#FridayFives | Books with Disappointing Endings

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to #FridayFives instead to have more room for topics. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Sometimes you finish a book and are left unsatisfied. You wanted something more or different at the ending, but here you are, and all you can do is complain. Here we go, endings that left me disappointed!

This book was not about atoning for anything! Briony told us what happened with everyone, then you turn the page for the epilogue and find out it was all bullshit! She didn’t atone for anything, and while narratively this was an interesting book to read, it was just an unsatisfying ending.

Goodreads

Spoiler-alert: they both die at the end! All those pages, and both the brother and sister die at the end! I’m bitter, and I will remain bitter!

Goodreads

I actually used to highly recommend this book to people after I first read it, but now looking back, I find it problematic. I’m super uncomfortable with the idea that Sarah has less power in the relationship with Linda because of how their relationship started. Also, I don’t understand the reason why they’re still together and going to college together. I’m mostly confused!

Goodreads

I just felt that all the deaths at the end were for the wow factor. I’m also frustrated by the complete 180 Katniss does on having kids, it just didn’t seem to go with her character’s personality. I understand that because the games were shut down, and it was “safe,” but still the fact that Peeta had to convince her just sits wrong with me.

Goodreads

This was supposed to be a fun/funny read over the Christmas holidays. Instead, I was frustrated and by the time I finished, I was angry. No one can communicate properly in this family and what was the point of having Olivia’s boyfriend (whose name I’ve completely forgot) die! This was just not the book I expected when I first picked it up.

Goodreads

Happy Reading Lovelies!

Book Review | Seven Days of Us

Title: Seven Days of Us

Author: Francesca Hornak

Publisher: Berkley

Published: 17 October 2017

Pages: 368

Rating: 3 out of 5.

For the first time in years, the Birch family will all be under one roof for Christmas. Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter, who is usually off saving the world as a doctor, is joining them at Weyfield hall, their aging country estate. Yet, the only reason Olivia is coming home is because she has to, she’s returned from treating an epidemic abroad and told she has to stay in quarantine for a week. So too should her family. For the next seven days, the Birches are on lock down, cut off from the rest of people and Wi-Fi, and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, frivolous Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems. Andrew shuts himself in his office writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, while Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.

I came across this as I was coming up with books for the Top Ten Tuesday topic books on my winter TBR. From the description I found, it seemed like a fun book to read over break, as well as being something similar to the movie, The Family Stone. This was a quick and easy read but gosh was I frustrated as I read this book.

I get that the British motto is “keep calm and carry on,” but does this mean they can’t sit down and talk!? This applies to all the characters but I’ll go in order.

First off, Andrew, the father. He’s not only writing scathing reviews for restaurants, work he doesn’t want to do, but trying to figure out how to handle a long lost son coming on the scene. When he was a war correspondent, he had a one night stand with a woman in Lebanon (I think it was Lebanon, I could be wrong, don’t hate me) and found out only a few years ago that she had a son she gave up for adoption. That’s not what’s bothering him during quarantine, it’s the fact that this son, Jesse, is coming to England for “work” and wants to meet him. Jesse is under the assumption that he was born way before Andrew started his relationship with Emma, however, since Emma’s upper-class, titled family wouldn’t like Andrew, they faked their first meeting. So, technically, Andrew cheated on Emma with Jesse’s mom.

Next up is Emma, who has found out only a couple of days earlier that she has cancer (I truly cannot remember what type) but refuses to let anyone in the family know. She especially doesn’t want Olivia to know because then she won’t come for Christmas. Overall, Emma tries to keep up a happy, family facade. She doesn’t’ want anyone on the outside or even her own family to know what’s really going on, as long as they can act like they’re all happy that’s all that matters.

Phoebe, the youngest of the Birches, is self-absorbed and only really cares about herself. She became engaged with her fiance, George, a few days before quarantine began. Yet, she isn’t in love with George, but more in the idea of being in love, of being married. She wants to be married so she doesn’t have to date anymore. There’s also the problem that George is either gay or bisexual.

Last on the list is Olivia, the doctor who is still reeling from the horrors of Haag and finding her family and their concerns trite in comparison. Olivia also has a secret, while she was working as a doctor, she met Shaun, an Irish pediatrician, who she broke protocols with and they had sex.

All of the Birches have issues communicating. Olivia has a difficult time talking with her family as they really don’t want to hear about what’s going on with Haag. Strangely, Olivia’s dad as a war correspondent could sympathize the most with what Olivia’s going through, but he’s so absorbed in what’s going on with Jesse that he doesn’t see what his daughter’s going through. Since, Emma is diagnosed with cancer she refuses to tell anyone, which is frustrating when you’re daughter is coming from a place with a deadly virus and you’re immunocompromised?!?!

