June 2021 Mini Reviews

 Mother for Dinner by Shalom Auslander
Published: 4th February 2021 by Picador
I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way affects my review.

The premise of this book was too intriguing for me not to request it and give it a go! At first, it was a bit difficult to wrap my head around as you are thrown straight into the story and Seventh's relationship with his mother, Mudd, but the family dynamic does reveal itself after a while. A lot of aspects of Mother for Dinner reminded me of The Umbrella Academy, such as the numbering of the children instead of names, and the estranged family coming together after a long period of time due to the death of the head of the family. I did enjoy the concept, with its interesting family dynamic and Mudd's specific desire to have 12 boys, as well as the interspersing of old childhood memories and the Cannibals' 'origin story' into America. I do think that the pacing of the story towards the end sped up too much, and ended up not having as much of an impact towards the end as I feel it could have. Considering the controversial subject matter, I would have liked to be more engrossed.
3 stars

The Dressmaker of Paris by Georgia Kaufmann
Published: 4th February 2021 by Hodder & Stoughton
I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way affects my review.

This one was unfortunately a bit of a let down for me. I was intrigued by the premise of Paris, and the dressmaking protagonist. However, I feel as though Rosa's career in fashion was only a brief part of her story, and personally what I found to be the most interesting. I would have loved to read more about her time in Paris under Dior, but the focus was instead on Rosa's various relationships with men who all seem to inevitably die before her. I did enjoy the writing style but as I grew disinterested with the story, I also did with the writing to a point. I liked the memoir-style of the book, as well as how it takes us right from the beginning of her life, but I do think it made it feel a bit dense too. Rosa's story is very traumatic, but harrowing, and I do think Kaufmann portrays her struggle well. I really wanted to like this book, but I think the density of it and the fact that it unfortunately focuses more on Rosa's failed relationships than herself, meant it fell flat for me.
2 stars

Published: 4th February 2021 by Little, Brown
I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way affects my review.

I thought the premise of this one sounded really interesting, with a unique take on the opposites-attract trope, in Eve remembering everything and Adam remembering nothing. However, almost immediately I realised that I much preferred Eve's POV to Rachel's, and although some of the information coming from her was needed, I found myself trying to get through her portions as quickly as possible. I do think the story still could have been told without the book being split in half with her perspective, as I think her discovering what really happened seemed dragged out across the majority of the book when it didn't need to be. I also unfortunately didn't find myself interested in any sort of budding romance between 'Adam' and Eve; I didn't think it was needed for the story, and it seemed constructed for the sole purpose of being able to sell the book as a romance with a happy ending. The story did pick up a bit at the end with the little twist, but it didn't feel like enough to fully redeem itself.
3 stars

Love Letters from Paris by Nicolas Barreau
Published: 9th February 2021 by Little, Brown
I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way affects my review.

I don't know what it is about the books I read in June, but all of them seemed to fall a bit flat for me. I was really in the mood for a sweet romance, and the title of this seemed like just what I wanted! However, this started off a bit more like a P.S. I Love You kind of story, which maybe I just couldn't fully embrace. However, I also felt as though there wasn't much of a strong plot going on, and what was happening in Julien's life, I wasn't really interested in. I personally wasn't a fan of his romantic developments within the story, and I felt it was almost unnecessary, but being used in order to bulk up the story. I did enjoy the writing style but Love Letters fro Paris ended up losing my full focus towards the end of the novel, and I found myself skimming through to reach the end. It was a perfectly fine book, but I couldn't tell you anything I really loved about it. I would potentially read something else from Barreau if the subject matter interested me more.
3 stars


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