Hello, my fellow Spirals!
It has been a really long time since I did a mini book review so I figured it’s time to do one now!
1. People We Meet on Vacation – Emily Henry
At its core this book is basically a friends to lovers trope. Poppy and Alex are polar opposites; first one is wild and spontaneous with an insatiable wanderlust, the latter is meticulous, mellow and a bookworm. But after the Croatia trip incident, they have fallen apart and haven’t spoken in the last two years. (Goodreads)
This was a fun read about friends reconnecting after years. There’s that added suspense of what happened in Croatia, why they grew apart and how they find their way to each other. I liked how the friendship seemed genuine rather than two people putting up a façade of friendship when they are secretly in love with each other. But that’s about it. This book was definitely not as good as Beach Read for me.
2. Sourdough – Robin Sloan
Genre: Literary Fiction
Lois is a Software Engineering living a mundane and burnt out life. Her only highlight of the day was ordering and eating the sourdough from a nearby restaurant. But when the brothers owning the restaurant have to return to their home country due to visa issues, they gift her the sourdough starter they have been using which changes the course of Lois’s life. In order to keep it alive, Lois starts feeding it and gradually learns baking which opens doors to whole new world of farmer’s market and bakery to her. (Goodreads)
One of the biggest reasons I really liked this book was because it was all about finding one’s purpose and passion in life, irrespective of how much money it makes. It could start with something as simple as baking at home. It teaches you how investing in your passion and hobby can make even the most mundane tasks seem exciting and fun.
However, I was not a fan of the direction this book took after a certain point. I would have liked to read more about Lois’s journey with baking rather than reading about the Marrow Fair and what it was trying to do. The ending of the book completely flew over my head because by that point I was completely uninterested.
3. The Silence of the Girls – Pat Barker
Genre: Greek Myth Retelling
This book is basically of retelling of the Trojan War from the Achilles’ camp but through women’s (specifically Briseis’s) perspective. (Goodreads)
I have spoken about this book on this blog quite a few times so let me not go too much in detail. This book is not at all for the faint hearted and please don’t expect this to be something similar to the Song of Achilles. It sheds light on the atrocities that the women had to face behind and outside the tents. To me personally, this book was really dark and heavy to digest.
However, I would recommend people to read the Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller because it sets up a strong base for the story and serves great for the purpose of comparison.
4. The Fold – Peter Clines
Genre: Science Fiction
Mike is a unique individual with the gift of eidetic memory living a quiet and peaceful life. But when his friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that only Mike can solve: far out in the California desert, a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device they affectionately call the Albuquerque Door. Using a cryptic computer equation and magnetic fields to “fold” dimensions, it shrinks distances so that a traveler can travel hundreds of feet with a single step. But something about the door just seems… off.
The reason I picked this book up was because I was looking for Blake Crouch-like books and I came across this. While this book starts with a bang and keeps you hooked for most part, to me and I am guessing to all readers of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, this was so predictable. I could immediately guess what was happening with the Door so there wasn’t much a twist for me.
But even apart from that, what was the ending? Or the last few pages of the book in general? It just wasn’t cohesive with the vibe of the rest of the story at all. That could have definitely been done better.
Overall, I would quite recommend this book to Science Fiction lovers or beginners, but not to Dark Matter readers because it’s honestly nothing new or better.
5. Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata
Genre: Literary Fiction
Convenience Store Woman is an odd and reflective portrait of a woman who works part time in a convenience store with no interest in getting married or advancing in career. It sheds light on how society pushes her to pursue a partner or a better job and fit the box of “normal”. (Goodreads)
This was such an odd read which is fitting for the character. It gets you thinking about what we consider as “normal” and how society pressures men and women to get a good job, marry and have kids.
That being said, the characters are definitely bizarre as hell. Keiko to me feels like is devoid of human emotions which is why everyone thinks something is wrong with her. But Shiraha is whole other level of annoying and extremely unlikeable. And I get that this is what the author intended.