Happy Monday, my friends! I had an incredibly busy weekend that has me feeling a bit on edge as I enter this new week. I always tend to feel that way when I have a weekend that doesn’t allow for enough downtime. Thankfully, this week will be quiet (and I have a work-from-home day scheduled for Thursday, which is much needed) and I’m not making any plans for Friday and Saturday in the hopes I can fully recharge my batteries.
Even with the busyness, however, I still managed to finish four books! One was an audiobook and one I had about 30 pages left in when I started the week, ha, but it all counts. I’ve decided to change up my reviews somewhat, make them a bit more concise. Enjoy!
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang (★★★★★)
This is a beautifully written novel that starts with a teenage girl attempting to end her life by losing control of her car on an icy patch of the road. What follows is a nonlinear timeline of what happened to lead Liz to believing suicide was her only way out, and how her accident reverberates throughout her friends, her school, and her community. The writing is just so gorgeous, and I was so impressed to learn that this book is Zhang’s debut novel. The story reads fairly quickly due to short chapters and it’s not one to be missed, in my opinion.
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (★★★☆☆)
This thriller has a fairly insane premise: a man and a woman are on a flight together and start talking. The man mentions how he knows his wife is cheating on him and he could kill her for it. Instead of being creeped out by that pronouncement, the woman tells him she can help. After all, she says, some people are the kind worth killing. From there, the plot takes off and doesn’t slow down even at the end. (Honestly, the final twist almost bumped my star rating from three to four stars.) Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of this thriller and it might have simply been due to the extremely unlikable characters. I don’t need likable characters, especially for thrillers, but there was just something about these people that I really despised. Every character seemed to be the worst of humanity; none of them were redeemable in any way. However, my opinion seems to be in the minority because most people rave about this book and it has a 4.03 rating on Goodreads with over 61,000 reviews. So I guess you should take my opinion with a grain of salt, ha.
Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan (★☆☆☆☆)
I was really looking forward to this contemporary romance, the final in a trilogy about a group of brothers who work at their family’s winter resort. Throughout the first two novels, Brenna and Tyler were secondary characters but with a shared history that I couldn’t wait to explore. The result was rather disappointing, however. Brenna and Tyler have been best friends since they were kids, skiing together nearly every day after school and throughout that whole time, Brenna had a crush on Tyler. Tyler became a skiing sensation, winning multiple Olympic gold medals and World Cups until an injury ended his career. He comes back to Snow Crystal disappointed and angry but Brenna is happy to have her best friend back in her life full-time. As I’ve shared previously, the friends-to-lovers trope is my favorite of the romance genre but this was a good lesson in how not to write it. Brenna was written completely differently than she had appeared in the first two novels of this trilogy, and her self-consciousness around Tyler didn’t read true to life. You wouldn’t be that way around someone who’s been your best friend since you were kids! I was also disappointed in the ending – not because of the HEA (I always love an HEA!) but because everything wrapped up a little too neatly in a way that made me suspend reality just a little too much.
Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer (★★★★☆)
This book gave me all of the warm fuzzies about female friendship and the women I call my friends! The title of the book is something I have said to my friends or been told to do after leaving their home or a restaurant or a party. It’s something that always makes me feel good, knowing I have someone checking in on me and wanting to know I got home safe. It reminds me that I may be single but I am not alone. In Text Me When You Get Home, the author explores the evolution of female friendship, starting with how it wasn’t much of a priority for her mother as a new wife in her early twenties, and what it looks like today, both in the real lives of women and what’s portrayed on TV shows and movies. It’s a well-researched love letter to female friendships, and how they are arguably more important in the lives of women than romantic relationships. I loved every bit of this book.
I’m currently reading…
> Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life by Amanda Stern, on audio. This is a memoir about living with anxiety, starting from Amanda’s childhood and how she lives with it today.
> Irresistible You by Kate Meader, my romance pick for the week. Kate Meader is a new-to-me romance author, so we’ll see how this goes!
> We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter. I’m reading this for book club (my suggestion, so it had better be as good as everyone says, ha). I read the first 50 pages on Sunday evening and was immediately sucked into the story, so I think I’m thoroughly going to enjoy my time with this novel.
What are you reading?