Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. This was absolutely fascinating. It’s the story of 3 women during WWII- a 16 year old Polish girl who gets put in an all-women’s concentration camp for her participation in underground resistance, a young German doctor, and an American debutante who has devoted her time to placing French children orphaned by the war. The last two women are real people, and the story is based very much on fact. The Polish girl is also based on a real prisoner of Ravensbruck. The audiobook was crazy long but worth it for the accents.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling. Except not really. You guys. I hated this. I knew it was going to be written in a play format so I set my expectations relatively low, but it was BAD. I had the same feeling after reading this that I did after the second Sex and the City movie. That was a waste of my time, and it didn’t advance the plot at all. I lost a little respect for Lady Jo here, if I’m being honest. The dialogue was campy, and the story itself read more like amateur fan fiction than something from her genius brain. This Harry Potter fanatic is unimpressed.
Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult. Vintage Jodi! She must have written this sometime between her terrible books (i.e. Tenth Circle) and her amazing books (i.e. Nineteen Minutes). Yes, that’s my favorite Jodi book. Closely followed by House Rules. This was decent- it’s about a little girl who starts communicating with God and performing miracles in the midst of her parents’ messy divorce. Took me a while to get into it but I ended up enjoying it.
The Girls by Emma Cline. This has been so buzzed about because it was written by a 27 year old who got a 2 million dollar advance for it. (Does anyone want to give ME money for writing this blog?) It’s about a girl who gets sucked into a Charles Manson-esq cult when she’s 14, and flashes between that and her life in middle-age. It is incredibly disturbing. I was uncomfortable for about 85% of it, but I will say she’s a damn good writer. I mean, almost as good as me.
Meternity by Meghann Foye. This was horrifying. I should have guessed that based on the title, but Emily Giffin is quoted on the cover saying she loved it! Duped. It reminded me of that show Younger where the 40 something woman pretends to be in her early 20s and gets an internship at a fashion magazine or something. Hillary Duff is in a supporting role if that gives you an idea of the show’s caliber. Anyway, this book is about a woman who works at a maternity magazine and fakes a pregnancy. I guess I understand where people would think it was cute and lighthearted except that the main character is a terrible human AND she gets away with it in the end. Sorry to spoil it, but this is a no-go.
First Comes Love by Emily Giffin. You know her from Something Borrowed (still upset that they butchered that movie). I really didn’t like her most recent book The One and Only, but this one was good! It’s written from the perspective of two sisters who have kind of a rocky relationship and are each dealing with their own issues. I also love that all of her books are loosely connected- in this one Meredith’s best friend is Ellen, of Love the One You’re With.
The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close. I was dying to read this because I loved Girls in White Dresses so much. This book didn’t make me laugh out loud the way her first did, but I really liked it. It’s about a young married couple who moves to DC and the husband gets involved in a political campaign. I think I appreciated it more because of all the DC/Maryland references, but it was a decent story. I’m still on hold for The Smart One.
Monsters: A Love Story by Liz Kay. I couldn’t even finish this. It had 4 stars on Goodreads but I don’t understand why. It’s about an author who recently lost her husband and one of her books is getting turned into a movie. But, like Meternity, I can’t stand it when the protagonist is really not likable but you can tell the author thinks they are. If that makes sense.
Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty. Oh Liane how I’ve been dying to read your latest book. But… meh. The whole premise is that these three couples have a barbecue together and something terrible happens that ruined all of their lives, but you don’t find out what the something-terrible is until about 60% of the way through. And it was mostly just depressing rather than a major plot twist. I really enjoy the way she writes but this is my least favorite book of hers.
(On a side note, one of the characters in this one has a mother who is a hoarder, and you should DEFINITELY read Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller, which is a memoir of a girl who grew up with hoarder parents.)
The Assistants by Camille Perri. This, I LOVED. It’s about a couple of young female assistants at a large media company who fudge their expense reports in order to pay off their student loans. Naturally, it gets a little out of control. The narrator is really funny and obviously I identified with the stress of living in debt. Highly recommend.
Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen. Just like it sounds, the stories of 9 different women who come into contact with one famous dress in New York City. It was just okay. It kind of reminded me of Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan- I liked that one better. I will say that I listened to the audiobook and appreciated the fact that they had like 13 different narrators for all the different characters.