April Book Wrap-Up

5/03/2019


This post is later than I normal due to my ability to catch a cold from barely leaving the house. Yay! Apologies for that, but let's jump right in. April was a mediocre month for books, I read more 'meh' ones than good and gave my first 1 star review of the year. I've been in a slump of picking up "chic lit" lately, and I don't know whether I'm enjoying it. Think it might be time for a genre revamp and see what surprises me. Have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments!
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Truly Madly Guilty
by Liane Moriarty

“There is no special protection when you cross that invisible line from your ordinary life to that parallel world where tragedies happen. It happens just like this. You don’t become someone else. You’re still exactly the same. Everything around you still smells and looks and feels exactly the same.” 

Sam and Clementine are the couple that seem perfect from the outside, good jobs, two beautiful little girls, and a solid foundation for a marriage. When they get invited to a last-minute barbecue by their friend Erika, they go. Two months later, they can't help but constantly ask themselves: what if we hadn't gone?As mentioned in last months wrap-up, I enjoy Liane Moriarty's writing and that alone keeps me coming back to her books. I adored What Alice Forgot and Big Little Lies, so I was really hyped to get to this one as I had heard really great things. Alas, I was disappointed. I'll be entirely frank here,the authors plots are never that groundbreaking or great. It's her character and relationship building that set her apart from the standard general fiction/mystery authors. However this book ended with such an anticlimax I couldn't help but sigh. Too long and not nearly interesting enough to recommend.

Rating: ★★★ (2.5)


Furiously Happy
by Jenny Lawson

“When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors. Survivors who don’t get pats on the back from coworkers who congratulate them on making it. Survivors who wake to more work than before because their friends and family are exhausted from helping them fight a battle they may not even understand. I hope to one day see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle, and as a celebration of the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like.” 

This half memoir half self-help book is one of the funniest things I've ever picked up. With brutal honesty and a wit to match it, Jenny writes down the thoughts that we all have but are too afraid to voice. It was almost like talking to a friend, well, a really chatty one-sided friend. If you struggle with mental health or chronic pain, I urge you to give this a go. I can promise that you'll laugh and want to wipe a little stray tear. Possibly simultaneously.

Rating: ★★★★★


Crazy Rich Asians 
by Kevin Kwan 

We have so much money, we don't need personalities.
-Okay, not really. 
“Perfection comes at a sacrifice,” 

You probably know what this hyped book turned movie is about without me giving it a description, but let's go for it anyway. When Rachel, a young New Yorker gets invited by her boyfriend to  travel to Asia for a wedding, she jumps at the opportunity. But he isn't telling her a vital thing: his family is lavishly rich. I wanted to enjoy this, I was expecting a funny rom-com type book that'd make me happy. Eeehhhh. I hated it. Okay, that's a bit strong. I hated the characters, and the plot. I feel as though the author wrote this book solely to educate people on the lavish lifestyles that some Asians live, and it read like that. The characters had no substance and Rachel and Nick were horrible as a couple. If you're thinking of reading this, just watch the movie. It'd be over faster.

Rating: ★★


Cross Her Heart
by Sarah Pinborough

“Someone can do a terrible unforgivable thing, and yet you forgive them if you love them. The heart is such a strange thing.” 

Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job, and her best friend Marilyn, but when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him too. But when Lisa's world explodes and she no longer knows who to trust, it's up to her to face her past to save what she holds dear. This was just a complete 'meh' book. The only good point was the twist that came suddenly around 1/3 of the way through the book, then it was all downhill. A basic thriller that really doesn't need to be on your TBR as it will leave you with no impression.

Rating: ★★


One True Loves
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“When you lose someone you love, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever feel better. That, one day, you’ll manage to be in a good mood simply because the weather is nice or the barista at the coffee shop on the corner remembered your order.
But it does happen.
If you’re patient and you work at it.” 

There are love triangles, and then there are impossible situations that are forced upon you. When Emma's husband, Jesse, goes missing in a helicopter accident over the Pacific, she slowly begins to rebuilt her life. She moves back home, takes over her parents bookstore, and even opens her heart up for another man. When Sam proposes, she knows it's officially time to let Jesse go. Then she gets the dreaded call she once ached for, Jesse is alive. I adore Taylor Jenkins Reid's books. They never fail to capture my heart. This was no exception. Never have I read such a raw description of loss in a fictional book, and never have I been so torn in a love triangle. Screw Edward and Jacob.

