Tag: 1 star

Book Review: Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

Five Total Strangers
Author: Natalie D. Richards

Published: October 6, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 14-17, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 1 star

Book Description:

A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster.

When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight.

As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she’s stuck in the car with don’t actually know one another.

Soon, they’re not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.

Jessica’s Review:

Five Total Strangers shows the stupidity and drama of young adults and why car companies don’t tend to rent cars to people under age 25!  Mira is a high schooler flying alone trying to get home for Christmas.  Her plane lands as a huge blizzard is set to hit the area.  With her anxiousness to get home, Mira decides to catch a ride with her flight seatmate Harper and friends.  But things are actually far from what they appear…As everyone in the car are actually strangers to each other and someone is up to no good!

The whole novel is in the car with few stops and the drama that continues.  The group faces wreck after wreck as the weather worsens and their phones start dying and things start disappearing.

This is a novel that shows that having common sense works; Don’t go out in weather that is going downhill fast with complete strangers as you could be risking your life in multiple ways.  Unfortunately, most people (including all of our characters) do not have common sense these days, but then we would not have this novel if Mira did!

The novel just did not work for me as we arrived to the climax and found out the responsible party. It came too much out of left field and there were also some outstanding questions left at the end.  These characters were not sympathetic at all, so I did not care what happened to them.  I have been lucky in the past that most of the YA/NA (Young Adult/ New Adult) books I have read have not had the overbearing drama that this novel did, otherwise I would not be able to read YA/NA!

Unfortunately, this is not a novel I can recommend.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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

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#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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