Linking up to Modern Mrs. Darcy for her monthly QuickLit post, where we share “short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately”. I’ll share everything I’ve read over the previous month here right around the middle of each month, in the order I finished reading them.
Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
A YA novel that straddles that content level between YA and real adult. Millay does a great job weaving together the stories of Nastya and Josh, two high school students who don’t seem to fit in anywhere. Really enjoyed this one!
When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker
This story comes with a “tissues” warning. I listened to it on Audiobook and breezed through it, but it deals with some tough stuff. Centers around the letters received by a bereaved widow after his wife dies of cancer, so… you know, all happy things. It was very well written and didn’t FEEL emotionally manipulative, but it definitely tears at the heartstrings.
Play with Fire by Bianca Juarez Olthoff
Due out at the end of August, look for a forthcoming interview with Bianca! Her fun, witty personality comes through in spades in this Christian memoir. I’ll tell you that she didn’t have an easy life, by any means, but is fantastic at finding ways to reflect the saving grace she found through every circumstance (even if it is in hindsight!). Bianca is charming and sweet, and oh so fun to hear speak. Definitely recommended.
Faithful by Alice Hoffman
I got to pre-read this with an advanced copy from NetGalley. It isn’t due out until November 1st! It was beautifully written and artfully done. Even though the main character starts out as a 17 year old, she grows in maturity and age quite a bit over the course of this novel, so I wouldn’t classify it as young adult. And look at that cover! Not that you’d choose a book that way, but it definitely grabbed me!
Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Oh, I love this book. This is actually a re-read for me, since I read it for book club a few years ago and just picked it up again for ANOTHER book club! But it doesn’t get old. The setting (lighthouse off the coast of Australia) and characters are beautiful. The plot is compelling and the details are everywhere. It was definitely worth a re-read and still ranks very high as one of my favorite books!
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Oh, this book was such fun. Four siblings are supposed to receive a large inheritance from their father when the youngest turns 40. But, just a few months before the birthday, the eldest gets into trouble, causing their mother to spend almost the entire “Nest” as they affectionately call it. The sibling dynamics, the money issues, the NYC setting, all of it makes this book a great read. And my interview with Cynthia was such fun. This is her debut novel and she knocked it out of the park.
The One-in-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood
For fans of A Man Called Ove, or other poignant, personality-driven narratives, don’t wait to pick this one up! It centers around 104-year old Ona Viktus and Quinn, the father of a boy who was supposed to fill her bird feeders all summer. The self-discovery of both over the course of this novel is sweet and will bring a smile. Ona is a spitfire and everyone will be wishing they had a great-grandma like her by the end. Loved it!
11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King
This one is a monster book (880 pages), so I picked it up on Audible and couldn’t “put it down”. Even if you’ve decided in the past that you aren’t a fan of Stephen King or thrillers, this is a complete departure from his previous works. Much more REALLY well researched historical fiction than anything else (with some thrill and time travel thrown in for good measure). I kept thinking that my dad would LOVE this book as I read it, so I hope I can convince him to pick it up and stick with it, because it really was phenomenal, and I loved every minute.
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
This is, more than anything, about the relationship between a daughter and her mother. I found it really difficult to get into. Picked it up as an audiobook from the library, and was really glad that I got to return it afterward, as it seemed to have very little “point” to it. I had heard really great reviews about it, and not seen many detractors, so I thought I would enjoy it, but I just… didn’t.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Decided to add this as an extra book to my Book of the Month box and I’m so glad I did. The very beginning of the story starts with a 5-year old boy being killed in a hit-and-run car accident (so, yes, a bit close to home… this mama has been extra “hand holdy” lately with my two boys!). The author worked on a police force prior to writing this novel, so the detective scenes are spot on. And the twists she takes you through are completely unforeseeable. I finished this in just 3 days because I COULD NOT put it down.
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Another mystery/thriller that I heard about through Book of the Month, but then was able to snag on NetGalley! A plane crashes a few minutes after taking off from Martha’s Vineyard (revealed in the first chapter). A painter and a 4-year old boy are the only survivors. We spend the rest of the novel trying to determine what happened by looking forward from the crash and the fallout, and looking back at the lives of each person on board in the time leading up to the crash. Hawley is amazing at weaving together all the points of view from all the characters. Definitely grab this one!