Wednesday, May 27, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

This is a book review for Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is June 2, 2015.

There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide. Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands. But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever. Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets.


I am honestly not sure how to review this book because I was a bit underwhelmed with it. I didn’t have any strong feelings about it one way or the other. The book starts with Georgia running out on her wedding dress fitting when she discovers a secret her fiancé was hiding. Yeah, she didn't run out on her wedding. She ran out on a fitting. I guess that was the excuse for why she showed up at her brother's bar in a wedding dress. The secret was that her fiancé had a child and never told her. This isn't really a spoiler because the reader is informed of this within the first chapter. He didn't cheat on Georgia; he just found out about the child shortly after they became engaged and never told her. I didn't understand why she didn't stick around to at least hear an explanation. She saw him with his child and then took off. Yes, it was a major red flag that he lied to her. But here's my issue with Georgia: she sat around twiddling her thumbs about a decision regarding their future despite the fact that their wedding was five days away. She basically ran away and refused to talk to him. And when he did show up at her family's place, she heard the explanation and then refused to make a decision about whether she actually wanted to marry him. At this point, I didn't even care whether she married Ben or not. Just make a decision already. But no, she just let everyone continue making her wedding plans around her while acting like she didn't know what she wanted to do. I did not care about Ben one way or the other. He seemed wishy washy and spineless. And he was a liar, so that was that. Of course Georgia kept being surprised when she found out about another lie. Come on Georgia . . . wake up! Okay, I guess I did have some strong feelings about this book. I kind of hated Georgia's indecisiveness. 

The book also had chapters from Dan's POV (Georgia's father). These chapters went back to the very beginning, when he first started the vineyard. His chapters talked about the problems they had, both with the vineyard and with their marriage. I found myself so bored with those chapters. I even skimmed them a little. I also did not care about the problems with Georgia's parents' marriage or the problems between her brothers. There was no character at all that stood out for me. I feel like a black sheep because I have seen so many rave reviews about this book. But I just didn't get it.


Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip it. There really wasn’t anything exciting enough about this book to warrant extra attention.

12 comments :

  1. Oh man. That sounds a little rough. Georgia's character sounds like she would bother me so much. Definitely sounds like a skip - Great review though!

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  2. Yikes, that does not sound good. Yes, I'll be skipping! Between indecisive characters, liars and people refusing to talk out their problems, I really don't think this one would do it for me either.

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    1. Thanks Trish. Yeah, there were just too many issues.

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  3. Heck, no! I want characters that will stay with me, characters with character, not a cast nothing-special. Skipping this one.

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  4. Can I just say how interesting your reading choices are? I wish I have the guts to step out of my zone. Sigh. Sorry this didn't work out for you.

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    1. Thanks so much Joy! I have been really trying to step out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't. :)

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  5. There was no doubt that I was annoyed with Georgia at times. She actually seemed rather immature. I did end up like the book far more than you did, but you have made some valid points. I was just less bothered.

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    1. Suzi, I am glad you enjoyed the book. And it's so funny because I didn't realize just how bothered I was by Georgia until I started reviewing the book.

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  6. Thanks for the enlightening review of Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave. I wouldn't like it for the same reasons you didn't, so I'll be skipping on this read as well!!

    I've nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award!! See the following link for more details: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2015/05/blogger-recognition-award.html

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    1. Thank you so much Captivated Reader!

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