The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. Set in the late 1930s about a British woman who had kind of a whirlwind marriage to an American and he moved her to rural Kentucky where she’s pretty miserable. She gets involved with a traveling library project spearheaded by Eleanor Roosevelt and run by all women. A book about female empowerment in the form of spreading the joys of reading should have been right up my alley but I had to quit at 40% because it was so boring.
Girl Gone Mad by Avery Bishop. I got this as my Kindle First book a few months ago. It’s about a group of girls who were bullies in middle school and how this comes back to bite them in their late 20s. The writing isn’t the best, but it really held my attention and was pretty suspenseful.
The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper. This is a memoir by a Black ER physician. She uses patient stories as a lens to talk about race, class, feminism, and all kinds of other issues plaguing our country and healthcare system. I thought it was REALLY good and an easy listen, though I wish she had read it herself! I always like that better with memoirs.
All Adults Here by Emma Straub. I haven’t loved some of her other books (still don’t get the hype over The Vacationers), but this I really liked! It’s about a family who lives in a suburb north of NYC. It’s not action-packed but it’s funny and a nice story and definitely kept my attention. Recommend!
One by One by Ruth Ware. Ruth is so hit or miss for me. I stand by The Woman in Cabin 12 as a truly great thriller, but this one was really bad. At one point one of the narrators says something like “It feels like we’re in a bad horror film!!” and I was like… yes, it does. This might be an audiobook-specific complaint, but the beginning of every chapter also begins with the narrator’s username and number of followers on a fictional music platform similar to Spotify, but neither narrator really uses it. So it would be like starting a chapter with “Erin. Twitter followers: 3. Most recent Tweet: 4 weeks ago.”
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins. This is supposed to be a modern retelling of Jane Eyre but if you’re getting excited about it being the next Eligible, pump the brakes. It’s more like a retelling by someone who vaguely remembers from high school that there’s a man named Mr. Rochester who has his wife secretly living upstairs while he carries on a romance with a working-class woman named Jane. The similarities pretty much end there. It does have some decent twists except it’s another example of a book where I think the narrator is meant to be likable, and she’s not.
White Ivy by Susie Yang. This is about a girl who is born in China and lives there until she’s 3 and then moves to the US. It follows her all the way through her late 20s living in Boston. There were parts of it I liked, but it’s way too long. I honestly almost quit at like 85% but then a ton of stuff happens in the last 10 minutes or so.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. A woman attempts suicide and ends up in a limbo where she lives out several different versions of her life. It’s interesting and thought-provoking, AND Carey Mulligan narrates the audiobook so you should definitely listen. I can see it turning into a miniseries or something.
Think Again by Adam Grant. I was introduced to him on Dax Shepard’s podcast and I liked his book a lot! It’s not really self-help but it did make me re-evaluate some stuff and is a good read/listen. He’s also great on podcasts and Instagram if you’re not feeling reading a whole book.
The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell. She really has a knack for writing books that build up suspense and then have a completely regular ending. Like she takes you down this crazy road only to have you find out that it’s the simplest explanation of events. This was just okay.
This is My America by Kim Johnson. I’d categorize this as YA- about a teenager whose father is on death row for murder and she’s writing letters to the Innocence Project to get him represented because he’s innocent. It was okay. I really didn’t care about the love triangle and I thought it got a little out of hand, but it was good. The Hate U Give was better.
The Push by Ashley Audrain. I really could not put this down and I cannot stop thinking about it. But I also wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone because it’s definitely disturbing. A mother who suspects her young daughter to be a sociopath and kind of lives in fear, but the daughter adores her father so therefore he thinks his wife is making it up. I’m intentionally leaving stuff out to avoid spoilers but OMG best book I’ve read in a while.
Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour. A Black valedictorian from Brooklyn is working as a shift supervisor at Starbucks and is “discovered” by a tech entrepreneur. It’s kind of that classic story of a rapid rise to power and how it changes people, but with a modern spin. I loved it in the beginning but then the ending got SO ridiculous and I can’t tell if the author was trying to turn it into satire or not.