After a short hiatus, I’m back with my weekly reading recap. I’m definitely not going to talk about all the books I finished over the past few weeks (ain’t nobody got time for that!), so I’m starting fresh and just talking about the books I finished over the past week. I thoroughly enjoyed one novel and thoroughly hated the other. Fun! Let’s dive in:
Plot Summary: A girl named Rose is riding her bike near her home in South Dakota and falls down a hole. When she’s found by rescuers, they peer down to see her laying in a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, Rose is an enigmatic physicist who is determined to find out the origins of this giant metal hand and what is means for humanity as we know it.
My thoughts: My work book club chose this book as our May pick, and I wasn’t quite sure about it at first. I like science fiction books, but I’m a little wary of books that have a kooky and bizarre synopsis. But that’s what book clubs are all about, right? Getting you to read books you’d never pick up on your own. And I am so glad I gave this one a chance because it was a pretty amazing thrill ride. I think what I appreciated most about this book was how it tried to explore the idea of there being life on other planets and what that could mean for life on earth. The book is told in transcripts and journal entries, and in some cases, I think this method worked really well and helped the novel move along at a great pace. In other cases, usually the action scenes, it fell apart. I wavered between 3 and 4 stars, but since I read the last 100 pages in one sitting and stayed up late to finish it, I couldn’t give it less than 4. It’s probably not a book I’d recommend to everyone, but good if you’re looking to read something a little bizarre and not too heavy.
Title: The Final Score
Author: Jaci Burton
Format: Library e-book
Plot Summary: Longtime friends Nathan and Mia, both newly graduated from college and embarking on new careers, make a friends-with-benefits pact because they just cannot deny the chemistry that sizzles between them.
My Thoughts: Well, it’s not very often that I give a 1-star rating, but this one kinda deserves it. I had a lot of issues with this book, so let’s get right into it, shall we?
- Issue #1: It’s not realistic to write a novel about a girl who fresh out of college and starts her own sports management company out of the blue where she has no setbacks whatsoever. First of all, you need to earn the role of CEO by working your way through the ranks, starting at the bottom. She did nothing of the sort and yet, she has a large office in San Francisco with dozens of employees, none of whom resent her for being CEO when she’s 10+ years younger than them? Not relatable, not realistic. It’s also not realistic to have zero setbacks when it comes to starting a business, other than her own insecurity.
- Issue #2: After being a backup QB during his rookie season, Nathan is now the starting quarterback for an NFL team and yet again, the author has this kid encounter zero setbacks during his first handful of games on the field. His only setback is his own insecurity about taking over for the team his stepfather played for (which in and of itself is a really weird plot twist). I watch football religiously and one thing I know for certain is that anyone’s first time at starting QB doesn’t always go smoothly. There are kinks to figure out and that’s fairly expected. For him to come on the field and immediately be a Tom Brady-level quarterback is so unrealistic that I skimmed my way past the football parts because I just didn’t care.
- Issue #3: There was no conflict whatsoever in this novel! Romances need to have conflict. They need to have a push/pull dynamic. And there needs to be something happening beyond the romance. There could have been such an interesting side plot involving Mia and her business, but the author just chose to keep the whole novel at surface level.
- Issue #4: Please. Stop. With. The. Sassy. Black. Best. Friends. That is not okay.
So I mean, yeah. If you hung around for that rant, thanks! I just had to get it off my chest. I’ve read probably 15 or so romances by Jaci Burton, but I think this is the last one I’ll be reading. I just cannot get over how utterly unrealistic and boring this novel was, not to mention the gloriously awful writing. (Usually, I can look past her writing when the romance is sizzlin’, but it just wasn’t there in this one.)
What I’m Reading This Week
- How to Walk Away by Katherine Center – This was my pick from Book of the Month’s May selections (<– affiliate link; sign up with my code to get a free book!) It tackles a very difficult topic, but in a way that doesn’t make it feel too heavy. I started reading it on Saturday morning and I’m nearly finished, so that can give you an indication of just how much I’m loving it.
- Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan – Once I finish How to Walk Away, I’ll start this fun contemporary romance from one of my faves.
- The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan – I was originally going to read this book back in April, but the timing didn’t work out. (I didn’t think I’d be able to finish it before my cruise and didn’t want to bring such a hefty book with me.) So I’m going to start it this week and I hope it’s as great as I expect!
What are you reading this week?