Category Archives: Book Review

Review: Crying in H Mart

Crying in H Mart

Crying in H Mart
By Michelle Zauner
Knopf, 9780525657743, April 2021, 256pp.

The Short of It:

If not for the food talk, I’m not sure I would have liked this one as much as I did.

The Rest of It:

What many of you may not know is that Crying in H Mart is a memoir.

In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother’s particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. ~ Indiebound

The relationship that Zauner and her mother shared was strained at best. Asian mothers are known to be critical and Zauner’s mom was certainly that, but she was also ill and dying and yet, the two were still like oil and water except for when it came to food. The food of Zauner’s childhood takes center stage here and there is comfort to be had as she takes the reader by the hand and walks them through the aisles of H Mart. Literally. I was so taken by the mention of those foods that I sought out an H Mart near me (35 miles away) so I could experience what she described in the book. Unfortunately, I visited the story in the evening so all the food stalls were closed. I did leave with some Korean snacks though for our book club meeting.

It was hard to have empathy for Zauner. She seemed a little bratty although she was a young adult when her mom was diagnosed with cancer. Her exasperation over her father’s handling of the diagnosis was difficult to read at times. People handle grief in different ways so her demanding him to react a certain way made for tense reading.

I do feel that she wrote this with a bit of space between herself and her story. At times she felt very disconnected from the story she was telling. Self-preservation? Perhaps. However, it kept me from getting fully invested in the story. I liked it, and felt she had something to say but not sure it came across as intended.

It was good for discussion though and the snacks were great.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Verity

Verity
Verity
By Colleen Hoover
Grand Central Publishing, 9781538724736, October 2021, 336pp.

The Short of It:

Now that I’ve read it, I can see why it received all the hype.

The Rest of It:

A popular author is unable to complete her bestselling book series after a life-changing accident. Her husband, searches for the perfect co-author to complete the series on Verity’s behalf. But in order to do the work, Lowen  must move into the Crawford’s house temporarily in order to have access to Verity’s many files. But she immediately regrets her decision.

This family has suffered numerous tragedies. The death of their daughter Chastin, and then the accidental drowning of her twin sister shortly thereafter. Leaving Jeremy to pull the pieces back together. Taking care of his wife day in and day out and trying to raise their son Crew proves to be a lot so a nurse is hired. But this brings no peace to Lowen as she observes this family.

Verity is always staring at her. She’s supposed to be beyond awareness, but Lowen doesn’t believe it. She believes that she might be exaggerating her injuries, but for what purpose? Plus, after spending days with Jeremy, seeing his pain, Lowen begins to fall for him which is a recipe for disaster.

This book was quite readable and hard to put down. It’s got a little bit of mystery and suspense going for it, and there are some racy bits which is why I caution my younger readers to skip this one until you are older. I can absolutely see why it’s so popular. It seems to have pulled me out of a reading slump.

Have you read it?

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.