readbyjaniene

Where I write about what I read (or watched).

  • ‘Betty’: a devastating yet grand coming-of-age tale
    This review contains mild spoilers for Betty, and mentions of sexual abuse. I haven’t quite been able to stop talking about this novel since I turned the final page, because Tiffany McDaniel’s Betty might be one of the saddest books I’ve ever read. It tells a somewhat fictionalised version of…More
  • ‘I’m Glad My Mom Died’: Jennette McCurdy’s memoir is the realest book of the year
    Content warning: physical and emotional abuse, and eating disorders. I’m Glad My Mom Died is a 320-page-long headfirst deep dive into former actress Jennette McCurdy’s troubled and complicated relationship with her late mother, Debra, who died of cancer in 2013. I’m Glad My Mom Died is beyond gripping, and is…More
  • Disgusting and depraved: Missouri Williams’ debut ‘The Doloriad’ is something else entirely
    Content warning: discussions of descriptions of incest, fatphobia, ableism, rape.This review also contains some spoilers. The Doloriad is a fascinating and thought-provoking book, though not in the way you’re probably expecting. Missouri Williams’ debut novel follows a family, or rather a clan, descended from incest struggling for survival in the…More
  • Kind of sexy, kind of disappointing – is ‘Milk Fed’ a well-disguised trainwreck?
    Trigger warning: discussion of eating disorders and weight stigma. Melissa Broder’s Milk Fed was like a literary emotional rollercoaster for me, and while I hate actual rollercoasters, I think I enjoyed this one more than I would’ve expected. The book follows Rachel, a lapsed Jewish woman with a restrictive eating…More
  • ‘Animal’ – a raw, fearless, and disgusting debut
    Trigger warning: discussion of sexual assault and rape. On the cover pictured above, Lisa Taddeo’s Animal is described as a ‘raging, funny and fierce thriller’ by the Financial Times. In my honest opinion, it is probably only two of those things, and it is certainly not funny. Taddeo’s debut novel…More

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