Category Archives: Realistic Fiction

The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek

The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek

The Chocolate Cure is perfectly predictable. It’s a sweet story that ended up exactly how I wanted it to. The main character starts out a bit insufferable, but she evolves over the course of the book and ends up super nice. It’s a very enjoyable mind vacation. I recommend it to adults who enjoy fun, predictable brain candy.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 21
Pages Read in 2022: 7550
Graphic Novels: 1

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Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

One minute you are reading about something that happened decades ago on a Caribbean island, the next you are reading about a woman who grew up in England now living in Italy, and the next you are reading about siblings coming to terms with their mother’s death and details of her life they never knew. Amazingly, it was never confusing, was truly effective, and, really, was just the way I tell a story. The characters were very well developed and realistic. From about halfway through I barely put it down because I wanted to know the rest of the story. It’s a bit heavy, but not overly so. I enjoyed it so much and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good book about family dynamics and secrets.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 17
Pages Read in 2022: 6475

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Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

Be More Chill takes everything wrong with a small segment of high school boys and glorifies all of it. The end isn’t so bad and is basically its one redeeming quality (saving it from being a one star book). The premise is ridiculous. The behavior of everyone with a squip is ridiculous. It’s just overall extremely ridiculous. This is a book to skip.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 11
Pages Read in 2022: 3800

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Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia by Michal Viewegh

Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia by Michal Viewegh

This book is just plain terrible. It’s fiction written as a memoir. There’s a lot of stream of consciousness drivel with random quotes thrown in that usually have no discernable purpose but to pad out the rather short book to make it longer. The book is mostly about an older, married teacher having an affair with a 20-year-old. He never feels remorse, never finds it inappropriate. He’s only upset when she ends it. This is definitely one to skip.

1 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 7
Pages Read in 2022: 2336

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I very much enjoyed What Alice Forgot. As I read it, I found myself imagining what it would be like to lose ten years of memories and wondering how I have changed in that amount of time and whether I’d recognize my life as my own (answers: absolutely insane, probably a lot, probably not even sorta). I thought how she got her memories back a little bit at a time in snippets and later in a rush and mostly related to sounds and smells felt very realistic. I didn’t love some of how it was wrapping up, but it was acceptable, just not what I had been rooting for, and I still would’ve rated the book the same, but the epilogue made it all perfect for me. I especially liked how when things needed to be explained that didn’t involve Alice or involved things she had no memory of, it switched to Elisabeth journaling as homework for her therapist or Frannie writing to her friend. That allowed me to get to know those characters better and to understand what people meant when talking to Alice about things that had happened in the last ten years. I highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy contemporary fiction.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 4
Pages Read in 2022: 1232

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Spilled Milk by KL Randis

Spilled Milk by KL Randis

Spilled Milk is a fictionalized memoir. The events that happened to the main character happened to the author. She blurred some of the line between fiction and nonfiction when it comes to some of the other people, particularly her siblings, due to being at different points in their healing from their father’s abuse. Writing this way also puts a little more space between the author and all the heavy things she went through. Sometimes it seems like she was just telling random stories but each one is included for a purpose to really give a good view of what was going on in her home and life. It reads super fast. I finished it in two days; I had trouble putting it down. It really shows how the same situation can affect people very differently. It also explains very well why some kids don’t tell anyone, or try to but aren’t understood, when they are in a very hard place. I could see elements of friends’ stories in hers so it rang very true. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has anything to do with children was have been abused, or were abused themselves, with a huge trigger warning for sexual and physical abuse.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 3
Pages Read in 2022: 739

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Take a Load Off, Mona Jamborski

Take a Load Off, Mona Jamborski by Joanna Franklin Bell

The beginning of the book, where Mona is explaining she just decided three years ago not to leave her house anymore because of her extremely high weight, is pretty heartbreaking, especially since there are people out there in her very situation. The development of her relationship with Moises and then with Hallie is fun and unique, particularly due to the wide age gap between them. While the book did address some of the mental health and self-esteem issues Mona experienced, I don’t think it went into them enough as it seemed like Mona had her breakthrough and healing way too easily. Pointing out that she knew the “rules” of eating healthy already and knew that she was morbidly obese because she disregarded those rules is pretty spot on, however. I liked the conversational (and sometimes a little bit combative which seemed just right for the character) tone. The book is written by Mona to the reader. I recommend this book to people who enjoy women’s fiction, especially those who have struggled with their weight.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 2
Pages Read in 2022: 493

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Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

I’m not sure why books about depressed old people looking back on their lives are so popular. They are really quite dreadful and Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk is no exception. I didn’t find it inspiring or even very interesting. I liked how the chapters alternated between what she was doing New Year’s Eve 1984 and her remembering what happened in the past. Unfortunately, I found Lillian to be exceedingly annoying and full of herself and so didn’t enjoy reading the book much at all. I don’t recommend it to anyone.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 90
Pages Read in 2021: 29,103

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The Magic of Christmas Tree Farm by Erin Green

The Magic of Christmas Tree Farm by Erin Green

This book reads fast in spite of the length. It rotates between three characters’ points of view. I found one of those characters to be very annoying. She left her husband and son at the beginning of the year, had lots of fun, and then at the end of the year decided she wanted her ex-husband back – after he finally started to move on. She was pretty obnoxious toward him and totally in denial that leaving her family negatively affected her son so I was kind of hoping he’d kick her to the curb. I didn’t dislike reading the sections from her point of view since I liked her ex-husband and son, but I was constantly rolling my eyes at her. All three characters’ lives end up intersecting and, like any good Hallmark Christmas movie (which this really was just in book form), the ending was totally perfect and happy. I recommend The Magic of Christmas Tree Farm to anyone who wants a happy little mind vacation.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 75
Pages Read in 2021: 24,424

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Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman

Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman

This book has a predictable best friends start fake dating which turns into real dating arc, but that’s all that’s predictable. The entire last half of the book it seemed like everything could be tied up into a happy ending at any time, but the author just kept throwing curveballs at the characters. The feelings were well-written and the characters were interesting. I very much cared what happened to all of them. The ending was perfect and just what I was hoping for. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys cheesy light high school romance.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 73
Pages Read in 2021: 23,595

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