Tag: 1 star

Book Review: U Up? by Catie Disabato

U Up?
Author: Catie Disabato
Published: February 2, 2021
302 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 28-April 3, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 1 star

Book Description:

Eve has a carefully curated online life, works occasionally, and texts constantly with her best friend, Ezra. Basically, she is an archetypal L.A. millennial. She has also been carrying on a year-long conversation with her deceased friend Miggy over text. But when Ezra goes missing on the anniversary weekend of Miggy’s death, Eve feels like her world is shattering.

Over a frantic weekend Eve investigates Ezra’s disappearance, scouring social media for clues, while drowning her anger and anxiety in drinks, drugs, and spiritual cleansing. Eve starts to spiral as her friends try to convince her that she’s overreacting, and ghosts–both real and metaphorical–continue to haunt her. When she uncovers clues to a life Ezra kept hidden, Eve starts to question how much she really knows about her best friend… and herself.

In U UP? Catie Disabato holds a mirror to the ways the phantom selves we create online permeate our emotional lives and hide our worst traits from everyone, including ourselves.

Jessica’s Review:

I am not the target reader for this novel, in fact this one did not work for me at all. I received a copy from Amazon Vine for review, otherwise I would have put it down much earlier than I did. When sent something from the Vine, yes you must review it. Yes, I did ultimately DNF this one, with just 50 pages left which I will go into that later.

Eve is our narrator and speaks to us directly in addition to texting her friends which include Miggy who is a ghost. Yes, an actual ghost. He committed suicide, and we are at the one year weekend anniversary of his death and Eve is experiencing a variety of emotions. And then her best friend Ezra disappears after his girlfriend Noz breaks up with him. So goes Eve’s search for finding Ezra. Sounds interesting right? Yes, but the delivery of this novel did not work for me at all.

Eve is very unlikable; she and her friends use offensive language (The f word) and cocaine throughout the novel. She also uses the word d*ke repeatedly describing herself and other lesbians. This is a world I am not a part of and maybe it is ok to call yourself and others this word, but I just did not agree with the constant usage of it. And yes, Eve is a lesbian herself. I did not know going in to the novel that she is, and I did not have an issue with that, but we do go into that world of nightclubs and more. There are female on female sex scenes as well.

Another issue I had with the novel was with the text messages. The messages start and then a few pages later the messages continue but previous texts are shown again. The length of the novel could have gone down with just continuing the message stream versus repeating the texts.

The novel does go into showing how the excessive use of social media can affect a person. I do realize that we are at the anniversary of Miggy’s death, which brings up a variety of emotions and Eve’s grief, but Eve just comes off as shallow, so I did not connect with her character at all.

Once we find out what happens to Ezra is where I ended up DNFing the novel. There was just so much anger and more going on that at that point with just 50 pages left I just did not care about the ending and could not bring myself to read anymore. I was hoping in some way the novel would redeem itself. Maybe it does, but I just could not finish it. As I previously mentioned this one would have been put down much earlier, but I have to review it since it came from Amazon Vine, and I hate that it is a negative review.

All books are not for everyone and this one is not for me. I cannot recommend this one at all.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

#Single: Dating in the 21st Century

#single: Dating in the 21st Century
‘Author’: Lost the Plot

Published: November 1, 2018
170 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: January 2, 2019

Jessica’s Rating: 1 star

Book Description:
A collection of online dating conversations.

From bad pick-up lines to death threats and awkward sex-capades #single is a hilarious snapshot of some of the most ridiculous real-life online dating conversations.

This book is a must read if you match any of the below criteria:

– You are currently online dating
– You have online dated
– You will online date in your future
– You are a smug couple
– You worry your child is a spinster/bachelor for life
– You like to laugh
– You are a Jewish mother
– You like to breathe and live and stuff

Is it a perfect match? Swipe right (okay, click) and add it to your shopping cart.

Jessica’s Review:

#Single is a very quick read.  There is no introduction to the ‘book’ it just starts with ‘conversations’ and you as the reader have to figure out what is going on. According to the Amazon book description this book is based off the website TinderTuesday.com and as I was researching for my review I found this: the site is not even active anymore- in fact you can purchase the domain name if you wanted!  I also saw there was a Facebook and Twitter page and neither one have been updated in over a year.  Why was this copy and paste conversations put together as a ‘book’ I have no idea.    

Now that is out of the way….  #single gives you an idea of what dating now is like.  And I can say these conversations are…entertaining to read.  I feel for the people that are the recipients of these messages. If you have online dated in the past you will get some entertainment from this book.

This is like a coffee table book of entertainment if you wanted to buy it, but I would not recommend.  This is one you may want to read while you are in a waiting room for a doctor’s appointment  or waiting for a movie to start.  There is nothing really to gain from this ‘book’.

#Single is not recommended.

Thank you to Pantera Press and Lost the Plot for granting me a review copy via NetGalley. I wish I could have given a positive review.

Purchase Link:
Amazon US

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Grist Mill Road

Author: Christopher J. Yates
Published: January 9, 2018
339 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 1-15, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 1 star

Book Description from Amazon:

The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah—are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again—with even more devastating results.

Here is a triple helix of a story structure, a sharp-edged love triangle complete with an Atonement style revelation. Character-driven, gorgeously written and wrenching, it exposes the poisonous resentments, sexual longings, and reservoirs of violence that roil just below the orderly surface of small town life.

Jessica’s Review:

Grist Mill Road was a book that was not a good fit for me.  The premise was strong and promised to be one I would not want to put down. In actuality, it was anything but that. I will try to review as best I can without giving away spoilers.

The opening shows the true horror of a crime that occurs that involves children.  Remember this fact. Our protagonists Patch, Hannah, and Matthew are a young ‘twelve’, thirteen, and an ‘older’ fourteen years old.  The crime is barbaric and it is described from the first line that you won’t forget.

There are two time periods in Grist Mill Road: 1982 and 2008.I found the 1982 time period more thought provoking than the 2008 time period. I also found myself losing interest in the middle of the novel. What kept me reading was wanting to find out the motive of this crime.  The crime is a very heinous one and ultimately not forgivable.  Yates tried to make us feel empathetic for the guilty party based on other things done to this person, but he was not successful.  I understood the pain the person felt, but I felt no empathy. The crime is too extreme and there was nothing redeeming in this novel for me.

There are many themes including secrets and trust which becomes very important in 2008. I felt like I did not get to know Hannah well in her narrations as the main focus seemed to be her partner.  I wanted to get to know more about Hannah.

The biggest difficulty for me with Grist Mill Road was the lack of quotation marks. They are not used in the entire book. This  made it difficult to distinguish who was talking. It became distracting for me.

I wanted to like this book, but sadly this was not the case. I would like to thank the publisher Picador for my copy I was granted. I wish I could give a positive review. I would be willing to give Yates another chance and read his first novel Black Chalk.

I would like to say that I love the cover of Grist Mill Road! It is perfect for this novel. It is so simplistic, yet accomplishes what it needs.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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