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Contemporary Book Reviews

Find below the books we've reviewed in this genre.

Ali Hazelwood Goes Meta with Fake-Dating Trope in Her Debut, ‘The Love Hypothesis’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Sep 23rd, 2021 4:38 pm

Over and over, and in ways that she could never have anticipated, he had made her feel unjudged. Less alone. — Ali Hazelwood, The Love Hypothesis In Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis, all Olive is after, when she abruptly asks Dr. Adam Carlsen in the hallways of Stanford University if she can kiss him, is to give her friend Anh a chance at a happy ending. After going out on a lackluster date with Jeremy, the guy Anh likes, Anh is convinced that Olive must be in love with him and wishes to st...

Lori Gottlieb Documents Her Experience as Both Therapist and Patient
Reviewed By Maria Chance Oct 28th, 2020 10:35 pm

It’s impossible to get to know people deeply and not come to like them. -- Lori Gottlieb Not since reading Harry Potter, in my younger years, has a book made me simultaneously want to keep reading while also not wanting it to end. Still, in about three days, I managed to finish Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone 526 page, self-help-meets-memoir e-book, while also upping my screen time by 103%. (My iPhone was right on schedule that week to shame me. I wasn’t even finished with the...

Sally Rooney Nuances Human Connection and Relationships in ‘Normal People’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Dec 20th, 2020 6:52 pm

Most people go through their whole lives, without ever really feeling that close with anyone. — Sally Rooney In Sally Rooney’s Normal People we enter a plane in which the two main characters nor anything that happens to them is extraordinary, and yet they experience the most special connection of all, the kind of connection that we all dream about. Marianne’s family is wealthy and her temperament is of someone who cares very little and is unamused by the type of lives her peers at school lead....

Kate Elizabeth Russell’s ‘My Dark Vanessa’ Delves Into the Deeper Truth of Abuse Victims
Reviewed By Maria Chance Apr 28th, 2021 9:52 pm

Kate Elizabeth Russell does away with taboo in her debut, My Dark Vanessa. Many will likely label it “controversial.” But there are many reasons why everyone should read Russell’s novel depicting child abuse and pedophilia. When My Dark Vanessa begins, the year is 2017 and Vanessa Wyes is 32 years old. She’s obsessively checking a Facebook post where someone has come out denouncing Jacob Strane as a child molester — the same man that just over 15 years ago preyed on Vanessa when she attended Bro...

Laura Zigman’s Separation Anxiety Explores Unconventional Coping Mechanisms
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 13th, 2021 7:54 pm

Some children grow stronger in the broken places, like bones; others grow sadder. I did both. — Laura Zigman, Separation Anxiety When we begin Laura Zigman’s latest novel, Judy’s life is falling apart. She’s is 50 years old and living with her husband, Gary, even though they’re separated, because they can’t afford a divorce. He also struggles with debilitating anxiety which he treats with copious amounts of cannabis — more than he likely needs. Her 13-year-old son, Teddy, is pulling away from...

Andie J. Christopher’s ‘Hot Under His Collar’ Will Have You Eagerly Booking a One-way Trip to Hell in First Class
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 31st, 2021 8:57 pm

He hated himself for how she pulled his intention. For years, everything had been tugged in the direction of God and duty and church. Now, it was only Sasha. He worshipped at the altar of the dimple in her left cheek, prayed novenas to the curve of her mouth. Her angelic visage was his North Star, and frankly, it was fucked up.” — Andie J. Christopher, Hot Under His Collar Two things helped me decide I wanted to read Andie J. Christopher’s latest book when I saw it sitting there in all its bla...