After reading Stephanie Danler’s Sweetbitter, I think that I am a different person than I was before I started it. That’s the power of books, you know. You live a whole other life within them and whether there are any physical differences or not, you are forever changed.Sweetbitter was better than I could have ever imagined. I was captivated and honestly could have finished the book in 24 hours if I didn’t have other responsibilities.

From the deckled edge to the narrative voice, the book is young, rough, raw and full of emotion. Danler manages colorful descriptions from the biting cold of winter to the feel of sunlight peaking over the horizon as you stumble home from a night out. In 352 pages, you see New York City with the wide eyed innocence of 20-something year old Tess. You understand her desire to escape her small town life, become free and experience life for the wild ride that it truly is. Danler intentionally uses the changing seasons, various platters and flavors and the people in her life to set the stage for all the life experiences that Tess will go through. She will be changed forever and you know it from the beginning and eagerly hang on for the ride.

Danler has set the bar pretty high for her debut novel and I cannot wait to read what she comes up with next. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a good, captivating read but more specifically for 20-something-year-olds with an insatiable sense of adventure.


Gone girl

Yay! I have officially read my first thriller/suspense novel, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. It was an amazing read. I think it may have been one of the first books within the suspense/thriller genre that I’ve read. I’m surprised I haven’t read more books in that genre given that it’s my favorite genre for film and television. It was thoroughly suspenseful and made it difficult at times to set the book down.

I was so captivated by the book. I had heard rumors about the books and had friends who read the book in previous years and highly recommended it. I’m so glad they did. Flynn does an effortless job of switching the narrative voice between the two main characters: Nick Dunne and Amy Elliott Dunne. Flynn intentionally feeds the reader bits and pieces of information in order to slowly guide your opinion on the two characters and what exactly the truth is. As you begin to formulate concrete opinions on the characters is when Flynn throws a twist to the reader that shatters all of their preconceived notions of the characters. It was what a plot twist should always be – original and completely unexpected. I love that Flynn chooses to make the narrators write and appeal to the reader as a third party weighing in on the circumstances at hand. She has an uncanny handle on the full complexities of her characters to the point that they could be real people. It’s flawless. I’m disappointed that it took me this long to read this book but it was an enjoyable read and has definitely jumped onto a list of some of my favorite authors. I am now adding the rest of Flynn’s books to my list of must-reads. I would definitely recommend this book for any and all readers.