You Had Me at Hola
You Had Me at HolaRead the book
This was our October Bad on Paper pick! Definitely check out our book club episode about it, as well as our bonus episode interview with the author, Alexis Daria. It was Becca’s choice, and romance is definitely more her genre than mine, but I enjoyed it! Jasmine Lin Rodriguez (still reeling from a messy breakup with pop star McIntyre) has landed her dream job, playing the lead in a bilingual romcom series for the leading streaming service, Screenflix – a thinly veiled Netflix.. She is determined to stand on her own, achieve “leading lady” status, and be happy alone. Enter dreamboat telenovela star, Ashton Suarez. Ashton’s last character was killed off and he’s worried his career is over. They both need this. But on set, their chemistry is terrible. It takes 17 takes to nail the kissing scene. And so they agree to meet up to practice together and get to know each other… which leads to… steamy off-screen chemistry. But Ashton is hiding a secret, and Jasmine is tabloid fodder, so the two try to keep their distance. It does not work. I liked this book. I did not love it, but I enjoyed it and found it to be light and fun and very cute… and also very feminist. It’s basically a romcom about a romcom and intersperses scenes from the telenovela into scenes from real life. And the sex scenes are incredibly steamy. I am only giving it a A- because I’m just not a huge romance person, but if you love romance novels you absolutely must read this!
The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes
The Unraveling of Cassidy HolmesRead the book
This book is part Daisy Jones and the Six, part The Comeback. And when I finished it, I immediately passed it along to Becca as I think she will really enjoy it. I have a few issues with it, which we will get to, but I couldn’t put this one down – I really enjoyed it! Also: trigger warnings – eating disorders, abuse, and suicide. Back in 2001, Cassidy Holmes, aka Sassy Gloss is at the pinnacle of her career… the fourth member of a girl brand that is bigger than Britney, NSYNC, etc! I thought of them a little bit like The Spice Girls?Fifteen years later, she is dead. The book alternates back and forth between the other members of the group (in present day) and Cassidy’s perspective (during her rise to fame). The band had broken up in 2002 and the girls are no longer close. Similar to The Comeback it examines the dark side of celebrity, but in this case it is the music industry. This is a quick, fun, distracting read and I loved all of the 2000’s references. Despite being 429 pages, I read it in a couple days. I liked the glimpse into the music industry, but I felt like so much was left unaccounted for and I finished the book still not really knowing what drove Cassidy to kill herself.
- Overall Score: B+
Memorial DriveRead the book
Oh wow. This book. It was recommended to me by Traci of The Stacks when she came on our podcast. It is so good, but it will just wreck you. I put it down and was just… shaken. If domestic violence is a trigger for you, I would definitely recommend skipping this, but otherwise, read it.. it’s beautifully written and worth the sadness. Domestic violence isn’t a trigger for me and still just left me… crushed. And I realized from reading this book that I love dark, but I do best when it’s dark but… impersonal. Fiction, or a journalist’s account of a serial killer. This was real and deep and personal and it just… breaks your heart again and again. When Natasha Trethewey (a Pulitzer Prize winning poet) was 19, her mother was murdered by her step-father. The book is a memoir of her childhood and her relationship with her mother, life growing up in the deep south, the torment she endured because of her father, and then (probably most upsetting) documents outlining conversations between her mother and her step-father, as well as her mother’s journal entries. My favorite part (it’s hard to call this a favorite) was a short portion of the book, written by her mother as she tried to escape the marriage. I read it while getting a pedicure and found myself crying in public: something I don’t ever do. This book is hard to read but please read it. It’s incredible.
