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Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book:

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent was the January 2024 book for The Readheads podcast book club. I had seen a review of this book by @halpreads so I figured that she recommended it to Margo to choose for January 2024. I was correct in this assumption as verified on the podcast. I had no prior knowledge about the book when I started it, I only knew that @halpreads gave it a high rating. I checked it out of the library and started reading it without reading the book’s description.


Content of This Book:

Strange Sally Diamond was the nickname given to Sally Diamond by her classmates because she was, well strange. After following what she thought were the correct instructions from her father, to burn his dead body in the incinerator, Sally is swept into an investigation and a world outside of the isolated one she has been living in since childhood. Now everyone including the police, media and locals have an interest in her and her story. With the death of both of her parents it is now time for Sally to discover her horrific early childhood, and to step into the world she has been isolated from. She begins making friends, important decisions, and learning the hard truth, that people don’t always mean what they say. In addition to Sally’s narration there is the narration of a man who is observing Sally, but refers to her as Mary. Her new neighbor Mark is also oddly obsessed with her. In this riveting and captivating book Sally will explore her past, the future ahead of her, and new experiences.


What I Liked About This Book:

For starters the story absolutely captivated me from the start and have me sucked in through to the end. There were so many parts of the plot that were interesting that it is hard to choose which was my favorite. I found both narrations entertaining and again could not pick a favorite. Sometimes with thrillers there is a complex plot, like this one, that the reader is able to pick out plot holes or inconsistency. For both the podcast host’s and me, we did not find that to be the case for Strange Sally Diamond. In my opinion the author was able to properly portray the emotional and social adjustments and changes that Sally had to make as she became integrated into society for the first time as an adult. The inner dialogue of Sally talking through social interactions and using the advice and skills she was given by others was a part of her growth that I enjoyed and was memorable for me. There were times that I was afraid the author was going to have Sally become too integrated into society too quickly and properly that is was going to be unbelievable, but that was never the case. The author took her time with it and had Sally do the same. The opposing narration helped to paint a whole picture for the reader of how their childhood’s shaped them. One of the ongoing themes in this book was nature versus nurture. This is a theme that I have always been intrigued by since learning about it in science class. The author made a case for how together nature and nurture shape and develop a person.


What I Disliked About This Book:

I was not the biggest fan of the ending. There is a way I envisioned how the story would wrap up both for the plot and each characters and sadly I did not get the ending I wanted. The podcast hosts were in agreeance that they too did not feel justified by the ending. I would say things annoyed me in this book, but were not necessarily a dislike. I believe the author intended for the reader to become annoyed with the characters at different points in the plot. This could be due to their actions or lack thereof. This was the case for me. I found myself frustrated with the characters but in hindsight can see how they were meant to act this way because it accurately reflection their personality. Another aspect that annoyed me was the criminal side of the plot. I have read and watched enough crime shows and stories to know how an investigation/crime should be handled and the lack of motivation or ability to solve these cases was an annoyance.


Would I Recommend This Book?

I would without a doubt recommend this book. This is a must read five star book for me. I have continued to think about it since finishing and will continue to recommend it. I say get yourself a copy and start reading now!!

Check out my book reviews for 2023!!

Horse by Geraldine Brooks  
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Hester by Laurie Pico Albanese
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Environmental and Sustainability Book Reviews 2022
Self-Improvement Book Reviews 2022
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Not All Diamonds and Rosé by Dave Quinn
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham 
Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman
Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton
The Summer Series by Jenny Han
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives by Brian Moylan
Verity by Colleen Hoover
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart 
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Majesty: American Royals 2 by Kathrine McGree
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

2021 Book Rankings

Beach Read By Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Educated by Tara Westover
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 
The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Klara and the Sun 
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
American Duchess by Karen Harper 
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry
Down the Habit Hole by Holly Madison Book Review
My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Layla by Colleen Hoover

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!

Check out my book reviews from 2018!!

Don't forget to stay up to date on my blog by following my social media accounts!
Instagram: @whenishouldbestudying


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