Dear Mr. Hemingway Logo

read what you love • love what you read

Latest Reads

November 9, 2023

Happy Autumn Reading Sweet Friends!

Today, I am sharing three new books to put on your radar. A spicy rom-com, a father gone missing, and an Air B&B host with a snooping problem are all on tap today. Grab those reading glasses and a cozy blanket, and let’s get reading.

Cheers to Fall Reading!

xoxo,

Kelly

The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva (Henry Holt and Co.)

Tess rents out her deceased sister’s room in her house to help make ends meet. She may appear to be the hostess with the mostess, but she truly is not She has a bad habit of snooping through her tenant’s personal belongings. When she begins reading Arran’s (her latest guest) diary, she is intrigued by his entries and discovers shocking similarities between her and this mysterious woman he continues to write about. As Aaran’s diary entries become darker, Tess begins to wonder who this guy is and how long he is planning to stay. Sylva’s book is a twisted tale that weaves in and out of London’s gloomy streets. Her main character, Tess, drove me crazy with her unreliability, but the constant stalking, slow-burn mystery, and questionable villain kept me entertained until the end. Solid debut!

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon (Berkley Publishing)

I was a huge fan of Solomon’s The Ex Talk, and her latest was just as tremendous. So when Chandler takes a job ghostwriting a memoir for C-list actor, Finn Walsh, things get very interesting. Think one-night-stand gone wrong, clumsy sex, followed by some very steamy lessons in chemistry. Solomon’s main characters are absolutely worth cheering for. Their relationship is wildly quirky and refreshingly raw. I loved how their vulnerability bled through the pages. Solomon shined her light not only on a lovable Jewish heroine and hero but on the everyday struggles of living with anxiety and OCD. My favorite part of all is that this heartfelt and hilarious story embodies healthy and wicked fun sex in the best possible way! Cheers to Solomon for another winning tale!

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim (Hogarth Books)

Angie Kim’s newest book centers around a biracial Korean-American family who are confronted with the unimaginable. Everything changes when Adam goes missing while hiking with his son, who has disabilities. There is NO WAY this dad would ever abandon Eugene in the woods when he is not only non-verbal but unable to care for himself alone. So what on Earth happened? Kim’s story sucked me in immediately. What follows is a character-driven mystery that slowly builds as you turn each page. Kim’s attention to detail is impeccable. Being a mom myself brought many feelings to the surface during a lot of the scenes. I love how she blended family crises, disabilities, and untethered emotions seamlessly together. As the mystery progresses, Kim brings enormous awareness to the rare genetic disorder called Angelman disorder. As someone who has worked in the field of non-verbal communication and Autism Spectrum Disorders, I found Kim’s writing absolutely fascinating. While this read captured my attention right out of the gate, it did move slowly in the middle. However, the pace gained speed again towards the end, leaving me to ponder the ending.

*Dear Mr. Hemingway, LLC receives a variety of advance reader copies of books from publishers and authors throughout the year in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it! 

*Book links provided in today’s post are affiliate links. Dear Mr. Hemingway makes a tiny commission through books purchased in our storefront. Even better, 20% of purchases made through the Dear Mr. Hemingway storefront go towards an independent bookstore. Thank you so much for all of your support!

Under the Sea

The Pisces book cover

The Pisces by Melissa Broder

December 4, 2018

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I just recently met a girl at my local bookstore. We talked quite a bit about our favorite books. At one point during our conversation, she recommended that I read The Pisces, by Melissa Broder. I was hesitant because I heard there was a merman  (yes…a boy mermaid) in this adult fiction novel. Could I actually go there? Could I enjoy a present-day book with real humans and a mythical sea creature? Guess what? I was absolutely into this book, and here is why.

The Pisces is anything but a Disney movie.  Let me back up briefly and give you the basic plot.  Broder’s main character, Lucy, lives in Arizona where she is getting nowhere with her dissertation on the Greek poet, Sappho.  Quickly into the story, she breaks up with her long term boyfriend and virtually hits rock bottom. In the spirit of re-grouping and needing a change, Lucy goes to live at her sister’s on Venice Beach for the summer.  While there, she house sits for her traveling sister and cares for her dog. She also attends a love addiction therapy group where she attempts to deal with her unhealthy relationship issues and her lingering anxiety.

Here is where The Pisces gets interesting.  Lucy is quite the character.  You have to dig deep (and I mean real deep) to find any redeeming qualities in her.  As much as you want to initially route for her happiness, it becomes almost impossible to not reach through the pages of the book and shake her silly.  Her self absorption is show stopping when she visits her suicidal friend in the hospital. Lucy’s relationship with her sister’s dog will actually make you want to reach out to PETA (no joke).  Her cringe worthy blind dates will have you squirming, especially during some of her raunchy sexual encounters with these hook ups from the internet.  Most importantly, brace yourself for her relationship with the merman named Theo, who she meets down on the rocks at the beach. Even though her relationship with Theo has a Fifty Shades of Grey feel to it, it also may represent something much deeper than just hot merman sex.

What I truly love about Broder’s writing, is that it evokes plenty of emotions.  Having her main character Lucy, narrate the story with her unfiltered thoughts, made this such a raw and authentic read.  Yes, while reading this I was at times uncomfortable and my cheeks may have turned a bright shade of pink. However, it is good to read about unlikeable characters from time to time and push yourself out of your reading comfort zone.  I am not even kidding you when I say that The Pisces is a perfect pick for your next book club gathering. It will most certainly spark lively conversation amongst friends!  Pair that with some fabulous wine, and you‘ve got yourself a pretty fun evening! Happy reading!!!!!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  I read somewhere that when early European sailors first sailed the Caribbean, they initially thought that the manatees were mermaids when they saw them in the moonlight.  When they eventually saw the manatees during the daylight, they were embarrassed that they thought these cow like creatures were “hot”, and pretended that they knew all along that these manatees were instead, just ugly mermen.

Click here to buy The Pisces by Melissa Broder

Join my mailing list!

and never miss a blog post