Still trying to catch up on end of year/New Year content! Thanks for bearing with me!
ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS by Bryn Greenwood
Yes. You’re reading that correctly. One star. Honestly should have given it a zero. Hands down the worst book I’ve ever read. The book is about a young daughter of drug addict/meth dealer and her relationship with an adult male. It is filled with child abuse and grooming. The book is told through different perspectives, but it just didn’t “do” it for me. I found it too disturbing. Why did I finish it you ask? I thought there was no way it was going to end the way it ended. I couldn’t fathom an author writing such fiction and ending it as a love story the way it was. BLAH, it was horrible.
OLGA DIES DREAMING by Xochitl Gonzalez
This is one of the most highly anticipated books of 2022. It’s REALLY good. I was lucky enough to meet Xochitl on a press trip years ago and I’ve followed her personal newsletter ever since. Can I just say, I’m so freaking proud of her. Olga Dies Dreaming is such a unique and stellar debut novel. It’s incredibly smart, sharp, and witty. The book follows Olga, a 40 year old Puerto Rican wedding planner in Brooklyn, and her politician brother. It covers so much: family relationships, romantic relationships, sexuality, and politics.
CULTISH by Amanda Montell
If you’re intrigued by cults, definitely pick up this book. I’ve been seeing it everywhere and I definitely understand the hype. It’s about the language of cults and just gives a fascinating look at what cults are and why they are “successful.” I wouldn’t say it’s all that groundbreaking if you’ve read about cults, but it’s still interesting. It veered a little snarky at times too, which I think took away from the overall goal of the book? But overall, I was into it because I really do find cults fascinating. I shared it with a bunch of my friends who are equally as intrigued and it was a hit for everyone.
THREE GIRLS FROM BRONZEVILLE by Dawn Turner
I loved this memoir by Dawn Turner. It’s about her childhood and the path her life takes, juxtaposed with the life paths of her sister Kim and her best friend Debra. All three Black girls grew up in the same area of Chicago, but each ended up with completely different life outcomes. Dawn Turner reflects on their upbringing and circumstances and wonders how they could have gone down such diverging paths. It was a little bit slow at points, but overall a fantastic memoir that will stay with me.