Wanderers. 4 stars. Could have used an edit, but overall great characters, interesting plot. I really can’t sum it up any better than the review I saw on Twitter: “What if The Martian didn’t kind of suck?”

Broken River. 4 stars. Had its issues, but a good story and I loved all the women in this book. Some really insightful writing and a page turner.

Do Not Become Alarmed. 5 stars. I loved this and recommend it to just about anyone. Perfect summer reading, a thriller with great writing and really fleshed out characters.

Almost Missed You. 2 stars. This really needed some kind of twist, because it’s fast paced and well written enough, but as it stands the plot doesn’t really make any sense. I kept waiting for some big reveal that never came.

Woman No. 17. 3 stars. I feel like this is getting a lot of love right now, and I don’t get what I’m missing. I liked the writing but the story is just so uninteresting. Kind of a slog for me.

How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids. 1 star. I seriously hated this book. I don’t even want to say much more about it, because at this point it feels like kicking a puppy. This is truly terrible writing.

The Heirs. 3 stars. I’m really disappointed in this one, because this is so up my alley, I should have loved it. Some of it is great, but a lot of it is not so good, and it’s incredibly disorganized. With a major rewrite it could have been fantastic.

New Boy. 5 stars. Othello set in an elementary school in the 70s and it’s perfect. I loved this.

The Answers. 2 stars. I read somewhere that this was originally two different stories and it was combined into one, which makes sense because it’s so uneven. The main plot of part one is all but forgotten in part two; part one was really interesting to me and I just couldn’t get into the second part. This is a kind of supermodern style that I really don’t like. Not for me but I see how some people would be into it.

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda. 2 stars. This is kind of a near miss for me, because it’s a very dark humor type of thing, which I love, except it just isn’t that funny. And I love epistolary novels in general, but I don’t like it when it feels clunky, i.e. when characters document whole conversations in a way that nobody would actually do in a letter/email. I wanted to love this but it was a miss.

The Stepford Wives. 5 stars. Loved it as a teen, love it now. Unpopular opinion: this essentially does what Handmaid’s Tale does, but better.

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. 4 stars. Essays by Ann Patchett, what more is there to say?

White Fur. 4 stars. This one has some issues but I am going to remember it for a long time. Elise! Elise is one of the greatest characters I’ve read in ages.

Top picks: Do Not Become Alarmed, The Stepford Wives, New Boy, White Fur.