Quick Book Reviews: Lindy West, E. Lockhart, and The Coquette*

7:13 pm

Quick book reviews: Shrill by Lindy West, The Best of Dear Coquette by The Coquette, and We Were Liars by E Lockhart

* I was fortunate to be sent review copies of both Shrill and Dear Coquette from Quercus and Icon Books. My reviews will be my honest opinions, as usual. *

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman* (2016, Quercus) - Lindy West (4 stars)

Shrill is an incredibly compelling read; that's not something I'm going to deny. Lindy West details her experiences as a fat woman (she doesn't want us to beat around the bush, she's fat) both on the comedy circuit and as a writer. Through chapters of varying length, she tells stories from her dating life, her career, her experiences online. I first heard one of Lindy's stories on Woman's Hour when she talked about her chapter when she confronted one of her online 'trolls'. He had set up a fake Twitter account, posing as her dead father (yes, it's as bad as it sounds), talking about how much of a disappointment she was as a daughter. Absolutely horrible. She speaks about this issue and many more with clarity and confidence throughout the entire book. Unfortunately there are some things she says that I don't agree with, but honestly that could happen in any piece of non-fiction. A really quick and interesting read overall.

The Best of Dear Coquette* (2016, Icon Books) - The Coquette (3 stars)

If you like foul language, questionable advice, sass, and the hard truth, this book is for you. Putting some of her most popular and informative blog posts into print, The Best of Dear Coquette reads like an abrasive advice column, because that's basically what it is. Our mysterious agony aunt regales us with tales of cocaine, one-night-stands, sex work, and dealing with a job you hate with brutal honesty and a level of wit I am incredibly jealous of. Page after page I flipped between laughing and nearly crying, with half of the stories printed being extremely relatable and half of them being so far from my life I would doubt they were even true if they were told by anyone other than coketweet. The only thing letting this book down is its length, as by the end I felt like I'd heard most of it already. A really fun gift idea for the sassy bitch in your life.

We Were Liars (2014, Hot Key Books) - E. Lockhart (5 stars)

Don't mind me, I'm just still crying about this book. I heard so much about We Were Liars in 2015, but sort of passed it off as your usual overly-dramatic young adult contemporary. I would like to formally apologise to this book for ever thinking that. It's near-impossible to write a review for as it's best to go into it knowing as little as possible. We have our narrator, Cadence, her two cousins (Johnny and Mirren), and her childhood friend, Gat. These are The Liars and they've been coming to the family island every summer since they can remember. We seem them form their personalities through their studies and their relationships. We learn their lies and their passions. This is all I can say really. This is a book of secrets, and it will kick you in the gut. It's a quick read so, please, just give it a try.

M x

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