Hi. I barely read in August. I think I went into it too cocky and brought three (3!!) books on vacation with me. OK, Erin. Calm down. I didn’t read AT ALL until the flight back to the States, and even then, it was only about 30 pages. I don’t know why I thought I was going to read on the bus during our vacation. Hello, I was too busy being practically cupping my ears so that I wouldn’t miss a single conversation around me!! The bus was so entertaining every day! (Henry and Chooch probably will say otherwise, but that’s because they’re not coated in nosiness and rolled in powdery FOMO like I am.)
Anyway, here are the very few books I did read!
After checking this out of the library and realizing that I also read Cline’s other book, The Girls, I started to think it was a mistake, assumed there was a big possibility it could be a DNF, and almost didn’t even give it a chance. But then I started reading it and couldn’t stop. It does start out slow, like “Where the fuck is this going?” and it’s also one of those “cool hot Williamsburg girl” books that I usually “DON’T GET” because I’m too old and don’t wear, I dunno, corduroy pants and belly shirts. But I was invested in this bitch’s end of the summer saga, basically being homeless in some bougie area of Long Island after her sugar daddy kicks her out, dodging some dude who she owes a bunch of money to, and just basically using every motherfucker that gets caught in her human-hurricane path.
Somehow, for as little redeeming qualities as she had, I still found myself rooting for her and just eating up the words on every page with a fucking grapefruit spoon, mmkay. This book might not for you or you, but I bet it’s for you. Yeah, you. Over there.
If you’re even MODERATELY into books, you have likely seen this on a bunch of best-of lists. Four stars for me, fam. The writing was smart, the plot was fresh, and it shone a spotlight on racism and appropriation in a unique way that challenged my way of thinking several times. I feel like when it comes to topics like these, we should never stop checking ourselves and allowing the discomfort to happen because that’s how we grow. And this book definitely had me tugging at my collar more than once. It’s not finger-waggy at all though – strip that all away and you’re still left with an entertaining and tense (and at times, funny) novel about the publishing industry and plagiarism. (JANNA, IF YOU ARE READING THIS, I THINK YOU WOULD LIKE THIS.)
I read The Poppy War by Kuang a few years ago but that was like, a 600-page fantasy – it blows my mind that this is the same writer. She is stupidly talented!
Remember last month when I read another Bartz book and hated it so much? Well, I had also checked this one out of the library at the same time and returned it with the other book without even bothering to try out the first page. But then I snagged it on audio because I’m a sucker and needed something to listen to on my morning walks when we came back from vacation. Wow, this book was less bad than the last one of hers I read, but still not great. 2.5.
Oh, how I wanted this to be a 5-star read. I really, really did. The plot was great, I loved the writing, the characters were interesting. I loved that it was “set” in 1992. I loved the OJ and pog references. But I didn’t love that it didn’t scare me. I still think I would recommend this to anyone looking for a supernatural horror book because I feel like most people aren’t as picky as me when it comes to horror?? I want to have the “icy chills on a 90 degree summer afternoon” type of experience while reading horror. I LOVE horror books in the summer. But I just have a tough time finding ones that get under my skin. Please help me.
I truly had no idea what was going on through most of this – lots of drugs, sex, people being shitty to each other. But when that shit wasn’t going on, there were moments of brilliance here. Basically, the main character has a very dependent and toxic relationship with her older sister, and then accidentally-maybe-on-purpose stabs her one night then spends the next two years somewhat-searching for her after she disappears. I don’t know, it’s a weird one. Not relatable for me AT ALL and I was bored for long swathes of it, but then somehow, the very last line of the book made me fucking laugh out loud. Three stars. Again, I feel like this is the type of book girls in their early 20s who dress like it’s 1995 and mommy bought them everything out of the Delia*s catalogue would devour on the bus to a rave in Brooklyn.
And that’s all from me for August. :( I usually average 10 books a month but sometimes you gotta take your nose out of the books and marathon roller coasters in Europe for 2 weeks!