Showing posts from November 5, 2023

Death Valley by Melissa Broder: book review

Death Valley  by Melissa Broder Overview:  The narrator decides to take a trip to the desert to leave behind her problems in Los Angeles and maybe find some inspiration to write her next novel at a pleasingly bland Best Western off the highway. Instead, she finds a hiking trail and a magical cactus that gives her a portal through which to explore her grief about her father's time in the ICU and her struggle with her husband's worsening chronic illness. The desert offers both catharsis and peril as she spends a few days confronting life, death, and nature and reframing her perspective on life. Overall: 5 Characters: 5  Melissa Broder has such a strong and unique voice that it makes our narrator spring off the page. It's the kind of voice that justifies spending almost the whole book within one person's never ending inner monologue. She's all consuming, sharp, witty, and searingly honest. This book delivers exactly what no plot just vibes literary fiction is supposed

Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Guns: Book Review

Your Driver Is Waiting  by Priya Guns Overview:  Damani is still grappling with her father's unexpected death, her mother's debilitating grief, and the bills that won't stop coming. As a driver for RideShare, she sees her ride fees steadily diminishing, and the car that her father left her is only alive because her friend owns his own garage where he gives her free matinence. The only thing that keeps Damani going are her friends and the collectivist warehouse where the entire community comes together to help each other and dance off their bad days. Her life follows a steady rhythm of regular rides and caring for her mom until she meets Jolene, a girl she instantly falls head over heels for. As tension in the city rises, her friends turn to organizing, and her relationship with Jolene starts to threaten her entire world. Damani is standing in the center of a hurricane just trying to survive until she gets to the other side.  Overall: 3 Characters: 3.5  Damani has a clear vo

Family Meal by Bryan Washington: book review

Family Meal  by Bryan Washington Overview: Cam has been through hell. His boyfriend died a few months before, he lost his parents when he was kid in a fatal car crash, and he's estranged from his best friend who became his only family. Unsurprisingly, he falls on destructive coping mechanisms, drowning out the world with sex and drugs even as he gets out of LA and lands in Houston once again. We follow Cam, bouncing around between old friends and new and various jobs that have him confronting the past. Then we get to know TJ, the best friend, seeing Cam's post-rehab present as well as the past through his eyes. We also see certain moments refracted through Kai, Cam's boyfriend, speaking from beyond the grave. Raw nerves and determination come together in this novel that explores grief and found family. Overall: 4 Characters: 5 The characters are the point of the novel. And they're constructed from fragments and blatant emotion and a slow build of many tiny moments. This