My Sister the Serial Killer
My Sister the Serial KillerRead the book
This is a book I had been “saving up to read” as I’ve had a hard time finding light fun thrillers/mysteries by Black authors (Tiffany D. Jackson is my fav, if you have any recommendations similar, please let me know!!!). It’s a great book but I was only medium on it, mostly because it’s more of a dark comedy than a thriller. This is the story of two sisters. There is beautiful and charming Ayoola, and hard working Korede who works at the hospital. Ayoola seems to be a bit of a sociopath, making a habit of murdering her boyfriends. Meanwhile, loyal and practical Korede is her clean up woman. At work, Korede is secretly in love with a handsome and kind doctor, Tade. But when Tade meets Ayoola and immediately falls under her spell, Korede wants to protect him… while also protecting her sister. I read this in a day. It’s fast-paced and short… and definitely suspenseful, but it’s not a true thriller or mystery. There was no twists or turns and the ending just kind of… ended, but I still found it enjoyable enough!
Pretty ThingsRead the book
If you are looking for a twisty thriller to tear through in a day or two, go buy this book NOW! I loooved it. There are so many good twists and turns, and while I did guess one of the big twists (I was so proud of myself!) it got me good a few times. It’s a little longer (474 pages) but I still read it in a 24 hour period, which should tell you a lot about it how much I enjoyed it. The book is narrated by two women: there’s Nina, who grew up poor (her mother was a scammer), moving all around the country and Vanessa, an ultra-wealthy heiress/instagram influencer. When Nina’s mom get sick, Nina begins to run her own scams. She and her boyfriend Lachlan move to Lake Tahoe with Vanessa (and her family’s estate) as their mark. It’s quite dark, alternating between the womens’ childhoods and very different upbringings. For a thriller/mystery, I thought that this was very well written, with excellent character development. You really feel like you understand the inner workings of both women. When I finished it I felt like I had been on a JOURNEY. I can’t recommend it enough!
Invisible GirlRead the book
I am such a big Lisa Jewell fan. Her books are always haunting and disturbing, in best possible way. Well-written thrillers with twists and turns… and she’s not afraid to get dark.. really dark. I still think about Then She Was Gone and The Family Upstairs all the time. This one was not quite as dark as the others but I still really enjoyed it. The book follows Owen Pick: a 33 year old virgin teacher whose life is falling apart: he’s suspended from his job, living in his aunt’s spare room, and turning to online forums for solace. Across the street, there is the Fours family: Roan (a child psychologist)and Cate, and their two teenage children: Georgia and Josh. We know right off the bat that Roan doesn’t seem to be a good guy, but more comes into play there. Last but not least is Sapphyre Maddox: Roan’s ex-patient, who develops an unhealthy obsession with following and watching Roan. But when Sapphyre disappears and all signs point to Owen as the culprit, a mystery ensues. There is some (minor) sexual abuse in this one so if that’s a trigger, maybe skip it, but otherwise I found it to be unputdownable. I loved it!
Cobble HillRead the book
I really do hate dragging a book, but this one wasn’t for me and I am extra bummed about that as I had been SO excited to read it (Cecily von Ziegesar also wrote Gossip Girl)! Set in Cobble Hill (a wealthy Brooklyn neighborhood), it follows the lives of four married couples and their children. At first, I was getting Liane Moriarty vibes (a good thing, I love her) but I ultimately wound up very bored. There’s Roy and Wendy, new to the neighborhood from London. Roy is a famous author and Wendy works for a magazine. Then there’s ex-boy band member Stuart and his beautiful but lazy and depressed wife Mandy who is pretending to have MS. Then there’s the school nurse Peaches + her husband Greg, and strange, nerdy Tupper and his elusive wife Elizabeth. I was just so bored. I felt like the characters were interesting enough (this could even make a fine TV show), but the plot was boring. Nothing happened, I didn’t care about their lives, the book was just not for me. I kinda felt like it was a bit like Fleishman is in Trouble, which I absolutely hated. This was better than that, and if you liked that book maybe you will like this?
