Monday, April 1, 2019

March 2019 Book Review

I read 10 books this month! Woot, woot! And all of them I've slotted into the POPSUGAR book challenge. I've covered 22 of the categories so far, but it'll get trickier as I get to some of the harder prompts... Again I'm sharing when I chose a book specifically to fit a prompt. So here's what I read this month!

The Wedding Date and The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory - These 2 books have overlapping characters and similar themes so I thought I'd review them together. In The Wedding Date Drew and Alexa meet when they get trapped in an elevator together and Drew convinces Alexa to be his date for his ex-girlfriend's wedding. Attraction leads to feelings and that's where things get interesting. In The Proposal Carlos {Drew's best friend} meetings Nikole at a baseball game when her actor boyfriend proposes and she says no. He rescues her from the paparazzi and similar story - attraction, feelings, etc. They were both cute, fun love stories that I liked. HOWEVER, where I feel really convicted is I didn't realize for a while that Alexa was African-American {Nikole and the author are as well}, and it made me really think about the fact that I still almost exclusively read books written by white people about white people. After reading I'm Still Here a few months ago, I wanted to read more by black authors, about black people, and get out of my white bubble a little, and I haven't done very well, so I'm rededicating myself to that {and got a great recommendation from Emily's book review last week!}.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling - *Chosen for book challenge prompt Written by an author from Asia, Africa, or South America* Mindy Kaling is really funny and seems very real and down-to-earth. I loved both of her books but probably liked Why Not Me? a little more because it covered more of The Office, but I loved how she went through her life more here and how she ended up getting her start in Hollywood. [Full disclosure - Mindy was born IN America, but her parents are from India and moved to America right before Mindy was born. Allison gave me permission to use this book for this category, but I needed to be honest here.]

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth - Anna is 38-years-old with early onset dementia. She moves into a nursing home after she is the cause of an accident that hurt her nephew. She meets Luke, the other young resident with dementia. This story has a non-linear timeline as you delve into Luke and Anna's story plus the new cook at their facility, whose husband created a Ponzi scheme. I thought this book had a really unique storyline and I really liked the characters. It was bittersweet - I think as to be expected when dealing with dementia - but I enjoyed it more than I thought possible with the tough subject matter. This was my first Sally Hepworth novel - I don't think I'll devour her books, but I will read more.

Devil's Daughter by Lisa Kleypas - No deep review here. I really like Lisa Kleypas' historical romance novels, and this one was typical for her. This is the 5th book in her latest series, but it has overlapping characters from a previous series. Bottom line: I ate it up.

One Day in December by Josie Silver - *Chosen for book challenge prompt Read a book during the season it is set in* Laurie makes eye contact with a boy at a bus stop and has an instant connection to him. She and her best friend, Sarah, spend a year trying to find him again...until Sarah introduces Laurie to her new boyfriend, Jack, and it turns out he's the bus stop guy. We follow this trio over 10 years and I don't know what else to say without giving something away HA. I liked that this story kept me on my toes, it wasn't predictable, and I liked the characters and how they evolved. I felt like, though, once it finally got to the was rushed. There were times that the story felt long and then the ending felt short. I would have liked 1 more chapter! But I think that's probably a good problem?

There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk - I'm going to be writing a separate post revolving a lot around this book. Spoiler alert - I loved it!

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman - *Chosen for book challenge prompt Set in Scandonavia* I'm slow to the Fredrik Backman party, but after reading A Man Called Ove, I knew I'd be back for more. This felt very similar with unique characters and a somewhat wacky story, but Fredrik has a way with words and characters, and I loved this story and loved Britt-Marie!

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness - This is the 2nd book in the Discovery of Witches trilogy that I'm re-reading, and I am loving it just as much this time as the first. I'm using this trilogy in the book challenge, and I'm a little conflicted about using books I've read before, but I barely remember anything and these books are super long, so hopefully no one thinks I'm cheating. I didn't ask Allison ahead of time - what do you think, Allison??

The Wartime Sisters by Linda Cohen Loigman - *Chosen for book challenge prompt Author whose first and last names start with the same letter* This read was a little different from my usual WW2 books - it was set in America! It followed 2 sisters {and a few other characters} a few years before and during WW2. The sisters have always had a challenging relationship and are each keeping secrets from the other but have had to move in together and are navigating their relationship - they both want to repair their relationship but it's been fractured for so long they struggle to do so. This was a solid read - just steadily good from page 1 to the end - I cared for the characters, who felt real, and what happened to them. Just an overall charming read!


Kathryn Bagley said...

I saw the wartime sisters in the cloud and was waiting on your review! Have you been able to read The Paris Seamstress? I'm finding time to read it because it's really good!

Emily said...

Wow I think this is the first time we both read the same book the same month; I agree with everything you said about Wartime Sisters. I have loved the Fredrik Backman two books (Ove/My Grandmother) but still haven't gotten to Britt-Marie so adding that to my list, along with the two Jasmine Guillory books (also want to expand my non-white author reads!). I'm already on hold for One Day in December (which I forgot about until I read your review and tried to add it... only for my library to say it was already on hold, lol) and appreciate the forewarning about the ending. And can't wait to read your thoughts on there's no such thing as bad weather!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Sounds like you are going to win the reading challenge for the second year in a row! I say count it! - AP

Natasha said...

Okay, okay, between you and Emily I am absolutely reading There's No Such Thing As Bad Weather this weekend. I am making time.

Also, I have enjoyed some Sally Hepworth but don't think I've read The Things We Keep so I'm picking it up. I think The Secrets of Midwives was the best I've read of hers thus far.

And I'm really glad that both you and Emily liked The Wartime Sisters. Phew. I always get nervous when I recommend a book and then you both read it. What if you HATE it?!?!?!