Sweetbitter

sweetbitter

Sweetbitter by by Stephanie Danler

Adult – Contemporary

Published May 24th 2016 by Knopf

 

 

 

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Emmy & Oliver

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Emmy & Oliver – Robin Benway /// YA – Contemporary


Guys, this is the first YA I’ve read in a while and it reminded me why I need to branch out and read more than just my go to YA authors.  I picked this up expecting a cute romance and it was that, so yay ☺ but it was also about friendships and them changing as everyone deals with the fact that high school is ending and things will change, which I loved. I’m also a sucker for a good friendship story. 

Emmy & Oliver grew up as best friends until Oliver’s dad kidnapped him at age seven. He returns, perfectly healthy 10 years later, to once again live with his mom and her new family. Oliver’s story is obviously the most dramatic, but I found Emmy’s to be much more compelling. She, and her family and friends, all deal with Oliver’s absence and return in varying ways, which I found much more interesting. Especially Emmy’s parents grappling with how to loosen the severely tight leash they have placed on Emmy out of fear. Caroline and Drew, her other friends, try to stay true to themselves and continue their lives with this huge chasm.

Oliver and Emmy’s romance is slow to develop and I absolutely loved that. I hate when relationships just happen with no development because I find it incredibly fake. This story focused deeply on family relationships and friend relationships more than other pure love stories and I loved that. It’s easier to relate and love a character who has more than one thing going on in their lives than just a boy or just family drama.

My strongest critique, and not really critique as my much as what I personally didn’t like, was the overprotective parent trope. Maybe it’s just been recently, but the majority of books I’ve come across lately contain it, and I’m just tired of it. Yes, a lot of people love this, I just don’t happen to be one of them. I grew up with “normal” parents in terms of strictness. They let me test the waters growing up instead of making every choice for me and grounded me when necessary. So I guess on top of not relating to it, overprotectiveness just annoys me so I have a hard time sympathizing with characters in that storyline.

Favorite Quotes:

“The more you start to love someone, the more you ache when they’re gone, and maybe it’s that middle ground that hurts the most, when you can see them and still not feel like you’re near enough.” 

Will I reread this? Probably not. However, I plan on serial reading other Robin Benway books because I loved her writing…Any suggestions would be great ☺

This book was great, not my favorite, but I devoured it and still wanted more. I absolutely loved the romance and the focus on friendships evolving as they always do when you grow up and move on. This is definitely a book that lured me in with the romance but I stayed and fell in love with the friendship arcs.

In A Dark, Dark Wood

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In a Dark, Dark Wood – Ruth Ware /// Fiction – Mystery


I really don’t have a lot to say about this book. It was just okay as story goes and you can probably guess the whodunnit pretty quickly. I guessed it half-way through but it was still fun to see how the characters got to that point.

The story centers around Lenora, or Nora as she goes by now. She writes crime mystery novels and really only leaves her house to go on her daily run. She is what many would call a loner, well more a hermit, and she likes it that way. Out of the blue she gets an email inviting her to a hen/bachelorette party for a friend she has not spoken to since high school. Nora doesn’t consider going until she recognizes another name on the invitation list. The old friends decide to bite the bullet and go together. The party is hosted at a secluded cabin in the woods and mystery ensues. Well really some murder and a lot of adults acting like children. This story would have made more sense to me if it was teenagers in a cabin for a party or something to that effect, not adults who stopped maturing at age 14. I think talking specific behavior would be a spoiler so talk to me after you’ve read this.

The book was good, I was just hoping for more. The writing is what saved this for me. Specifically her setting of the atmosphere and scene. Really, for as quick of a read as this is, it is worth reading for the scenery description alone. I felt as if I was trapped in the cabin surrounded by only the woods and the snow along with the party goers. The claustrophobic feeling is something Nora struggles with the entire novel even before her time in the cabin and I felt that too. Because of Ruth Ware’s beautiful description I was able to relate to Lenora and understand her actions a little bit, sorta.

Favorite Quotes

“The night was drawing in, and the house felt more and more like a glass cage, blasting its light blindly out into the dusk, like a lantern in the dark. I imagined a thousand moths circling and shivering, drawn inexorably to its glow, only to perish against the cold inhospitable glass.”

ReRead?

No, but I don’t really read mysteries again anyway. This book is definitely for people who love an easy novel that doesn’t take much thought.