Tag Archives: Henry Holt and Company

Review: Apples Never Fall

Apples Never Fall

Apples Never Fall
By Liane Moriarty
Henry Holt and Co., 9781250220257, September 14, 2021, 480pp.

The Short of It:

There is nothing like a good Moriarty book to come home to.

The Rest of It:

Liane Moriarty became one of my favorite authors during the shutdown. Tensions were high, none of us knew how long it would go on for, and so I needed quick, absorbing reads to take me through the days and Moriarty checked all the boxes. I’ve read nearly all of her books, so when I saw that a new one was coming out, I was pretty thrilled to be offered a review copy.

The four Delaney children are adults now. When they were young, they all shared the spotlight because they were all tennis stars at some point in their childhood. Their parents ran a tennis training academy so to some degree, their parents expected greatness from them, but none of them had the drive to go all the way. But as adults, they still managed to become successful in their own way, just not on the court.

Stan and Joy are mostly happy but after a secret is revealed, one that goes back many years, Joy suddenly goes missing. Besides the random text she sent about going off the grid, her family hasn’t a clue where she’s gone off to. As the days and hours tick by, the Delaneys begin to wonder if she’s even alive. Especially after a detective finds a damning piece of evidence.

The four siblings begin to wonder if their father had it in him to actually harm their mother. Could he? Would he? Half say yes, the other half say no. As the investigation goes on, things become complicated when questions come up about their impromptu house guest, Savannah. She showed up on their doorstep after a fight with her boyfriend and the family immediately took her in. But Savannah’s story has a lot of holes in it and the siblings dig a little on their own to find out more about her and if she could be the reason for their mother’s disappearance.

If you love Moriarty, then you will enjoy Apples Never Fall as well but it’s different from her other books. It takes a little more time to get into the story and it reminded me a lot of Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Joy is kind of annoying. A little quirky but kind of clueless which will frustrate you as the story unfolds. This is the book I took with me on my flight to Missouri and I was noticing the person on my right trying to read over my shoulder. Can you blame her? The book doesn’t come out until 9/14. As a mystery, it did a good job of carrying me along. I wanted to know what happened to Joy and that kept me turning those pages. That said, the ending felt very tacked on. When you read it, you’ll see what I mean. Still…

Recommend.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Broken (In the Best Possible Way)

Broken

Broken (In the Best Possible Way)
By Jenny Lawson
Henry Holt and Co., 9781250077035, April 6, 2021, 304pp.

The Short of It:

I love a good laugh. It can fix many things and let’s face it, we haven’t been laughing too much this past year. If you want to use that muscle again, give this book a try.

The Rest of It:

I knew of Jenny Lawson, AKA “The Bloggess” from my early blogging days but I had never really followed her on any of the social media platforms and then I heard that she had written a book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I remember thinking, good for her. Then a few years later, another book, Furiously Happy. Both books did amazingly well. But they seemed to be humorous in nature and so I never got to them. I love a good laugh but a book of humorous things? Not really my thing.

Then, I was offered a review copy of Broken (In the Best Possible Way) and my memory of her came flooding back to me. Wait a second. She writes about mental illness and depression? After sneaking a few pages in while perusing the copy that was just sent to me, I immediately knew I would read it and I would probably enjoy it a lot. True and true.

Broken is a memoir told through stories. True stories of her struggle with mental illness, depression, and even her debilitating auto-immune disorder which she suffered greatly from until she found the right medication.

Lawson says out loud, what we only think internally.

She writes about many things, mostly awkward encounters with others including neighbors, postal employees, doctors, dentists, you name it. She talks about losing her shoes while wearing them. Yes, literally stepping out of a shoe only to leave it behind somewhere. She talks about using a Shop-Vac to clean up pet food only to realize that in doing so, she has also managed to suck up raw poop sewage which of course is gross. One story after another and somehow this insecure, eccentric woman slowly becomes the friend you never had. As “out there” as some of this content is, none of it is new or odd to me. I’ve had many conversations with friends about some of the things she talks about and sometimes, even with just myself. Yes, weird.

In the section titled Awkwarding Brings Us Together, I had to stop reading because I was crying so hard from laughing. In this section, she shares Tweets that people shared with her in their attempt to one-up her in awkwardness.

Then, she includes a letter to her insurance company. Here, she gets serious. Insurance companies can deny you the one medication that you need to stay alive or they can give it to you at extreme cost. Having battled depressing most of her life, these appeals are the norm and yet in including this in the book, she is speaking to everyone who has ever had to fight for their life. It’s a little “go team!” moment if you ask me.

Broken may not be for everyone. Lawson is very blunt and her self-deprecating humor might get on your nerves a little if you aren’t used to that type of humor. She speaks of body parts quite frankly and there is a lot of  language. She is not pretending to be anyone in what she writes. This feels 100% authentic to me so her style grew on me. If you need something different and you want to laugh, then this is the book for you. And of course, if you suffer from depression, you may find some comfort in what she shares here as well.

Have you read her before?

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.