Happy Monday, friends! I had such a lovely, relaxing weekend. So relaxing, in fact, that I managed to finish an entire 350-page book in two days. (Which is a good thing, considering it was for book club and our meeting is tomorrow!)
This week, I finished two books. My reviews are below!
Plot Summary: June O’Donnell and Saul Angert are supposed to hate each other because that’s the way their families work. June’s family has a long-held grudge against Saul’s family, but June cannot help the pull she feels toward Saul. He’s gruff and sarcastic, but sparks fly whenever they’re around one another. So, what happens when an Angert and an O’Donnell fall in love?
My Thoughts: I’m not one for magical realism typically, but damn, I loved this novel. It was fun and witty while also being emotionally moving, stirring my heart strings. I loved the characters of June and Saul, and I could feel their chemistry immediately. Their love story warmed my heart and it’s what made me most curious to see how everything would end because it seemed like their love was doomed from the start. I also loved the secondary characters in this novel, especially the relationship of June and her best friend Hannah. They had a strong, healthy female friendship and it was a beautiful thing to witness. They just loved each other and wanted the best for one another at all times, and that’s something more YA novels need. Teenage female friendship can be healthy! Yes, yes. This book was so fantastic and so beautifully written. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA books and magical realism (but also encourage anyone who isn’t into magical realism to give it a try because that’s not my typical bag and I really enjoyed it.)
Plot Summary: In this novel, Leni Zumas has imagined a world where abortion is illegal, IVF is banned, and every embryo is granted right to life, liberty, and property. She explores how this affects four very different woman: Ro who is trying to have her baby on her own, Susan who is a mother of two and trapped in a disappointing marriage, Mattie who is fifteen and gets pregnant unexpectedly, and Gin who is a modern-day witch doctor who is arrested and put on trial.
My Thoughts: The premise of this book sounded great. Timely and important, and let’s face it, if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed as Supreme Court Justice, a reality we could be facing in the not-too-distant future. However, the writing just didn’t meet my expectations. I found the writing pretentious, as if the author was trying so hard to make this book as literary as possible. None of the characters were truly likable, and it just made me sad that none of the women featured in this novel had a strong relationship with anyone – not a romantic partner, not a family member, not a friend, not a colleague. If the author wanted to write a female empowerment book, well, I think she failed on that account. I will acknowledge that I thought the ending was well-done and made up for a very slow beginning and lackluster character development, but eh. Not a book I’m going to be recommending.
What I’m Reading This Week
- Persuasion by Jane Austen – Okay, confession: so much of this book has been going over my head that I finally broke down and read the SparkNotes chapter summaries for everything I had read so far. Mostly because I was getting the characters mixed up, and also because I read two chapters in a row where I was like, “Wait. What did I just read?!” I couldn’t have told you if my life depended on it. So now I’m reading the SparkNotes chapter summary before I read a chapter and the experience is so much better! Pretty sure after finishing Persuasion, I’m giving up on Jane Austen novels. Sorry not sorry?
- Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski – Still working my way through this one! It’s so, so good, but also very dense, and I’m taking my time with it. But it’s definitely a book I would recommend to anyone who has insecurities or fears regarding sex.
- Taking Fire by Cindy Gerard – Nearly done with this romantic suspense novel! It has one of my most-hated romance tropes, but it’s an easy read nonetheless and I’m curious to how it will all turn out.
- The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own by Veronica Chambers – My audiobook pick for September! I started this yesterday and it’s going to be a really quick read, as it’s under five hours. And an enjoyable one because, right now, I need to remember a time when our democracy wasn’t a garbage fire.
What are you reading?