Glass House, Fat Girl on a Plane & Still Life – Three 1 Star Reviews

Glass House – By Louise Penny 

Goodreads Synopsis: When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.

From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Surete du Quebec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.

But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.

Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montreal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache’s own conscience is standing in judgment.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I started this book because it was on a previous Goodreads Choice Awards List, but I didn’t end up finishing the book.

While I always love a good murder mystery, I’ve found more and more that I need to be hooked within the first 50 pages of a story for me to want to continue to read it. And sadly this was just one of those books that didn’t quite get me.

Glass House had the potential to be interesting. I liked the main character well enough, Gamache seemed like a decent guy. And the mystery itself seems like it would have been good. But instead the story is very slow! I was listening to the audiobook so I’m honestly not sure how far I made it into the story. It was definitely a disk in, but still I could not keep going because I was just bored.  There’s too much setup, and not enough things happening.

In the end I gave this book 1 star on Goodreads.

Fat Girl on a Plane – By Kelly Devos 

Goodreads Synopsis: Fat.

High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat to fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush, and put her life on track.

Skinny.

Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.

Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. And I was so excited to read it, because I love #ownvoice reads.  Sadly this book did not live up to any of my expectations.

To begin with the story starts off in a completely different tone than the rest of the story, which I found very confusing.  I do know that my ARC was very badly formatted and almost unreadable at some parts, so maybe it was the fault of the ARC? I’m not sure. But anyway, the story starts off with the main character explaining what fat people have to go through just to get on a plane. It’s good information, and some that I think a lot of people don’t know about, but it read like a blog post rather than a fiction story. And yet it was probably the best part of the novel because at least this part was well-written!

The rest of the book just goes downhill. I was very very uncomfortable with the age gap and the sex between Cookie and the man she worked for. She’s 19 and he’s at least in his mid-thirties!  Not to mention he’s an absolute asshole and treats everyone around him like trash, he’s an abusive relationship just waiting to happen.  Apparently there’s a love triangle that happens later in the story with an equally misogynistic entitled asshole, but I quit the book before then.

The other part of the story that I didn’t like was the fact that it jumps between Cookie’s pov from when she was fat, and then when she’s skinny. The whole treatment of her body over the course of the story (that I read) made me uncomfortable, and just felt badly written. As someone who is overweight I thought it would be a book that didn’t include a lot of gross fat shaming and self-loathing, but sadly it does and I just couldn’t read any more of it.

In the end I gave the book 1 star on Goodreads.

Still Life – By Isobel Hart 

Goodreads Synopsis: A woman must discover the meaning behind a new virus affecting men before there are too many infected for them to be stopped.

When Samantha Davis and her boyfriend are involved in an accident, on the same day a new virus is identified, his recovery appears to be a miracle. Until he turns on her.
Determined to understand the changes in him, Sam joins with others to uncover more about the virus. But soon the knowledge they gather poses a threat. The infected men want to stop them. And soon.
Resolving to meet the threat head-on, Sam prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself caught between two worlds; still caring for the man she once loved, as her affections grow for another, while fearing for her life and the lives of all women. As the net closes in on her, she must decide whose life is more important.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I’m honestly not sure what I was expecting from this book when I got it from NetGalley, I guess I just thought it had the possibility of being an interesting afternoon read.

This story starts off really slow, and strangely. The accident happens and I expected the world to go to hell faster, but it didn’t. It takes a long time for the main character to notice something is wrong with her boyfriend.

On top of that I didn’t feel connected with Sam. Once her boyfriend starts to change he becomes more dominant and cave man-y, which in consensual relationship is okay, but the way he acts is just gross but for some reason she likes it. She and all of her girl friends start swooning for their now alpha-male boyfriend…Which is so weird! And I was uncomfortable with it.

Once the story does start to pick up I just found it confusing and problematic. There are a lot of abuse and rape or almost rape scenes in the book. The main character is as interesting as a pile of dirt, her one consistent trait is that she’s flawlessly beautiful. I could go on but I think you all get the point.

1 Star from me.

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