All Adults Here by Emma Straub: I loved this book so much more than I expected to. It’s a family drama and I realized that’s a topic I’m really into. Astrid lives in small town with most of her kids, when she witnesses a terrible accident of one of her neighbors, it brings up some old not too favorable parenting memories. All her kids seem to be struggling one way or another and she is determined to make it right. Verdict: 5 Stars
Conversation with Friends by Sally Rooney: After watching Normal People on Hulu, I really wanted to read Sally Rooney again. The characters in this book are a lot like the ones in Normal People, very insecure and seem to think they are not at all lovable. Frances and Bobbi are best friends and exes, when they meet a well known photographer, Bobbi seems to be taken with her. While Frances is just in the background, when she meets the photographer’s husband Nick, the two quickly becomes flirty and start exchanging emails. Verdict: 4 Stars
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub: I loved All Adults Here and wanted to read Emma again. Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe were in a band together in college. Years later Elizabeth and Andrew are married with a son, and Zoe has a restaurant with her wife and a daughter. Elizabeth and Zoe has friendship that makes Zoe’s wife uncomfortable. The couples two teenagers also starts a summer fling that puts even more pressure on the adults. I don’t want to spoil this for you but I really enjoyed all the drama. Verdict: 4 Stars
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel: Another messy story that I fully enjoyed, I don’t even know where to start. Vincent works at a fancy isolated hotel, when it is vandalized. Someone wrote: “why don’t you swallow broken glass”, her brother Paul that also works at the Hotel is the main suspect and gets fired. Vincent leaves the job to play pretend wife to the rich Jonathan Alkaitis that is running a major Ponzi scheme. When he is busted, she disappears into the night and now Jonathan is slowly losing his mind in prison. This book may not be for everyone but I loved this messy and complicated story. Verdict: 5 Stars
Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher: phew that was a lot of drama, so I went back to a lighter book and this was so cute. Bridgette is a lawyer and is forced to take Matt as an intern, who’s parent’s are very influential. She’s 5 years older than him but there’s immediately attracted to each other. After the internship, he accompanies her to a trip in Vegas, they got really drunk one night and things escalated. Verdict: 3.5 Stars
Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein: Avery trained all her life to make it to the Olympic gymnastics team, but a major accident ends her career for good. She feels lost and spend the next 7 years partying with very little focus. She hits rock bottom when her famous football player boyfriend breaks up with her. She moves back home in an effort to start over and lands a job training a promising young gymnast. Her co-trainer and is an old crush Ryan, that used to be a gymnast as well. A major scandal break out in the gymnastic world and Avery and Ryan don’t seem to agree on what’s best for their trainee and their relationship suffers. Read this in two days, it was a cute rom com but it also tackled some of the metoo movement. So it wasn’t all cutesy and I loved that. Verdict: 3.5 Stars
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory: Olivia just moved back to LA from New York to start her own law firm with her friend. One night, she meets Max and they instantly bond over their love of cakes and pies. When they accidentally run into each other again, Max makes sure to get her information and they must come clean, because they were both kind of hiding their real identity. Max is a high profile senator and is not looking for a fling, unlike Olivia. He’s great, but Olivia is having a hard time seeing herself in his world. However, they have very real feelings, so will they be able to work out their differences. I honestly recommend reading ALL Jasmine Guillory books, I’ve read them all and they never disappoint. Verdict: 4 Stars
If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha: I was excited to read this mostly because it’s about a culture that I know mostly nothing about. It’s set in modern day and follows the life of 4 women in Seoul, Korea. Kyuri is gorgeous after getting a lot of plastic surgery and works at a salon where she gets to brush shoulders with some of the elite of Seoul. She’s calculating but makes a mistake that gets her in a lot of trouble with her madam. Miho is her roommate, she’s an artist that studied in New York. She has a rich boyfriend that Kyuri doesn’t trust at all. Ara lives in the same building as Kyuri and Miho, she works at a hair salon and is mute after a tragic accident, she also has a mild obsession with a K-Pop star. Lastly, Wonna is a newlywed, also in the same building, she’s not really into her husband and really wants a baby. She had a few miscarriages and is pregnant again but is not only worried about losing that baby but she’s also stressed about her boss is threatening to take her job away, if she takes her full maternity leave. These women come together and each may end up being the support the other needed. This book ended abruptly to me, but I think that was a sign I was enjoying it a lot. Verdict: 4.5 Stars
