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 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…

I liked my Life- Abby Fabiaschi

Wow, I really loved this book. From the get go, I knew it was a book about a woman who surprisingly commited suicide, leaving her family to wonder what in the world had happened. I dove right into it because I was super intrigued by the narrator, Maddy, the woman telling the story after death. Although there are multiple viewpoints and narrators throughout the novel, hers lays the groundwork for the story line and opens the book.

I was curious what happened and why, of course; so I started the beginning of the book reading quickly. Towards the middle of the book, I got a bit antsy and annoyed by some of the overly detailed story points that I didn’t think mattered. There is one chapter that talks about the Husband (Brady) going off to find long lost relatives. I thought this was super boring and frankly, irrelevant to the story at hand. Was it just added in for word count?

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and found the writing to be excellent. It was sprinkled with just enough humor to keep the grief feeling real. The characters were well written and relatable. The ending was perfect and without giving anything away, I really like happy endings and I felt this book gave the reader the happy ending they deserved after a somewhat somber novel.

I would definitely recommend I like my Life by Abby Fabiaschi

Here is the description from Amazon:

Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.

The Favorite Sister- Jessica Knoll

I had been waiting for this book to come out and I’m so glad I finally got to read it! First of all, I’m a big fan of Jessica Knoll and absolutely love her first book- Luckiest Girl Alive. The Favorite Sister was REALLY different and read almost like a movie script. The character development throughout the book truly builds the characters unlike any other book I can remember. I can literally picture these characters in my head.

The story takes us inside a group of women who are all cast on a reality TV show together and builds the backstory of how one of the main characters dies. Overall, the writing and building throughout this book makes it a SERIOUSLY great read, but I did find a few parts hard to follow between characters at first. The characters and references to current events and trends were on point and I really enjoyed the novel from start to finish!

5 Books to read this Fall

Fall is by far my favorite season.

The start of fall signifies cooler weather, clothes that layer, outdoor activities, and of course- pumpkin everything. But for me, another reason for being super excited for a new season is the bombardment of new books. There’s something about being able to curl up with a new book, a fuzzy blanket, and some hot tea to really get ready for Fall.

Luckily, there are some great books out there to choose from.

Here are 5 books to help get you in the Fall spirit:

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

This book has been picked up by Reese Witherspoon’s production company to be turned into a movie or mini-series. Not only does it have a mysterious storyline, it also ties in the true life issue of memory science.

What to Expect: A dark, page turning thriller that takes us inside the lives of a family after their daughter is brutally attacked and raped. In the hospital, her parents consent to use of a new memory treatment drug on the girl so she can forget the memory of the horrible assault. However, the story is told from the perspective of a psychiatrist who is trying to help the girl recover her memory in order to find the attacker.

Told from the point of view of the family psychiatrist, the book is able to give us different layers of insight into the characters which leads to multiple plots and storylines that tangle and weave together beautifully. I read this entire book in less than 24 hours and really couldn’t put it down. However, I must warn you, the graphic rape and assault scenes in the book are disturbing and hard to read.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This book follows the story of a travel journalist who goes on board a small luxury yacht to write a story about the inaugural voyage of the swanky Dreamliner. However, in the middle of the night, she hears someone in the cabin next to her being thrown overboard! She immediately calls security… but is told the cabin next to her is empty. Was it all a bad dream?

The next week onboard takes the reader through the twists and turns of her trying to figure out the truth.

I really enjoyed this book except for the main character. I didn’t love her and I really wish the author had made her a strong, smart, non-alcoholic lead instead of making her paranoid, weak, and constantly drunk. Regardless, the storyline was enough to keep me reading and keep me interested in what was happening next. About halfway through the book, I thought I had it figured out– but I didn’t! I really liked the twist but thought the beginning of the narrative could’ve flowed a bit better with the end.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I absolutely adored this story. The book follows a young journalist who is requested to write the Biography of a super famous Hollywood glamorous film star, Evelyn Hugo by Evelyn Hugo herself. However, she’s never met the famous star and has no idea why Evelyn chose her.

Personally, I love autobiographies and non fiction- so the fact that this book was written fictionally as an autobiography style story that told of Evelyn Hugo’s life- made me LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! It’s an amazing read with layers of depth, loads of love stories, and a great insight into an actual life behind a camera versus what you see on screen- (so relevant in our social media driven age). It has a wonderful added layer of twists sprinkled throughout the novel and truly serves as a reminder that life is never linear. We all live lives that are full of highs and lows, struggles and victories that most people never see.

The Glass Castle- Jeanette Walls

Speaking of Non-Fiction, this is a must read Memoir. I haven’t had a chance to see the movie that just came out in theaters that is based off of this book, but I’m so glad I read it first!

I truly feel this book should be required reading for high school or college students, it can give everyone perspective. Perspective on what it’s like to really have a rough childhood, perspective on overcoming obstacles, and most of all perspective on how important it really is to share your story.

This is a must read memoir and a reminder that our pasts our intended to make us and shape us- not break us.

Luckiest Girl Alive- Jessica Knoll

This book actually came out a couple years ago, but I feel like it’s been highly underrated so I wanted to add it to this list. I’ve also read online that it is being made into a movie for next year, so it’s definitely a story to read before going to see the film in theaters.

It’s the perfect Fall read, with an awesome strong female character who is highly relatable. The story takes us into her present day life where you find out she’s done everything she can to get as far away from her past as possible. It’s a really eye opening read that makes you think about who we really are as people versus who we want people to think we are. And the big question- can you escape a past that still haunts you? Or are you better off embracing it and sharing it with others. Aside from just the main character’s present day life, there are also multiple twists throughout the story that caught me completely off guard and make this a multi-dimensional book with so many great issues throughout the pages.

P.S.

If you’re in need of some inspiration, motivation, and insight- check out Oprah’s new book: The Wisdom of Sunday’s