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ChantalReads

ChantalReads

Joined February 2022

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ChantalReads
Carrie Soto Is Back | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Pickpick

I was hesitant to buy/read this, but I read most of TJR's other stuff, and after Malibu Rising, I wanted the Carrie Soto story. When I started, I was worried because I hated Carrie's character, but there is a beautiful arc, and it, like her other novels, is so well-crafted. I do feel that the ending of this is somewhat satisfying; there is closure (mostly), which is more than I can say for Malibu Rising. Anyway, it's super good!

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ChantalReads
Maybe in Another Life: A Novel | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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When I picked this up, I was expecting something like Evelyn Hugo or Daisy Jones or Malibu Rising. It was not like any of those. It has a singularly different style and tone. That said, it was a fun read, and I recommend it to fans of TJR.

9 likes1 stack add
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ChantalReads
Malibu Rising | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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I bought this after having read read Evelyn Hugo (loved it) and Daisy Jones (liked it well enough). I would rank this in between the two. What I really like about TJR books is the level of realism (if one can relate to famous people) that not everything in life "works out" in a satisfying way, and I did feel that by the end of this book. I will buy the rest of her books and read them, and she consistently produces well-written characters.

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ChantalReads
The Paris Apartment | Lucy Foley
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Bailedbailed

I read about halfway then gave up. I almost NEVER don't finish a book once I've started, but this one was just so disjointed and didn't reveal enough details to keep the reader engaged. The investment I had in it wasn't enough to sacrifice time better spent. Maybe it gets better, but most reviews I read suggested that it does not.

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ChantalReads
Mad Honey | Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Finney Boylan
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Pretty good book. I was surprised by the twists in the story, which is uncommon. The ending was satisfying, and all loose ends were tied up. It's written I'm a nonlinear way - sort of starting from the time of the incident and working it's way outward (both before and after the event) to reveal the details. All in all, clever, well-written, and eye-opening.

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ChantalReads
Lucky | Marissa Stapley
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Mehso-so

The first half of this book was really good; it had soooo much potential. Then, it feels like the author just gets tired of writing it and rushes the ending. I found myself realizing that there were very few (I'm talking like 3 or 4) pages left, and the central conflict still hadn't been resolved. Then, it just is. I wish there had been another 100 or so pages to give the story the ending it deserved.

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ChantalReads
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Mehso-so

I really liked the first half or so of this book. I knew the premise, so I went I'm expecting to be sad. The first half interweaves her story before her husband's death and after, spanning their almost 2 decade relationship. I love this style of writing. After his death, though, the book sort of drags, and I found myself trying to just get through it. Worth a read, though, and I can see how her journey could help others going through similar.

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ChantalReads
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Mehso-so

I REALLY was excited to read this. It was the B&N Book of the Year, so I had very high expectations. The writing is very good, but I just wasn't that excited about it. I'm not much into gaming, and the characters, while realistic, just make such "why would they do that" choices that I didn't much like them. I kept reading, thinking that the ending would redeem it, but it was very bittersweet (heavy on the bitter).

suvata It was also the Book-of-the-Month club book of the year 2mo
ChantalReads @suvata IDK if I would have liked it more if I hadn't just come off of reading Lessons in Chemistry. I guess that one just resonated with me more. 2mo
suvata It‘s okay. I often don‘t like books that others rave about. To each, his own. 2mo
10 likes3 comments
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ChantalReads
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Pickpick

I love almost everything about this book. Elizabeth Zott is a female chemist in the 50's and 60's, and through a series of events ends up a television host of a cooking show that she uses to subtley influence women to not accept the oppression that the world had been doling out.
It is well-crafted, real, and super inspiring, and everyone should read it.

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ChantalReads
Daisy Jones and The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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I liked this book - not as much as Evelyn Hugo, but the author is a talented write. The format of this book is interviews - no "narrative". The story has to be pieced together from the interviews of each character (and they are all happening simultaneously). It's clever.

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ChantalReads
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Mehso-so

I wanted to love this book, but I didn't. At one point, I felt like I was just "getting through it", though it does improve. I can't put my finger on what, exactly, leads to my feelings of apathy? about it, but there are some. That said, I actually didn't see the twist coming (and that's a rarity for me), so I was pleasantly surprised about that.
The book was cute. The characters were realistic. I just didn't really connect.

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ChantalReads
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I liked this book quite a lot, though it was fairly predictable (given its title). I love Victorian-set stories, and this one is parallel timelines, so it combines Victorian with modern and is clever.

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ChantalReads
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Mehso-so

I waited an entire weekend to calm myself before crafting this review. The writing was good, though I did get a bit lost with all of the back-and-forth through time. I'm not convinced that that adds appeal rather than detracting.
Now for the anger. That ending... was it even an ending? So, no spoilers, but it was VERY unsatisfying to say the least - to the point where I'm not even sure I liked the book.

7 likes1 stack add
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ChantalReads
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Pickpick

So, I liked this book, but I didn't love it. I loved Eddie Huang's voice, but I got lost in some of the things he was talking about. And I don't mean his Chinese culture - I mean his hip-hop, drug-dealing, private school culture. That said, he is a super intelligent, cool dude who's done a lot of different things with his life, and this book provides some perspective.

