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Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Time only blunts the pain of loss. It doesn’t erase it.”

I wasn’t immediately charmed by Eleanor Oliphant, but she completely won me over. Eleanor is a woman on her own, and she does just fine living her life alone, thank you very much. She comes across as awkward and prickly, but beneath the surface she longs for relationships more than she’ll let herself believe. But it’s hard to let anyone in when, beneath your hard exterior, you’re battling against a plethora of issues, from childhood trauma to suppressed grief to raging pain. As long as she adheres to her rigid schedule and keeps everyone at arms length, she can ignore the emotions churning within her. And if she keeps herself mildly drunk over the weekends, she can pretend that she’s completely fine.

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How to Find Love in a Bookshop

How to Find Love in a Bookshop

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

This was such a charming read; one that I have picked up because I was attracted by its title and cover design depicting one of those enchanting English bookshops. The allure of a story about a bookshop (and by natural extension, books) was just too irresistible, and as such, despite my typical apprehension with romantic novels, I knew that I would attempt reading this book.

And with that, I dipped my toes into the Prologue and came across this beautiful passage which charmed me immediately.

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Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Little Fires Everywhere is a powerful story that I never would have read had I known what it was actually about. I’m glad that I read it, and I applaud Ng’s astute and canny characterizations. However, this book is the closest I’ve ever come to actually being triggered by something, which I’ll explain further below. I’ve read books in the past that were very dark or depressing, but I could recognize those elements and finish the book, knowing that the book wasn’t really for me but no worse off for having read it. But this book messed with my head and brought back to the forefront of my mind feelings I thought had been laid to rest.

“Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.”

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Relic (Pendergast, #1)

Relic (Pendergast, #1)

Relic by Douglas Preston
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

My introduction to Preston and Child was unfortunately lackluster. I found Relic to be solidly okay, the literary equivalent of tuning into a television show just to let it serve as background noise. While the premise was interesting and isn’t something I’ll be forgetting anytime soon, I just couldn’t make myself care. There were two main contributors to this lack of interest: poor characterization and an overabundance of science.

Let me start with the science first. This is very much a personal preference thing. Anytime a book begins getting very scientific in its content, I just start tuning out. It’s why I stay away from hard science fiction. I know that many people love when there is science present to back up a wild claim that is central to the plot, as it helps readers suspend their disbelief in the moment.

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