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Recent Reads #25

Monday, May 15, 2023

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult

Olivia has started over with her son after leaving her abusive ex husband. Now she's a beekeeper living in the house she grew up in. But, everything changes again when her son Asher's girlfriend Lily dies. 
In the past I've either really enjoyed Jodi Picoult books, or hated them. (ie: Small Great Things = loved, Wish You Were Here = hated.) I hate to say it, but I just didn't like this one. You have to know going in that she writes about hot button issues and she definitely picked one of the things that is most talked about in the news right now. I don't think I can explain without spoiling the big twist, but I just don't feel like this was very believable. It seemed like any and every hot topic was thrown in just for drama. Also, there were several sections of this book that were completely repetitive. Rating: 2 Stars ⭐⭐

Thank You For Listening by Julia Whelan

Sewanee is a audiobook narrator. One of the world's most beloved romance novelists wants her to record her last book with the industry's leading male audiobook narrator Brock McNight. 
I had such high hopes for this! I absolutely adore anything Julia narrates, but just didn't love her own book. Some parts were really interesting, especially because you know she has inside information. But, honestly, I can't really remember this book. So, in other words, just okay - not great. Rating: 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐

The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

Pippa and Gabe have a house that is right on a cliff. Unfortunately, that cliff has become a popular place for people to end their lives. Gabe has gotten really good at talking people off the ledge, and has become somewhat of a hero. Until, one day when he doesn't save the person. And then Pippa finds out he knew her. This is a classical thriller. I guessed part of the story pretty quickly, so that takes my rating down. I just can't get past why they bought this house in the first place. It makes no sense to me that they'd have two small kids and live on a cliff. Rating: 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Tova has been working the night shift at an aquarium, where she forms an unlikely friendship with a grumpy giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus. This book is a DELIGHT. If you read one book this year, let it be Remarkably Bright Creatures. It's just so sweet and just a lovely read. Marcellus is clearly the star of the show, and I absolutely loved reading his POV. Rating: 5 Stars  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Call of the Wild by Jack London 

Buck is a dog, who goes on quite the adventure. He starts out as a pampered pet, and then is sold to pay off a gambling debt. He journeys up to the Yukon and works as a sled dog. I picked this book up after reading The Unsinkable Greta James (My review in Recent Reads #24!) because Jack London was a big part of that story. This was a quick read! I liked it, but also found that is a pretty rough read too. Rating: 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐

The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose

Sarah is a defense attorney in Washington DC. Her husband Adam is a struggling writer, who is having a secret affair at their lake house. Kelly, his mistress, is found stabbed at the lake house - and now Adam needs Sarah defend his innocence. Such a great premise (great not the right word for an affair and murder, but you know what I mean!) with a wife having to be the lawyer for her cheating husband. I believe my Goodreads review was something like: ''Just ridiculous." LOL. That might be harsh, but I really can't think of another way to review this book. It really is ridiculous! None of it is plausible. Super twisty, can't look away kind of book. I was able to predict some of it, but it really does keep your guessing until the end. And then the end doesn't really add up, but hey, it's entertaining. Rating: 2.5 Stars ⭐⭐✨

A Perfect Vintage by Chelsea Fagan

Lea is a designer, who has it all together. She takes her best friend/cousin Stephanie and Stephanie's daughter with her on her next job in France for the summer. They definitely complicate matters as she tries to do her work and impress the family she's designing for. 
Thank you to Netgalley for my ARC of The Perfect Vintage!
I cannot imagine a more beautiful cover!! Definitely a book you can decorate with. I actually would love a print of it.
I really like the author, and totally have to admit I pictured her as the main character because I knew she wrote it. Probably not what she was going for.
Our main character was refreshing in that she is in her late 30s and childfree. I liked that a lot. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the scenery and decor throughout the book. I did feel like I had no idea how to pronounce a lot of the French words/places/phrases and that did disconnect me from the reading experience a few times. Overall, this was good, but slow. I had a hard time connecting with the characters and wasn't really rooting for anyone along the way. Rating: 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐

The Only Survivors by Megan Miranda 

A decade ago, a bunch of high school seniors were in a terrible bus crash. Only a few survived. Now, every year the survivors get together in the Outer banks to support each other and commemorate the ones they've lost. But, when one of the survivors goes missing at the beach and a storm coming - things don't seem right. For me, this book dragged. Some parts were really good, but overall it felt really long. I will say I was surprised by the twist and maybe I just wasn't in the mood to read this or something because it seems well reviewed. Rating; 2.5 Stars ⭐⭐✨

The Prisoner by BA Paris

Amelie is building a life for herself in Paris. She's young, and her parents are gone. After a few twists and turns, she ends up married to a billionaire named Ned. But, then Amelie wakes up in a dark room, held captive. She actually feels safer here than she had become to feel with her new husband. I really liked this one! It's easy to read, and starts off right in the middle of the action! It's not really realistic obviously, but still a good thriller. Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Solito by Javier Zamora

Javier is a little boy who lives in El Salvador. His parents live in the United States, and have been trying to save enough money to get Javier to join them. Finally, the time has come and he has to make the 3.000 mile journey over the border all by himself. Gosh, this book. First of all, I have to give warnings for all the language and rough content. I listened to the audiobook, which I recommend because it definitely adds to the story. It's just such a sad reality, and especially because this is a true story it's very emotional. Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Love at First Spite by Anna E Collins

Dani was about to get married when her fiancĂ© cheats on her with their Realtor. So out of spite, Dani buys the lot next door to mess with him. She teams up with an architect at her firm Wyatt to make the spite house happen. Honestly, this was really dumb. I liked the plot summary, but in reality this book was just so unrealistic and silly. Rating: 2 Stars ⭐⭐

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingslover 

A modern retelling of David Copperfield, which I have not read. Demon is a nickname, as everybody in this Appalachia area goes by a nickname. This story is about a young boy who grows up without his dad, and eventually his mom. His goes through child labor, foster care, poverty, and loss after loss. His journey is quite eventful! So, ultimately, I liked this book a lot. It was written SO well, and was totally engrossing. I feel like I can't recommend it though, because *gosh* alarm bells for CONTENT. Literally so much language, name it. It's also really grim, and sad. But, then it ends so nicely and you can't help but root for Demon. I didn't rate this one. 

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

Lauren and Ryan have been together forever. Once totally in love, now they can't stand each other. Ryan suggests separating for 1 year with no contact to see if that can save their relationship. I have to start my review by saying this is the DUMBEST idea ever. If you have problems like this, go to therapy. That being said, it was still an entertaining read, with the writing style we all love from TJR. I actually usually hate marital problem books, because it's so obvious to me how to fix the relationships. But, I didn't hate this at all, and thought it was a good reminder to not let the things you used to love about someone become what you hate. Rating: 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐

Someone Else's Shoes by Jojo Moyes

Nisha is a globetrotting wife of a wealthy man living it up. Sam, not so much. Sam is actually at a pretty grim point in her life. These two women accidentally swap bags at the gym, leaving them to literally walk in each other's shoes. Alright, so book didn't really do it for me. I think the premise is great, and I like what it was going for - like a 90's rom com. The characters just didn't click for me. I didn't really care about either of them, which is the whole point of the book. Some of the plot was really fun and I think it might make a better TV movie someday. Rating: 2.5 Stars ⭐⭐✨

Someone Else's Shoes was my Book of the Month pick! If you want to try out BOTM, you can use my link to sign up and get a $5 hardcover. It's mail I get very excited about! 

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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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