Book Review: My Name Is Lucy Barton + Dark Matter + Watch Me Disappear

September 7, 2017

Reading, reading, reading…especially as I came up on finishing the first draft of my own novel (which was sent to my literary agent yesterday!)

Three book reviews for you today, one of which ended up on my favorite book list.

As always, reviews are spoiler free.

PS: Couldn’t finish All The Bright Places (well written, just wasn’t in a YA mood?)…up next: The Nightingale.


1. My Name Is Lucy Barton.


If You’re Looking For: Literary fiction

If You Liked: Olive Kitteridge 

My Review: Rich, moving, and emotional. A rare inside look at the raw and true relationship between mother and daughter. There is a reason Strout won a pulitzer. She is the writer we all wish to be. I read this book in a day. Truly incredible writing. Added to my favorite books list.

Their Review: “There is not a scintilla of sentimentality in this exquisite novel. Instead, in its careful words and vibrating silences, My Name Is Lucy Barton offers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to—‘I was so happy. Oh, I was happy’—simple joy.”—Claire Messud, The New York Times Book Review

Quote: It interests me how we find ways to feel superior to another person, another group of people. It happens everywhere, and all the time. Whatever we call it, I think it’s the lowest part of who we are, this need to find someone else to put down.


2.  Dark Matter.

If You’re Looking For: Fiction, suspense, page turners, thrillers

If You Liked: The Martian

My Review: Compelling, original, mind bending, and fun. Reads like a blockbuster and reminded me a lot of The Martian… not because it’s in outer space, but because they both have a lot of complicated language that doesn’t bog you out + you know it could be a great movie. Really enjoyed it. Highly entertaining. 4/5 stars.

Their Review: “Exceptional. An exciting, ingeniously plotted adventure about love, regret, and quantum superposition. It’s been a long time since a novel sucked me in and kept me turning pages the way this one did.” —Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian

Quote: No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’re standing on the precipice. And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic. Not just what happens, but how it happens: a sucker punch that comes at you out of nowhere, when you’re least expecting it. No time to flinch or brace.


3.  Watch Me Disappear.

If You’re Looking For: Fiction, suspense, page turners

If You Liked: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

My Review: I’ll cut to the chase. This book is a page turner until the very end and definitely worth the read, however by the time I turned the last page I was already starring it three out of five stars in my mental Goodreads list without knowing exactly why. I think it is because while the plot and premise drew me in, the long drawn out resolution let me down. There were also some character issues that left me shaking my head. The word contrived comes to mind. Interesting story though, and some good solid writing. Almost fits into a YA genre, which is not a criticism, just an observation. 3.5/5 stars.

Their Review: Watch Me Disappear is just as riveting as Gone Girl. . . . The characters are arresting, the Berkeley setting delightfully authentic, and, best of all, the propulsive investigation may make you want to go into hiding just to finish the book now.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Quote: All people are unknowable, no matter how close you may think you are. Of the millions of thoughts we all think every day, of the millions of experiences we have, how many do we allow other people to know about? A handful? And no one willingly shares their worst, do they? The flaws you see, those are like the very tip of an iceberg. So we’re all just poking around on the surface, trying to figure out the people we love with a kind of, I guess, naïve idealism.


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