I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman: Jessica is a successful lawyer and single mom, she is stressed at work because they won’t make two of her very qualified protegés partner and her teenage daughter is unpleasant to say the least. On her way to a college tour with Emily, her daughter, she threatened her boss that she will quit unless her mentees are fairly treated. It is safe to say she is not starting this trip free of worries. Emily doesn’t share much with her mom and is worried that a scandal at school will get back to her mom. This was such a wonderful mother/daughter story. I remember myself as a teenager and I was probably as awful as Emily. Verdict: 4 Stars
Beach Read by Emily Henry: January is 29 and grieving her father who unexpectedly passed away, she also found out her dad kept a big secret from her. She’s a writer and is having a hard time writing love stories with happy endings since, and her career is suffering. When she runs into Augustus a literary fiction writer she knew back in college, she makes a deal with to help her get our of her writing block. Through all that, January gets to grieve her dad and come to terms with his past. Verdict: 3.5 Stars
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett: This book is a classic and I was not at all surprised there was a bidding war over it, HBO won by the way or that it made the NYT Best Seller list in no time. It’s the story of two white passing twin sisters, who run away at 16 to New Orleans. One ends up in an abusing relationship and have to move back to her hometown. The other abandons her sister and go off to marry a white man who thinks she is White as well. Verdict: 5 Stars
One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk: This book was the perfect rom-com, a nice break between the heavier books. Annie runs an advertising agency with her best friend. The guys working in the same office trivialized her work and she accepts the challenge to make any random person instagram famous in 30 days. That person is Dr Samuel Page PhD, an historian that is extremely private and hates social media. Annie harassed Samuel until he agrees and they end up getting closer. Verdict: 5 Stars
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: This book is a masterpiece, it goes over 8 generations of two half sisters. One married a white man and the other is sold into slavery. Each generation goes through so much trauma, and this book broke my heart so many times but I did not for a second, regret reading it. Verdict: 5 Stars
One to watch by Kate Stayman-London: Bea is a plus size fashion blogger and has been in love with her best friend Ray forever. After an alcohol fueled night of watching Main Squeeze (a show equivalent to the bachelor) she writes a series of rants on twitter and a blogpost about the show’s lack of diversity that goes viral. When the show main producer reaches out to her, she has no idea it would be to ask her to be the next contestant. This would be a major opportunity for Bea’s career, so she accepts. Now the hard part if for Bea to be open and not let her insecurities and fears stand in the way of this experience. This was such a fun and modern love story, loved it! Verdict: 3.5 Stars
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand: Mallory inherits a cottage in Nantucket at 22 and promptly leaves NYC to settle there. She agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party over labor day weekend and he brings his college mate Jake that Mallory has been flirting with over the phone. Mallory and Jake end up alone in the cottage and have a great weekend fling. Jake has to go back home and Mallory is not interested in a long distance relationship, so they agree to have a yearly fling every labor day weekend. 28 years later, Mallory has a son, Jake’s is married with a daughter but there yearly labor day weekend fling is still happening. This was such a great Summer read. Verdict: 4 Stars
IN A HOLIDAZE by Christina Lauren: Maelyn is on her yearly holiday vacation with her family and their friends. This year is extra challenging, her life is in shambles and she had to move back home. After making out with her old friend Theo, she feels even worse as he is ignoring her the next day. Andrew, his brother and the one she actually has feelings for, finds out about Theo. On her way to the airport after this awful holiday, her family get into an accident and Maelyn wakes up at the beginning of her holiday vacation, which is extremely confusing as she is reliving the past few days. She is stuck in a time loop and is hoping to right some wrongs. This book was a different kind of rom-com and I loved it. An easy read, I got through in two days. *gifted by Netgalley for review. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
REAL MEN KNIT by Kwana Jackson: Jesse wants to keep running the knit shop of his adoptive mother after she passes away but her older brothers don’t have much faith in him because he’d kind of a flake. Kerry, a long time employee of the store offers to help him get the store back on track. Kerry has had a crush on Jesse forever but he’s kind of a ladies man, so when their mutual attraction becomes obvious, she agrees to a casual affair. Jesse is willing to get whatever Kerry is giving him but is still scared of her moving on forever from him. Loved this book more than I thought I would. Rating: 4 out of 5.