The Girl With The Louding Voice
The Girl With The Louding VoiceRead the book
This book is all at once uplifting and heartwarming, but at the same time truly so sad and heartbreaking at parts. I absolutely loved it and could not put it down; I read it in just a couple days and when I finished it I could not stop thinking about it. Cannot recommend this one enough! Adunni is a fourteen year old girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village. Her mother died when she was just a girl and she yearns to seek out an education and find her “louding voice.” At the age of fourteen, her father sells her into a marriage (as the third wife of a MUCH older man) for some rice, a TV, and some beans. There, she faces a new set of horrors: the wrath of her husband’s first wife, sex with a man she does not love nor is attracted to, and pressure to bear him a son. When something terrible happens, she runs away and is sold as a servant to a wealthy family in Lagos. Needless to say, she’s terribly treated and beaten there. It feels like things will just not get better and then… she learns of a scholarship at a prestigious school in the city. I’ll say no more as I don’t want to spoil it! As Jenna Bush Hagar said, it will “”break your heart and then put it back together again.” This is a story of courage and surpassing tremendous obstacles; I cannot recommend it enough!
Kitchen ConfidentialRead the book
Ahhhhh Anthony Bourdain. This book. I was / am a very big fan of Anthony Bourdain and kind of cannot believe I hadn’t read it yet! It made me sad as I miss him so much (weird to miss a person you never knew, yes yes I know!). It also made me incredibly nostalgic. I grew up in a restaurant – literally – my house was attached to the restaurant and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, from hanging around as a kid to working every single possible job from potato peeling and dish drying to busing tables, food running, and ultimately waitressing in highschool and college. The man is a master storyteller. This is a memoir of his kitchen days; starting with his days as a dishwasher in a divey Provincetown restaurant all the way through life in New York. Through terrible lows and wonderful highs, you feel like you are sitting next to your slightly reckless, very brilliant friend recounting his wildest and most honest stories. Many will be shocked by some of the stories (and things like why you should never order the “special” or eat fish on a Monday.
The RoommateRead the book
OK so this book was alllllll over my Instagram. Hitha and Ashley LOVED it. And I liked it but I did not love it. First of all, it’s very very steamy. There are some graphic sex scenes so if that is not your thing don’t read this! Clara Wheaton is an uptight Connecticut socialite who moves to LA to pursue her childhood crush. But just as she’s about to move into his spare room, he moves to go on tour with his band. In moves handsome, charming, dreamy Josh… who happens to be a porn star (or rather, adult performer). The two strike up an unlikely friendship (maybe more) and a very interesting business idea. Emotions, family, and exes get in the way. I liked how feminist the book was, I liked that it shed an interesting light on the adult entertainment industry, I liked the steamier scenes… but I found Clara’s character fell a little bit flat and that the whole situation was just really implausible. That being said, it was a good distraction and extremely fun to read. My expectations may have been too high as a lot of people were comparing it to The Idea of You and nothing will ever be The Idea of You. Honestly though, while I’m only giving it a B+, we need more distracting and fun books right now… things are tough. Read this for a fun, fresh read that will take your mind off of the fact that the world is shit right now.
Before She Was Helen
Before She Was HelenRead the book
Caroline Cooney – now that’s a blast from the past! I feel like we ALL read her books when we were younger… she’s written over ninety. And you know that I love an old people romance (anything Nancy Meyers)… this one was interesting as it’s an old people murder mystery, set in a retirement community in South Carolina. Clemmie is checking in on her surly elderly neighbor and discovers a beautiful object. She sends it to her grand-niece and nephew which sets off a chain of events that threaten to unravel fifty years of secrets and Clemmie’s multiple identities. We learn of Clemmie’s dark and tragic past: terrible abuse, and her mysterious ties to the murder of a her brother’s high school basketball coach. And everything in between that led her to sleepy Sun City. So it’s pretty much two thrillers rolled into one, past and present. I personally found Clemmie’s past to be more gripping than her present. The “old people” part of the novel dragged on, whereas I was mesmerized by her past. I couldn’t put it down but did feel like parts of it were a bit of a slog.
