Tried something new (maybe a repeat of an old format?) with this set up this month, hence why it took so long. Is this a lot like a book report? Definitely. Will I repeat it? We’ll see.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
This book in two sentences: In the aftermath of a civilization that’s succumbed to a mysterious, airborne illness, few survivors remain. Among them are a traveling troupe of actors who perform Shakespeare plays, but they can’t let the past go.
How this book made me feel: In awe!
What I liked: How the story comes together by the end of it. This was a reread for me, and I’d forgotten a lot of the pieces. The characters are awesome.
What frustrated me: Nothing I can think of!
Recommended for: fans of sweeping novels with found families and dystopian themes.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
This book in two sentences: Stella Lane has autism, and she thinks it will be impossible for her to ever find true love. She’s hopeless and awkward, or so she thinks, and she decides to hire a man to teach her to be in love, but of course it doesn’t go as planned.
How this book made me feel: Thrilled! It’s a quick, fun read.
What I liked: The story was fun and easy to follow and a great way to kickstart my reading again.
What frustrated me: You definitely need to set aside some believability here.
Recommended for: Fans of rom-coms and steamy novels!
Places I Stopped on the Way Home: A Memoir of Chaos and Grace by Meg Fee
This book in two sentences: Meg is a young woman living in New York City, struggling and triumphing like any of us in our mid-twenties. This essay collection is beautiful and haunting, equal parts love letter and introspection of Meg’s life and choices thus far.
How this book made me feel: Inspired & seen.
What I liked: I really liked that this book tells it like it is. meg opened her heard in this book, spilling all her deepest feelings without beating around the bush. This is exactly the type I’d like to write about one day, if I’m brave enough.
What frustrated me: As a nosy storyteller, I often wanted more information about the truth behind the vignettes! Who was the celebrity she dated? We’ll never know.
Recommended for: This book is awesome for anyone who loves memoirs and essay collections. This is definitely introspective and heavy on the feelings.
I wrote a longer piece on this book, which you can read here.
You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld
This book in two sentences: It’s a series of short stories centering on different characters. The topics are very timely and applicable to 2019 life.
How this book made me feel: Oddly sad.
What I liked: I liked how a number of the stories took me by surprise and didn’t end how I expected. I also liked how it was easy to pick up the book and read just one or two stories at a time.
What frustrated me: I was frustrated by the fact that most of the characters were frustrating humans. I just didn’t care about most of them.
Recommended for: I think if you really, super love short stories this would be a good collection for you. It’s been a number of years since I read anything else by Sittenfeld, but I think if you liked her earlier stuff this is both similar and not similar. It’s definitely more adult than her other works in terms of hemes, but not necessarily content.
We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca White
This book in two sentences: Two young women meet in college and become fast friends. The book follows them through college, after college, and into motherhood, all along traveling the radically different paths they take.
How this book made me feel: Pretty happy!
What I liked: I liked the elements of history that were weaved in and how multigenerational this story was.
What frustrated me: I guess there were some character actions that frustrated me, but that’s part of a good novel.
Recommended for: Fans of stories that span time (thirty years, in this case) and focus on female friendship.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for sending me this for review.
Royals by Rachel Hawkins
This book in two sentences: Daisy’s sister is engaged to a prince, and the Royal Family flies her out to England to keep her in check for the summer. It turns out living in England and spending a summer away from home isn’t the worst thing in the world,but it’s also not all it’s cracked up to be!
How this book made me feel: Entertained.
What I liked: I liked the escapism and the relationships.
What frustrated me: Nothing in particular. It’s a short YA read; I read it in one sitting. (This isn’t a frustration but rather a fact.)
Recommended for: Readers who love YA or stories about royals, and anyone looking for a fun, fluffy read.
Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith
This book in two sentences: Hugo is one of seven kids all born on the same day, one of the Surrey Seven, and he’s so ready to leave them for a bit on a trip to the United States with his girlfriend. When she breaks up with him, he needs to find someone with the exact same name as his ex-girlfriend so that he can use the non-refundable tickets for the trip.
