fulfilling my 2020 goal to read (at least) one book each month that i bought in hardcover and put off reading long enough that it is now in paperback.
i have not written a drunk book review in a long time, because i barely ever drink anymore, but what else are you gonna do during quarantine, yeah? bring on ONE HUNDRED BEERS OF SOLITUDE!!
mmkay, so this is the third book i have read from these two authors and i have two things to say about ‘em:
all of their books, despite differences in overall quality, plausibility, and predictability, have been consistently page-turnery and have sucked me in like vanilla pudding-quicksand.
BECAUSE they are such COMPULSIVELY READABLE books perfect for self-care world-ignoring single-sitting GORGING sessions, i do NOT need to be buying these puppies in hardcover. and i’ll lay off the shouting, sorry.
i had ARCs of The Wife Between Us and You Are Not Alone, but i bought this one with my own 25+ dollars of money and that is a SILLY amount of money for someone with so little money to pay for a few hours’ worth of diversion.
**related side note to book world: hire me for $$$! i have excellent readers’ advisory training/book concierge skills, i am almost always sober, i’m great with book matches, and i can curate book lists like these i did for free!**
i have also written thousands of reviews on here for free, and someday i should take a hard look at these choices, but for now i’ll get back to this free review.
this book is FINE. like all of their books, it’s not trashy, but it’s not lasting, either—it can easily be read in a day, quarantine or no quarantine, there are some twists that land and and some that don’t, and it doesn’t do anything revolutionary, but it’s a solidly enjoyable read.
as far as their oeuvre, they all have pros and cons, but they all three legitimately sucked me in. here’s what’s up—i have not had much in the way of concentration lately—i try to read and my mind wanders, i flit from task to task, i look at stuff online that makes me feel bad and scared, etc, but i read this one during full-on NY pause and i read You Are Not Alone when much of NYC was paused but i was still commuting into the city for my retail job and fretting about what that meant for me and my health, and both books hooked me and kept me invested and they were a comforting distraction-balm from everything. even though i had intellectual problems with both of them, they were exactly what i needed. and that hasn’t been true of OTHER similarly styled books i’ve read during all of this. so i know that whatever they write next, i can count on it to be a sink-into-it diversion, and that’s no small compliment—those are necessary and—i am finding—not as common as you’d think.
of the three, this is probably my least-fave, but not a dislike. things that might annoy you in this book—the chapters skip between jessica’s and dr. shields’ POV, and dr. shields, for some reason, is fond both of second person AND passive voice, so all of her chapters will have interior parts that are addressed to “you,” meaning jessica, but also action parts recounted awkwardly, where everything is He is welcomed inside…A hand is placed on his arm. He is offered a warm drink. which would be fine if the whole thing were written like detached case notes, but then there’ll be swathes of faithfully rendered dialogue and it clangs a bit, her transcribing naturally flowing dialogue and offsetting it with stilted passive voice all wrapped up in a cocoon of you.<—“cocoon of you” should be the name of a jonathan carroll short story. unrelated—someone told me that your quarantine name is the last thing you ate plus your high school mascot and i am chocolate-covered marshmallow egg lion. which also sounds like a wuzzle.
the crux <— is that the right word? i don’t think it is but it’ll do, of this book is basically: wealthy asshole toys with woman struggling to make ends meet in a sort of ethical “dance for me, pauper!” role. which, being a struggler, is both shitty to read about but also food for thought and YES, if no one wants to hire me for my ample book-related skills, i’ll be the jessica in ur transactional relationship please and thank you.
i don’t know if any of this has been the least bit helpful or coherent, but what i have learned is that these authors fill a very specific need in my reading life, so—gratitude, but next time i will pray for an arc, and if that doesn’t manifest, i will either be a patient chocolate-covered marshmallow egg lion and wait for the paperback release, or be even smarter and thriftier and use my library card.
i’m sorry i wrote so many words and none of them were useful.