In The Unlikely Event


In The Unlikely Event – Judy Blume /// Adult – Contemporary

Let me start by saying I love Judy Blume – I will never not love her. She is my queen. This book was classic Judy Blume, just not my favorite Judy Blume. 

The story is centered on a small community where over the course of the winter months, three planes crash. These events are based on Blume’s own childhood and I went into full on sleuth mode to research everything I could find about the accidents. The great thing about this book is while the story is fiction the details Blume gives about the planes crashing are all true, which I think adds positively to the book as we don’t have to suspend disbelief as it would take away from the character conflicts. We can just accept the bizarre accidents as true and concentrate on the other issues within the story.

While the story follows the lives of over half the town (eh), the protagonist is Miri Ammerman. As a 15 year old girl, she deals with all things teenage girls deal with, in typical Judy Blume fashion. She is trying to grow up while keeping everything around her the same in very realistic fashion. In these months Miri has her first real boyfriend (and love), navigates the dynamic of changing friendships, and deals with her mom navigating the world of adult romance more openly in front of her.

I loved this story and the majority of the characters. Even when I was annoyed and hated them I loved them. Except for Miri’s “lifelong” friend Natalie, who annoyed me throughout the entire story for reasons I don’t even understand, it was just something about her. I think because she was just such a little snot in my head and she turned me into my grandma being all disapproving of the youths. Everyone in Miri’s life had their flaws but they weren’t inherently bad, they were just real and this is what I love most about Judy Blume. She has a way of showing us that people will make mistakes and have their moments, but they can still be good in a non-cheesy / non-preachy way. Every character was just doing what they thought was best whether they just came up short or not.

As I talk about all the ways I loved the characters that was also what bothered me the most. There were so many of them. Every chapter was in a different Point of View and it was confusing in its spots. Also a new character would be introduced in one chapter then at the end of their chapter they would get on a plane and that would be it. In my opinion it was a way for us to feel more connected to the crash but the entire time I just kept thinking I want more Miri! I think the different POVs were incredibly disorienting as all of the “background” characters had the same voice so I gave up even trying to keep them separated. In my head they are now just Townsfolk.

Favorite Quotes

“But you don’t want your fears to limit your possibilities.”

“Life is a series of unlikely events, isn’t it? Hers certainly is. One unlikely event after another, adding up to a rich, complicated whole. And who knows what’s still to come?” 

Will I reread: Eh – probably not. However, I will own it because Judy Blume.

If you love Judy Blume you will like this book, but in the Judy Blume canon it’s a middle of the road book for me. Good but not great. I think this a very clear case of where my expectations were way too high. Had this been any other author I would have loved it more. I think from Judy Blume I just wanted / expected more.


Where’d You Go Bernadette


Where’d You Go Bernadette – Maria Semple /// Adult Contemporary

After talking to some friends, I’ve decided people are either going to love this book or hate it. I found no middle. Which is usually odd, especially in my friends group. So once again, being my nerdy self I dug into research mode. Maria Semple was a screenwriter for both Mad About You and Arrested Development. Knowing that, this book made more sense as it is definitely in that same quirky (I hate that word) taste. The humor was subtle and not annoying as when people try to hard to be funny in writing.

The book is epistolary which just always knocks the book down for me. I find it distracting and incredibly hard for the author to  pull off well. Maybe I’m being biased but whatevs, just not my scene. That being said, this story did flow well. So if you’re like me and hate reading letters you can probably at least make it through this one. I did and I am the queen of giving up on books.

There are certain plot points that require certain suspension of disbelief. So in that regard I would call it “eh” if you like plot driven narratives. This novel is very character driven and the characters are like-able so it is not hard to get sucked in to their world. Bernadette, who the novel is centered around from the point of view of her daughter, is seen by the outside world as an overly anxious, anti-social recluse. Her daughter understands her as merely someone who does not like people and does not even try. All of the people in Bernadette’s life, except her daughter, are the most “normal” yet the most satirical. Her husband, Elgie, is a top guy at Microsoft with a ton of little groupies following him around. Their neighbor, also a mother at her daughter’s school, is stereotypical one-percent yuppie mom.

