Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Leggy recommended this book to me and I took my time reading it for no particular reason. Beartown is written by Frederick Backman. The same author who wrote A Man From Ove (which I enjoyed and Leggy didn’t. She read it before me and tried to sour it for me but in yo’ face!) I hadn’t even gone a quarter way before I knew this was going to be my favorite book of the year. I had no idea what the book was about (You will learn that about me, I usually go in blind) and it turns out the subject matter is rather delicate especially in this climate and could be triggering.
It tells the story of the people of a small town who eat, live and breathe hockey until an unfortunate incident befalls them and the town citizens have to choose between hockey and doing the right thing.
I call the entire book a wave because from the start of the book you could tell something bad was coming and Backman uses his words oh so well in helping us ride that wave till it crashes. I was so invested in all the characters and while I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to them all, I could also wait because I was thoroughly enjoying the journey to the destination.
If there are people who don’t like how it ended, I can understand why but I was okay with it. There are also so many quotables and life lessons in the book. I definitely recommend!
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
Taynement messaged me after she read this book and said to me “please read this book and lets talk about it”. So I did and boy, was it something. I read this book in January and it has stayed with me since then. This book is about a relationship between two individuals that will challenge everything you’ve ever thought was right and will have you rooting for everything you ever thought was wrong. I had to read this book in bits because it was terribly gross and I had to put it down every now and again to take a shower and wash its stink off of me.
I ultimately gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads because even though it was incredibly well written, the subject matter was too shocking for me in good conscience to give it the five stars it deserved. I think good art is art that makes us feel something and this checked every category for me. This book would also make a very good book club pick because there is so much to talk about and discuss or it might just lead to you getting thrown out of said book club if you pick it.
I definitely recommend this book. If you do read it or have read it please let me know what you think or thought.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Guys, I honestly can’t tell you how much I hated this book and I hate myself more for not dumping it earlier. A friend recommended it to me and I hated the character from jump. The book is about socially awkward Eleanor who lives life on a strict schedule which she doesn’t deviate from and does not understand how the rest of the world operates. She meets a guy who disrupts her schedule and we watch Eleanor try to adjust to her “new life” so to speak.
There is a twist in the book which explains why Eleanor is so awkward but honestly, I hated the book so much that I really didn’t care and just wanted to be done with the book. In retrospect, I wonder if it was more of hating the character so much vs. actually hating the book because it was truly a typical rom-com type Brit book.
I don’t have the energy to decipher. I do know that I get annoyed all over again as I see this book pop up in “best of 2017” lists and all I can ask is “HOW?!!”
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
In the era of “Gone Girl” copy cats, it is insanely difficult to find a good thriller. Thrillers these days are so obsessed with “the twist” that no one is writing anything intelligent or worth reading. Authors blow whole plots and logic out of the water just to give us a twist that has nothing to do with anything. This book could have been a 3 stars or solid 2 star thriller if the ending hadn’t been so WTF.
It’s about a character named Adele who becomes friends with the woman having an affair with her husband and the story plays out from this central plot point. Also, there is a fantasy element to this story so bear that in mind if you decide to go forward with reading it. I hated the ending of this book so much that I gave it a 1 star. This is the only book that I gave a 1 star this year on Goodreads. The ending was like getting to the end of Harry Potter and having J. K. Rowling say – “HA HA, there is no Harry! and Voldemort was a robot and this is all a dream”.
I don’t think it made any logical sense at all and I was put off by the fact that the publishers pushed this book with promises of how you’d never see the plot coming. When your whole premise is built on surprising the reader at the end, you make some stupid plot decisions to get there. After I read this, I went on a long arse rant on twitter and told anyone who had any interest in reading the book to just message me and I’d tell them the ending and save them a couple of hours reading this book. That offer still stands.
Well those are our picks for the year, have you read any of the books? We’d love to hear your thoughts if you have. And if you haven’t let us know what your best and worst picks were.