This month I managed to finish three books, which I feel okay with. In my reading plans post, I stated that I want to read 3 to 4 books each month. I was really hoping to get at least 4 in during May, but it just didn’t happen. The first half of the month was spent in school since I was wrapping up my final semester, so I guess I can blame that. But also, my depression has been kicking in because it’s so hard to find a job. I’ve felt good the last week or so, though!
In the future, I may write out some new thoughts about the books I finish, but today I’m just copying and pasting what I wrote on Goodreads. I’m doing this because I plan on doing full reviews on each of these books.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – ★★★ – I struggled a bit with this book because I found it predictable and still surprisingly disturbing. I think the characters are intriguing with so many issues unique to them. The characters make this story special. The mystery itself was rather full of tropes and, like I said, I predicted most of the surprises.
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay – ★★★ – I won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Opinions are my own. I never rate things half stars or quarter stars, but I’m going to make an exception for this book: It’s a 3.5 stars from me. The first third or half of the book I really struggled with and almost DNF’d it because I felt like I was just watching women get beat up. Then, in some stories, it seemed as though the reader was meant to sympathize with the abusers. I was getting rather frustrated. But I kept going, and eventually the stories came around to the emotion and meaning of relationships. These relationships were mostly romantic ones between men and women. I don’t think there were any homosexual relationships in the book, and that does annoy me because there was story after story after story that focused on a male/female romantic relationship. Enough seemed like enough. As you can tell, I have some issues with the book. However, the writing is wonderful and moving and powerful. It pulls you in and makes you really understand what these characters are feeling. My favorite in the collection is “North Country.” I also wanted to mention the fact that there are a few fantastical stories in this collection, but I think they fit because, on the whole, this collection seems to be about relationships, either good or bad ones. That’s why I’m also annoyed with the title of the book. Yes, we have some “strong” women in here that may make life “difficult” for men, but that doesn’t seem to be the focus here. I’m left wondering why this title was chosen, and part of me believes it’s because Gay is known to be a feminist and a feminist-y title would sell well.
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter – ★★ – I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. Opinions are my own. I can’t say much about this book because it’s so short, and therefore I’m not sure what’s a spoiler. But it’s a story about a woman and her baby and how they’re surviving in a dystopian type of future. The writing is good and very descriptive at times, but it surprisingly lacks emotional depth. There’s also no big, overarching plot points or character descriptors. For example, none of the characters have complete names. They’re just referred to as letters – R, Z, O, etc. For the first third of the book, I thought this may be because the author wants the reader to latch onto the emotions of the story, which center around a woman trying to survive with her baby. But without anything of substance to hold onto, the story came off as shallow and underdeveloped. I have a lot of questions that I can’t pose here because they may be spoilerly, and the story just fails to answer any of them. After the first third, I thought the book was hitting its stride, and I was really enjoying it. I read the entire thing in two sittings, which is rare for me. But as I was reaching the end, I realized I wasn’t going to get any answers, and became annoyed and frustrated. I think this is one you can skip.