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review 2019-02-16 15:04
This Should Either be 5 Stars or Negative 100
Her Closest Friend - Clare Boyd

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.


I have no words guys. I stayed up until 1 am finishing this book. It's engrossing because at times you can't believe how bad the writing and flow is. I kept reading because I was wondering if the character of Sophie was finally going to snap and take out her closest friend Naomi. And I was baffled at how dumb Naomi was about a lot of things. So I just sat back and enjoyed a so-so book. Then we get to the bonkers ending and my jaw dropped. I don't even know. I want to say Boyd is kind of brave for just going down a truly dark path and not backing away from it. A lot of times authors just don't lean in enough to where a plot is going IMHO. And Boyd goes there. If only the 2/3 of the book had those same smacks in the faces this would have been a very good thriller. 


"Her Closest Friend" is a siren warning to all of us women out there who have toxic friendships. You know what that is. The one friend who no matter what it seems can't help saying something cutting to you when you have something wonderful happen to you. The one that reminds you of the time you walked around for an hour at an party with your skirt tucked into your pantyhose. That one friend who always posts shitty pictures of you on Facebook and doesn't get why you are mad that she looks like she got a glow up in the same picture. 


Naomi and Sophie have been friends since they were 18. Now they are in their early 40s and are on different paths in their marriages. Naomi is happily married with two daughters. She has a successful blog (seriously authors, give the women in your books another job). The only fly in the ointment is her feeling like she is on suffrage when she is dealing with Sophie and her up and down mood swings. 

Sophie for her part is dealing with a failing marriage, an old grandfather who seems to speak in riddles and like vodka, and a son with eczema. Sorry, that last part was mentioned in the book a lot. Apparently it is a sin among many that a young boy can have. I don't know. 


We quickly realize that Sophie is off her freaking tree. She stalks Naomi and gets angry if she doesn't text her back right away. She is jealous of Naomi's perfect life and think that she owes her. We find out slowly (and in a mind numbing way) why Sophie feels this way. I had to call bullshit over the whole thing that Sophie is holding over Naomi's head though. It made zero sense why Naomi owed anything or was responsible. And I hated the book even taking the whole thing seriously. I always want to ask these women do they not know any lawyers to advise them?


The book just goes back and forth between both women. As Sophie keeps trying to cause Naomi harm in small and then big ways, you have Naomi just dealing with it and snapping at her husband and descending into a bottle. 


The two women's husbands in this one are not very developed. They were just there to either say something about the one woman or the other and in one case to worry constantly, but not do anything. 


The book moves back and forth between both their homes and other locations. Mostly though we have Sophie in her cottage and realizing that she also owns a big house that she won't move into.


The ending as I said was a shocker. I re-read it a few times to make sure that I got all of what Boyd was putting down. I thought the justification at the end was nonsense, but had to admire Boyd for going dark. 

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review 2019-02-03 03:43
Chrysanthemum By Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum - Kevin Henkes

This story is about a sweet little girl who is named after a beautiful flower. She grew to love her name. What could go wrong? Now that this little girl is in school, she has hated her name more and more. What will happen now that she is getting laughed at for her name and what will she think about her name in the end?  Lets all pick a new name out of this jar that I have written up. Each name is a flower and I want you all to research more about the flower that you drew. After we all have our information, create a name plate for your new name with different drawings and colors that make your flower extra special. 

Lexile Level: 570L

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review 2019-01-01 08:20
My Friend Dahmer
My Friend Dahmer - Derf Backderf

I read this for one of my summer classes. We had to read and annotate 10 comics/graphic novels. Here's the annotation I wrote for that class:


Before he was one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer was just a kid growing up in Ohio. In My Friend Dahmer, Backderf frankly examines his childhood friendship with Dahmer and events that led up to Dahmer’s first murder.


In the text, Backderf bolds certain words throughout the book. There seems to be no logic to the words he bolds. At the beginning, this style choice is distracting, and the purpose behind the emphasis on certain words never becomes clear. The artwork in the book is highly stylized, very cartoon-y and caricature-like. In the more explicit scenes, this works in the book’s favor. The style lets Backderf illustrate some of the more gruesome aspects of the story, such as the dead animals, while keeping the images from becoming too grotesque. There is also an interesting road motif throughout the book. It seems to emphasize the point that this story is not about Dahmer’s murders, but rather the path that leads to them. It shows that he was on this path for a long time.


My Friend Dahmer is an interesting read. With the current interest in true crime, there is no doubt that it will be a popular choice for a while. It does not seem like an essential title for all graphic novel collections, but it is a relatively new title and time will tell if it earns a place in the canon or not.

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review 2019-01-01 07:30
New American Best Friend
New American Best Friend - Olivia Gatwoo... New American Best Friend - Olivia Gatwood

The poems are better when performed, but the book is good too.

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review 2018-12-31 00:06
The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend's Sister by Meghan Quinn
The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend's Sister - Meghan Quinn


Am so tired of hearing people say that nice girls finish last. Meghan Quinn throws that adage right out the window with Julia. She's the girl that constantly gets overlooked, until the day somebody got caught looking back. It's love at first sight for golden boy Bram Scott, when he sees his best friend's sister for the first time. The guy with all the right moves, proceeded to fall flat on his face. Now that he finally has her in his sights, all bets are off. He knows what he wants and will use any means necessary to get it. Failure is not an option. He's playing for keeps. The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend's Sister uses humor to knock down stereotypes and deliver some valuable truths. Quinn is good at laughing her way right into a heart with her at times unconventional, but always irresistible characters.

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