Saturday, February 24, 2024



Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I found this book to be fascinating and I’m so happy I spent the time reading it. 

Rental Person Who Does Nothing is a memoir of exactly that: a rental person who does nothing. Do you need a person to accompany you to an event but can’t ask anyone in your personal life? Do you want some company while you quietly work at home? Do you want to try a new restaurant but don’t want to go alone? That’s what Rental Person is for. 

I was unaware of Shoji Morimoto before reading this book, despite his prolific online presence. I was intrigued by the title alone, which is why I decided to pick it up, and I’m so happy I did. This was one of the most unique and thought-provoking books I’ve read in quite some time. 

Morimoto recounts many of his experiences as a rental person, but he also provides commentary on the idea of a society that finds value in a rental person and also the value that someone can provide who simply does nothing. In fact, my favorite part of the book was the commentary he provides about the value a person has regardless of their job and the value they provide just for existing as a person, even if they do nothing. 

He states that his dream was to do nothing, and he hated working for his company simply because he needed money when he didn’t like anything he was doing at work. So he started his rental person business. I say “business” but it’s important to note that Rental Person does not charge for his services, only for transportation and any applicable food. But his time comes free. He discusses in detail why he decided to operate this way, and I found it all to be extremely fascinating. 

I would definitely recommend this book. The concept alone is worth reading about, but hearing specifically about Morimoto’s experiences and thought processes makes for an incredible experience.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Review: THE FAMILIAR by Leigh Bardugo


Rating: 3/5 stars

The Familiar was good, but nothing about it really wowed me. I enjoyed my time reading it, but it likely won’t be a standout or memorable book for me this year, sadly. 

I wish the setting was more prominent. If I didn’t know before starting this book that the story takes place in the 1600s during the Spanish Inquisition, I wouldn’t have been able to gather that information from the narrative. Maybe that’s just me being dumb though, because I have heard others mention the setting was a prominent feature. 

The entire book was rather slow-moving to me, and I do wish the pace had been faster. I felt the whole time I was reading that it was moving along very leisurely, and that frustrated me a bit. Especially when the plot picks up, the pace should too, but I personally feel that it did not. 

I felt rather emotionally distant from the entire story, including from the characters. All the characters outside of Luzia and Santángel fell flat for me, unfortunately, and I found myself not really caring what happened to any of them. I was most invested in Luzia of everyone. 

I really enjoyed Luzia as a protagonist though and thought she was deceptively strong-willed, which I love to see. She had a tiny bit of magic, which was cool too. Even though she had the ability to use some magic, this story definitely reads like a historical fiction and not like a fantasy though; the fantastical element is so small, found in just her tiny miracles and in the familiar’s immortality, but that's really it. 

I didn’t feel the chemistry between Luzia and Santángel at all. He seemed pretty creepy to me the whole novel, but love was clearly developing between them. When did he turn from the unsettling emaciated immortal creature to the handsome and loving man? 

I didn’t particularly care for Santángel as a love interest, but I do appreciate that Bardugo included a non-traditional love interest in this novel. I did enjoy learning about his backstory and why he is immortal though. In fact, that was the most captivating chapter of the whole book for me. 

The ending kind of came out of nowhere, and while I’m not sure yet if I liked it or not, I do appreciate it and the message it was communicating. I like that it wasn’t a conventional ending either, something both expected and unexpected at the same time. 

Maybe Leigh Bardugo’s writing style just isn’t for me. I have enjoyed the books I’ve read by her but I haven’t really loved any of them. I felt emotionally detached from The Familiar and from most of the characters, and I’m sad about that. I was prepared to love this book and have a great time reading it, but it was just a book that I read, no emotional strings attached, no significant impact on my life hereafter. I know many people are going to love this book though, and I wish I were one of those people too. It was fine, but that’s about it.