Rating: ★★★★★


And the Ocean Was Our Sky
by Patrick Ness

“Will the world end in darkness because it is foretold? Or because there will be those who believe it so strongly they will make it so?”

A retelling of Moby Dick told through the whale's POV? Okay, sure, it's Patrick Ness, why would  I say no? This short illustrated novel was exactly what I was expecting, and more. The writing and imagery is beautiful, and though it didn't capture my attention like most other books, I was glad I read it. A quick but beautiful read.

Rating: ★★★★



Reconstructing Amelia 
by Kimberly McCreight

“It was too late to change anything. Too late to make different choices. To be a better mother than she had been. Kate could only be the mother that she was, Amelia’s mother—the curator of her memory, the keeper of her secrets, the cherisher of her heart. That, she would always be.” 

When teenager Amelia commits suicide by jumping off a school roof, her mother, Kate, is distraught. After receiving a message with the words 'Amelia didn't jump' she quickly becomes obsessed with figuring out what led to the death of her daughter. With crazy sororities, games that shouldn't be played, and an estranged father, Amelia's life may be too much for even her mother to unveil. I liked this book, but it was way too long. Over 400 pages of what is essentially fragments of Amelia's life being repeated, I grew bored a few times. But it wasn't terrible. An average 3 star read.

Rating: ★★★



The Light We Lost
by Jill Santopolo

“I hope you find a love like that–one that is all-consuming and powerful that makes you feel like you're going slightly mad. And if you do find that love, embrace it. Hold onto it. When you give yourself over to love like that, your heart will get bruised. It will get battered. But you will also feel invincible and infinite.” 

Told over a lengthy period of time, this follows the story of two people whose lives are intertwined by the tragedy that was 9/11. A love story of 'what could've been''s and fate. This was a Reese Book Club pick so I instantly wanted to pick it up, but... eh. I guess the characters just didn't do it for me..? Or maybe I was expecting some devastating love story, but was instead given a couple who really weren't suited, a bunch of dickish guys, and an ending that I really didn't care about. (Am I heartless? Maybe.) I didn't hate it per say, it just didn't make much of an impact on me. I'd still say give it a go, you may enjoy it more.

Rating: ★★★


The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2)
by Helen Hoang

He was ignoring everyone, including her, at this expensive wedding. So he could read a novel about alien demon things.

Khai's mother brings over Esme, a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, to America to seduce and marry her son. Thinking this could be the break her family needs, Esme jumps at the chance and wills to become the perfect woman for Khai. But it proves to be harder than she initially thought. I was so excited to read this as I surprisingly loved The Kiss Quotation. I originally thought this was a sequel revolving around the same two characters, but instead it revolves around Khai, a side-character from the first book. Which, okay. I was still enthusiastic. Alas, I don't know what it was about The Bride Test but it fell flat for me. The characters weren't as likeable as The Kiss Quotation and I felt that the story dragged a little. It was also very repetitive, certain lines such as "I touched his sleeve as to not startle him"seemed to be on every other page. My favourite part of the entire book was the authors note, so.. that kind of says it all. It wasn't bad, but not nearly as good as the first book in the series.

Rating: ★★★


The Arrangement 
by Sarah Dunn

“Life is long. And it’s getting longer for most of us. Most people in this country will have three or four marriages in their lifetime. Each one will challenge them and suit them in a different way. The lucky few, the ones who are willing to work at it, will have a handful of very different marriages, all with the same person."

A married couple decide to have an open relationship for 6 months, to escape from the comfortable routines they're falling into (you know, marriage) and their autistic son. I've never read a book that was equally as dull as it was infuriating. Not only were the characters unlikable, but the whole point of the story was semi vetoed by the husbands utter idiocy. Parts of this book were also so unbelievably problematic such as eating disorder glorifying and slut shaming. Just.. no. Hard pass. 

Rating: ★


What was the last book you gave 1 star to?  

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