I understand that Emma wants to see her elder daughter but how do you think you’re daughter will feel if she’s responsible for your death.

Phoebe’s issues are so annoying and her parents don’t help, as they baby her all the time. Since, Olivia doesn’t need them, they go overboard with Phoebe. Phoebe is so self-involved she doesn’t even notice that her fiance doesn’t really want to marry her, nor is he that into her either.

And Olivia is no better, as she decided at a young age to not rely on anyone and therefore, she has pretty much cut herself off from her family all these years. I’m also confused as to why she’s staying with her family. Wouldn’t the health department want her to be quarantined by herself in an apartment or some safe-house they set her up with? I was very confused by the set-up for this whole thing. Olivia is also keeping the secret of her relationship with Shaun a secret, and it isn’t helped by the fact that Shaun is diagnosed with Haag and is in quarantine at a London hospital. Since, no one knows about their relationship, Olivia suffers in silence. But, there’s more problems as Olivia slowly starts developing symptoms of Haag…it’s not Haag though. I knew pretty early that it wasn’t Haag but instead that Olivia was pregnant.

Once the Birch family finds out Olivia is pregnant and they’re all back in their London house, it brings them all together. So, crazy! I mean, it’s cute and all and makes for a fun story, but in reality, if they don’t actually work through their problems, then they will still be the same people. So, of course, to make them work more through their problems, Hornak kills off Shaun. He dies from Haag, Olivia is depressed for a few days later. Phoebe comes to the rescue and brings her sister out of it. But again, they need to actively work on themselves.

I know, I’m probably being too hard on what’s supposed to be a fun book. I did enjoy it and it was a fun read during Christmas break, so it did hit the spot for an enjoyable, no-thinking read.

TTT | Books On My Winter 2020-2021 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

Today’s topic is books that are on my winter TBR. I’m super excited because my Christmas break starts tomorrow, and I’ll have 18 uninterrupted days of reading (this does include weekends).

Just checked this out from the library today and will probably start reading it tonight.

I’ve had a difficult time trying to read this. I’ve read about 70 pages, but I absolutely hate what my baby (Aelin) is going through. But I’m hoping to get through this over the break, and then start reading Sarah J. Maas’s new novel House of Earth and Blood.

An advanced ebook I have that I am super excited to read!

Another eARC that I need to read. I actually have started it just need to finish it. This month has just been too busy.

I checked this out from the library as well tonight, and I cannot wait to read it!! Sci-fi western with lesbians, yes please!

At the library I work at, some of us review books for the Heart of Texas Literature Quarterly. This is one of the books I’m reviewing. It’s about when American troops killed four American students protesting the Vietnam War. From what I can tell flipping through the pages, it’s mostly told through poems and free verse.

As with Kent State, this is also a book I’m reviewing for the Heart of Texas Literature.

I really need to get on top of my eARC’s. Here’s another one I’ll be reading over the winter season.

A book that I’ve placed on hold and hope to be able to pick up before the library closes.

Last week this was on my TTT Holiday themed TBR, this week I remembered that I actually own it. So, I’ll definitely be reading this.

TTT | Holiday TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

Today’s topic is a holiday freebie one, and I’m not one to read a lot of any holiday themed books. So, here are some holiday books that I would like to read.

I love the Victorian era and Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories sounds like so much fun to read with a cup of tea on a cold winter night! I also just found out that there are multiple volumes of this!

Definitely not the normal holiday read, but it sounds like a fun read around the holidays when everything is so stressful.

I love love love Agatha Christie so of course , I had to include Hercule Poirot’s Christmas on the list.

Christmas, poetry, Maya Angelou what more needs to be said?!

The Family Stone is one of my favorite Christmas movies, and this seems to have a similar theme. What can go wrong at Christmas when everyone is forced to quarantine together?

I’m not just choosing this one because the character has the same name as me…

A retelling of the classic A Christmas Carol but in YA form and the Scrooge character is already dead!

I’ve known about the Christmas Truce for years, but it would be nice to learn a bit more about it as I only know that it happened.

Love Madeleine L’Engle, and this is sure to be amazing!

I’m a sucker for books about self-care, but I’m also interested in this to see what it says about getting back to the authentic meaning of Christmas. I’m especially interested since I’m not a huge believer in God.

I’m all for learning new things, and as I’ve never actually thought about the reason behind our Christmas traditions, it’ll be nice to learn all about it.

Happy Reading Lovelies!