Ties That Tether
Ties That TetherRead the book
This was so good! A romance, but it had been on every “most anticipated books of fall” list and I had seen that Ashley Spivey loved it too. Nigerian-born Azere promised her dying father when she was twelve that she’d marry a Nigerian man to preserve her culture and family traditions. Her mother is devoted to setting her up. At just 25 years old (lolz), the pressure is ON… her mother wants her to settle down and start giving her grandchildren. After a particularly bad date with a (sexist asshole) Nigerian man, Azere heads downstairs to the hotel bar to have a drink, and then winds up having a one night stand with sexy (Spanish, white) Rafael. She leaves early in the morning, knowing that despite their bond, nothing can ever really come of it. After one bombshell twist and then another, the two wind up reconnecting and realizing they have a really solid, beautiful connection. Still, Rafael is hiding something and Azere’s mother threatens to disown her. Always the good girl and people pleaser, Azere must decide for herself whether she can be with Rafael without losing herself and her culture. It’s the classic tale of choosing love vs. family: does she fight for Rafael or do what she’s always done: comply and please her mother?
Heart BonesRead the book
One thing I really love about Colleen Hoover and her books is that she always surprises you. Is it a thriller? A romance? A suspense novel? You don’t really know. This one, I’d almost describe as YA – good YA, though. A YA romance with a twist. It was not my favorite of hers but to be quite honest, I’d take a “decent” Colleen Hoover book over most books – it still gets an A-! I love everything she writes. Beyah grows up poor and hungry in Kentucky with an addict mother. Her mother steals every penny her father sends for drugs, yet Beyah still manages to thrive, getting a volleyball scholarship to a great school. When her mother dies, Beyah packs up and heads to live with her father in Texas, keeping secrets from him. Upon arriving, she has a whole new family: a stepsister, stepmother, the father she barely knows. For the first time in her life she has a comfortable life – but the walls are still up and she isn’t trusting. When she meets Samson, who comes from a family of wealth, they soon realize they have more in common than meets the eye and find themselves falling in love. But they’re both holding back secrets. There’s a twist I didn’t see coming and I didn’t love the end but it was still satisfying and fun to read.
GrownRead the book
This was one of my most anticipated books for Fall. Tiffany D. Jackson is one of my favorites. Her books are usually about teenagers – so – YA… but they are always incredibly dark, and also usually have some sort of twist that will leave you thinking for days. First of all there are about 9,000 trigger warnings: rape, abuse, kidnapping, and opioid addiction. At the beginning of the book, we see Enchanted Jones waking up in a gruesome crime scene. Korey Fields, a major musician, has been murdered and she is the top suspect. The book weaves back and forth between past and we learn of the abuse Enchanted experiences at the hands of Korey, who had promised to help grow her music career and later, told her that he’s in love with her. This is very dark. It reminds me a little bit of The Comeback except way darker (dealing with Hollywood and fame and a rags to riches sort of scenario where a young ingenue trusts an older man and ends up being abused). At the heart of it, this book is about the abuse of power and in the author’s words (she does a thoughtful author’s note at the end), “the pattern of excusing grown men for their behavior while faulting young girls for their missteps.” Anyway, as with all of Jackson’s books, I really loved this one!
