Mid Month Book Review

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I have been flying through my book list. I can’t help it. It has been a GREAT book month.  This is actually a listing of books I have read since Christmas but I’m starting to think I need to slow it up. A lot of people say that they love to unwind at night with a good book. I try, but a good book is the least relaxing thing on the planet for me. I get SO INTO the stories that I stay up all night reading to know what happens next, then next, then next. Last night I was up until 3:30am finishing a book I couldn’t put down when I know FULL WELL that Hank is going to be up at 5 (yes, 5am. EVERY.DAY.).

I am currently nursing of of my book hangovers. But I gotta tell you, it was kind of worth it.

I wasn’t sure what order to put these in so I will just list them in the order I read them. Clearly, it was a very chick lit (I hate that term) month for me.

The Girls / Emma Cline

I give it 3.5 stars.

I mean, its a bestseller so it must be great but I thought a little of it was lost on me. I have to say that I think the author did a great job with the imagery.

The story develops around Evie, now an adult, as she retells the story of her time in a cult as a young teenager. Since the story runs on two timelines you can understand that the exotic and thrilling allure of the cult to teenage Evie is seen in a much different light to her in adulthood.

I enjoyed how the author explored the events in Evie’s life that drew her the girls of the cult and ultimately to their leader. However, I would have preferred just the story of her time with the cult. I did not get much out of the adult portions of the story and didn’t really see a huge impact of how her adult revelations added to the overall story.

Who Do You Love / Jennifer Weiner

I give it 5 stars.

I thought this was as good as a “chick lit” book can get.

This enchanting story chronicles the lives of Rachel and Andy whose lives intertwine for three decades at different junctures starting from when they are 8 years old. Rachel from a wealthy Florida suburb, and Andy from a poor section of Philadelphia. The two characters live their lives on practically two different planets in regards to their upbringing yet always seem to find one another. Jennifer Weiner is simultaneous able to have you see life through the eyes of two very different and very flawed characters.

This is truly a story that will stay with me and I highly recommend this novel.

Cancel the Wedding / Carolyn T. Dingman

I give it 4 stars.

I am AMAZED that this is a debut novel for Carolyn Dingman. You would have thought she had been writing fiction her whole life. I loved the imagery and scenery. I felt she truly tapped into the Southern lifestyle and how it is perceived to someone from the outside. The author gave readers a raw look at her characters imperfections leaving you with a strong sense of comradery.

The story takes place almost one year after the death of Olivia’s mother when, in an effort to put off her upcoming nuptials, Olivia travels south to her mother’s birthplace. With her niece in tow, Olivia begins to unravel the life her mother lived before moving north. Faced with the love and loss her mother endured, Olivia must now decide where her path will lead.

I gave this four stars because I thought a lot of parts were a little obvious and predictable, but to be honest, I kind of liked it that way.

A Hundred Summer / Beatriz Williams

I give it 5 stars.

It has been a long time since a novel was truly able to transcend me into another time. This novel had it all going on. The names, the outfits, the language, the social constructs, the historic family attitudes. This story was remiss in NOTHING. If you told me that I was living in the 1930s while reading this novel I would have believed you.

The story takes place in the summer of 1938 when Lily, summering in Seaview Rhode Island as her family always had, is confronted by her childhood friend Budgie and former fiancé Nick. The two are now married and renovated Budgie’s family home in Seaview. Budgie is determined to assimilate back into the social scene and Lily’s life. Now Lily must try to make sense of her never faltering feelings for Nick as they come face to face with their past and how it brought them back together.

This book threw me through a loop at every turn. The feelings of these characters are practically tangible. Between the flawless imagery and the strength of these characters Williams truly created a masterpiece.

It Ends With Us / Colleen Hoover

I give it 4 stars.

This novel is the source of my current book hangover. I couldn’t put it down.

After moving to Boston post college Lily wins the heart of Ryle Kincaid, a gorgeous neurosurgeon who never wanted a girlfriend. Their relationship is fast and exhilarating until Lily sees that that scars of her past are creeping into her present. She soon finds herself face to face with her first love, Atlas. Lily and Atlas had provided solace and safety for each other from their abusive homes and, although she always tried to forget him, could never let go of the hold he had on her heart. Lily is now forced to decide if the past will dictate her future.

There is a deep dichotomy in my feeling for this book. We see Lily’s relationship with Atlas through a series of teenage journal entries which she hilariously writes to Ellen DeGeneres. These provided the best storytelling in the book. Lily’s relationship with Ryle was well written in regards to the emotions and decisions Lily exhibits. However, from the start, her relationship with Ryle seemed almost too convenient, too coincidental and therefore too forced.

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