Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I don’t even know where to start with this book. I loved The Echo Wife and had such high hopes for Just Like Home. I wrangled my Cocktail Hour co-hosts into reading it and, while I’m sure our discussion on 4/1/23 will be lively, I wish I hadn’t.
While the Cocktail Hour will be FILLED with spoilers, this review won’t be. So let me try to sort of some of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly in a vague way that won’t give anything away.
For the most part, the language and writing voice was enjoyable. There was a visceral feel to much of the descriptions that placed me right there and I appreciated that a lot.
Vera’s childhood parts were the best bits of the book. Her love for her father, their interactions, her discovering things about herself, all great.
The concept of her Best Friend. I can’t really say anything else about this but it was a great idea and parts of the execution worked well and I loved those.
Also the language. Lots of repetitive descriptions (what exactly is clean sweat and why is it used SO MUCH) and so many metaphors and similes. SO MANY!
The entire set up and Vera’s responses and actions surrounding James. This made no sense to me at all. None. Not even a little bit. She has no reason to speak to, let alone spend time with, this guy. But she does. Repeatedly. Why? I don’t get it. It actually made me angry several times that I couldn’t quit reading this book.
A lot of what was going on seemed ridiculous and unbelievable as far as what Vera was doing and why. I couldn’t buy into it and that ruined the book for me.
I think that part of the reason even thinking about this book makes me mad is that there was SO MUCH potential here. The overall idea of the story is great. I was engaged with the relationship between Vera and Francis. Daphne was a bit over the top when Vera was a kid but that was okay. Vera’s friend was unique and interesting and sort of awesome but wasn’t strong enough to overpower my disappointment and frustration in the current-day events and actions.
I don’t think I can recommend this one.
Oh, I listened to most of the book but read the last several chapters. The narrator was okay but eyeball reading made for a better experience for me.
I got the ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
If you’re interested, you can watch the Cocktail Hour episode featuring this book. Be warned! Spoilers galore.