Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld. This is a fictional take on what Hillary’s life might have looked like if she hadn’t married Bill. It’s important to note that Curtis is a woman prior to reading. I found it pretty entertaining and thought-provoking. It’s not as good as Eligible, but nothing is.
Pretty Things by Janelle Brown. This is about a con artist who takes on someone she knew as a teenager. That’s probably a horrible description. It was entertaining but just okay as far as this genre goes. It’s one that, when someone asks me in a year if I’ve read it, I’ll “think so?” but not remember the details. Also there’s a couple of times when they are discussing yoga and the audiobook narrator pronounces it “ah-SAH-na” instead of “AH-sa-na” and it made my skin crawl. That is all.
The Jetsetters by Amanda Ward. I was pretty excited about this because it initially takes place in the exact area of Savannah, GA that my parents are moving to so I was pretty familiar with a lot of the landmarks. It’s about a 71-year-old widow who wins a European cruise and takes her three adult children with her. They’re all kind of estranged and dysfunctional but the book was sort of dull. Pass.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell. Man. What do I even say about this book. It’s about a 15-year-old girl at boarding school who enters into a relationship with her 43-year-old English teacher. It flashes between then, and 2017 when she is now a pretty damaged young adult. It is incredibly graphic and triggering and I wanted it to be over but also couldn’t put it down. Proceed with caution.
The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin. I was up in the air about whether to read this because I didn’t really like her last book (All We Ever Wanted) and, more importantly, because she has a weird public hatred of Meghan Markle that makes me uncomfortable. This one is about a young journalist living in NY during 9/11. I’m not sure whether she’s lost her touch or if I was less discerning as a 20-year-old reading Something Borrowed but the writing is pretty bad. The only redeemer is that I am a sucker for how she weaves in characters from her other books; Rachel, Darcy, and Ethan do make a brief appearance in this one.
Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth. I loved the first two Divergent books, hated the way she ended the series, but thought I’d give her another shot with her newest book. Unfortunately I had to quit it at 20%. There’s a definite art form to throwing the reader into a somewhat dystopian/altered universe and letting them figure out what’s going on as you go. This book did not do that. I checked multiple times to make sure I wasn’t reading the sequel to something because I was 1) so confused and 2) bored. Bummer.
The Power of Moments by Chip Heath & Dan Heath. I heard Dan Heath on Armchair Expert and really liked him so I put a few of their books on hold. This is pretty good and a quick, easy listen. It’s about how memorable experiences are created and how you can use that knowledge in your personal and professional life, but it doesn’t read super self help-y. I will probably read more of their books!
A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler. I haven’t been this conflicted about a book in a long time. I couldn’t stop listening to it and really liked the storyline, but there’s a major plot point that I HATED and found unnecessary, and I didn’t like the ending. Oh and the narration is terrible. Okay I guess I don’t recommend it.
Open Book by Jessica Simpson. I’m surprised by how much I liked this. I will say I listened to the audiobook and it takes about 2 hours and listening on 1.3x speed to make her voice tolerable but ultimately I recommend the audiobook. Although it’s always a tough call with memoirs because they typically include pictures in the hard copy versions. But either way, must read! It scratches that itch for salacious gossip, but it’s also occasionally very sad and always unflinchingly honest. She’s had a crazy life and is a much better writer than I expected!
Run Away by Harlan Coben. I know I’m very late to the HC party but we watched The Stranger on Netflix and I really marveled at how many storylines were going on that somehow came together. I REALLY liked this book. There are twists and turns up until the very end and I couldn’t put it down. Probably going to do a full binge like I did with Karin Slaughter a couple of years ago.
Looking forward to: Save Me the Plums, 28 Summers, and Friends and Strangers. What’s on your list?!