Month Count: 4 texts, 1 audiobook, 5 total
Year to Date: 46 texts (2020 updated goal – 50), 14 audiobooks, 60 total
Goodreads profile HERE!
Beach Read by Emily Henry was gifted by April in her big haul she mailed me a while back. It felt like a totally appropriate title for my Labor Day vacation to PA, spending the week sitting next to the pool. I was totally taken by surprise when the main character cites my hometown! I had to re-read a few pages prior to see if I missed something! Duluth?? Like my Duluth??
She takes place in a little beachside town in Michigan on Lake Michigan and packs a beautiful story of peeling back onion layers of beautiful flaws, emotion, and multifaceted tension. It was exactly what I needed to take me away from COVID stress and put me somewhere lovely, witnessing a friendship and romance unfold. A little cliche, but creative enough that it never bothered me and I really enjoyed it.
True Story by Kate Reed Petty was gifted to me for my birthday (a little belated!) by the one and only, true reading guru and OG, Amanda (@pandaflips). Stylistically it was a little different than anything I’ve ever read, with screen play scripts, email transcriptions, etc kind of breaking up the book. The chapters aren’t really chapters – more like one person’s story in a moment of time. Reed weaves this through very well though, so don’t think of this as a deterrent! It’s really unline anything I’ve read.
Nick is a lacrosse player in high school who catches a drift that his teammates may have sexually assaulted an overly intoxicated girl after a party. Alice was blackout drunk and when rumors start circulating about what may have happened to her, she goes on a spiraling journey through depression. It impacts her entire life, and Nick’s.
Then, after discussing this book with Amanda when I finished it, my brain exploded and I feel like I need to re-read it! What did you think?? (This review also got me an Author shoutout on IG Bookstagram: @beers_andbooks – not sold on the name yet…)
Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover is my third Colleen Hoover book this year and she’s quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. It’s always good to have those in your back pocket – the authors that you know you can pick up any book, it’s going to be a lovely read without a ton of work, and you’ll enjoy the process.
Heart Bones snags you in record timing. I was hooked within the first page and a half. Beyah is a young, recent high school graduate from a “going-nowhere-fast” town in Kentucky. She moves in with her absentee father in a beach peninsula in Texas after suffering some trauma back home, as she awaits heading to college. She worked hard for a full-ride scholarship for volleyball to break the unhealthy life-cycle she’s been raised in.
Samson is a quiet boy-next-door, who supposedly comes from extreme wealth, something Beyah cannot comprehend. There’s definitely something more to him and her new-step-sister (whom she didn’t know existed) is intent on making their summer spectacular together, which includes double-dates with Samson and his best friend, Marco.
Beyah’s raw honesty, yet peaked reserve makes it hard to see Samson’s plot twist coming, but as soon as it hit, there was no way I was putting this one down. A+, again, Colleen Hoover! Yes!
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward has been on my kindle for a few months now. I’m not sure why I picked it up then, or why it “called” to me now… but this book was a hurricane! <– (there’s a pun there. it’s not a good one.)
A family living on the socioeconomic fringes of a small southern Mississippi town go about their lives leading up to Hurricane Katrina. Esch is a young teenage girl with three brothers and a drunk father. Their mother died giving birth to the youngest, Junior. Esch lops between being the caregiver, maternal only sister especially to Junior (who’s probably 5 or 6?) and a hormonal confused young girl, impregnated by her older brother’s friend. Their father wades in and out throughout the background of the story, always drunk, and always prepping for the hurricane. It didn’t hit me that it was the hurricane until about half-way through the book…
Okay, now you REALLY have my attention. Ward describes a world I can only imagine living in. I’ve seen some rough neighborhoods, living just outside Baltimore and DC for 4 years. But the way she writes, you’re residing in this family’s impoverished existence. You’re on the ground with them. You’re sweating, itchy with fleas, and just trying to survive each day. Five out of five stars, and absolutely a contender for the top of the year list!
Mexican Gothic was recommended to me by a few murderinos. I was out of audiobooks, didn’t know what to download next, but was feeling true-crime. I reached out to a murderino Facebook group I’m in, and – though far from true crime – Mexican Gothic got resounding recommendations.
I have to say, the narrator didn’t really captivate me, but I have a feeling I would have gotten distracted by trying to pronounce some of the names and towns if I were reading it. I also probably would have retained more of the front half of the book if I were reading it though, too. From what I can remember, Noemi is a bit of a non-traditional female in the family but when her father receives a troubling letter from a cousin who seems ill and in need of family support, she’s quick to step in. After reading a few reviews, it seems others were also bothered by the pacing regardless of reading versus listening…
Catalina, Noemi’s cousin, has wed into a wealthy family and has come under a “spell” of mental and physical illness, even accusing her new husband of trying to poison her. It seems a mystery to Noemi, but she doesn’t trust that her in-laws are taking proper care of Catalina. There’s more mystery around the secluded mansion, and the longer Noemi stays to support Catalina, the more susceptible she becomes to the spells of this family and the house.
I honestly couldn’t figure out why it was considered a horror novel (though I still wouldn’t fully throw it into that genre) until 2/3 of the way through. It’s definitely creepy, and reading about fictional incest, attempted rape (probable?), murder, suicide, eugenics, and manipulation was a new take for me. I’m not disappointed I read it, but I would say muscle your way through the first half or so, to get to the really “good” ?? parts that make this novel more captivating.
So you may (or may not) follow my @RunningYogiMom insta, and that’s where I’ve been keeping track of my reading resolution for 2020. However, I followed in the footsteps of my dear friend, April and started a separate IG for reading! My #bookstagram is called @beers_andbooks, though I’m not really married to the name, and that might change in the near future. Undecided. But this is at least a way for me to get new book recommendations (who needs that!), connect with other bookies, and keep me motivated to keep reading! Plus, I was completely unaware of this cultish IG world of bookstagram. Sholy hit! I don’t expect to keep up with any of you, but it’s a completely different universe of social media. Follow me, or don’t – but that’s where you’ll find more updates and book-stuff.