Wednesday, March 30, 2016

read | The Never-Open Desert Diner

I have pretty much no interest in trucking, and now I've read two books this year on the subject. First was The Quality of Silence, and now I'm reviewing The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson. The books have a similar vibe and element of suspense, though QoS is in Alaska while NODD is in the desert of Utah. This book is about Ben Jones, who delivers goods to people along an isolated highway. It shows his relationships with each of his weird customers, and he eventually stumbles on to a woman hiding from her husband. The plot unfolds from there. The story is fine. My main issue is with the main character. He comes across as a bit of a stalker early in the book. He's also adored by everyone, and since the book is in first person, it comes across as arrogance. His superior emotional capacity or whatever is summed up in a line - "There aren't many men who would take the risk you did in telling me how you felt." Ew. Can you feel the admiration? I do love the cover of this book, though some of the pages were randomly speckled and splotchy. Everything was legible, but there's still a quality control issue.
OK, now I'm about to enter spoiler territory. You've been warned. NODD is a decent story, though I don't think Ben's relationship with Claire is developed enough. Ben does say they have a special bond that makes them close, but that doesn't count. I don't really buy the whole cello plotline, but if you suspend your disbelief it's tolerable.

2 out of 5 stars

I received this boom from Blogging for Booms for this review.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

read | Wreck and Order

Wreck and Order by Hannah Tennant-Moore is a story about a woman who tries to find herself through different people and places. It wasn't what I expected, though when I reread the cover copy after I finished the book I realized it's actually a very accurate description. I really enjoyed the tone and writing style of this book. It's pretty bleak, but in a way that keeps you turning pages. And the writing is the perfect mix of straightforward and elaborate. There are some really great lines and descriptions in the book, but not so many that it's beating you over the head with them.

A good bit of this book takes place in Sri Lanka, which was a new experience for me since I'd never read anything in that setting before. I would say this novel seems like a dark version of Eat, Pray, Love. I haven't read Eat, Pray, Love, so this might be totally untrue, but it's the vibe I was getting.

The cover of this book is gorgeous. The fern pattern combined with the contrast in the title makes me think the publishers are trying to play off of the success of Fates and Furies, and while the books aren't too similar, I definitely think fans of one would like the other. I really enjoyed this read and look forward to more work by this author.

3.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.