In which I take 900 words to tell you that there are other better books out there that don’t have the cultural appropriation baggage.
It’s speculative fiction but the rules of the “speculation” part are never clearly stated or understood by the characters. Very frustrating. I really liked the concept and I really wanted to love this book. And yet.
Biff is an asshat, a self-serving narcissist who exemplifies low-brow adolescent bro behavior. He finds himself endlessly amusing and the “jokes” are a mile a minute with only a few passages that aren’t over the top or played for humor. As schticks go, this one wore very thin very fast.
The sort of book perfect for a rainy day and a cup of tea. But be warned, it might give you complex dreams or feelings of “what if….” especially if you too are in the middle section of your life.
YA: Sexual trauma, the patriarchy, the blind spots we all have, and the choice to still love someone after they do an unforgivable thing. A bit trope-y, a bit rushed, and with teenagers who don’t seem quite real, this is nevertheless a well-written book about important issues.
Ana is a feminist in the first century who wants to be a voice not just for herself but for all the women whose stories are forgotten, ignored, or hidden. Her struggle between society expectations vs what she longed to do with her life… felt very familiar.
Like the romcoms and Hallmark movies that obviously inspired it, there is not as much tension of “will there be a happy ending or not”, but rather how will these stubborn characters find their way to that happy ending freeze frame we know is waiting ahead of the credits.
Once again, Moriarty does not disappoint. I love the balance she has of high family drama, some really f-ed up human behavior… with sweetness bordering on…. dare I say, wholesomeness? It is a winning combination.
I flew through this book and had to make myself slow down because I knew that I would miss important things if I went too fast. While there were things I figured out slightly ahead of our protagonist, there were other things I was pleased to discover along the way.
An ambitious story about a remarkable heroine told in the language and style of earlier American “classic” literature that challenges our assumptions while carving out a well-deserved place in the modern canon of feminist and historical literature. I just wish it has been granted the freedom of its subtitle.