Early Riser by Jasper Fforde

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 8/5/19-8/8/19

This book is super weird. It reminds me of The Municipalists and Supermarket in the writing style and overall oddity. I heard about this through Book of the Month (February 2019).

This one is hard to explain, so strap in, it will be a bumpy ride. There’s this dude, Charlie, who is really good at memorizing things. He gets picked to be the assistant to the most famous consul, Jack Logan. We are set in a time where humans hibernate for 8 weeks out of the year, and in order to save energy during those weeks, people take a drug called Morphenox that removes dreams. The catch? Taking the drug could make you a nightwalker, where you lose any touch of reality and instead walk around completely dazed. Charlie comes across a nightwalker while on official business with Logan. He subsequently loses the nightwalker to what he thinks is a farming scheme (where they impregnate female nightwalkers), and the leader of HiberTech comes across him. She tells Charlie to go to Sector 12, where there is a viral dream that has spread among people staying at the Sarah Siddons, a dormitory, on the ninth floor. When he finds himself inside the dream, he is trying to piece together what it could mean, and who he can trust to tell about it.

If you are confused, welcome to the club. There is A LOT to this story, so I don’t think I could really explain what happened if I tried. But take my word for it, it is incredibly intricate and crazy, but really good. I have never read anything by Fforde, nor will I probably read anything by him again (sorry), but I was surprised by how into it I was. The first time I tried to listen to this book, I wasn’t interested after about a half hour in. This time, I just said, screw it, let’s do it, and I got it done. It is slightly dark and confusing, but I would give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 8/1/19-8/2/19

Eww….. I have the heebie jeebies just thinking of making this post. This book is so incredibly good and dark and intriguing and fun to read. I would recommend it for anyone who likes the feeling of “wtf”.

We follow our girl, Jules, as she is recovering from one of the lowest moments in her life. After losing her job, boyfriend, and apartment, Jules takes an apartment sitter job at the famous Bartholomew in New York City. Upon taking the job, she learns that she is forced to stay in her apartment every night, no one is allowed to visit, and she has to hide the fact she is staying there. Chalking it up to privacy for the famous residents in the building, Jules thinks nothing of it.

She meets her fellow apartment sitter, Ingrid, where she learns that the girl before her left unexpectedly in the middle of the night to end her tenure. After finding out this information from Ingrid, Ingrid disappears in the middle of the night. As Jules begins investigating and piecing together Ingrid’s sudden disappearance, conspiracy theories began to lead her down a rabbit hole.

I had 2 theories as I read this book. The first theory, which I proposed on page 130 (yes I did use Post-It notes, come at me) ended up correct. The second theory, made on page 162 was TECHNICALLY incorrect, but was also correct. I am unsure if I was able to guess this hypotheses because I am a lover of the genre, or if that information was semi-blatant. Whatever the case may be, I was able to guess bits and pieces of what would eventually be the conclusion, but I was nowhere near able to actually guess the ending.

This book also had the added effect of tapping into one of my movie fears, so there is that. It is almost creepy in the story, unlike his others which felt more thrilling. I would give it 4.75 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JLG5GVB/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 5/11/19-5/26/19

Happy Tuesday everybody! This book just didn’t keep my interest, so I found myself reading other books during the time it took me to read this one. With that being said, this isn’t a bad book, just not one that kept me with it.

This book follows Andrew, a member of the Council of London whose job is to figure out next of kin after someone passes (or at least to find money to pay for the funeral). A new woman, Peggy, comes to his office, and it is his job to teach her the ropes. Over time, he begins to realize that he is attracted to her. The problem? She thinks he is married with 2 kids, but he isn’t.

I just couldn’t keep myself in the book. It felt like it moved really slowly, and that the overall story itself just wasn’t moved along well. I think it could have been a really good idea for a story, it just could have been handled writing-style-wise a little better. (ooof, that was a really short one).

I would give this book 3.5 out of 5. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I will see you all in the next book!

Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris

Goodbye, Paris: A Novel by [Harris, Anstey]
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078M587P4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 5/17/19-5/19/19

I listed this book at the top of my BOTM TBR pile, and was just completely disappointed. To be fair, this book isn’t completely awful, it just could not hold my interest.

This book follows Grace, a string instrument maker (you know, I read this entire book and I am sure there is a word for this and I don’t remember, oops.), who also is in a relationship with married David. When David is in the news (and CCTV footage shows Grace with him), their lives together have been flipped. Alongside all of this, Grace has created what she hopes will be an esteemed cello for a competition in Italy. As Grace learns more information about David, she is forced to decide whether she will ignore it or move on (with destruction in the way).

