BOOK REVIEW: Where’d You Go, Bernadette – by Maria Semple

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Title: Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Author: Maria Semple
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Mystery
First published: August 14th 2012
Finished reading: November 23rd 2015
Pages: 330
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“That’s right,’ she told the girls. ‘You are bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.”

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My TBR jar decided it was about time I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette. I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction, but I can’t deny this novel by Maria Semple is an entertaining read. The story is fast-paced, easy to read and takes you on a journey all the way to Antarctica. Why did I give it only 3 stars? Because I did have some problems with it. Living in Argentina, I found some of the cliche descriptions of the locals almost insulting. And not only that, most of the other less important characters felt flat and almost appear to be cartoons. Part of it could be described as ‘intention to be funny’, but I wasn’t convinced. The main characters were quite annoying as well at points; especially Bernadette could come over as peevish and moody. I did like the prose and general plot and I loved the descriptions of their journey to Antarctica. The last part of Where’d You Go, Bernadette is quite obvious, but if you like the genre you will probably enjoy the ride.

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Bernadette Fox used to be a successful architect, until something happened and she disappeared from the radar. She left LA with her Microsoft-guru husband and has been living in Seattle ever since… A city where Bernadette still doesn’t fit in even after all those years. Her 15-year-old Bee is quite a genius and when she aced her report card, Bee claimed her reward. Her parents had promised Bee a family trip to Antarctica. The problem? Her father is more than busy with his Microsoft job and her mother doesn’t really like being around people in general. Bernadette even hired a virtual assistant in India to run her errands… And when things in Seattle seem to go out of control, Bernadette simply disappears. Where did Bernadette go? And what is the truth behind all the things that are happening in their lives?

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I wasn’t sure what to expect of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, but I think that overall it was quite an entertaining read. Sure, I had some problems with it (especially with the characters and cliche descriptions), but I really liked the general plot and journey to Antarctica. Even if I didn’t like all descriptions, I can’t deny Maria Semple‘s prose reads easily and I was able to finish this novel almost in one sitting. If you like the genre, you will most likely enjoy this read.

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WWW Wednesdays #66 – November 25th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes yesterday evening and it’s still too early to tell if I’m going to enjoy this story… I’ve heard mixed things about it, so fingers crossed it’s not too bad. I’m also reading Melophobia by James Morris, a very interesting ARC and story so far.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three books finished this week and that’s mostly thanks to the last two being super quick reads, because it took me ages to finish Winter.
* The first is Winter by Marissa Meyer. Although I’m sad the series has ended, I really enjoyed reading this fourth book My heart almost stopped at some points in the story though; damn you plot twists!
* I decided to read my TBR jar pick Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple afterwards, which turned out to be a quick although not outstanding read. More about my complaints in my upcoming review…
* The last book I finished yesterday evening: Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. A very hardbreaking story, although I wasn’t fully convinced by the prose itself (it sounded too childish, and not in a The Boy In The Striped Pajamas good way.)

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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To be honest, I’m not sure what I’m going to read next… But at least these four covers color match! 😉 I might read The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings so I can cross off another series or start a new one with The Young Elites by Marie Lu. But to be honest, I’m not sure if I’m in the mood to read fantasy right now. I also want to try and read Paperweight by Meg Haston soon even though it sounds like a sad story… And I have a new TBR jar pick: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I have been wanting to read another Gaiman novel for ages so this is the perfect excuse to do just so!

WWW Wednesdays #65 – November 18th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve decided to put Outlander by Diana Gabaldon on hold for now because I don’t seem to have enough time… So I’m currently reading only one book (it’s a miracle!): Winter by Marissa Meyer. I have been looking forward to this read ever since I finished Cress, and so far it’s just as good as I was hoping for.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three finished titles this week; not bad at all!
* The first is George by Alex Gino, a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist and definitely worth reading even though the prose can come over a bit childish at points. It has a very strong message…
* I picked up Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli afterwards and I have to say I absolutely loved this read. I wish I had gotten a copy sooner, because this book is simply brilliant!
* The last book I finished is The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. I think romance fans will probably love this read, but I’m not a fan of the genre and thought part of the plot was quite predictable as well.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I will start Melophobia (ARC) by James Morris as soon as I’ve finished Winter. I also want to try and read The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings so I can finish another series, and I have been looking forward to Between Shades Of Gray by Ruth Sepetys as well. (I might actually read the second one first because it’s been I while since I’ve read a book during WWII.) And my next TBR jar pick is still Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

WWW Wednesdays #64 – November 11th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I started The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes during the weekend because I needed a light read, but I wasn’t really overwhelmed by it… So I decided to finish Six Of Crows first before continuing with this one. At least it’s a fast read so I will probably finish it soon. I still haven’t picked up Outlander by Diana Gabaldon again; not because I’m not enjoying it, but there are a few other books I want to finish first before fully commiting to this giant.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Four books finished this week and three of them are over 400 pages… I guess I will have to “thank” the wisdom tooth extraction for extra free time. 😉
* The first is The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle. I got this one as a kindle freebie a few months back and it turned out to be an interesting, although not great read.
* I then picked up my copy of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell as pain medication, and it worked perfectly. I absolutely loved this read and I have the feeling it will end up on my 2015 favorites list.
* I needed another light read afterwards, so I decided to read Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. I don’t really watch her shows, but I enjoyed reading it anyway. Her essays are both funny and feel ‘real’…
* I decided to continue with Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo afterwards. The tricky names make it hard to follow the story in the beginning, but as always Leigh Bardugo doesn’t disappoint. Her prose is simply brilliant!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have a new ARC lined up to be read: Melophobia by James Morris. I’m also probably going to ignore my November TBR and read Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli; I have been wanting to get a copy for ages and I can’t wait to finally read it. George by Alex Gino is high on my list as well, especially since it has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards… And my next TBR jar pick is still Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

WWW Wednesdays #63 – November 4th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

wwwnov4th2015currently

I’m about 60% into The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle and while it’s not a mindblowing read, the general plot is interesting enough for me to keep reading. I will probably end up finishing it later today… I still haven’t continued with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; not because I’m not enjoying it, but there are a few other books I want to finish first before fully commiting to this giant.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three books and a novella this week; not bad at all…
* The first is The Fear Trials by Lindsay Cummings; an excellent prequel novella that gives the perfect introduction to the story and will convince you to read the rest of the series.
* Next up is Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver, a novel that kept popping up at my TBR lists and finally decided to pick up. Not a bad read, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by it either…
* I then decided to read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey since it was the last title on my October TBR I hadn’t started yet. I know other people love this series, but I wasn’t convinced by the sequel either.
* After two mediocre reads, I wanted something good and decided to pick up the Anna sequel Girl Of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. While not as good as the first book, this one is still really good!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as I finish The Valentine Circle, I will either start Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo or Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Basically I’m superexcited to read both and I will be having a hard time deciding which one to pick up first. I also want to read Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling since it’s nominated for the Goodreads Choice awards… And my new TBR jar pick is Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.