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Posts tagged “book reviews

Book Reviews: A Lover, A Wife + A Handmaid

 

Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff: There are only two reasons this book gets A minus – it starts a little slow and it’s a little too long. But everything else about it is just fabulous. It is a truly epic and fascinating love story that takes you on a ride with no clue of the final destination. Told in two parts – Fates is from the husband’s perspective and Furies is from the wife’s perspective. The latter infinitely more interesting and has a shocking twist.
Grade: A-

What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty: I’ve read several of Liane’s books, and I absolutely adored this one. It’s a tragic plot – she hits her head and has seemingly forgotten 10 years of her life, including her kids and her failing marriage – but it’s also so endearing. She sees her current life through a totally new, un-jaded lense and vows to get her marriage back on track. It’s cute, it’s easy, and it makes you thankful for what you have.
Grade: A

Wearing God – Lauren F. Winner: Highly recommended from a friend, I’m passing along this recommendation to all of you. This is a thought-provoking book about metaphors of God – though not the ones you immediately think of such as King or Shepherd, more like Clothing, Laughter, Laboring Woman… intrigued yet? This is a great book to read with a friend and discuss together. It will probably make you feel uncomfortable, but I promise it will also give you a new perspective on God.
Grade: A
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood: I vowed to read this book before I watched the show on Hulu, and I’m so glad I did. Oh.My.Gosh. This book AND the TV show are absolutely incredible. It’s creepy and weird and will make you cry and will make you gasp, but it is such a good story. I’m so glad Hulu has taken it over so well and expanded upon the book, because I finished it and was dying for more.
Grade: A

 

You can read all my book reviews here.

xo xo


Book Reviews: California, Cults + Catastrophe

What She Knew – Gilly Macmillan: This falls in to the typical genre of books I lean towards – thriller with a lead female character who’s a little shady (a la Gone Girl, Girl on the Train). That being said, I enjoyed it enough, but it didn’t hold up against the others on the list which kept me turning the pages all night. The ending didn’t close all the holes and left you with an uneasy feeling.
Grade: B

Present Over Perfect – Shauna Niequiest: Let me start by saying, I love Shauna Niequiest. She gets me, I get her and she is just wonderful. I love love loved her book Bread and Wine, which I’ve reviewed previously, so I was highly anticipating this book. However, it kind of let me down. There were great points that I totally related to, especially the main point of the book being present over perfect, but it seemed to kind of ramble/drag on. This would have been better in a series of blog posts or a chapter or two of another book.
Grade: B+

The Girls – Emma Cline: This book has been on my list for forever, finally became available at the library, and oh my gosh I devoured it! Set in 1960s California, the book follows a teenage girl who gets caught up in a cult that ends very very badly. I was fascinated not only with the cult, but also the transformation of the main character. If you’re interested in cults at all or just want a unique read that will pull you in, this is for you.
Grade: A+

The River at Night – Erica Ferencik: What I learned from this book: I will never ever ever go white water rafting in a remote location, especially on an annual girls trip – which is exactly the basis of this book. The book started out a little slow and I almost put it down, but then it started getting intense and I just couldn’t turn my eyes away from the horror. And it was literally that, horror. I couldn’t put the book down the last 100 pages, though I’m not sure it’s because I was enjoying it. It still freaks me out to think about it now.
Grade: B+

You can read all my book reviews here.

xo xo


Book Reviews: Mermaids, Macarons + TV Moms

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Mermaids in Paradise – Lydia Millet: This book is funny and spunky and totally surprised me with how enjoyable it was. I’ve always loved anything mermaids so when I heard about this one (a couple honeymooning in the Caribbean stumbles upon mermaids) it sounded right up my alley. It’s a little weird/sci-fi-ish, but still a fun, easy read. Warning: the ending is extremely weird. And if you read it, we must talk about it.
Grade: A

Talking as Fast as I Can – Lauren Graham: What a perfect stocking stuffer from Husband! I adore Lauren Graham and this book was no exception. She is so personable and quirky, and you can literally hear her voice reading the book to you. The best parts of the book were when she talked behind the scenes of Gilmore Girls and gave you juicy info like you’re an insider. However, if you haven’t watched GG or Parenthood, you might feel a little alienated reading the book.
Grade: A-

Paris My Sweet – Amy Thomas: Another great surprise Christmas gift from Mom! This book follows an advertising copywriter as she moves from NYC to Paris, and eats her way through the City of Light and all the sweets it has to offer. I love both cities and love desserts, so this book sounded perfect for me, as Mom said. (And it was!) It reads like fiction, but is actually non-fiction so the book also gives you loads of places to actually visit in NYC or Paris for the best macaron or cupcake or chocolate chip cookie or anything your heart so desires.
Grade: A-

Executive Presence – Sylvia Ann Hewlett: It’s often difficult to force myself to read these types of books instead of getting lost in a fictitious world, but I’m always glad when I do. This was a very practical book for anyone in the business world. The author shares the qualities of Executive Presence (EP), why they’re important, studies and stories to go with each, then tips for how to get better at each. I thought it dragged on just a touch, but overall I gained some good personal knowledge for my own EP.
Grade: B+

You can read all of my book reviews here.

xo xo


Book Reviews: a Play, a Thriller + a RomCom

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I’ve been in a reading rut lately.

It seems like forever ago when I read the three books in this review because I’ve been failing miserably to find my next book. I started and stopped four books that I just couldn’t get in to, and then just gave up and fell back into my latest TV binge, Suits.

