Time for a monthly wrap up! I referred back to April Quick Lit and it feels like a lifetime ago since I've read those titles. I'm so thankful that my bookstagram and blog (and Goodreads) help me remember what I've read, because I'm quite sure without it I'd have no idea. So far I've read 47 books this year and am 18 ahead of "schedule"- my original goal was 65. Do you keep track of your reading in Goodreads? Definitely add me if you are- I love seeing what everyone else is reading. But on to what I've read this month!
Trouble the Water | Jacqueline Friedland | #freebook
This book was a departure from my usual reading but I really loved it. The writing was simple- I hate the temptation to overwork historical fiction- and this was really accessible. I found myself turning the pages and racing to the end like I would any thriller. I loved the characters and the omnipresent narration. This is Southern Historical Fiction/ romance wrapped up in neat packaging. I also really appreciated the slavery and abolitionist discussion- if anything, I would have liked more of that. I can tell a lot of research went into this book and I'd recommend it for fans of Kindred.. Well done, Jacqueline Friedland! Rating, 4/5
How to Walk Away | Katherine Center | #freebook
Margaret has a fear of flying. All is going perfectly in her life- she and her Golden Boy boyfriend Chip are recent grads who have just landed competitive jobs in their field. It's Valentine's Day, and despite said fear of flying she agrees to let Chip show of his now quite yet minted pilot's license. There's an accident ans suddenly, everything she thought she was sure of dissolves. If you're looking for a compulsively readable book about resiliency with a side of humor, this is for you! 4.5
Little Fires Everywhere | Celeste Ng
One of my favorites of the year, for sure. (Even though I know I'm about the last to pick it up). In idyllic 1990s Shaker Heights Ohio, privilege abounds. There are large homes with manicured lawns and every decision is made with a clear plan in place. Until Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl enter the bubble and rent a home from the Richardson's. The two families quickly intertwine and each Richardson has their own relationship with Pearl. At the center of the story is an adoption that causes the community members to choose sides and go against one another, but there's really much more to it. It's not a mystery or a thriller- it's a story about family and fitting in, sacrifices and the road less traveled. I LOVED Ng's writing style and will be picking up Everything I Never Told You as soon as I can. Can't wait to see Reece's / Kerry's adaptation! 4.75/5
The Last Time I Lied | Riley Sager | #freebook
I was excited to read this, since I loved Sager's last book, Final Girls. We have another girl who is the last girl standing after a tragedy- at summer camp 15 years ago, Emma's three roommates snuck out in the middle of the night and were never seen again. Emma is now an artist who paints massage paintings with a secret- in every photo, she hides a scene of the girls she lost so long ago. Francesca Harris-White, Camp Nightingale's wealth benefactor, approaches Emma with news that she's re-opening the camp. What's more, she wants Emma to come back and teach a painting class. Emma decides to return for closure, but quickly finds that the past doesn't do the best job of staying buried. This took me an extremely long time to get into (for me), about two weeks. I think it's because I wasn't connecting to Emma or to the camp setting. That said, once I was about 70% of the way through I raced to the end to see the resolution. Not my favorite but I think it'd be great for readers who have a connection to camp. 3/5
Bring Me Back | B.A. Paris | #freebook
I LOVED Bring Me Back! Finn and Layla are young and in love. Until Layla goes missing while they're on vacation and is never seen again. Brought together by grief, Finn falls in love with Layla's sister, Ellen. And they're happy, until months before the wedding clues begin to surface that suggest Layla might still be alive. And that she might want FInn back. I found this to be a total page turner- a contained thriller with a few red herrings thrown in that kept me guessing the whole time. Fans of The Woman in the Window should like this one! 5/5
The Queen of Hearts | Kimmery Martin
I won't lie- the cover got me to read this one. This was a true beach read chock full of friend drama. It centers on Zadie and Emma, best friends who met in medical school and are now practicing physicians in Charlotte. Then Dr. X- the McDreamy of it all- reappears and turns their relationship inside out. The author is an ER doctor herself (a fact which blows my mind! Where does she find the time to write...) There was a fair amount of medical jargon and detail that made the setting more real. All in all, this wasn't my favorite. I couldn't connect with the characters and there were too many characters introduced that didn't really add anything to the plot or the story. Those with experience working in healthcare may be more connected to this than I was. 2.75/5.
Tell Me Lies | Carola Lovering | #freebook
I think that a very specific demographic will like this book, but those of us that fall into that demographic will love it. Tell Me Lies opens with 25 year old Lucy Albright heading to a wedding for college friend Bree. She's got a pit in her stomach about it and despite trying to tell herself otherwise, she knows it's because he'll be there. The he that she never stopped thinking about. We flash back to freshman year, when she's moved across the country to go to a small liberal arts college and see her begin to experiment, find herself, make friends, and give in to the pull of Stephen, who is totally wrong for her. I loved the writing style and the story. There's not a ton of action- and trigger warnings for gaslighting, eating disorders, drugs, and cheating- but this really spoke to me. I was immersed in the characters and it was fascinating to read both Lucy and Stephen's inner perspective. Stephen was an absolute sociopath- but I think we've all known varying degrees of Stephen. These characters made me mad, made me reflect back on my own college experience, and will absolutely stick with me. 4.5/5
That's it from me! What have you been reading?
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