THE MOTHERS by Brit Bennett: Set in Southern California, Nadia is 17 and struggling after her mother’s death. She starts acting recklessly and have a fling with Luke, the pastor’s son. She gets pregnant and after giving her the money for an abortion, Luke pretty much wants nothing to do with her. Nadia soon after get a job working with the pastor’s wife, where she meets her new best friend Aubrey. Nadia is a smart girl and goes away to college, where she starts a new life away from her hometown. When Audrey and Luke get together, she never discloses to Audrey her past with Luke. Eventually, Nadia moves back to her hometown to help her dad and her relationship with Luke and Audrey gets even more complicated. This book was excellent. Rating: 5 out of 5.
NOT LIKE THE MOVIES by Kerry Winfrey: Chloe is a very optimistic and fun-loving barista, her life is however not that rosy. She’s responsible for her dad that has Alzheimer’s and is taking night classes to finish her degree. On top of that her best friend wrote a rom com screenplay about her and her boss Nick, that took off and is being made into a movie. So now she also has to worry about gossip sites, unwanted publicity and her complicated feelings for Nick. This was a very cute rom com with some troubled characters. Rating: 3 out of 5.
WRITERS & LOVERS by Lily King: Casey is crushed after her mother sudden death and is struggling to get her life together. Her friends have all moved on, but she’s a waitress, broke and lives in a shitty apartment. She is also struggling with her relationships and her career as a writer. This book was such a good comfort read, it had a slower pace and I really enjoyed it. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT by Lindsey Kelk: Ros got a big job in America and moved to Washington, that move ended her relationship with Patrick. She has to move back home after losing her job in the US and unfortunately all her friends have moved on, as well as her parents. Ros just want to go back to the life she left in England 3 years ago. She starts by getting back together with Patrick and trying to convince her friends to do the old activities they used to get into. But they are up to other things now and they despise Patrick. If you love British chick lit, this it it! Rating: 4 out of 5.
ROOMIES by Christina Lauren: Holland knows music and is obsessed with Calvin, the subway musician. When her uncle, a music director is looking for new talent, she gets Calvin an audition but he can’t accept the job because he is in the US illegally. Holland is determined to help Calvin and offers to marry him so she can help her uncle and also gets to live with her crush. Needless to say, their relationship is not that simple and it’s hard to know what’s real or is Calvin just using her. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
WAITING FOR TOM HANKS by Kerry Winfrey: This is the prequel to NOT LIKE THE MOVIES, I suffered through it. The main character was very childish and creepily obsessed with Tom Hanks. Rating: 2 out of 5.
PRETTY THINGS by Janelle Brown: Nina’s life is derailed ever since a traumatic incident while living in Lake Tahoe with her unstable mother. Later she moves to NYC, gets a liberal art degree but is still struggling. When she moves back home to help her sick mom, and finds herself living the same con artist life her mom lived. But this time is to help her pay for her treatments. When she needs even more money for more expensive treatments, she goes back to Lake Tahoe to run her biggest’s scam yet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go as planned. I went into this book with no expectations and it was so good. Rating: 4 out of 5.
THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD by Josie Silver: On her birthday, Lydia’s fiancé Freddie dies in a car accident. She is crushed and ends up trying a clinical trial drug to help her sleep. After taking her first pill, she falls asleep and into a reality where Freddie is alive and they are moving forward with her life. Needless to say, she wants to be asleep most of the time to escape her real life. Soon Lydia finds out that her dream life is as flawed as her real one and she must really deal with her grief and move on. I thought this book was sad so I avoided it for the longest time, but it was a nice read after all. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
WILD GAME by Adrienne Brodeur: Adrienne was 14 when her mother Malabar confided in her about her crush with Ben, her step father’s best friend. For years Malabar shared all the details of her affair with her daughter and implicated her in her lies. In her twenties Adrienne meets Ben’s son and they end up getting married, making her situation even more complicated. She kept her mother’s secret the whole time, Malabar’s narcissistic behavior deeply affected Adrienne relationships and her life overall. I loved this book, this is a topic I’m always so interested in because mother-daughter relationships are fascinating to me. I think because we love our mothers so much, it’s hard to recognize how they may have wronged us. Rating: 4 out of 5.
Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld: I so loved this book, it was so weird to read about real people, knowing that the events in the book are fictional. In this book Hillary made some different life choices and things didn’t go as they did in real life. It was my idea of a fairy tale ending. I don’t know if it’s because I went in with no expectations, but I loved it. Rating: 5 out of 5.
Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan: Elizabeth just moved to a small college town from New York, with her husband and toddler and she is having a hard adjusting. She is not bonding with the women in her neighborhood but strike an unlikely friendship with Sam, her college senior babysitter. Sam is in a relationship with a 32 yo guy she met in England. The two become really close and Elizabeth confides in Sam, blurring the lines between employer/employee. This book deals with so many subjects, relationships, privilege and so much more. I loved it, it’s one of those books that’s comforting, not a page turner but very good. Rating: 4 out of 5.
