Red, White & Royal Blue

This book is super cute and overall a really fun read. I love that the author created an alternate political landscape for 2016/2020 as opposed to the reality of what is going on.

The story follows the son of the Female President of the United States, as she runs for re-election in 2020. The First son falls in love with the Prince of Wales and their romance is the subject of the story. The writing is smart and the story is light, yet touches on some heavy subjects.

I would recommend reading it as a fun break from our actual political climate and for a charming love story.

Here is the full book description from Goodreads:

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

I really enjoyed this book and though the writing was excellent! As far as the storyline, I felt it moved a little slow during the first 2/3rds of the book and then the ending of the book sped to the finish.

Although I really liked the book, I felt like certain aspects of the plot were rushed and some were perfectly thought out. There is a twist, but I found it predictable- but I still enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author!

Here is the description from Goodreads:

I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn’s house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Daisy Jones & The Six

I’m ashamed to say I just read this book and can’t believe I didn’t pick it up sooner.

Daisy Jones and The Six is magical. I loved it and I seriously want to just read it all over again.

The novel follows the life of Daisy Jones as she climbs the ladder of fame in LA in the 70s. The story is written interview style between Daisy Jones and the band The Six. Like I said above, it’s magical. This story feels so real. The song lyrics are such an amazing touch. I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s going on my “favorites” list!

Also, exciting news, they are making the book into an Amazon series!! Ahhhhh! I can’t wait!

How to Walk Away & The Mother in Law

I picked up both of these books after reading RAVE reviews online.

I LOVED How to Walk Away! I fell in love with the story and loved the last chapter and ending. I felt the layered storyline gave it just enough without detracting from the main character and main storyline. The ending made me happy and was a refreshing different vibe from what else I’ve been reading lately. I can’t wait to read more Katherine Center books.

I liked The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth, but didn’t love it as much as I hoped I would. The story had some good build up, but ultimately fell flat with a predictable ending and unresolved back story.

My Lovely Wife- Samantha Downing

This book reminds me of the TV show Dexter mixed with a slightly less graphic Karin Slaughter novel, but still very uniquely styled and written in its own way.

The book follows a couple, living in suburbia, as they plot to kill someone… for fun. So fun fact- and also small annoyance- the book takes place in a central Florida, which is where I grew up. Although I loved the mention of the sun rail and other Central Florida details, some of the geographic places and timelines didn’t match up with real life. Like if you lived an hour from the Orlando airport, you couldn’t easily find a swampland in that general area good enough to hide a body… but I guess the author doesn’t mention how far away they drove to get to the swamp- but there just aren’t big enough swamplands in the general central Florida area. Oh well. It’s fine.

The book uses the husband to narrate the story and paint a picture of their fairly normal life at home. The twists and turns build through flashbacks told in alternating chapters. I really liked the book and felt like the author nailed the story with just enough gore/murder without getting overly graphic. I also thought the storyline was unique although I did see the twist coming. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book just based on the fact that I don’t think there’s anything else out there like it right now.

Fleishman is in Trouble

So, I chose this book because it made a lot of the “Best Books of 2019” lists and received some significant hype. I just finished it and can’t decide how I really feel about it yet.

The book is broken down into 3 sections and I loved the shift that came at the 3rd section. Towards the middle of the book, I resorted to skimming a little bit because I felt some of the back story/past that the novel got into was boring and unnecessary. Overall, I liked the ending and I liked the perspective shift and the way it made you think… I found some of the switch between Toby and narrator confusing and think some of the fluff could’ve been removed in between chapters.

Here is the blurb description from Wikipedia:

Toby, a 41-year-old hepatologist, is undergoing a bitter divorce from his wife Rachel, a successful talent agent in New York. One day, she drops off their children, 11-year-old Hannah and 9-year-old Solly, at Toby’s house while he is still sleeping and takes off. She does not respond to texts or calls from him for the following weeks. The story, narrated by Toby’s college friend Libby, a former writer for a men’s magazine, follows their lives over this period and the events that led to the breakdown of their 14-year-marriage, as well as reflections of Libby’s own life.

