Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell

Title: Three-Martini Lunch

Author: Suzanne Rindell

Pub Date: 2016

My Rating: ★★★★★

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‘Back in those days My Old Man was king of what they called the three-martini lunch. This meant that in dimly lit steakhouses all over Manhattan my father made bold, impetuous deals over gin and oysters. That was how it was done.’
New York, 1958. Three young adults desperate to make their mark on the world of publishing – their choices, betrayals and passions will draw them together and change their lives for ever. Cliff Nelson, the privileged son of a New York publisher, is slumming it around Greenwich Village, enjoying booze, drugs and the idea that he’s the next Jack Kerouac. Fresh-faced Eden Katz arrives in the city with one burning ambition, but she is shocked at the stumbling blocks she encounters. Miles Tillman, a publisher’s messenger boy, is an aspiring writer who straddles various worlds and belongs to none.

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Swing Time by Zadie Smith

swing-timeTitle: Swing Time

Author: Zadie Smith

Pub Date: November 15th, 2016

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Synopis from Goodreads:

An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from north west London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth andOn Beauty.

Two brown girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either…

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

This is just hard. Zadie Smith is one of my favorite authors. I adore her other works, and when I heard about her new book I was excited. I couldn’t wait to finally read it. And now I read it. And I’m not happy. It wasn’t anything as enjoyable read as her previous books. It was quite frankly boring.

It’s a story of women friendship. There are two story lines that intervene a little bit, the first plot line is the present time when the main character is working for superstar Aimee. The second storyline is her childhood and friendship with Tracey. The main character is quite flat and uninspiring. We learn so much about her life and her history, but still, I’m left with an impression that she is just a mean to tell us a story of Aimee and Tracey. She’s the main character but not the main focus.

I struggled to follow the story u because it was jumping between different times and places constantly. I was getting lost and every time it took me some time to adjust to the new place and time. This was a big issue at the beginning, but later in the book, it was pretty easy – one chapter about Aimee and one chapter about childhood and Tracey.

The most interesting part of the story for me was reading about the superstar that is pouring her wealth to a poor village in Africa. Without thinking about the repercussions of such actions. Just thinking about solving the problems of poverty and education and health care with money, and feeling good about herself. Having a vision and a good noble goal, but not stopping for a while to judge if her actions are truly solving any problems in the village, is she helping or harming them?

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

30233919Title: The Witches of New York

Author: Ami McKay

Pub Date: October 27th, 2016

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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It was a very mediocre read for me. I didn’t love it nor did I hate it. It was jus all right, and I’ll probably forget about this book soon. It had it enjoyable moments, and at the beginning of the story I was hooked, the writing and the scenery were marvelous and I just wanted to read and read about those three witches of New York – Eleanor St. Clair, Adelaide Thom, and Beatrice Dunn. Eleanor and Adelaide run a tea shop in NYC, and Adelaide secretly posted a job announcement in  a paper to look for help for an overworked Eleanor. This is when Beatrice joins their tea shop, a girl that appeared too late and after all the other girls that wanted the job were dismissed by Eleanor. But she’s different, she was let into the closed shop by a ghost of Adelaide’s mother, an event that truly scared Beatrice who is yet to discover that she can see communicate with ghosts.

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Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

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Title: Harmless Like You

Author: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Pub Date: August 11th, 2016

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Harmless Like You is a beautiful novel of loneliness, sadness, identity, and love. It follows Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl living in New York in late 1960s and her son Jay in a present day, who is forced to face his mother who abandoned him when he was a kid. We meet Yuki when she’s seventeen, girl without friends, looking for love and acceptance, longing to be seen. Her father distastes New York and is waiting for a day when they all can come back to Tokyo. When this day come Yuki convinces her parents to let her stay in NYC and live with her newly met best friend. She stays. Continue reading