Happy December, friends! We are back with another reading list. OKAY first of all I just have to say that I am so sad because I really did not enjoy Nine Perfect Strangers. This was such a letdown as I had pre-ordered it, eagerly waited for it in the mail, the whole thing. Liane Moriarty is one of my absolute favorite authors (still is, she gets a pass) but man, this one was a big miss. Luckily, the other books I read more than made up for it. Lilac Girls made me ugly cry. Multiple times. I was on my way to Boston and sobbing on the train because it was so sad. But it was so good. And The Proposal and 99% Mine were just so fun to read. Delicious little rom-com books! Read on for the whole scoop but overall, it was still a very good month of books.
New here? If you’re looking for a book, don’t forget that you can always check out my Book Club Page. Every month I update it, so it includes every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years. The best part is that you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for. I always add whatever it is that I’m currently reading in real time to my Amazon Shop.
Last order of business before the reviews! Please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are my THE BEST… I always shop off of your suggestions – you always have such good recommendations for me, which I really appreciate!
December 2018 Reading List:
The Proposal, by Jasmine Guillory.
It is a really cute rom-com of a novel (Guillory also wrote The Wedding Date, read that review here). We read this for the podcast and honestly I wasn’t so sure of it because of the title. But then I read it and I loved it! It’s not about a good proposal, for the record… the “not everybody wants one” speaks volumes. Nik is at a Dodgers game when the guy who she’s casually seeing proposes – on the Jumbotron, for all to see. When she says no, the dude totally flips out. Carlos (Drew’s best friend from The Wedding Date) and his sister Angie see her struggling and decide to rescue her. Carlos and Nik become friends and eventually start dating, both agreeing to keep things casual. Slowly things begin to get more serious and a little bit of drama ensues. I don’t want to ruin the story for you, but in true rom-com fashion one of them realizes it’s true love before the other one does. Honestly, I loved this book but not just because of the romance (and the fact that it gets a little steamy!). I thought it was a testament to the importance of having great female friendships and maintaining our own independence… while also letting someone in (especially when you’ve been hurt before). It did get a little cheesy at times (which was very satisfying actually!) BUT I found the characters to be really real and relatable.
- Overall Score: A-
Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty.
UGH. I really, really wanted to love this one. Like really wanted to love it; Liane Moriarty is one of my favorite writers. I pre-ordered it and dove in the day it arrived in the mail. But it fell a little (okay a lot) short for me, especially as I had such high expectations from her. At first I thought maybe I was just in a reading rut. But it took me til I was about 60% through to feel invested in the book and even then I felt bored/irritated by it. There were too many main characters, none particularly likeable, and it just went on for too long. Frances is an aging writer who checks into Tranquillum House for a ten day reset of sorts (along with 8 other guests). Things slowly unravel and it gets a little bit crazy. The charismatic founder (Masha) seems to have all the answers after having a near-death experience. But does she? Anyone who has ever done a fitness/wellness retreat will get a good laugh here but for Liane Moriarty I just expected better. I feel badly being so hard on her but this was a big disappointment. Maybe I am being too harsh with the C+ rating, but this one was a letdown! I will say that the ending was cute, but that’s about it.
- Overall Score: C+
So many of you guys had suggested this one (thank you!!!) but it took me a while to get to it as I knew it was going to be really sad, and wasn’t “in the mood” for a sad book. I was so let down after Nine Perfect Strangers that I reached for this, knowing that no matter what, it would definitely at least be really good book. Okay this book wasn’t good – it was amazing. It broke my heart so many times over and over again. I was on the train to Boston crying like a crazy person as I read it. Parts were really, really hard to read. It takes place during WWII with the Holocaust and tells the (intersecting) stories of three women: Caroline Ferriday (a real person), a socialite based in New York who advocated for a group of survivors called The Rabbits (they were the subject of terrifying experimental operations), Kasia Kuzmerick (a Polish teenager sent to Ravensbrück, the Nazi concentration camp for women), and Herta Oberheuser (also a real person – a young doctor working at Ravensbrück). It was deeply upsetting but so beautifully written. I can’t recommend it enough.
- Overall Score: A
99% Mine, by Sally Thorne.
I could not love Sally Thorne more. Her novels are always just such a treat to read. They won’t make you smarter but they will definitely make you happier. If you loved The Hating Game as much as I did (review of that in this post!) you will love this. Sally Thorne just does a romantic comedy (heavy on sexual tension) SO WELL. I had a harder time getting into this one at first as I didn’t really identify with the main character, Darcy. She’s very brazen and a bit of a badass, which I am not. Darcy is in love with her twin brother’s best friend, Tom. Darcy and Jamie (the twin) are renovating her grandmother’s house before they put it on the market and Tom steps in to do the build. Tom is single for the first time in years and Darcy is determined to make him (you guessed it) 99% hers. It’s the perfect light, feel good read… I couldn’t put it down! As an aside, this one isn’t out to January 29th. I definitely recommend pre-ordering it so you will get a treat in the mail, BUT we are also doing a reader pass along over in the private Facebook group, so definitely join the group and go add your email to that if you are interested in participating.
- Overall Score: A-
photo by Carter Fish.