Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 1-9-24
Adult - Contemporary

Red String Theory- Lauren Kung Jessen: Ever since Rooney Gao was young, she's believed in fate. She thinks it plays a hand in everything, and influences all her decisions, from work to her personal life. Rooney also believes in the Chinese myth that a red string ties everyone to their true love. This has been such an important part of her life that she based her art career around it. But Rooney finds herself creatively blocked after spending one perfect night with a stranger she never hears from again. Jack Liu believes in facts and would never leave anything up to chance. He believes that everyone has a choice in what happens to them. When the pair unexpectedly reunite and have to work together, Rooney opens his eyes to new possibilities. But can Rooney convince Jack to take a chance on fate?

I love the legend of the red string of fate. I like the idea that everyone is tied together with their true love. It's sweet, and that's what this book was. Rooney and Jack were so different from one another. Rooney is bubbly and believes in signs, whereas Jack is more straight-laced and analytical. Still, they complemented each other so well. They each had their way of seeing the world, and I loved seeing them share that. It was also fun seeing Rooney break Jack out of his shell. The discussions around art and science were also interesting. My only complaint was that the pacing needed to be faster. Other than that, I thought this was a delightfully wholesome read.

Rating: 3.5/5

Pub Date: 1-16-24
Adult - Thriller

The Fury- Alex Michaelides: Lana Farrar was once a famous actress, but would now rather spend her time walking the Thames than standing in front of a camera. Lana is content with her quiet life. She has a loving son, a devoted husband, and a small circle of close friends. Or so she thought. When Lana discovers some unpleasant news, she invites her friends to her private island in Greece under the guise of a relaxing retreat. But tensions quickly rise, pitting friend against friend, lover against lover, and come morning, one of the group will be dead. But who pulled the trigger and why?

I find myself in the middle of the road regarding Michaelides's work. I enjoyed one of his books and thought the other was just okay, so I wasn't sure where I'd fall with this one. I'm leaning more towards the latter. My problem with his writing is that he tries too hard to be clever, making me hate every single one of his characters, and this one was no exception. I couldn't stand anyone in this. Our narrator, Elliot, is one of the most pompous characters I've ever read from. He dangles every bit of information in front of you like a horse with a carrot. The entire narrative also gave me Clue vibes in that we'd read a scene, and then it would be like, 'Well, that's how it could've gone, but he's what actually happened.' I understood the vibe Michaelides was going for, but I found it so frustrating. I still found the story intriguing and appreciated how psychologically twisted it was. I had an idea of how it would end but wasn't sure how it would get there. I think if you're a fan of his work, you'll enjoy this, but the narrative style didn't fully work for me.

Rating: 3/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 10-31-23
Adult - Historical Fiction

The Reformatory- Tananarive Due: It's 1950 in Florida, and twelve-year-old Robbie Stephens, Jr has just been sentenced to six months at the Gracetown School for Boys for kicking the son of a wealthy landowner who was harassing his sister, Gloria. Gracetown is supposed to be a reform school, but everyone knows of its notorious reputation. It doesn't take long for Gloria to realize her brother got sent there to get back at her family, especially her father, and she's determined to do whatever it takes to save her brother. Meanwhile, Robbie is fighting to withstand the horrors of Gracetown while being haunted by the ghosts of its past, and it'll take everything in him to learn how to survive.

I saw this on many people's Best of 2023 lists, so I knew I had to check it out, and wow. It deserves all the praise and more. It was such a dark and harrowing read. I didn't realize until the Author's Note that it's based on a real place and events that happened to one of Due's family members. It made the story that much more impactful and heartbreaking. I think the mash-up of horror and historical fiction was so effective. You could feel the tension building throughout the entire thing. Due crafted a story that needed to be told. She never sugarcoated the evilness that lies in humanity, or the fear and desperation so many face. I think it's such an important and eye-opening read and one I'll be recommending for a long time.

Rating: 4/5


  1. The Reformatory sounds right up my alley!!


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