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Recent Reads #16 | November 2021

Monday, November 22, 2021

Several 5 star reviews for you today! If you want to follow along with my book reviews the quickest way to get them is to follow along on Instagram! And of course, on Goodreads. I'm going for 100 books this year, and currently reading number 89. 

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The Indigo Girl

Basically: Eliza is a 16 year old girl living in 1739. Her father leaves her in charge of their family's 3 plantations and proceeds to bleed them dry with his own political aspirations. Eliza learns how valuable Indigo dye is, and sets out to learn how to make it.

My Thoughts: This book got infinitely better when I realized it's based on a real person. In fact, don't skip the notes at the end because it's really interesting that even South Carolina's state flag is Indigo because of what she (and by she, I mean, with the help of enslaved people that she couldn't have done it without) started. The story starts off on the slow side, but picks up about half way through and is worth the read if you love historical fiction!

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars from me!

Small Great Things

Basically: Ruth is a labor and delivery nurse who is performing a routine check on a newborn, when she is reassigned to another patient. Turns out the parents of the baby are white supremacists who don't want a black nurse attending to their baby. She is told not to touch the baby, but when the child goes into arrest Ruth has to decide whether to obey orders or try to save him.

My Thoughts: This book is incredibly intense. It's heavy, and very difficult to read in several places - especially when you start reading from the fathers point of view. 🤮 Know that going in. There's a lot of layers and complicated characters. It might help to know it ends well! But I will say the next book I read is going to have to be fluffy. Just a warning there is use of the N word in this book, as you can imagine with a white supremacist character.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨4.5 Stars!

American Royals

Basically: Imagine an America where George Washington became king instead of president. This is the story of America's next generation of royal family as they deal with impending responsibilities and finding love.

My Thoughts: This was a fun YA. It's basically Gossip Girl, so if that's up your alley, I think you'll like this! It's a really interesting premise, and I enjoyed the 'what if' of the US having a monarchy. Big Ole cliffhanger at the end, so I will probably end up reading the next book in the series just to see how it plays out.

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐ I'm rounding up to 4 stars! It's probably really a 3.75

Survive The Night

Basically: It's 1991, and Charlie is taking a road trip with a total stranger named Josh. They met at a ride share board at college, and are now heading to Ohio together. Charlie is grieving the loss of her best friend who was murdered recently, and Josh is going home to take care of his sick father... or so he says.

My Thoughts: Charlie is the most dumb character I've seen in a long time! Everything she does is so idiotic and stupid! The first half of this story was borderline boring, but the second half really picked up. And thankfully Charlie becomes a little more likable in the last half. The twists really keep coming and that's the main reason this got 3 stars instead of 2 for me.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐3 stars!

Dial A For Aunties

Basically: Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, but her meddlesome mom and Aunts come to her rescue! All they have to do is hide the body before they throw a billionaire's wedding. What could go wrong?

My Thoughts: This was hysterical! Such a fun book. It's over the top, the cast of characters is great, and it was just fun to read. It's all completely implausible, but I loved it. Think Crazy Rich Asians meets Weekend at Bernies 😂

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨ 4.5 almost 5 stars from me! Just go into it knowing it's silly and don't try to take it too seriously!

Head Over Heels

Basically: Avery was an Olympic hopeful when her career ended too soon. Her best friend went on to become a champion and even married their abusive coach Dimitri. Now, years later, Avery moves back home and starts a coaching job at her old gym and sparks are flying with Ryan, the coach that hired her.

My Thoughts: This was set as if the Tokyo 2020 Olympics actually happened, obviously written pre-pandemic. I wish I had read this while the Olympics were on this summer! This is obviously a romance, but it was actually a lot about gymnastics. I don't think you need a big knowledge of gymnastics to read this, but you definitely need an interest. Lots of relevant plot points taken right out of the news involving gymnastics.

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐ 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars!

Business Minded

I received an ARC via Net Galley! This comes out December 28th.

Basically: This is a guide for setting up a business but staying balanced in taking care of yourself along the way.

My Thoughts: I've been a long time blog reader of Carly's, so I was very excited to read this!
This book is going to be so helpful to those who have ideas, but don't know where to start. She literally guides you through the entire process of starting a business from your great idea into a full fledged company. (All while taking care of yourself and not getting burnt out.)
I personally LOVED the interviews with real women entrepreneurs, as well as Carly's personal experience (and that of her mom!) The workbook pages and brainstorming sections are so helpful. I also appreciated the definitions of common business terms we might feel too shy to admit we don't know. All in all, this is so well thought out and helpful!

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars from me! I especially love the color scheme 😍

The Handmaid's Tale

Basically: In this dystopian, Extremist beliefs have taken over and women's rights are gone. Women are only valuable if they are fertile because birth rates have declined. Offred can remember how it used to be, when she was allowed to read, she was happily married, had a job and money. This is her tale!

