Category Archives: Contemporary Fiction

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

I’m not a huge fan of the writing style of Anxious People. I usually enjoy books that jump around the timeline going into the past and back to the present multiple times, but this one does it without always making sense. It is often very ambiguous which actually is the most amazing thing about the book, but every so often it’s too ambiguous and seems like it is saying something it’s not. I really don’t care for books that go “There are two policemen. One is young and one is old. The old policeman did not want his son to become a policeman. The young policeman is the old policeman’s son.” like this one does. I just don’t like the sentence construction or that method of storytelling. The moral and ending were great. It really makes you think about the ripples we cause by every little action and how we affect others, for good or bad. Above all, this book reminds us that we are all connected and does it very creatively. I’ve concluded, though, that I’m just not a Fredrik Backman fan (this is the second book of his I’ve read and rated three stars). His books are just so-so to me. For people who like his books and writing style, Anxious People is a great choice.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 51
Pages Read in 2022: 18,501
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: Book Club

A Quiet Life in Bedlam by Patricia Bjornstad

A Quiet Life in Bedlam by Patricia Bjornstad

Reading A Quiet Life in Bedlam feels like listening to your grandma reminiscing about their life. Some of the stories are outlandish, some are sad, some are funny, some are shocking. I found myself wanting to give the narrator, Kate, a hug. She has a lovely self-deprecating sense of humor. Sprinkled throughout are bits of songs and a little commentary on the times (60s through early 70s). I was totally sucked in to the story and couldn’t wait to find out more about Kate’s life. It’s really well-written. I recommend this book to adult women.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 38
Pages Read in 2022: 13,641
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: Random Choice

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

There is no doubt the writing in Reminders of Him is beautiful. The romance is lovely. The ending is wrapped up in a perfect happy (albeit rather rushed) bow following lots of heartbreak and sadness and hope along the way. The way Ledger was so conflicted between whether he should hate or love Kenna and if he was betraying people he cared about by falling in love with her was written so incredibly well. I probably would’ve given this book 5 stars if I didn’t have experience with foster care, that’s how good it is. The thing is, I feel like the author did absolutely no research. The story would’ve been very different if she had. The way parental rights termination happened wasn’t accurate. The fact it wasn’t a CPS case even though she gave birth in jail was all wrong. Because her mother’s rights were terminated and the father was dead, Diem was technically parentless (meaning she would’ve been a ward of the state) so it seemed odd the grandparents hadn’t adopted her yet. A big deal was made about how her rights were terminated because her sentence was so incredibly long. She served 5 years and since she was in jail when the child was born, she got out when the kid was still just 4. That’s not an incredibly long sentence or a long time for the child to remain in kinship care with her grandparents, without rights being terminated, and have regular visitation with her mother. The way the nearly 5-year-old Diem accepted her biological mother without hesitation and seemed to attach to her super easily and instantly was meant to be heartwarming but instead just threw up all the red flags in my mind wondering if she had RAD (reactive attachment disorder) and at the very least disordered attachment (even though no other relationships in her life indicated she did). I spent so much time while reading it being annoyed by how wrong she got foster care, I just didn’t feel the intense feelings other readers talk about. I recommend the book to adults who enjoy emotional stories with lots of romance, but you might want to skip it if you have experience with foster care or you may just end up more annoyed than anything else.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 23
Pages Read in 2022: 8199
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: We Be Book'N, Romance