When No One is Watching
When No One is WatchingRead the book
This book was excellent. As you probably know by now I am on a pretty much never-ending hunt for more thrillers written by Black women (Tiffany D. Jackson is a favorite!) and I could not put this one down. And in my opinion, it’s a social justice book (tackling racism and gentrification) packaged in an unputdownable thriller. Sydney Green was born and raised in Brooklyn, returning to her mother’s brownstown after her divorce. But the neighborhood is changing – the Black families she grew up with are disappearing and new White families are moving in to flip and build condos. She decides to channel her frustration (and love of the neighborhood and its incredible history) into a community walking tour. Through a series of events Theo (the good looking White man across the street becomes her rather unlikely assistant, but as they dive deeper into the neighborhood’s history they begin uncovering secrets… including connections between the real estate company that’s selling all their houses, a big corporation, the city jail, the police and so on and so forth – and maybe all of those families aren’t leaving as willingly as they would have liked to believe. It’s fast paced and twisty and what’s maybe the scariest part is that given the current climate, doesn’t feel very far-fetched. I loved it
Follow MeRead the book
On the one hand, this was a fun and twisty thriller that kept me guessing. On the other hand, I absolutely hated it because frankly, the author did such a terrible job portraying the main character (an influencer). We will get to why but this is a massive pet-peeve of mine: the portrayal of influencers as vapid and annoying (and the main character Audrey is so annoying that you almost want her to die?). I really hate it as it perpetuates a stereotype and is also just… false. I hate trashing this book but it’s so clear she didn’t do her research (or maybe she just hates influencers, I don’t know). A special shout-out to Kate Stayman-London and Jennifer Weiner who got it right in One to Watch and Big Summer…. this made me appreciate their books even more. This book is about Audrey, a 29 year old influencer with a million followers who moves to Washington DC to work at her dream job: running social media for one of The Smithsonian’s galleries. She’s struggling financially (sorry but an influencer with a million followers is not going to be struggling) and the only two people she knows are her college friend Cat and her ex-boyfriend Nick, the guy she can’t seem to shake. But from the day she moves into her basement apartment (again: not realistic!), she can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. There’s her creepy upstairs neighbor… and she feels like she’s constantly being watched/stalked. The book alternates between the perspective of Audrey, Cat, and “him,” her stalker. The author really went deep on the dark side of the Internet and privacy concerns, I just wish she could have spent even just a little more time researching influencers and their business (or talking to you know, actual smart people who do this for a living) as that ruined the book for me.
How to Be An AntiRacist
How to Be An AntiRacistRead the book
This was my anti-racist pick for August. To be honest, this one was a little bit intimidating (it’s long!) but came highly recommended. I listened to it as an audiobook, which I would definitely recommend. So not the point but I love Ibram X. Kendi’s voice. I had heard him speak on podcasts before and just really like it. You can consider this your anti-racism masterclass. I am glad that I didn’t start with this (the first anti-racist book I chose was So You Want to Talk About Race) as he covers SO much ground… it was good to have had a primer, first. I really really love what a scientific/academic approach he takes, while still managing to seamlessly weave in anecdotes and … covering everything from racism in science to all of the different types of racism and how it can emerge in so many different ways (ethnicity, bodily, culturally, etc). He talks about racism throughout history, and things I hadn’t even thought of like Black on Black racism and his own biases and mistakes he made as a teenager and how we woke up from his own racism. The end result is a book that is important, powerful, and educational… while simultaneously being engaging and interesting. I can’t recommend it enough!
Monday’s Not Coming
Monday’s Not ComingRead the book
I said this on instagram stories but Tiffany D. Jackson is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors! Last month, I read Allegedly. It haunted me. The ending!!! GAH!!!! This one is just so good! Claudia is a 14 year old Black girl, growing up in DC. She spends every summer at her aunt’s house in Georgia, but this summer when she gets home, her best friend Monday (who is more like a sister than a friend) is absolutely nowhere to be found. She doesn’t turn up for school, no one knows. She goes to Monday’s house in the projects and is told to GO HOME and stay out of it. No one knows where she is, and no one seems to care… until Monday is found nearly a year later. This one is chilling and upsetting and while it’s an excellent thriller (the twist at the end got me!) it could also be a social justice book in it’s own right, looking at how the town failed to protect this little girl. I loved it and couldn’t put it down and can’t recommend it enough. I read it very quickly, in a few days… staying up late to finish it. I should note that I’ve also pre-ordered Jackson’s next book (Grown, 0ut 9/15!) and cannot wait for it to arrive. I LOVE her books!
