Happy March, friends! I knocked out nine books this month, with some that were SO GOOD (I think one in particular will be my favorite for the year, but I guess we’ll have to wait to see!), and others that I liked but weren’t overwhelmingly great. Leave me a comment if you have read any of these and have thoughts, or if you have any suggestions for future reads!
For some reason, it took me a while to get through this one, but it was really cute and I really liked it! It’s fun and light hearted, about a pair of musicians in a trio, along with their extended families and a whole cast of fun characters and the shenanigans they get into. I liked that the main character, Bridget, was a little older than the typical protagonist that I read about, and that it was detailed enough to give me a good visual picture of the action, but not so detailed it was tedious. I enjoyed the light, understated comedy of it, honestly. I would recommend this one! It was a good happy book coming off the emotional rollercoaster of Colleen Hoover right before it.
And, one ticket back on the CoHo emotional rollercoaster, please! Actually, this wasn’t really emotional like the two others of hers that I’ve read, but it did elicit some emotions as far as being shocked, disturbed, and feeling kind of icky. It’s a domestic thriller, I guess? Definitely a thriller of some sort, with a few jump scares, a huge plot twist, and an ending that leaves things very open ended and unsolved, honestly. It’s so hard to describe and recommend her books because I can’t say it was “good”- it is well written, definitely kept my attention, and was unique and creative, but man, it was graphic at times, disturbing at times, and just shocking at times. Like who reads that description and wants to read that book?? Tread carefully- once you start, you won’t be able to stop, but it is quite the ride!
And if I had a niche genre, this is it- World War II historical fiction. This is the story of a French bridal seamstress who flees Paris in World War II at the urging of her American medic boyfriend, and the later relationship between the seamstress, and a local Boston girl whose story echoes the hers. The seamstress’s family has special skills when it comes to making bridal gowns, almost guaranteeing a happy ending for the couple, but the seamstress has had anything but a happy ending for herself. Love and loss, and World War II. Everything I love in a book! There were some major plot twists, and I really enjoyed this one!
I am going to be shocked if this doesn’t end up my top book of the year. Legitimately, no exaggeration. I’ll admit, TJR hasn’t exactly been my favorite in the past, but this was so good! It is the story of Emma, who marries her high school sweetheart and has amazing adventures around the world with him, until one of his solo adventures finds him missing and presumed dead. Emma is heartbroken, but eventually finds a way to move on and finds love again. Just as things seem to be looking up and she is happy again, her first husband appears back from the presumed dead, meaning Emma now has to choose between her old great life and her new great life. I thought this book was going to infuriate me a la Colleen Hoover in there being no way everyone can “win”, but she wraps it up so beautifully. I’d give it a million stars if I could!
This was described online as a cross between Big Little Lies and Class Mom and I’d say that is super accurate. Three girls at an elite private school in Seattle are battling for the one remaining spot at Stanford promised to the school. One girl is a double legacy with the second best grades in the class and a PTA president mom willing to do what she has to to get her in; one girl has poor grades and a millionaire CEO legacy mom willing to buy her daughter’s way in no matter the cost; one girl has the best grades in the class, and a single mom who has done everything she can to help them survive- including working as the CEO mom’s personal assistant for years. There are some dark parts (one girl is attacked for not bowing out of the race for Stamford; it deals with the backstory of one mom which includes sexual assault), but it also had a surprising amount of humor to balance it out. I enjoyed this one! (And am now petrified to try to get our kids into college, haha!)
Emily Giffin’s first five novels are some of my favorites of all time- I was always amazed that she could write chick lit that had some quintessential question engrained in the plot that made you really think. But starting with The One and Only (where *spoiler alert* a girl falls in love with her BFF’s dad as adults. Gag.), they’ve really gone off the rails for me. I liked this one better than her last (The Lies That Bind, an outlandish saga about a girl essentially having an affair with a man thought to have been killed in 9/11 but just used that as a cover to escape how crummy of a guy he is), but it still fell so short of the awe I once had for her as an author. This is essentially JFK Jr. historical fan fiction. I love a good historical fiction, but one that requires actual research and creativity, not one that feels like a cop-out for coming up with an actual plot or that I could have just read on Wikipedia (which is what I did after I finished this). I will probably always gravitate back to her as she publishes new work just to see if we ever get back to her older style, but I’ll be honest, I’m thankful I didn’t pay a dime for this.
I read The Silent Patient the year before last and could. not. put. it. down. And the ending blew my mind. This is a similar enough premise- group therapist Mariana’s niece Zoe is a student at Cambridge and calls her to come help when members of an elite Greek mythology girls club called The Maidens are being brutally murdered one by one. Mariana is certain she knows who the culprit is, but he has an airtight alibi, so she sets out to prove the truth. *soft spoilers ahead*
This was interesting enough through the first 90%, but the ending felt like a sharp left turn off the rails. Almost like the author was trying so hard to come up with an unexpected twist that it ended up being just so outlandish and implausible that it didn’t fit with the rest of the story. I’d love to know thoughts from others who have read it, though!
Toward the end of February, Andrea at Momfessionals shared her recently read stack, and mentioned that this book had her rolling laughing and was a great look at baby/ toddler mom life. I downloaded it immediately and finished it in less than 24 hours- granted, I did have a day home with a sick kiddo that day, but I could not put it down or stop laughing! This is essentially the baby/ toddler mom version of Class Mom and it amazes me how many parts are so painfully relatable that you just have to laugh at them. If you are in the moms to littles season (or made it out alive and want to reminisce!), this is for you!
I’ve not read many from Liane Moriarty (maybe one or two?), but I’ve liked them, so I thought I’d give this a shot (especially as I wait for my turn to get Apples Never Fall, her latest and much discussed, from the library!). It is the story of a girl who inherits a house on an island from the aunt of the boy who proposed to her, but she turned down (complicated, right??). There is a lot of intrigue surrounding the island and an old unsolved mystery that this family has profited off for decades as they are the only inhabitants of this island. Most of the story centers around this mystery and the answer to this “unsolved” question- only it is very much solved and younger members of the family are just waiting for older members to share. It felt kind of slow through a good portion of it, and I felt like the answer to the mystery wasn’t as shocking as I’d hoped it would be, but overall it was pretty good.
And that wraps up February reading! March may be a lower volume month for me because I still haven’t finished an entire book yet- I started one, and then ended up with a lucky “skip the line” loan of another I was waiting for, so I jumped to get through it since they only give you half the loan time, and I haven’t finished either yet, haha! At the end of February, I had finished 16, which puts me 6 books ahead for my yearly goal of 60, and I’m thankful for that because the next few months are going to be crazy hectic! Thanks for stopping by!
Linked with Jana Says for Show Us Your Books!