Far and away the thing you all like best are book reviews. So without further ado, here you go.
PS I refuse to consider this the end of summer. I'm sad for those of you who end "summer" when school season begins. #SummerForever
The Top Reads
The People We Keep by Allison Larkin If you want to hook me, have a strong female lead whose main lesson in life is that there are people that love you over the long haul. It's a modern coming of age story that follows April from her late teen years on the run to her, well, adult years on the run. It's a little bit Daisy Jones and the Six mixed with Where the Crawdads Sing. It's first but not necessarily Number 1.
One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle This felt like it would be a good summer read, and it was but it's got a lot of meat to it. Readers run hot and cold on Serle but I'm a fan. In Summer she interweaves a little bit of magic, usually in the form of forward or backward time shifting, to help Katy understand her mother's life. She also wrote The Dinner List and In Five Years, both of which I enjoyed.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson There is no shortage of books right now that deal with complicated family relationships. Black Cake hit my radar several months ago and I won't lie I thought the cover was beautiful. I'm making a point to read more books by women of color so I put my library hold on for this one. And besides I like cake. This book focuses on two estranged siblings and the amazing true story of their mother's life which started out on a small Caribbean Island and ends in modern day California.
Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I first fell in love with TJR with the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Forever is just about as good. There's a quirly octogenarian, a couple dead husbands, a moody mother-in-law... what more could you want? But seriously, this is another with complicated family relationships and it's handled very gently. TJR knows how to write for and about strong women.
Rounding out my Top 5 is The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. If you know me you know I detest sci-fi, but I'm learning I love magical, mystical stories. There's generally not a lot of nature (unless it's chasing you) in post apocalyptic worlds, definitely not the case with this book. This story is other worldly yet deeply intersects human longing for connection of all types: human, nature, and the metaphysical. I have a vivid image of the house and it's gardens even months after reading it. I can easily daydream about what Linus and Aurthur might be up to today. I really loved this book and would love to see it made into a movie.
Finally, because you love them my #JFoSaysNope books:
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover I know her books are wildly popular and my theory is because they are soft core porn and most you want to read porn but won't read porn so you read Colleen Hoover. Listen Linda, I love a good sex scene... never mind, I really don't. If I had it to do over again this one would have been a pass for me, predictable ending, lots of crotch grinding.
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter Someone in my online bookclub called this book "torture porn". I don't know where the line between true crime (which I love) and the dark, twisted world of books like this live, but put me firmly on the other side of it. I had to FFWD some of this it was that bad. But hey, if it's your jam... go for it with this one.
Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Ok this one wasn't terrible like the other two, but, man, after reading The Unhoneymooners, which was probably one of the funniest books I've read since The Guncle, my expectations were high and this one fell short. It just wasn't funny.
Ok that's what I can reasonably cover in one blog. if you want to see what else I've been reading head over to GoodReads. Also in case you missed it my Instagram got hijacked so I started a new one: DoYouKnowJFo. I'll post random reviews there too.
Happy Summer Reading,