Category: Literary Fiction

Review: The Wangs vs. the World

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang My rating: 2 of 5 stars The publisher marketed The Wangs vs. the World as a “hilarious debut”, but in my opinion, it wasn’t hilarious. It’s an average read, at best, with a few funny moments, and a few embarrassing ones. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to give this novel two or three stars. Originally, I gave it three stars and said “review coming soon”, but after giving the novel some thought, I decided to downgrade it to two stars. It’s more like 2.5 or maybe 2.75 stars. It wasn’t awful,...

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Review: Imagine Me Gone

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett My rating: 3 of 5 stars I have so many mixed feelings about Imagine Me Gone that I’m not even sure how to rate it. There were beautiful five-star moments woven with mediocre ones. This novel only has 356 pages, but sometimes it felt twice that length. Not every sentence advanced the plot or added to the character development and that dragged the pacing down. The entire book wasn’t like that though. There were moments when everything was nearly perfect, but it just didn’t happen often enough for me. Here’s a basic summary of...

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Review: After the Parade

After the Parade by Lori Ostlund My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’m surprised that this is a debut novel. She writes like a veteran. This is beautifully written with characters you get to know on an intimate level. The protagonist’s loneliness is very relatable. I love her storytelling, which is told in a series of flashbacks, but they’re written in a very seamless fashion. I can see this becoming a book club selection. I highly recommend this book! View all my reviews

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Book Review: Aquarium by David Vann

Rating: This is one of those novels that keeps your attention from start to finish and makes you lose track of time. It has flowing prose, interesting characters and wonderfully messy family drama. Twelve year old Caitlin lives with her mother, Sheri. Caitlin goes to the local aquarium every day after school until her mother picks her up after work. At the aquarium, Caitlin befriends an old man and discovers a family secret that infuriates her mother. Caitlin’s best friend is Shalini and her mother supports the friendship until something happens that shocks Sheri. Sheri tries to teach Caitlin exactly...

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