The Good Daughter – Karin Slaughter

And enter my introduction to Karin Slaughter… I can’t believe it took me this long to read one of her books! I am now a big fan!

The Good Daughter is a well written crime drama with a strong female lead character. The book starts back in time and tells the story of a traumatic past experience the main character lives through. The book then brings us to present day where the main character again bears witness to a traumatic tragedy and has to get involved in solving the crime and the small town corruption that comes along with that.

The book is well written and dives deep enough to give us strong character development and background on our characters. Although a bit graphic for some, I think it accurately depicts a graphic crime story and gives the reader the details they want when reading crime fiction.

Here is the Book description:

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney – devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself – the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again – and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized – Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

The One by John Marrs

Wow! This book is really great. I stumbled upon the recommendation from a Book club online group and read it had been extremely successful in the UK.

The book takes place in a world where almost every single person has been “matched” by their DNA to their perfect person. Some people love it, some hate it- but the novel follows the lives of 5 characters as they go about meeting and finding their perfect match. Each chapter alternates between a different character’s story which makes the suspense of what is happening to each character really be drawn out across the novel. I loved this book, I truly didn’t see some of the twists coming and thought the character development and storyline was extremely well executed.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Also worth mentioning- I am normally a fast reader and this book actually took me a few days! (Which is a good thing!)

Here is the blurb about the book:

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

Maybe you Should Talk to Someone- Lori Gottlieb

This book had some really mixed reviews online, but I’m glad I chose to give it a chance. I really enjoyed this book and I really enjoyed the look into therapy! I would categorize this book as part memoir, part insightful tip- like book.

The book follows Lori in present day as she goes through a horrible break up and seeks out the help of a Therapist while also treating her patients as a Therapist. I particularly liked the build up and development of the patients she was treated. The book also offered flashbacks and insights into Lori’s past and how she got to be a Therapist. There were a couple stand out sections and some eye opening revelations that I really enjoyed. I would highly recommend this book and really enjoyed reading it.

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

This book follows the lives of two sisters, Jo and Bethie, from their youth through adulthood. The book started a bit slow for more but progressively gained steam. I really enjoyed the last half of the book and thought all of the characters were wonderfully developed. The writing was excellent and purposely wove a great story. I chose this book based on reviews, many of which hated the ending. I liked the way the story culminated and ended and felt like it matched the overall story and theme.

I liked that the book didn’t necessarily have a “happy” ending, but more of a “hopeful” ending.

Where the Crawdads sing

Okay, woah. This book is a yes.

At the start of this book, I almost put it down because I really wasn’t into the swamp/nature theme and intense descriptions of the wildlife. The writing was excellent, just swamp wildlife isn’t my vibe. However, the story picked up and I decided to keep reading… and now, I get it.

I totally get why this book is a bestseller and I totally get the hype. I really feel the need to talk to people about the ending and the book. My only complaint is that I feel the ending was too quick. I wanted to know more about her writing, etc.

The book is truly an excellent piece of literature and written in an extraordinary way. The background setting wasn’t my cup of tea, but I appreciate great work. I wish the trial had started a tad bit earlier in the book giving us a little more of life after the trial as opposed just going to the end.

Without spoiling anything, I won’t say anymore, other than that I highly recommend this book.

Maybe in Another Life- Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’m a huge Taylor Jenkins Reid fan, as one of my favorite books is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, so I was super excited to finally get my hands on this novel.

I loved it and I loved the characters, I felt like I knew them and they were so well described. The book takes on dual story-lines and goes back and forth between 2 different choices the main character chooses to make.

The premise that the Universe always works out in our favor, no matter the choice, is something I do believe. However, I felt slightly conflicted with the ending of the book, because I felt like it didn’t exactly match up to the rest of the storytelling.

SPOILER ALERT:

The other characters, like Gabby, no matter their choices- receive the same ending. Hannah, the main character, I was expecting the story to be different but  the ending to be the same. She gets two different endings with the two different story-lines. I liked the book, but I’m curious to know why it had two different endings when everything was leading up to the conclusion that there would be one ending- no matter what choices she made.