It’s that time again! A reading recap. I failed at sharing these the past couple months, so consider this the first in what will be a new effort to actually do this every month. I didn’t read quite as much as I’d hoped, but all four books were four star reads, so I’ll take it. Have you read any of these? What did you read this month?
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren: If you’re a fan of contemporary romance — or if you aren’t sure this genre is for you but want to give it a try — READ THIS. I’m fairly new to the romance genre, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites (two others I’ve loved: The Wedding Date and It Ends With Us). What makes these books so appealing are the lovable characters, steamy sex scenes, surprise twists, and ALL THE FEELS, and Love and Other Words has it all. Plus, reading plays a crucial role in Macy and Elliott’s lives, and who doesn’t love that? I laughed, I cried, and I smiled from the first page to the last — I wish I could read it again for the first time. This was my first Christina Lauren book, but it definitely won’t be my last. [Thank you to Gallery Books for providing a free copy in exchange for my honest review.] 4 stars; for fans of Colleen Hoover, Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Light We Lost.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: It took me a while to feel like I was ready to tackle this hefty book, both because of its size, but also its high praise — I always fear a book with so much buzz will fall flat for me, or one as highly lauded will go completely over my head. But once I got started, just like everyone said, it went surprisingly quickly and kept me engage… until about the last 100 pages. One thing that makes me feel invested in a book is good well depicted characters, and Min Jin Lee has a knack for that. I did feel like the story fizzled out at the end, leaving some characters’ story lines unfinished and making me rush through it just to finish. There are lots of themes here: hope, parental roles and influence, class issues, identity, to name a few. I also liked that it taught me so much about Korean history, something I was embarrassingly ignorant of. While this book didn’t impact me like it did some people, it’s a story that will stick with me for a long time, one I’m very glad I finally worked up the motivation to read. 4 stars; for fans of Little Fires Everywhere, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, The Nightingale.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara: I bought Michelle McNamara’s book as soon as it came out… and then let it sit on my shelf, neglected. When news broke that the killer had been caught, I no longer had an excuse not to read it. McNamara’s writing sucked me in immediately, as did the details of each gruesome attack. I’m a HUGE fan of murder-y things (not sure what that says about me) and had just finished rewatching alllllll 19 seasons of Law & Order: SVU, so I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was right up my alley. It’s hard to imagine a person being sick enough to commit these acts, let alone with the survivors and families of the victims went through. Pro tip: Try not to read this right before bed; the fact that he’s been caught only makes it a TINY bit less terrifying to read. I only wish McNamara was alive to see what her years of work accomplished. 4 stars; for fans of true crime, especially In Cold Blood and Helter Skelter.
You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld: This is the first short story collection I’ve read in its entirety and I LOVED IT. I didn’t want it to end! Curtis Sittenfeld’s cleverness, wry wit, and ability to make every story resonate had me eager to keep reading. Plus, she tackles topics very relevant to our current culture — social media, class issues, gender roles, political differences, etc. I was particularly struck by how much she made me care about the characters in just 10 to 20 pages; she did a phenomenal job of developing a story and making me feel invested in a short amount of time. I’ve been a fan of hers for a while — particularly American Wife and Prep — but now I might just be a super fan. [Thank you to Randomhouse for gifting me this copy in exchange for my honest review.] 4 stars; for fans of anything Curtis Sittenfeld, The Female Persuasion, and I Was Told There’d Be Cake.
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