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Recent Reads #32

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Just The Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica

Jake is missing. His wife Nina doesn't think too much of it because they had a fight. But, then several days go by. Lily, Nina's coworker, may have been the last to see him and she turns to her own husband to try to conceal the truth. 
Rating: 3.5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐💫 I did not expect the ending on this one at all! 

The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams

Bree and Nathan are squarely in the friend zone. He's a star professional football player and she's hopelessly in love with him. This is a fun, sports romance with no explicit content.
Rating: 4.5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 I love a good rom-com, and this has everything we all love including fake dating. I literally gasped in the second chapter when Nathan started sharing his point of view. 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

A.J. Fikry is a bookshop owner on Alice Island. His wife has passed away, and the book store isn't doing well. Now to top it off, the one valuable book (a rare Edgar Allan Poe) in the store has been stolen. Then one night, a mysterious package shows up and changes everything.
This book is full of treasures for book lovers! I highlighted several lines, because Gabrielle Zevin is a great writer and expressed lots of very relatable feelings in the most beautiful phrases.
Rating: 5 Stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I wasn't sure about this book as I started it, but as soon as the package shows up everything really does change. The character development really takes off! And I'm very glad I didn't know what the package was until I read it - it totally surprised me and made the story that much better. Lots of people describe this book as heartwarming, and while there are for sure heartwarming moments, there is a whole lot of grief in here too. Contains language and some other content like suicide, and alcohol abuse.

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

12 year old Edward is on a plane with his family, who are moving from New York to LA. Unfortunately, the plane crashes. Everyone dies, except Edward. He struggles with grief, confusion, and the world's attention. 
Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I know that was a super heavy description -but ultimately this book is uplifting in the end. He really goes through it, and I wouldn't read this if you aren't ready for the grief. This is a coming of age story in unusual circumstances. I ended up watching the series on AppleTv, and really enjoying it. They made a lot of changes, but it played out well on screen. 

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Lara's daughters are home (it's the pandemic) and they've got her telling the story of her youth. Lara tells them all about her romance with Peter Duke - the very famous actor before he was all that famous. 
Highly recommend the audiobook as it's performed by Meryl Streep.
Rating: 3.75 Stars ⭐⭐⭐💫 Admittedly, I felt a lot of pressure to like this because everyone has been talking about it all year. Maybe my expectations were too high. Overall, the storytelling is sharp and so much of it felt very real. Loved the audio performance! 

Before We Were Innocent by Ella Berman

Three best friends spend the summer before college in Greece. Evangeline died on the trip, and Bess and Joni were blamed by the media but ultimately cleared of any wrong doing. Ten years later, Joni is tangled up in another crime similar to what happened in Greece and has come to Bess to help her.
Rating: 2 Stars⭐⭐ Unlikable people doing unlikable things! I did not like this, but I hung in there because I wanted to see what happened. Unfortunately, the ending is open ended and so unsatisfying. I will say, the girls were 18 around the same time I was, so there were some fun references. 

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

This is a YA WWII book. Gretchen grew up in the National Socialist Party in Germany and is family friends with *the* Hitler. Then she meets a handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel who shows her a different perspective. 
Rating: 3 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐ So, I have trouble articulating my feelings on this book. It's a really interesting view point - one I've never read before (and think about how many WWII books there are!). Some things are really predictable, but the author clearly did her research. But, I still felt very disconnected from the characters and plot for some reason. I always enjoy a good YA, but maybe this one was just a bit too young for me. 

The Happy Life of Isadora Bentley by Courtney Walsh

Isadora is a researcher at a university, and she keeps to herself. When she turns 30, she impulsively purchases a magazine that proclaims it has 31 ways to be happy.
And, just for research purposes, she decides to give it a try.
Rating: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ If you want a sweet, cute, and wholesome book this one is for you. There are some great characters, and this just has such a happy message. I just realized as I was researching this post, this book is a considered contemporary Christian? I was happy there wasn't any language or explicit content so that explains that. 

The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise by Colleen Oakley

Louise is in her 80's, and her kids don't want her to live alone. So, Tanner, a 21 year old college drop out is hired to move in and help around the house. Tanner starts noticing some odd things, and then Louise appears in her room at 1 am saying they've got to leave town because her past has caught up to her.
Rating: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was a really fun read about two unlikely friends. I loved their dynamic and the creativity of the plot! I was totally caught off guard at one of the reveals.

Reign by Katherine McGee

The 4th and final installment of the American Royals series. Picks up with Queen Beatrice in a coma, her sister Samantha in hiding in Hawaii, and their brother Jefferson trying to fill in as King. 
Rating: 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐This series has been 3 stars all throughout. It's YA, and dramatic but obviously I've liked it enough to keep reading all 4 books. I do think this is one of the better books in the whole series and it all ties up nicely. 


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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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