Snapped by Alexa Martin: This the fourth book in Alexa Martin’s football series and it may be my favorite one yet. Elliot has her dream job in the PR team of a major football team and seems to be living a perfect life but she’s actually still struggling from her father’s death. When she gets assigned to work with Quinton, the football player that started kneeling before the game, she’s in a sticky situation. Elliot is mixed but her Black mother died when she was really young. She was raised by her White father but she mostly took after her mom, so she always had a hard time saying how she feels, not wanting to hurt her dad’s feeling. Working with Quinton, they grew closer and he starts confiding in her. Things get complicated when she has to work with one of the people Quinton dislike the most, she is stuck between her own ethics, her problematic boss and her love interest. I loved this book and specially love how diverse the characters are in this series are. I really recommend all of them. Rating: 4 out of 5.
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager: This was my first time reading Riley Sager and I was not disappointed, I was afraid this book would be spooky, it had some scary moments and was very engaging. Maggie’s dad passed away and left her the house of his infamous book. Ewan and Jess, Maggie’s parents flee the house 25 years ago and Ewan wrote a book about how the house is haunted. The book was a major success and Maggie had to deal with the repercussion of that book her whole life. She’s even more frustrated with her parents because they won’t tell her what actually happened and Maggie doesn’t believe in ghost. Her mom makes her promise never to go back to the house, but as soon as her mom leaves, Maggie move into the house and strange things immediately start happening. Rating: 4 out of 5.
Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie: If you are into Meghan and Harry’s story, this book is for you. Not really juicy but it shares their entire story from beginning to now and I do think it’s biased. The people who wrote it seems to be closer to M & H. There’s a lot I didn’t know, because I didn’t follow the royal’s drama closely, I’m usually only into the fashion and surface stuff. My favorite part was the depiction of the relationship between Kate and Meghan, it is exactly what I expected but it’s seems like Meghan was hurt by that. It was an interesting enough read for me. Rating: 3 out of 5.
The Switch by Beth O’Leary: Leena had a panic attack at work and is forced into a two month paid leave. She goes to visit her grandmother’s Eileen and they decide to switch life for two months. Her grandma moves to London and tries online dating, while Leena is taking care of all the responsibilities Eileen had in her community. Leena will also be closer to her mom Marianne that has not been coping well since the death of Leena’s sister. I don’t want to give away the plot but this book was so sweet. I love it as much or maybe even more as The Flatshare. Beth O’Leary is definitely a favorite author of mine so far. Rating: 5 out of 5.
A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom by John Boyne: This story goes over two thousand years, it starts with a family with two sons. One of them has an artistic flair and goes through a series a loss. It’s like this family is reliving the same story every single lifetime, from year 1 to 2080. It was a very creative way to tell a story and most of all, I love all the cameos by historical figures, like Michelangelo, Shakespeare and more. I don’t think everyone will love this book, so I say read the summary and see if it sounds like something you would like. I also think it’s much better on Audio. Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Midewife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain: Noelle’s two best friends Emerson and Tara are lost after her suicide. They feel guilty, having not noticed their friend was struggling that much. Now they are digging through her stuff, hoping to find some sort of explanation for her actions. Only to discover some major secrets Noelle was holding that could destroy their lives as they know it. This was a page turner, I could not put it down. Rating: 4 out of 5.
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson: A 9 yo Black girl is accused of killing a White three month old baby. In her trial she is portrayed as a monster and is sent to ‘baby jail’. This case caused a huge uproar and people wanted her dead. Six years later, she’s living in a home for troubled youth and is trying really hard to turn her life around. She wants to take the SAT and eventually go to college. But she has a lot of obstacles on her way, her house mates are not rooting for her. *Trigger warning* this book has some hard to read sections with lots of violence. It was however a great thriller. Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Lies We Told by Camilla Way: Clara’s boyfriend Luke doesn’t come home. She has a bad feeling and eventually realizes that he’s gone missing. He had a stalker but never took it too seriously, she’s convinced this is all related. To make it worse, she also finds out that Luke wasn’t a loyal boyfriend. Luke’s best friend Max is helping her through it all. Luke’s sister who disappeared 20 years ago contacts her out of the blue, but she doesn’t want anyone else to find out that she’s back. This book was CRAZY, I could not stop reading. Rating: 4 out of 5.