Book Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid was recommended to me recently (when it was free on Kindle), and I picked it up on a whim. Show me a woman who can resist free books, and I’ll probably not talk to her–she’s obviously insane.

I loved Neanderthal Seeks Human from the very first page. We meet the main character Janie on the worst day ever. She’s stuck in the ladies room after she’s been fired, which is terrible on its own, and our girl Janie had only discovered her boyfriend cheated on her and moved out that morning. Pretty bad. I love reading disastrous openings like this–and wrote one myself–because I feel like we’re coming to the story at just the right moment. Everything is happening and we’re in it with the main character together.

Janie finds a soft landing place at her best friend Elizabeth’s apartment and begins to put the pieces back together with the support of her knitting group (lots of yarn chit chat to be had by a colorful cast of ladies). Janie’s life takes an unexpected and exciting turn when she encounters the gorgeous security guard from her office building, Quinn, on a night out.

One of the things that drew me to Janie was the way her mind worked. She’s obviously intelligent and full of trivial facts that monopolize her attention 99% of the time–unless Quinn is with her. Her hyper analytical and intellectual perspective added an interesting layer to her narration. Her view of things, especially herself, seemed so skewed at times that I would almost label her as an unintentionally unreliable narrator (though I’m sure she’d disagree with me).

I raced through this book like I stole it, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a delicious contemporary romance that’s light on sap. I’ll definitely be picking up it’s companion novels next!

ps- look like it’s still free on Amazon:



The Books That Made Me

Miranda Lambert has a song called “The House That Built Me,” and while I’m not a big country fan, I identify with the sentiment that a place can hold so many memories that it becomes a part of your story. Many of us have a place tied to childhood where our roots have grown so deep that no matter where we go, we’ll always be “from” that place.

Being a book person, I not only have places that have altered the chemical makeup of my being, but stories as well. Here are the books that made me:

  1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – I read this book in the 7th grade, and I sobbed ugly tears for the first time. No book had ever touched me the way Ponyboy Curtis’s coming-of-age story did. Maybe you never forget the first time a book made you feel.
  2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – I actually read The Little Prince in French for a class assignment, and I fell in love with it. The wisdom woven into the story is easily communicated to children, but has so much depth that adults connect it with it as well. It’s a rare thing that a story can teach you something new every time you read it.
  3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – I’ve heard conflicting opinions about this book, but it will always hold a special place in my heart because it reached me at a time when learning to follow your story had a great impact. As a senior in high school, about to go off on my own to college, I learned that nothing was more important at that moment than listening to my heart and not letting fear get in the way.

What books have built you?