Review: Bitter Like Orange Peel by Jessica Bell

bitter like orange peelBitter Like Orange Peel
written by Jessica Bell
published by Vine Leaves Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours in November 2013. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book:
I wanted to but it just didn’t do it for me.  The story has promise but the delivery fell short.

Bitter Like Orange Peel is a look at a “family” — 3 different women, 3 daughters, 1 man — and how they all relate, react, and coexist with each other while hiding secrets from each other. It was a raw, gritty look at this type of situation. It was interesting and, as I said above, has a lot of promise. However, there are some issues that made me want to put it down without finishing it.

First, there are quite a few mentions of the characters’ groins and crotches. I do not understand the point of so many. It was rather uncomfortable. I read about sweat dripping on Kit’s crotch, how Brian spilled coffee on his groin, and that one guy’s scrotum looked like melted fudge. Too much information. And if that wasn’t too much, I also learned about one of the mom’s hairy armpits and about Kit’s unshaven knees. As well as furry teeth and knotted hair — all of the women experienced these at some point. Too much information. This is not needed and really turned me off.

Another perplexing part, Ivy does drugs. So does Kit’s  mom. Fine, whatever, it just didn’t seem to fit the characters. I guess that goes to you don’t know people until you really get to know them, but I just didn’t see it. And the ending, the big build up to this one moment, fell short. It was too rushed, too incomplete, too many questions left unanswered and unexplained. I kept reading because I wanted to see the resolution. This was not expected and was a bit of a let down.


Would I recommend it: I would not recommend this book.

Will I read it again: I will not.

About the book:
Six women. One man. Seven secrets. One could ruin them all.

Kit is a twenty-five-year-old archaeology undergrad, who doesn’t like to get her hands dirty. Life seems purposeless. But if she could track down her father, Roger, maybe her perspective would change.

The only problem—Roger is as rotten as the decomposing oranges in her back yard according to the women in her life: Ailish, her mother—an English literature professor who communicates in quotes and clichés, and who still hasn’t learned how to express emotion on her face; Ivy, her half-sister—a depressed archaeologist, with a slight case of nymphomania who fled to America after a divorce to become a waitress; and Eleanor, Ivy’s mother—a pediatric surgeon who embellishes her feelings with medical jargon, and named her daughter after “Intravenous.”

Against all three women’s wishes, Kit decides to find Roger.
Enter a sister Kit never knew about.
But everyone else did.




  1. Heh…well, wow, that cover sure is…um, interesting. I don’t think this is my kind of book anyway. XD I usually go YA (okay, always…but I am trying to branch out a bit this year!)