If you need a strong plot to get you through a book, this is not for you. As much as I loved this book there were plot points even I didn’t like (to say would be to spoil) and things left unanswered at the end. It reads very much like a satirical soap opera and if you loved arrested development just imagine that humor without, sadly, Lucille.

ReRead? Definitely one day

Favorite Quotes

“Do you know how absolutely exotic it is that you haven’t been corrupted by fashion and pop culture? A month ago I mentioned Ben Stiller, and do you remember how you responded? ‘Who’s that?’ I loved you all over again.” 

“That’s right,’ she told the girls. ‘You are bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.”

“Can you believe the weather?’…’Actually, I CAN believe the weather. What I can’t believe is that I’m actually having a conversation about the weather.”

Final Thoughts? This book was a fun read. It was enjoyable and made me laugh at loud at all of the one-liners that didn’t feel forced. The characters developed from stereotypes into actual characters as Bernadette interacted with them. All together a lovely book that is totally worth it.

The Girl On The Train

The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins /// Adult Fiction -Thriller

I don’t even know where to start with this one. A lot of people loved it and I know people who loved it, I was not one of those people. I went into it wanting to love it, I loved Gone Girl after all and this was heralded as the next Gone Girl.

That should have been my first clue.

The story centers around 3 female narrators Rachel, Megan, and Anna. It begins with Rachel riding the train everyday and seeing “Jess and Jason,” her ideal perfect couple. Everyday as she rides passed their home she imagines what their perfect lives must be like. Then one day she see something in the split second she rides by that stays with her. When she discovers “Jess,” actually Megan, has gone missing she reports to the police what she saw and becomes entangled in the police investigation. Our third narrator, Anna, lives down the street from Megan and is now the wife of Rachel’s ex-husband. Their points of view all center around the before and after of Megan going missing. This structure helps to keep the reader engaged and constantly guessing as to who did the crime as new clues are revealed out of order and context.

I can see why people described it as the next Gone Girl or the Silent Wife, loved the former hated the latter. Maybe I went into it with too high of expectations, actually I know I did. Every twist I just thought of how it lacked in comparison to other mystery novels I love. The psychological thriller aspect was missing for me as I read the characters as very one dimensional. I can usually handle annoying and ‘hot mess” characters as long as they are still interesting. These characters struck me as one dimensional stereotypes. They almost fell into their roles and never progressed or developed in any meaningful way. There was the alcoholic, the free spirit, the wasp, and that never changed. They never deviated or progressed into more in my opinion, which I think would have been more interesting.

As much as I disliked this book, I had to finish it, which says a lot about Hawkins story telling ability. I skimmed the majority of the book because of the characters but the plot and mystery is what kept me going and made me at least want to see how it ended. If you’re looking for an easy summer mystery this works in a lot of ways. I guess I just went in expecting more.

Favorite Quotes

“I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.”

“I can’t do this, I can’t just be a wife. I don’t understand how anyone does it—there is literally nothing to do but wait. Wait for a man to come home and love you. Either that or look around for something to distract you.” 

Will I Reread? No, but that’s not saying much because I hardly ever reread mysteries in fear of ruining the book for me.

So I’m curious to hear what other people thought because I know I was in the minority of people who did not enjoy it. Did you like it? or like me, did you think it didn’t live up to the hype?

My First Post

Guys! It’s my first post. So this blog actually started last year as part of a class project. As much as i loved doing it I was busy and everything about the blog went to the back of my brain buried underneath my very busy post-grad life of applying for jobs and watching Gilmore Girls while eating mac’n’cheese in bed. Long story short, I switched from blogger to wordpress and here I am, trying my blog v.2

So please stick around and say Hi, a lot of my decision to do this about being able to talk about books with friends!