1 Mar 2018

book reviews: the other woman by laura wilson, here we are now by jasmine warga and you'll grow out of it by jessi klein

Here are a few reviews of books I read over the last few months.


The Other Woman by Laura Wilson

"Shortly after Christmas, a message arrives at Sophie's house, scrawled across her own round robin newsletter: HE'S GOING TO LEAVE YOU. LET'S SEE HOW SMUG YOU ARE THEN, YOU STUPID BITCH. Perhaps she should ignore it, but she ignored the last one. And the one before that. Now it's time to take action. 

 But when a simple plan to identify and confront the other woman goes drastically and violently wrong, Sophie must go to extreme lengths to keep her life and her family together - while never letting on her devastating secret."

Being a huge fan of thriller novels, the blurb for The Other Woman by Laura Wilson promised a plot that would have left me on the edge of my seat. It starts with these sinister notes that are scrawled on a yearly festive family newsletter. The protagonist is a wife and mother of three kids. Her husband lives away from home, in London where he works, during the week - the perfect setting for some paranoia and suspicions about his fidelity. 

However, when the twist occurs, I find it all a bit farfetched and a bit unbelievable. She confronts 'the other woman' and this sets her off into a spiral of weird and wacky actions. And then a further twist happens and I didn't know whether it was intended to make the reader laugh or in awe. 

The ending left me feeling a bit unsatisfied. What was the premise for a great novel seemed a little underwhelming and a little forced at points. Laura Wilson is a great writer though and it wasn't badly written. The plot was just a little...bizarre and one that I couldn't decide if it was meant to be humorous or serious. 6.5/10

Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

My previous Jasmine Warga review was of My Heart and Other Black Holes and it was a novel I really did love so I had high hopes for this one.

"Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she'd ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense - kinda - because it turns out Julian Oliver is Taliah's father... 

When Julian asks her to go with him to his hometown to meet the family she has never known, Taliah embarks on a three-day voyage of discovery - of her father, of the past her mother has never shared with her, and of herself."

Here We Are Now did not disappoint. During this novel, you come to understand what each of the characters went through and the emotional struggles each of them dealt with. Taliah and her struggle with why she did not have a father growing up, Taliah's mum (Lena) who made the tough decision of bringing up Taliah alone and Julian with his struggles with his own father and the love he had for Lena.

This novel is extremely easy to read and identify with and for me, I do feel there will be something in there that most readers will identify with. Mine is a bit too personal to share but Jasmine Warga remains a writer firmly on my 'to keep an eye on' list. I can't wait for her future offerings. 8/10

You'll Grow Out Of It by Jessi Klein

As both a tomboy and a late bloomer, comedian Jessi Klein grew up feeling more like an outsider than a participant in the rites of modern femininity. 

In YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT, Klein offers-through an incisive collection of real-life stories-a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on a variety of topics she has experienced along her strange journey to womanhood and beyond. These include her "transformation from Pippi Longstocking-esque tomboy to are-you-a-lesbian-or-what tom man," attempting to find watchable porn, and identifying the difference between being called "ma'am" and "miss" ("Miss sounds like you weigh ninety-nine pounds"). Raw, relatable, and consistently hilarious, YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT is a one-of-a-kind book by a singular and irresistible comic voice.

This book promised a lot of humour and it did, mostly, deliver on this front. It is a collection of stories from the life of Jessi Klein - stories that are mostly humorous rather than serious. And the stories are pretty random!

This is a nice read if you're after something light that may give you a laugh or two per chapter. A solid 6/10

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