So here’s the thing, I have always been incredibly uncomfortable in books with unhealthy love stories. I have no idea why, but it has always been a point of issue for me when it comes to reviewing books. This is such an incredibly unhealthy love story. Not only the whole “David being married” part, but also the really creepy way he manipulates and lies to her. I just can’t deal.

Also, while I come from a semi-musical background (especially string instruments), I just felt like we talked shop WAY too much. I felt like she was adding in descriptions way too much, but hey, that’s just me.

Also, side note, I love Nadia. Okay, that’s all.

Despite all the negativity I have just listed, I would probably give this book 3.5 out of 5. It isn’t that bad, I just feel like those points really were the stand out things I wanted to discuss. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I will see you all in the next book!

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People: A Novel by [Rooney, Sally]
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FS25XTW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 5/9/19-5/10/19

I have always been extremely critical of books with unhealthy love stories. I always feel like in a lot of ways, there are some books that completely romanticize the idea of emotional and physical abuse. Let me also say, what you want to do in the bedroom is your thing, and while I am not going to pretend to understand what ya’ll are into, I do think that there is a difference between fetishes and abuse. (Side note: Just realized my grandmother is going to read this and that I just used the word “fetishes”. Don’t mind me dying of embarrassment.) To me, this book was just a story that romanticize something completely unhealthy and called it “love”.

This story follows Marianne and Connell as they go from the European version of seniors until they graduate university. Along the way, they have this relationship (choosing my words carefully, but btw Grammy, maybe don’t read this one?) and this overarching pull towards each other. Over a few years, you watch as their love for each other changes and grows as they do.

With all that being said, I truly loved the writing style and the way she storytold (TECHNICALLY this isn’t a word, but it should be). She had a way of telling the story where the reader felt a part of it, while also finding ways to keep the reader entertained. I just can’t get over the really crappy love story (in my opinion). I get it, that was the point of the story, but man, I just am not impressed.

I would rate this book 3 out of 5. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I will see you all in the next book.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room: A Novel by [Kushner, Rachel]
https://www.amazon.com/Mars-Room-Novel-Rachel-Kushner-ebook/dp/B075RX1YLM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+mars+room&qid=1556311980&s=gateway&sr=8-1

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 4/12/19-4/25/19

Wow… I am super disappointed. I know that a lot of people have said incredibly positive things about this book, but I just had trouble keeping with the overall storyline.

This book follows Romy Hall after she has been sent to prison for a life sentence without parole. In an effort to be a look-in into the American penal system, this book discusses the events that led to the women in this prison and what happens once inside.

In my personal opinion, this book followed too many side stories, some of which just wasn’t explained, and it was hard to keep up with everything that went on. In a lot of ways, I can tell that was intentional because these women’s lives were just completely uprooted after they were put in the penal system. At the same time, I just felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of stories that had NOTHING to do with the plot.

With all that being said, I think that Kushner did a good job of not only articulating prison life but also showing the manipulation and memories that define life inside. I have no knocks on the writing style, just the material that was presented.

I would give this book 3 out of 5, with a 50/50 chance of loving or hating it, depending on how you take it. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I will see you all in the next book!

Golden Child by Claire Adam

Golden Child: A Novel by [Adam, Claire]
https://www.amazon.com/Golden-Child-Novel-Claire-Adam-ebook/dp/B07CWDJ2DT/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=golden+child&qid=1556311845&s=gateway&sr=8-1

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 4/24/19-4/25/19

Why hello! Glad to be back! So to be completely honest, this was at the very bottom of my BOTM TBR pile. I just didn’t think I would enjoy it, but I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to it, and here’s why:

Let me start with this book is BANANAS. The overall plot is that there are these two twins, Peter and Paul. Peter is exceptionally smart, while Peter tends to be on the slower side. When Paul disappears, his father, Clyde, must decide whether to save Paul, or give Peter the chance to achieve academic success in America.

Wow, this synopsis was extremely hard to write, and even then, I think I might have told you too much. But this book is absolutely insane. The idea of picking favorites between your children in itself is an insane idea. Like at what point do you consider the downfall of one of your children in order for the other child to be successful? I think that this opened up a discussion of how parents want their children to become something great, and it shows a really cool juxtaposition between the mother, Joy, and Clyde as they try to deal with this situation.

This book also discusses what personal sacrifices you are willing to make in order for someone you believe in to succeed. Peter and Paul are essentially inseparable, and often Peter would try to help Paul in order to keep him on the straight and narrow.

I think that if I had to rate it (which let’s be real, I really don’t have to, but for the sake of continuity, I am going to rate it), I would give it 4 out of 5. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I will see you all in the next book!