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Book Review: “The Pisces” by Melissa Broder

It’s Melissa again, reporting for my Book Club! We recently wrapped up “The Pisces” by Melissa Broder. After reading “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeymoon, we chose this “erotic fantasy” as our July book  to shake things up, and we made a big mistake… But at least a 5-star night was planned to discuss.


1.5 out 5 stars

“The Pisces” by Melissa Broder tells the story of emotionally unstable Lucy, who has taken nine years to write her dissertation on Sappho. She has coasted through life on university research checks, and hits a new wall when she breaks up with her long-time boyfriend. Her concerned sister invites her to spend the summer away in Los Angeles, so she can escape her problems in Phoenix. During her summer away dog-sitting her sister’s beloved Dominic in her multi-million dollar glass box beach home, Lucy falls in love with a merman named Theo, who she meets on the rocks of Venice Beach – just a wagon ride away from her sister’s house. (Anyone who has read the book will get my wagon reference.)

I’m not one to typically be critical, but this book is just not good. Despite all the hype around mermen with Shape of Water being nominated for so many awards, this book is  simple and disgusting. I felt like I was losing brain cells while reading. The only reason I’m giving it a 1.5 out of 5 stars is because there were some moments you can relate to, especially if you have ever been a female in the modern dating world. However, this tragic book touches on so many disturbing moments I feel would have been better off not read. There’s nothing erotic about this fantasy. In fact, I think it should have been called a neurotic fantasy.

There were six of us at Book Club this week, and we all agreed this book was just too much and too weird. We hated the main character, Lucy, so much that we didn’t even feel comfortable picking an actress to play her, because there’s no actress we hate enough.

On a sort of irrelevant side note, I thought of one more positive I took from the book. In the book, Lucy visits Abbot Kinney fairly often. Abbot Kinney is a strip of shops and restaurants close to Venice Beach, which I will say the author does a great job of illustrating. After reading, I had a trip to Los Angeles planned to visit a friend (which you can read about here), and I was able to see the infamous Abbot Kinney strip Lucy throws up on, buys sexy lingerie from, and more. So that was cool, I guess?


Our Host, Hayley

My friend, Hayley, hosted Book Club this week, and here’s what she had to say about everything, which I think sums it all up perfectly:

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If for some reason you’re still inclined to read “The Pisces” by Melissa Broder, you can at least get some great ideas from Hayley’s wonderfully themed evening:

 

There was sushi, “seaweed” (grapes on a stick), spiced edamame, cute little oyster cookies with edible pearls included, and let’s not forget the bite-sized brownies with fish sprinkles. Oh, and there was champagne and wine, because there was no way to survive discussing this book without it.


Our August Pick

I’m excited for us to return to a Reese’s Book Club novel this month. If you want to keep up with what we’re reading, my Book Club is currently reading and set to discuss on Wednesday, September 5, 2018:

“Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel” by Balli Kaur Jaswal

eats, life

Book Review: “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeymoon

It’s Melissa again. I recently wrapped up “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeymoon. After reviewing “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn, we chose this as our June book, and we made another great pick! This time, it was my turn to host Book Club, and after reading this quirky story, I was excited to plan a completely Eleanor Oliphant themed evening.

First, let’s start with the review:


4 out 5 stars

“Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeymoon is the unique story of Eleanor Oliphant, a young woman who, after experiencing extreme childhood trauma, struggles to move forward in her life. Eleanor lives by a strict routine, from eating the same meals to scheduling out repetitive days of the week. When Eleanor develops a crush on a local singer, her beloved routine falls to the wayside, and she opens herself up to chaos. Along the way, she finds some friends who will help her pick up the pieces as she tries to uncover the truths of her childhood.

The book is brilliantly written and fun to read, which is why I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Gail Honeymoon does an incredible job of making you feel as uncomfortable as Eleanor acts at many moments throughout the book. Honeymoon also leaves you wanting to know more about what happened to Eleanor. Without giving away too much, Honeymoon also incorporates a twist at the end, which I had wondered about from very early on. Once you read, you’ll have to tell me if you had the same thought too! Overall, I highly recommend this book, and you should BUY IT NOW!


Hitting Close To Home

I wanted to include one side note about how this book hit very close to home for me. From very early on, the book talks about Eleanor’s caseworkers coming to visit her. Because of her extreme childhood trauma, Eleanor was placed in the foster care system. I work for Arms Wide Adoption Services, and we are dedicated to finding forever families for children in foster care. While reading, I found myself wondering,

“Had Eleanor been adopted, would this entire story be different?”

This question made for a great Book Club discussion. Although we decided we’re unsure adoption would have changed Eleanor’s life, we did decide people too often assumed Eleanor was fragile. We think if someone pushed her more about her past, she could have faced her demons earlier on. This may have helped her establish a healthier, more normal (but probably still fairly strict) routine.


Now, More On Book Club

I have mentioned Eleanor’s routine a lot so far! When she found something she liked, she stuck with it forever. Throughout the story, Eleanor would eat the same meal or drink the same beverage every day. That’s why I decided to offer an Eleanor Oliphant themed spread for our Book Club.

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From left to right: Cheese scones, ingredients for vodka colas, Magners Irish Cider, and pasta a la pesto. Cheers to Book Club, and cheers to you, Eleanor Oliphant!

If you’re interested in making these delicious gluten free cheese scones, you can find my recipe here. I also show you how to turn it into a delicious B.L.A.T. sandwich!


If you want to keep up with my Book Club, we are currently reading and set to discuss on Wednesday, August 8, 2018:

“The Pisces: A Novel” by Melissa Broder