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ChantalReads
Next Year in Havana | Chanel Cleeton
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This book was beautiful. All at once parallel, connected love stories, mystery, historical, and modern. I know some things about Cuba (I saw DD Havana Nights, after all), but this glimpse into the complex politics and history of the island was perfectly captured in a compelling and engaging read.

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ChantalReads
Cool for the Summer | Dahlia Adler
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Mehso-so

This book was ok. I read a lot of YA, but this was a mostly love-triangle (with a healthy dose of exploring her own sexuality), and it didn't have any other elements that made it stand out. Writing was decent - there were no glaring plot holes or unresolved issues, but I did find myself pushing to be done, so I could move on.

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ChantalReads
The Jetsetters | Amanda Eyre Ward
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Mehso-so

I wanted to like this book, but it was hard. I couldn't get into it the first time I picked it up, but the second time, I was determined (and out of reading material). None of the characters were particularly likeable, and none were really redeemed (except for maybe Cord), but I guess that's sort of the point.
It does REALLY make me want to go on a cruise, though.

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ChantalReads
Firekeeper's Daughter | Angeline Boulley
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Just read it. It's amazing and has it all: romance, intrigue, danger, an unexpected twist. Although the ending is bittersweet, it does allow the reader to hold out hope.

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ChantalReads
Looking for Alaska | Green, John
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Pickpick

So, I liked this book... not as much as I liked "Turtles All the Way Down (which I finished just prior to this one)", but enough. I think the reason that I only like rather than love this book is because I don't feel very connected to the characters; they just aren't very likeable, so the emotional attachment one would expect to feel at the outcome of events just isn't there for me. But, it's John Green, and it's solid writing.

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ChantalReads
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"You watch them try to fill themselves up with booze or money of God or fame or whatever they worship, and it all rots them from the inside until nothing is left but the money or booze or God they thought would save them."

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ChantalReads
Crying in H Mart: A Memoir | Michelle Zauner
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So, I didn't know this book was about a girl's mom dying of Cancer - suuuuper depressing. That said, it's not ALL about her mom dying of Cancer. It's about their bond and culture and the unique ways in which the daughter attempts to keep that alive after her mother's death. It's an honest memoir that reminds us that family dynamics aren't always what they seem and a reminder to enjoy the time we have.

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ChantalReads
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I really liked it. It was a very quick read - kind of spooky, kind of romantic. It's described as an " Ethiopian Jane Eyre retelling" which a lot of people argue about, but I thought it had a lot of Jane Eyre-esque elements. I believe this is the author's first novel, but I look forward to reading her others.

blurb
ChantalReads
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Up next...?
Can't decide. What do y'all love?

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ChantalReads
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Pickpick

This book starts off really slowly, and I almost gave up, but I'm glad I didn't. The story is deep and touching, and the story's shifting of perspectives is creative, though I found myself rushing through Fig Tree's parts, as a lot of it is technical botany and didn't always seem connected to the rest of the story. This fades as the story progresses, and the very last chapter brought some needed, satisfying closure.

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ChantalReads
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This book is fabulous. It's about Evelyn Hugo, but it's also a beautiful representation that appearances do not necessarily depict the whole story - that people are complex and messy and a mixture of "good" and "bad". The "twist" is heavily foreshadowed (but I am an English teacher), so if you like to be surprised, it may not impress you, but it is, overall, a beautifully done novel.

BkClubCare Our bookclub just selected this - I am excited. 5mo
ChantalReads I loved it, and I hope you do too! It will soon be a Netflix movie (or miniseries if the protesting fans have their way). 4mo
12 likes2 comments
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ChantalReads
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Pickpick

So, I love Slipknot, and I love Corey Taylor.
His book can border on pretentious, and it's a bit repetitive, but I like his style, and I still think it's worth a read. He discusses his personal experiences with the paranormal and his theories about the "why" and "how" of it all.

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ChantalReads
Summerlong | Peter S Beagle
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Pickpick

I thought this would be a little more romantic, and it definitely wasn't that. I knew that it was a Persephone story before I read it, so the "twist" wasn't a surprise, but the foreshadowing is cleverly interwoven.
The writing is good, so I recommend it.

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ChantalReads
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Abby is a high school student who's in love with her best friend. After she takes a DNA test, she discovers she has an Instagram-famous, full-blooded sister that she knew nothing about. The two arrange to spend the summer together by attending/working at the same camp. Shenanigans ensue.

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ChantalReads
Game Changer | Neal Shusterman
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Pickpick

Game Changer is a Game Changer. Great writing. Great story with substance.

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ChantalReads
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Mehso-so

So, I have some mixed feelings about this book. Frederick Joseph talks about a lot of things that, I think, are important to be heard, but he also says some things that are likely to turn off his intended audience (things like "this book is a gift, not an obligation" and "it isn't the duty of Black people or people of color to explain things."). These kinds of statements undermine his purpose in wanting to create a world that is more inclusive.

1 like1 stack add
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ChantalReads
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Pickpick

This book is very well-written, and I love how fitting the title is with the overarching themes of the book. The ending, however, leaves some things to be desired, though I suppose that is kind of the point.