MajestyRead the book
You know I’m a huge Katharine McGee fan (stan?). I loved The Thousandth Floor trilogy and I ADORED American Royals, which imagined what the US would look like if George Washington had become king as opposed to president. Her books are technically YA books, but I call them YA for adults as the characters and relationships are complex. This one picks up where American Royals left us… A terrible tragedy has taken place and Beatrice finds herself the queen of America. But nothing is as it should be. She can’t be with the man she loves (her guard, Connor), she is betrothed to the man her sister kissed (Teddy), and her sister hates her for it. This one was really calm and almost soothing to read for the first two thirds of the book. There are surprise love interests for everyone (Sam especially), and it’s not at all what I had predicted. The villain (Daphne) had a bit of a redemption (or at least we felt badly for her/came to better understand her plight, there were a few different romantic surprises, and it felt like I was catching up with old friends. But then of course, all hell breaks loose in the last third of the book and it is so juicy and fun. And surprisingly (well not surprisingly, if you know Katie/Katharine) feminist! I loved that about it. I couldn’t put this book down. I wanted to cry when it ended because I already miss the characters. She didn’t really set it up for a third (just that there is no big dramatic cliffhanger) but I’d be so happy if she decided to continue the story. Katie is my friend so I feel a little biased giving it an A+ but it’s an A+. I loved it so much. And it’s going to be our September Bad on Paper pick!
The ChangelingRead the book
This book. Wow. It was creepy. Really creepy and upsetting and gave me super weird dreams! It is a few years old but I interviewed the author (he was really cool!) for Random House’s summer reads panel so I wanted to read it but had no idea what I was getting into, only that it had received incredible press and accolades. Trigger warning for just about everything: violence and child murder and monsters. Do monsters get a trigger warning? It starts out innocently enough: Apollo Kagwa is a rare books dealer whose father disappeared when he was child. He meets Emma; they marry, and start a life together. But one day he wakes up and Emma has committed a terrible act and ran away. Apollo’s search for her leads him to all sorts of places: a mysterious island of women and children in the middle of the East River, a graveyard, a Norwegian neighborhood in Queens, and the only forest in New York. The book is gruesome and scary, the writing is beautiful (while totally different in terms of plot, the writing reminded me quite a bit of Emily St. John Mandel’s writing in The Glass Hotel. All sorts of other things come into play: racism, sexism, postpartum depression and anxiety… I am going to be really honest with you: this book is a masterpiece and beautifully written but I did not enjoy it. Honestly, I just wanted it to be over with (though I could not stop reading?) So it could get an A+ for writing and deserves all of the acclaim but I’m only going to give it a B+ because this is my blog and I do what I want. I will say it’s going to haunt me for a very long time.
RodhamRead the book
Rodham imagines what would have happened if Hillary and Bill had never been… Hillary and Bill. Or rather, if they had dated but broke up and never got married. What both of their lives would have looked like… and how the world would be different. I REALLY wish I could sit down with Hillary Clinton (and a glass of wine) to get her thoughts on this book. Wow. Truly – if she read it (which is probably doubtful), I’d just die to know. It was so fun to read – I couldn’t tear myself away. But, shiiiit – it was also awkward as hell to read at times! It starts out (potentially?) true to Hillary’s story, feeling a bit like fan fiction: she graduates from Wellesley, heads to Yale, and meets and dates Bill Clinton. But what if they broke up? This is a wild retelling. The story is told in three parts: their early courtship (this isn’t a spoiler but there’s quite a bit of sexy stuff – in particular, a scene where a naked Bill plays the saxophone for Hillary. This is now imprinted on my brain and I cannot get the image out of my head, help!). From there, it follows her story (and bits of his) all the way through the seventies through present day. I really enjoyed the book. But was weirded out at times, mostly just because Sittenfeld nails Hillary’s crisp, dry way of writing (the book was clearly well researched!) which made it feel so real in a way that is truly quite eerie! I was a little emotional reading it, especially when it gets to modern day – I won’t say anymore about why as I don’t want to spoil it. It’s fun and clever but will definitely confuse you a little as at times it feels so real. Also: the Donald Trump cameos are pretty incredible.
