Category Archives: Realistic Fiction

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front is a rather intense depiction of World War I. It is told from the viewpoint of a young German soldier. It goes deep into his psyche as he comes to grips with the loss of his friends, killing people who only are his enemy because someone above him said so, and what the point of war is at all. It is sometimes hard to read as the descriptions can be graphic, but they also seem honest. The book really makes you think about war and what it does to the individuals who do the fighting (it is definitely not pro-war). I highly recommend it to older teens and up learning about World War I.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 51
Pages Read in 2019: 13,186
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I decided to read Where’d You Go, Bernadette after I saw the trailer for the movie and thought it looked like it would be good. After reading the book I no longer have any interest in the movie. It was that bad. There is not a single likable character in the book. Bee was fine for the first 2/3, but then she showed her true colors and turned out to be just as obnoxious and unlikable as her mother. The affair between Bee’s father and his admin, resulting in the admin getting pregnant, is treated as no big deal and almost expected because his wife is a bit nuts. The health and medical claims are often just plain wrong. The actions of the psychiatrist are utterly ridiculous and unprofessional. The writing is mediocre. The author didn’t seem to know how to wrap up the story. The last ten pages rambled on way too long. I do not recommend this book at all.

1 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 49
Pages Read in 2019: 12,578
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: It sounded interesting, Reason: LitHub Bingo

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an absolutely adorable book. It’s well-written and a super sweet story. I love the movie and the book is, of course, even better. It kept me up until midnight reading (unusual for me) because I kept telling myself “just one more chapter.” I will most definitely be reading the other books in the series. I highly recommend it to teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 48
Pages Read in 2019: 12,243
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Young Adult

Four Ladies Only by Alretha Thomas

Four Ladies Only begins with a dead woman explaining why she didn’t tell her four estranged friends she was dying of cancer. Each chapter changes between the viewpoint of the four friends as they work through why they are estranged and how their lives have not gone as expected. It is funny, a perfect mind vacation. It’s a bit over the top just how messed up all of them are, but that adds to the fun. The only drawback is there are quite a few spelling and grammar errors scattered throughout. I recommend it to women in need of a little brain break.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 10
Pages Read in 2019: 2367
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Shirley by Andrea Pearson

Shirley has been crushing on Jacob for almost a decade. She sets out to tell him how she feels but has car trouble on the way. Walking to find help, she meets Travis, who may just be able to help Shirley forget all about Jacob.

Shirley appears as a side character in some of the Kilenya Chronicles books. She’s kind of annoying. Jacob is polite to her, but has no interest in returning her affections. She is not nearly so annoying in this short romance, and you find out things about her and her life that help you understand her a bit better. I really enjoyed the story. (Note: Shirley is currently only available in a special box set and not as a standalone book.)

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 110
Pages Read in 2018: 28,530
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: I Like the Series

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

When Pagford Councilman Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly, the town is left dealing with the shock and the open Council seat. There are many secrets and old wounds in Pagford and some are about to get blown wide open.

There are a whole lot of characters in The Casual Vacancy and it was hard to keep them straight for the first third or so of the book. Some of them I cared about more than others so the writing style of focusing on one set of characters at a time for a short section of the chapter before moving on to another set was good. If it was a storyline I didn’t enjoy as much, I knew it would switch to another shortly. The character development is amazing. Nearly everyone was fleshed out completely. They pretty much all, however, had serious issues and the whole thing was just rather depressing. The end was extremely depressing (though with a couple sweet, hopeful notes) and, when I finished the book, I was left feeling kind of down. The language was also pretty bad (many, many uses of the f-word and s-word). I don’t regret reading it, but it’s not a book I’d go out of my way to read.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 100
Pages Read in 2018: 23,393
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: I Like the Author

The Angel Knew Papa and the Dog by Douglas Kaine McKelvey

People seem to love The Angel Knew Papa and the Dog, but I’m just kind of meh about it. It was a relatively sweet story, but I never really cared much about what happened to any of the characters. The angel part was very anti-climactic. It’s very short, so if you want to read it, it’s not much of a time investment, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do so.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 94
Pages Read in 2018: 21,841
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys