Recent Reads | Net Galley Edition #2

9/13/2020


It's time for a second Net Galley wrap-up. The ARC Gods have been with me lately, as I got approved for two of my most anticipated books of 2020 - Anxious People by Fredrik Backman and One by One by Ruth Ware. Read on to see what I thought of both of them! 

The Switch

by Beth O'Leary 

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She'd like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn't offer many eligible gentlemen. So they decide to swap lives for the duration of Leena's time-off. 

This novel is the most intimate look at the mother/daughter dynamic that I've ever read. I adored the audiobook, Daisy and Alison do a marvelous job at bringing both the characters to life (even if it was a little peculiar to here Marianne and Pam exist in the same world.. if you know, you know). I think Beth O'Leary did a wonderful job at writing two female protagonists with such depth and range, which is something that I've struggled with in the past when reading a female/female duel narrative - one character always seems to lack. In fact, all the female characters in this book were unique in their own ways. There was no 'blank wall' character - incredible! 

I also appreciated the various topics that this book covers - domestic abuse, grief, depression, loneliness, gay rights, cheating, etc. If you enjoyed Firefly Lane, In Five Years, or Maybe In Another Life read this. 

Format: Audiobook

Release Date: Out Now!

Goodreads: The Switch


Earthlings

by Sayaka Murata

This is what I expected from the author of Convience Store Woman, but so much weirder. I liked the first half of this book, it was quirky with a relatable main character who believes she is not human. Her and her Cousin make it a mission to be anything other than an "Earthling".

But the more this book went on, the more ridiculous it got. I get that some books are of an acquired taste but Earthlings just seemed to step into the bazaar category with no rhyme or reason. I would read another translated novel by Sayaka Murata but I wouldn't recommend this book to.. well.. most people. The writing was beautiful, but the story ended up being too weird for even me.

Format: Ebook

Release Date: October 6th, 2020

Goodreads: Earthlings


If I Tell You The Truth

by Jasmin Kaur

The mix of poetry, illustrations, and story telling in this novel is flawless. When I requested it, I didnt expect it to be so long, and yet I turned the final page hoping for more. The author beautifully seamed this collection of mixed media into a story that will rip your heart out repeatedly, and yet leave you feeling.. full. The mother/daughter dynamic of Sahaara and Kiran was truly authentic, I appreciated how similar they both were while not being a mirrored image of the other. They felt realistic. Mainly this book shed light on the experiences of sexual assault victims, and the many ways an assault can change the entire direction of your life. I can't speak for the representation of the cultural talk in this novel, but the conversations it brought up did make me think about how much power a woman's word can hold dependent on where she is from. If you enjoy modern poetry, strong female voices, and are mentally able to handle a lengthy book that doesn't shy away from the topic of sexual assault or deportation.. read this. It will stay with you.

Format: Ebook

Release Date: January 19th, 2021

Goodreads: If I Tell You The Truth


The Flip Side

by James Bailey

A sudden break-up leaves British lad Josh back to living with his parents, jobless, and broke. In a bid to counteract his bad luck, he decides to let the flip of a coin choose all of his important decisions for a year. Will it lead him to a new love?

I was excited to read this book as the premise seemed like a fun quirky spin on your traditional British romcom. Sadly, it just missed the mark. The protagonist Josh was such a dweeb, and his interactions with anyone of the opposite sex left me feeling annoyed and icked out. He had such a negative outlook on just about everything and it grew tiresome. My final straw was when he meets "the one" and decides to drop all his money (he's very poor) in a bid to track her down. 1) creepy. And 2) just a poor choice. Even the side characters in this grated on me, they were all so stereotypical British in the worst way possible. I would read more by this author as I think he had a great idea for a story, the characters and execution of The Flip Side just didn't work for me.

Format: Ebook

Release Date: November 17th, 2020

Goodreads: The Flip Side


Anxious People

by Fredrik Backman

A bank robbery goes wrong, leading the masked gunman into an apartment viewing and taking the people inside hostage. There, each individual begins opening up about their lives and problems.

There's something special that Backman manages to always achieve in his novels, and that's the way he writes about humanity. I never leave one of his stories without a warmed heart and an urge to hug somebody. Anxious People was no different. I've written a full review of this book which you can read HERE

Format: Ebook

Release Date: Out now!

Goodreads: Anxious People


One by One 

by Ruth Ware

Don't go outside. Don't go anywhere alone. A group of  co-workers venture to the snowy mountains for a retreat filled with wine, skiing, and cozy nights by the fire. But the vacation soon turns deadly when they all get snowed in by an avalanche, especially as one of them is a killer.

I have a hot/cold relationship with Ruth Ware books. I've read all her previous novels, and seem to either love them or feel quite indifferent about them. Sadly, One by One fell into the latter. This wasn't a bad book by any stretch of the imagination, but it didn't grip me like Turn Of The Key or The Death of Mrs. Westaway. The claustrophobic setting of the slopes definitely give this book an original ambiance, which I did enjoy. The characters were okay, and the twists were decent enough despite my guessing every plot twist that came about - I think any regular thriller reader will. All in all, this was your average 3 star book. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed as I know the author can do better. Meh.

Format: Ebook

Release Date: Out now!

Goodreads: One by One


Is there anything on this list that you've been wanting to pick up? Let me know!



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