Then, the book gods blessed me with three new books in one week, and I’ve been devouring them. So, I decided to do my book review with only three books instead of my typical four, so I can start fresh with my new books.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling: I was so nervous about this one! I was afraid it would totally ruin one of my all-time favorite series, but I loved it! It takes a bit to get into the flow since you are literally reading a play. But once you do, and you immerse yourself again into the fantastical world of HP you will fall in love with the series all over again.
Grade: A

Pretty Girls – Karin Slaughter: This one falls under a typical, go-to genre for me – mystery thriller with a female lead, a la Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, The Good Girl, etc. While I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it. There were some very dark themes in the book that I wasn’t prepared for (torture, rape) and were written about in more detail than I would prefer. If you like darker thrillers, you would probably really enjoy this.
Grade: B

The Hating Game – Sally Thorne: This one was given to me by a friend out of the blue so I knew absolutely nothing about it, and sometimes those are the best. I often build up books in my head so much that they don’t live up to the expectation. Well, I loved this book! It was such an easy, fun read that follows two work enemies who end up anything but enemies. It’s a very cute, playful love story with a sexy edge.
Grade: A+

xo xo
You can see all my book reviews here.
 

Book Reviews: Wine, Tears + More Wine

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When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi: This book will wreck you. But it is oh so worth the read. It is such a beautiful, true story about a 36-year old neurosurgeon whose world is immediately changed when he’s diagnosed with lung cancer. In his autobiography, he explores the meaning of life and death with such a unique perspective it will make you examine your own ways of thinking, and it will most definitely make you shed some tears.
Grade: A

Eight Hundred Grapes – Laura Dave: This is one of those easy breezy reads you should take on vacation – especially if you’re vacationing in wine country. It was light and fun, but had more depth and twists than I expected. It will make you want to drink wine, have a house on a vineyard and follow your dreams.
Grade: A-

Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn: I really did not like this book, and I really don’t know why I finished it. Maybe because I loved Gone Girl so much (same author), and I was just hoping it would turn a corner and get infinitely better, but it didn’t. It was dark and twisted and not my cup of tea.
Grade: C

Bread & Wine – Shauna Niequist: I.am.obsessed.with.this.book. I seriously could  read it all over again right now. The author shares life stories and intermingles them with her favorite recipes. I felt like I was in her kitchen, living life with her, breaking bread and drinking wine. She is so honest and transparent, and shares her faith in such an amazing way. I can’t wait for her new book to come out, Present Over Perfect.
Grade: A+

xo xo
You can see all my book reviews here.


Book Reviews: The Widow, The Housewife and The Lover

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The Widow – Fiona Barton: I read this book a while ago and to be completely honest when I went to write this review I couldn’t remember for the life of me what the book was about. That wasn’t a good sign. Once I looked it up, I remembered the story and remembered how unimpressed I was. Touted as another “Gone Girl” type thriller, it was not. The twists were unsurprising and the characters were flat. Leave this one be.
Grade: C

American Housewife: Stories – Helen Ellis: This one on the other hand was exactly what I needed after The Widow. The short stories about American housewives were hilarious – everything you’d expect from and everything you wouldn’t. There were a few stories I skimmed over, but overall these were funny, engaging and made you wish you were an American Housewife (if only for the stories).
Grade: A-

Along the Infinite Sea – Beatriz Williams: This book captured me from the first chapter. It tells the story of two very different women, one growing up in WWII and one in 1960s America, and how their lives intertwine. This is a dazzling love story that will sweep you off your feet, thanks to the incredible writing. By the end I was bawling and dying for more.
Grade: A+

Attachments – Rainbow Rowell: It took me a bit to get in to this book, but it turned out to be a cute, easy read. Half the book is two friends writing back and forth to each other via email at work about their personal lives, and the other half is about the IT guy who’s reading these emails and falls in love with one of the girls. It’s quirky, it’s cute and it will make you think twice about sending that private email at work.
Grade: B+

xo xo
You can see all my book reviews here.


Book Reviews [Vacation Edition]: Girls, Girls, Girls

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We just got back from vacation (which I will be writing a post about soon…) and my goal was to finish 4 books. (Think: Beach, Read, Drink. Pool, Read, Drink. so on and so on) Thanks to my awesome fellow book nerds (Shelley, Susan, Rebecca) these 4 were suggested and lent, and so it began!

Girls in White Dresses – Jennifer Close: This was a great book to start out with for vacation – very lighthearted and easy to read. Following a group of college friends through their 20s navigating jobs and relationships, it was relatable and very cute. It took me a bit to get used to the style (it feels at first like you’re reading short stories), but once you get in to the characters its instantly likable.
Grade: A-

Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan: This is one of those books (like I’ve said before in my reviews) you just HAVE to read! Seriously, go buy it right now. It’s a true story about a 24-year-old journalist who gets very sick, very fast, and no one can figure out what is wrong. You will be fascinated by the medical and biological side of the story, as much as you will the personal and relational side. It’s non-fiction, but totally reads like fiction.
Grade: A++ 

Sam’s Letters to Jennifer – James Patterson: I was skeptical about this book at first. James Patterson? Yes, he’s a best-selling author, but doesn’t he just write cheesy books with no depth? (I’d never read one before.) I will admit – the writing was not great, a little elementary, but the story, oh the story! The story was so sweet and drew me in immediately. It’s also the perfect beach read, set at a lake house in the summer.
Grade: A-

Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll: This book has been on my list for a while – it’s on all the “must-read” lists so I knew I had to give it a try, and I loved it. I tore through it, wanting to get to the ending so badly. Very suspenseful and well-written, I agree it’s a must-read of the summer. The only reason I won’t give it an A+ is because it wasn’t quite as big of a twist as I was expecting, but still a great book.
Grade: A

What’s on your summer reading list?
xo xo

You can see all my book reviews here