How this book made me feel: So warm inside!
What I liked: I thought the premise was really awesome.
What frustrated me: I wish there was a bit more about the Surrey Seven and about a project Hugo undertakes during the journey, but that’s more about me wanting more from the novel than any specific failing.
Recommended for: Fans of charming YA with cute boys and fun, impulsive girls, and anyone who’s ever dreamed of breaking out on an adventure.
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book in two sentences: Emma marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse, and the two of them get ready to take on the world, following their dreams, until he disappears in a helicopter crash. Years later, Emma is engaged to a new man, cherishing a second chance at love, until she discovers that Jesse has been found.
How this book made me feel: Conflicted! I could really see her being happy with both of the men and I didn’t know how I wanted the book to end until I got to the end.
What I liked: The Massachusetts setting was so fun for me. The way that I really couldn’t decide who she would end up with, or even who I wanted her to end up with.
What frustrated me: The way that I really couldn’t decide who she would end up with, or even who I wanted her to end up with!
Recommended for: Lovers of rom coms.
Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book in two sentences: Elsie is newly married (just nine days!) and on top of the world, until her husband Ben dies in an accident when he’s out getting her a snack. When she has to pick up the pieces of his life, she has to deal with the fact that his mom never even knew she existed, let alone that she’s her daughter-in-law.
How this book made me feel: Mostly just fine. Glad I got it from the library.
What I liked: Wondering what on earth I would do in this situation! It seems like it would be very difficult, to say the least.
What frustrated me: This is the earliest TJR book and I’d read them backwards. There’s been a huge improvement in her writing and her more recent plots are more to my liking, so this one felt like a backslide in terms of quality. But the story was still enjoyable!
Recommended for: Hardcore TJR fans and rom-com lovers.
Startup by Doree Shafrir
This book in two sentences: Three people all work in the same building at various startups. There’s a secret that affects all three of them, and the efforts to contain it don’t work.
How this book made me feel: Pretty sad inside.
What I liked: I didn’t enjoy this book much, but I flew through it and wanted to see what happened, so I’m going to say the story was gripping.
What frustrated me: Maybe this is what the NYC tech world is really like, but I mostly just felt depressed after reading this. It wasn’t uplifting to me at all.
Recommended for: People interested in workplace dramas.
The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding
This book in two sentences: Abby is a gay seventeen year old girl who just landed her dream fashion internship, after which she’s pretty much guaranteed a job. But when she gets there on the first day, she discovers there’s another intern, Jordi, and — oh boy, she has a crush on her.
How this book made me feel: Fuzzy and warm inside.
What I liked: I liked the setting of LA being well done but not heavy handed, the lesbian representation, and the main character.
What frustrated me: Overall it just felt a bit flat. I think it’s because I don’t read YA much anymore. There’s a time and a place for it for me.
Recommended for: Readers of queer fiction, YA, and good representation. Also people who like burgers.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This book in two sentences: Alex Claremont-Diaz is the First Son of the United States, second child of America’s first female president. His longstanding, “hate him forever in his perfect punchable face” arch rival is Prince Henry of Wales – until they’re forced to make amends publicly, and then it turns into something more.
How this book made me feel: Very warm inside.
What I liked: Can I say everything? I loved how funny and heartbreaking this was at the same time. It’s a New Adult Novel, not young adult, so there are definitely some adult themes, sexual and otherwise. The book tackles grief really well, and there’s this beautiful page about growing up dealing with grief that’s really stuck with me. I can only dream of writing a book like this one day.
What frustrated me: I wish it was longer? I wish it was a television series? I don’t know. Not much.
Recommended for: If you like books like The Royal We, you will definitely like this book.
In total this month:
Total number of books: twelve
Number of fiction books: eleven
Number of nonfiction books: one
Books by people who are not white dudes: twelve
Total number of books this year: thirty three