My Thoughts: I'll admit this wasn't on my radar to read until my sister in law recommended it! It's an extremely slow read, which is usually not my thing. But it's captivating and immersive so I stuck with it. To be honest, the plot is super simple and not much happens until the end. Its mostly world building. If you want to get lost in a book, this is a good one for that!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pug Actually

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of Pug Actually! 📖

Basically: This story is told from the point of view of Doug the Pug! Doug's owner Julie is involved with her married boss, and it's not going well. All Doug wants is to see Julie happy, and he makes it his mission to help her meet someone new, even if that someone is a v-e-t.

My Thoughts: As a dog mom to 3 pugs, I have to say I was totally captured by the cute Pug on the cover. Doug is 100% the best part of this story. The humans are idiots! He's adorable and I loved his point of view and theatrics. Easy, light read, and one you will enjoy if you love dogs.

Rating:⭐⭐⭐✨ 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars from me!

The Family Upstairs

Basically: On her 25th birthday Libby gets a letter that will finally reveal the identity of her birth parents. In the same letter she finds out she inherited their mansion in London! But, 25 years ago, the police found her as a baby in that very house, alone with three dead bodies.

My Thoughts: This is told from 3 points of view, and it was enjoyable to see them all come together! This story has a little bit of everything: murder, cults, family drama, unreliable narrators...Definitely should come with some trigger warnings, but it's engrossing!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐4 stars from me!

Project Hail Mary

Basically: Ryland wakes up on a space ship millions of miles away. The others on board are dead, and he can't remember why he's there or even his own name. That's a huge problem considering he's humanity's last hope.

My Thoughts: If you are intimidated by science fiction, read this! This has SO much science and math, and yet it was totally easy to follow and enjoy. (Admittedly, I did use my Kindle dictionary many times.) I was riveted, and was really surprised at how much this was actually about friendship!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5 stars!!

I'll Be You

I received an ARC of I'll Be You thanks to NetGalley!

Basically: Sam and Elli are twins that grew up in the spotlight as child stars. They were inseparable then, but now as adults they couldn't be more different. Elli is the typical suburban wife who has it all together, while Sam failed as an actress and has struggled with addiction all these years. They don't even talk anymore. But, now, Elli has disappeared and she left behind her recently adopted 2 year old daughter. Sam didn't even know she had a daughter, so she's desperate to figure out what's going on with her sister.

My Thoughts: I'm so excited to share another 5 star book with you today! I just wish you didn't have to wait until the spring for it's release!! This is so captivating and I loved reading it. So much so that I will definitely pick up more Janelle Brown books! I think you'll love this if you have a sister. There's some good twists and I totally stayed up too late to read it in one sitting!

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars from me!

The Humans

Basically: A professor named Andrew Martin has made a discovery that humans aren't ready for yet, so an alien is sent to earth to clean up the mess. He disguises himself as Andrew and is less than impressed with the human race. He just wants to get the job done and get home to his planet, but he unexpectedly forms a bond with Andrew's family.

My Thoughts: This is the 3rd Matt Haig book I'm giving 5 stars to! After loving The Midnight Library and How to Stop Time earlier this year, I decided to try The Humans after seeing it in the Kindle Unlimited library. This was so funny and a nice, feel good story. The Advice chapter at the end is gold.
"Ugliness is just a failure of seeing"

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars! 👽

We Were Never Here

Basically: Kristen and Emily are best friends, and they take really fun trips together. This year they are in Chile, and Emily walks into a horrible scene. Kristen was flirting with a guy, but he ends up attacking her and she kills him in self defense. The problem is, this isn't the first time it's happened.

Review: This was my very first book club pick! I was so excited to be invited to join a book club with friends, and this was our very first book to review together. And the first book I remember with a main character with my name! This book was total junk food. It was SO easy to read and it has that 'can't put it down' kind of plot. It's also a book you have to suspend your disbelief and just take it for what it is. An easy read, but I was left with a lot of questions.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨3 and a half stars from me. Lots of points for being an easy read that can get you out of a reading slump.

Waiting For Tom Hanks

Basically: Annie loves Rom Coms. In fact, she's trying to write one herself, just like all her favorite movies. And, at the same time she's hoping a Tom Hanks hero straight out of a Nora Efron movie comes into her life for that perfect romantic comedy love story.

My Thoughts: This is so sugary sweet and cheesy it almost hurt! 😂 If you love rom coms, you are definitely going to like this. Honestly, I can't wait to rewatch some of the classics mentioned in the book after reading it. This is cute, and it's a great one to read if you need something lighthearted and not too deep.
It was way too cheesy for me, but if you like a good Hallmark movie this has your name all over it.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐3 stars from me

Leave A Comment Below!

What books have you read recently? Anything you'd rate 5 stars?! Have you read any of the above titles? You'll have to let me know what you thought.

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Hi friends! I'm Kristen, and this is the Life and Style of an early 30's Floridian living the Best Life Ever, with her husband and three pugs. Runner | Avid Reader | Small Shop Owner

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