Another month of reading! Honestly, this month was a mixed bag. There were winners and losers. My favorite book this month (far and away) was The Alice Network, which was recommended to me by SO many of you! I’m so glad I finally picked it up! My copy is now with my mom and she is loving it too. This was a slightly lighter month reading wise as I got sucked back into Blindspot on TV. Isn’t it the best when you forget about one of your favorite shows and then there’s an entire season to binge!? This month I added ratings to my reviews… hope that’s helpful!
If you’re looking for a book, don’t forget – you can always check out my Book Club Page. I have literally listed every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years…. and you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for And of course, you can also take a peek at March’s reading list, which was a good one – I read seven books last month!! Also, in case you can’t wait til next month, I always add whatever it is that I’m currently reading to my Amazon Shop.
AND! Please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are my FAV… I literally shop the comments section of these post – you always have such good recommendations for me, which I really appreciate!
* The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah is definitely a departure for me in terms of the books I typically like to read. (I’ve never been into books about survival/cold weather or Alaska), but I wanted to read this as I absolutely love the author (The Nightingale was one of my favorite books; you can read my review of it here). Oh my gosh, it’s SO SAD. But also very uplifting at the same time. It’s set in the seventies – the story of Leni and her parents, who move from Portland to Alaska. Her dad is a Vietnam vet (suffering from major PTSD which went undiagnosed at the time). There are so many messages within the book, but really it’s the story of survival – and the strength that Leni and her mother find. In between there is a love story, a murder, and so much more. What I took away from it (and loved) most were the strong female characters – and their unbreakable relationships. This one is sad, but it’s an amazing story – and having read The Nightingale, really showcases Kristin Hannah’s versatility as an author. I know a lot of you didn’t love this one (based on DM’s that I received) but I really enjoyed it. (For the record, I did like the Nightingale better, but that’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.)
- Overall score: B+
* Not That I Could Tell, by Jessica Strawser was my Book of the Month pick! It was described to me as Big Little Lies meets Gone Girl, and that’s pretty much exactly it.. maybe just add a little Desperate Housewives to the mix. 5 women (neighbors) meet for wine one night and the next day, one has disappeared. Everyone is a bit foggy from the night before, and the investigation quickly centers around Kristin (who’d always seemed the perfect mother/friend/PTA member)’s husband Paul. Did he kill her? Was he abusive? Did she run? That’s the question and I will just leave it at that. In between the mystery, it focuses on the other women in the story (mainly Izzy who is new to town, and Clara who was Kristin’s closest friend) and their own personal crises + histories. I tore through it. I wouldn’t say it’s the best (or even one of the best) book I’ve read, but it was fun and juicy and the ending definitely surprised me and you know I love being surprised.
- Overall score: B
* The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn had been recommended to me by SO many of you. And oh my god I’m so glad that I listened to you. It was an amazing, amazing read – alternating between WWI and post WWII. It’s partially based on the true story of Louise de Bettignies (codename Alice) who managed The Alice Network (a network of female spies during World War I). The book is the story of Charlie (a young, pregnant American, in France – looking for her cousin in the WWII aftermath) and Eve (a former spy). It alternates between 1915 and 1947… telling Eve’s story as a young girl turned spy (working for the mesmerizing Lili/Alice; the things she did to get secrets) and Charlie’s as she hunts for their cousin. This book is kind of everything you could want: there’s a great mystery, it’s incredibly heartwarming, there are parts that are factually based (so you learn a bit) and who doesn’t love spies! This was a really, really good read. I know I’m late to the party here as this was a reader rec from so many of you, but if you haven’t already read it, read it now!!
- Overall score: A
* One Of Us is Lying, by Karen M. McManus, is a super fun read-in-one-day mystery. Five students get detention, during which, one of them dies. Each student is pretty much your stereotype (the brain, the beauty, the jock, the troublemaker) and of course it is the outcast that dies. As it turns out, the outcast in the group has a Gossip Girl style blog that was about to reveal juicy secrets about each of those four students. Immediately, the remaining four students are called into question. One of them is lying… or is someone else the killer! Honestly, I didn’t think that this was particularly well written (it could be the author’s attempt to sound like a teenager, and I get that) but it didn’t flow particularly well and there were a lot of grammatical errors. That being said, I loved the story and couldn’t put it down. I finished it in a day. Spoiler alert: This may or may not be our next Young Adulting book… but tune into tomorrow’s episode for more on that!
- Overall score: B
* The Secret to Southern Charm, by Kristy Woodson Harvey, is a part of Harvey’s Peachtree Bluff series (you can read my review of her first book here). Last year, Kristy reached out and sent me her first book and I grew so attached to the characters that it felt like actual agony to have to wait a year to find out what happened to them next. Now here I am again, slightly satisfied, but dying for the next one. This series is SO GOOD. If you love Elin Hilderbrand, you’ll love Kristy’s books. This is the story of a big family (grandmother, mother, three daughters + lots of grandchildren) living in Peachtree Bluff, Georgia. It’s heartwarming and sweet and she is just one of the best storytellers. My only complaint is that I am DYING for the next one (and looking back at my review of the first book, that’s what I said then too!) If you haven’t read the first one, do yourself a favor and order both books. They are just the best.
- Overall Score: A-
* Do Not Be Alarmed, by Maile Meloy was honestly just meh. Two families go on a cruise, bringing their kids along. Everything is going swimmingly until they go on an excursion and everything goes to hell. The adults end up separated from the kids, and the kids end up getting kidnapped. The story alternates between the perspective of both the adults and the children. It was anxiety inducing and scary but it just kind of left me wondering why I’d spent hours reading. I didn’t get much out of it, there weren’t any twists, and it dragged for long stretches. I gave it a B- because it is beautifully written – the author is a really good writer. But I feel like maybe she should stick to literary fiction as the plot was just okay.
- Overall Score: B-
photo by Carter Fish.