Henry and I listened to this audiobook on the drive home from New Hampshire after my birthday and it was dumb, not scary, had really stupid characters. 100% forgettable. I only chose it because it was relatively short and we wanted something that we could finish the day, and I thought the cover was snazzy.
2. The Weird Sisters – Eleanor Brown
The library’s recommendation service really did me dirty with this one. A trio of insufferable sisters, a cringey dad who speaks exclusively in Shakespeare quotes, no plot, messy narration. I truly didn’t care about any of these people except for the mom who spent the whole book in the background battling breast cancer.
What a waste of time.
3. The Last Guest House – Megan Miranda
This was OK but I think I need to recognize the fact that Megan Miranda books just aren’t for me.
4. The Summer Place – Jennifer Weiner
My least favorite book of Weiner’s so far because the characters were flat but I still cried at the end. I’m not a monster, you know.
5. Just Like Home – Sarah Gailey
What did I just read. This was fine, but not what I wanted and now that I’m recapping my August reads I’m just feeling depressed because did I read anything good and worth recommending to my bookish peeps??
Actually, this book was interesting and well-written, it just wasn’t what I was craving. I am SO PICKY with horror these days. It’s been a good long while since a book SCARED ME. Maybe I should just re-read Peter Straub’s books because barely anything compares to him in my eyes.
If you’ve read a really good horror novel recently, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, tell me about it.
6. Memphis – Tara M. Stringfellow
OK OK, finally, a 5-STAR BOOK in August. I love generational family sagas and this one was IT. Wait. What’s that burning sensation in my face – oh that’s just the tears springing up at the memory of the amazing women in this book.
It was good. Read it.
…aaaand right back to a 1-star read! Why-o why-o why-o did I not DNF this trash book-o? Ugh. I was reading this on our trip to Wildwood too and it was so fucking bad. SO FUCKING BAD.
Well, let’s go with my Goodreads review: One of the most terrible books I’ve ever read. All the characters (too many, IMO) felt like SIMS. The plot was a cluster. The whole time, I just kept saying WHO CARES. This is supposed to be an adult novel but it felt middle grade at best. (Not to knock middle grade books – I’ve read books from that age bracket that are so much entertaining and compelling than whatever this is.)
8. Just Like Mother – Anne Heltzel
Four stars! Not what I was expecting, but pretty fucking creepy, I’m not going to lie. I love cult stuff and this was actually a good one with a pretty original plot. (I’m not sure that I would consider it horror though? Thriller, yes.)
9. Black Cake – Charmaine Wilkerson
That’s another 5-star book for me, Stu. Drop what you’re doing and pick this up STAT. And bake me a black cake while you’re at it.
10. Vacationland – Meg Mitchell Moore
OK this is the book that I wanted that recent Jennifer Weiner one to be. 4 stars, maybe even 4.5 – I was invested in this family! The kids were GREAT – I loved the chapters that included the letters one of the young, elementary school-aged daughters was writing home to her dad. Hilarious and heartwarming. Everyone in this book had my whole heart. If it was turned into a TV drama, something along the lines of Brothers and Sisters (LOVED THAT DAMN SHOW) I would consider getting cable again.
I need to read more from this broad and see if she legit has the potential to be a new fave author or if it was just a fluke. I WILL REPORT BACK, MAYBE.
11. Mika in Real Life – Emiko Jean
I really enjoyed this. I don’t know what else you want me to say. Mika was charming and lovable and the story was heart-warming.
12. The Pallbearers’ Club – Paul Tremblay
OK Paul Tremblay. I see you.
While this wasn’t as scary (or scary at all) as I had hoped, it was actually a really good story about the relationship of the guy and girl that made up the very short-lived Pallbearer’s Club. I loved that it was written as a novel transcript from the POV of the founding member of the club several decades later, with “editor’s notes” from the other member scribbled in the margins in red font. It’s lowkey a vampire story but mostly just a really sentimental exploration into the friendship between two people.
I wish I was better at reviewing books lol.
One of the Booktubers I follow on Goodreads said it much better: “Imagine you’re in a movie theatre watching a lonely and slow little indie film following 2 unlikely friends throughout the years, but you think you can vaguely hear an epic vampire movie playing through the walls, three theatres down.
That about sums up the reading experience for this book (and the amount of horror it contains.)” – BooksandLala, 2022
13. Cult Classic – Sloane Crosley
The fact that I was going to DNF actually scares me because this ended up being a solid 5-star read for me. OK listen, what happened was, I had the audiobook for this first, and I just couldn’t pay attention to it while out for a walk. In all honesty, this isn’t the type of book that can be “casually listened to.” It is SO SMARTLY WRITTEN and so BRILLIANTLY FUNNY, but it deserves your full and undivided attention. I’m glad I gave it another shot in physical book form because I became obsessed with it. It was so funny and weird and obscure, unlike anything I’ve read before.
It’s a fucking trip, and it was a great end to a subpar reading month.
That’s all. I read 13 books and only truly remember maybe half of them lol.