Destination WeddingRead the book
This book was not what I was expecting at all. The pink and purple cover made it look like a romance novel (it was a little bit romantic but I wouldn’t call it a romance!). The book centers around Tina Das, who attends her cousin’s ultra-lavish wedding at a private country club in Delhi, India. She’s there with her best friend Marianne and her amicably divorced parents – and their new significant others. Her mother is dating a white man, her father’s been set up with a Delhi widow by an Indian matchmaker. Tina’s character was both really relatable (she’s a TV producer living in Williamsburg!) and someone I could learn a lot from (I really loved seeing her experience as an Indian woman growing up in the midwest and her experience living, working, and especially dating in New York). Throughout the book, all of the characters make some very bad decisions (and some good ones t00!). There is drama, there is romance, there are flings.. I could go on. I loved it. I did find it hard to follow at times (Basu writes in an interesting style, rapidly changing back and forth between characters – it definitely kept me on my toes!) but really, really enjoyed it. It also made me realize how few books I’ve read about Indian characters. Oh and I also loved that it talked about a wealthier, more glamorous India (everything I’ve read/watched only has shown the poorer side). Anyway, I loved this and now I’d love to read more books about Indian American women so if you have any recommendations definitely leave ’em in the comments!
Party of Two
Party of TwoRead the book
Let it be said! Jasmine Guillory is one of my favorite authors. I am not a big romance reader but LOVE her books. I had been saving this one and out of all of her books, I think that this one might be my favorite (a bold statement for sure… all of her books are EXCELLENT). This one is about Alexa (from The Wedding Date)’s older sister, Olivia Monroe. (Note: you don’t have to read all of her books, but if you are familiar it’s kinda fun when old characters make a cameo) Olivia’s just moved to LA to start her own law firm. While staying in a hotel on her first night in town, she chats up a handsome man at the hotel’s bar. When she gets up to her room, she realizes she hadn’t recognized him: she’d been talking to senator Max Powell. This gives her a laugh at first but when they reconnect at a conference a few weeks later, sparks fly and soon they are falling in love. But can Olivia handle the spotlight? The media commenting on her appearance and digging up her past? I love the famous person dates regular person trope, I loved Olivia as a character (she’s smart and funny and ultra relatable), and I liked that the characters were my age… sometimes reading romance novels about twenty-somethings depresses me a little bit. It was realistic, it was sexy, it was fun, smart… can’t recommend it enough!
Deadly Little Scandals
Deadly Little ScandalsRead the book
This is the sequel to Little White Lies, which we had as a podcast book club episode a while back. Becca lent me her copy and I held onto it for way too long before reading it but in my “no sad books in August” month, it seemed like a good one to read. Sawyer and her debutante girlfriends Lily, Campbell, and Sadie-Grace are back and now they are 18 years old and pledging a secret society! This time around Sawyer is super focused on figuring out what happened to her mother’s friend Ana’s best friend – and her baby! As with the last one, it alternates timelines: this time between present (where two of the girls are trapped in a hole!), past (25 years ago with the parents’ timeline), and a few months before. There is a gigantic (but extremely unrealistic) twist that you won’t see coming – despite being totally unbelievable, it was still fun. I will be honest and tell you that this one went a little off the rails for me. It wasn’t very believable, there are some pretty gigantic plot holes, and the ending had me scratching my head. Still, it was enjoyable… and creative! You definitely have to read the first one back so if you are looking for a fun, light thriller pick up both posts. But if I’m being really honest, there are better books out there!