Wednesday, September 2, 2020

DNF Chronicles #2: Grown Ups by Emma Jane Unsworth

About the Book

Grown Ups by Emma Jane Unsworth
Published by Gallery/Scout Press on August 18, 2020

GoodReads Description

Fleabag meets Conversations with Friends in this brutally honest, observant, original novel about a woman going through a breakup…but really having more of a breakdown.

Jenny McLaine’s life is falling apart. Her friendships are flagging. Her body has failed her. She’s just lost her column at The Foof because she isn’t the fierce voice new feminism needs. Her ex has gotten together with another woman. And worst of all: Jenny’s mother is about to move in. Having left home at eighteen to remake herself as a self-sufficient millennial, Jenny is now in her thirties and nothing is as she thought it would be. Least of all adulthood.

Told in live-wire prose, texts, emails, script dialogue, and social media messages, Grown Ups is a neurotic dramedy of 21st-century manners for the digital age. It reckons with what it means to exist in a woman’s body: to sing and dance and work and mother and sparkle and equalize and not complain and be beautiful and love your imperfections and stay strong and show your vulnerability and bake and box…

But, despite our impossible expectations of women, Emma Jane Unsworth never lets Jenny off the hook. Jenny’s life is falling apart at her own hands and whether or not she has help from her mother or her friends, Jenny is the only one who will be able to pick up the pieces and learn how to, more or less, grow up. Or will she?

I didn't like this book because...

  1. I was absolutely annoyed by the main character after the first chapter.  I found her rather dull and unintelligent.
  2. I believe that there is much more to women in their thirties than this book represents.  I felt like it paints a bleak picture of what young girls have to look forward to.
  3. Unsworth tries desperately to be funny.  Unfortunately, I felt like this fell short of its mark.  

To maintain complete honesty, there is a good chance that all three of my reasons for disliking this book change/improve over the course of the novel.  I was so frustrated and annoyed by Jenny, however, that I did not read past the 30th page.

In the future...

I would be interested to read other books by this author, but I will never be interested in reading this one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Three Reasons You Should Read The Hilarious World of Depression by John Moe

About the Book

Published on May 5, 2020 by St. Martins Press

GoodReads Description

For years John Moe, critically-acclaimed public radio personality and host of The Hilarious World of Depression podcast, struggled with depression; it plagued his family and claimed the life of his brother in 2007. As Moe came to terms with his own illness, he began to see similar patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms surfacing in conversations with others, including high-profile comedians who'd struggled with the disease. Moe saw that there was tremendous comfort and community in open dialogue about these shared experiences and that humor had a unique power. Thus was born the podcast The Hilarious World of Depression.

Inspired by the immediate success of the podcast, Moe has written a remarkable investigation of the disease, part memoir of his own journey, part treasure trove of laugh-out-loud stories and insights drawn from years of interviews with some of the most brilliant minds facing similar challenges. Throughout the course of this powerful narrative, depression's universal themes come to light, among them, struggles with identity, lack of understanding of the symptoms, the challenges of work-life, self-medicating, the fallout of the disease in the lives of our loved ones, the tragedy of suicide, and the hereditary aspects of the disease.

The Hilarious World of Depression illuminates depression in an entirely fresh and inspiring way.

Three Reasons Why...

  1. When I first saw this book, I knew that I needed to read it.  It is far too easy for people to think that those who struggle with depression or other mental health issues can just "get over it" because it is "all in their heads."  This is most definitely not the case!  Moe does a terrific job not only explaining that, but giving a "typical" individual insight into the mind of a depressed individual.  This book is eye opening and enlightening.
  2. More importantly, this book is here for people who DO struggle with depression.  It finally provides the necessary understanding that these people are not alone.  For many, this can mean showing a loved one what it is really like in their brain during the darkest and deepest depths of depression.
  3. In addition to helping people and bridging the gaps between those who struggle with depression and those who don't, this book is a memoir.  It provides you with an inspiring story about a man who goes through some very difficult things to become a person he is proud of.  This book outlines his time in crappy jobs, awful moments, success, and happiness.  

My Rating

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Three Reasons I Love A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

About the Book

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Published in August 1996 by Bantam

GoodReads Description

Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.


Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

My Three Reasons

  1. The complexity of this novel absolutely blew me away!  I caught myself waiting impatiently for the next installment of each story arc.  There was never a dull moment.  I even caught myself reading faster and faster to find out more about each character as quickly as I possibly could.  I will definitely need to go back and read this one again to make sure that I have devoured every detail, but I loved that I could not put this book down.
  2. Daenerys is my absolute favorite character in the series so far.  I loved that she started as a weak and terrified thing who truly grew into herself as a leader.  After her growth period, when times got tough, she gave them hell!
  3. It would be far too simple for Martin to focus only on the serious wartime aspects in this novel.  He chooses not to.  We are rewarded with humor and family and all of the other things that make us human.

My Rating