The Dinner by Herman Koch

Publication Date: February 12th, 2013

“An internationally bestselling phenomenon: the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives — all over the course of one meal.

It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.

Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy”

Review:

When reading the synopsis of this book, I thought wow. I thought it sounded really intriguing and would grab my attention right away. I kept this book in the back of my mind until I found out that it was apparently being made in to a movie. I just had to read it. I’m very disappointed to say that this will go down in history as one of my books that I rated under 3 stars. I rarely ever do that, and I hate doing it. However, I feel like this book really deserved this rating.

There were multiple times where I wanted to stop this book. It was very dry, and some people like that, but this really had trouble holding my attention throughout a lot of the book. It was very slow, and I understand trying to give the reader some anticipation for something big, I just feel like that never came. It was a bit predictable.

However, this book did show something that I do see a lot around me, and that is how far parents will go to protect their children. What they will do and how they will do it. The parents in this book were interesting, but I wish I could say that I liked them or related to them.

I wish I really enjoyed this book, but a book with this dry of a narrator and how much it interested me was just not in the cards unfortunately.

Rating: ★★

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Published: September 1st, 2015

“My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.”

Review:

Maddy is extremely sick and is allergic to the outside world. She has a cleaning station in her front door. She has never left the house. Maddy has hit her 18th birthday without leaving the house. When Olly and his family move in to the house next door, all bets are off. Maddy must see if things will pan out.

This book was very, very quick to read. I read it in only a few sittings. There were so many good qualities about this book that don’t really get talked about. First, Nicola Yoon did a beautiful job writing it. The words flowed amazingly and made sense the whole way through.

The only thing that I didn’t really like was how a little predictable this book was. The ending definitely shocked me, but things were a little foreseeable. For some people, it might not be.

I would definitely read this book, and because it’s a movie now, there’s all the more reason to!

Rating: ★★★★

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity

Originally Published: 2009

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.”

I feel like this book took me a while to read. It starts out with Alice waking up from sustaining an injury from hitting her head on a pair of handlebars during cycling class. She’s dreaming of this scene, but she can’t put her finger on where she’s seen it before. When she fully wakes up, she’s in the hospital, shocking everyone by thinking it is 1998 and not 2008. She believes she is pregnant with her first child, and has a wonderful husband named Nick. She was in for the shock of her life when she found out she was actually a mother of 3, and getting a divorce from her loving husband. She has a boyfriend named Dominic that happens to be the principal at her children’s school. Alice can’t believe this is her life, and tries to do everything in her power to change it. I had a hard time pushing through the slow parts, but the ending was awesome. Definitely a good read. This book is in the works to become a movie, so you should read it before it comes out!

Rating: ★★★★