Books I've Recently Loved!

10/19/2021


Well, hello there strangers. I've been rather MIA the past few months as my mental health took a spiral downward. But I'm back! In an attempt to talk about something cheery, I thought it would be fun to discuss some of the 5 star books I've recently read. We have romance, a short story collection, and some modern fiction. Let's get into it..


Malibu Rising
Taylor Jenkins Reid

Four siblings. A party. A fire. Dramaramarama, Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit are throwing their yearly party to mark the end of Summer. It's a lavish affair that everyone wants to attend. But this year will be different, everything is about to go wrong. From failing marriages, estranged parents, sibling rivalries, and flames. 

The synopsis is vague, but I think it needs to be to add to the reading experience. It's no surprise that I devoured this book in one sitting and gave it a radiant 5 stars. For me, TJR's books have been consistently good.  I adored Nina as a character, she was definitely my favourite. I appreciated how gradual her story was told, making us (as the readers) work to understand her. Her ability to write a large cast of characters while still managing to keep them all feeling individual is remarkable. The reviews for Malibu Rising have been varied, and I think that is partly down to the pacing. Though we mainly read from the day of the party, we do get flashbacks of the past to build up the story. I personally enjoyed the 'all over the place' feel as it added to the build-up of the fire that we know is coming. All in all, TJR doesn't miss and this is a huge contender for my favorite book of 2021. 


People We Meet On Vacation
Emily Henry 

Poppy and Alex used to be the perfect definition of friendship goals. Since their days at university they'd taken a yearly vacation together, scrimping and saving throughout the year to make it happen. Memories were built, career's blossomed, and friendship remained. But nowadays they barely speak. Poppy is struggling with her life, she feels aimless and decides that the only thing that could possibly restore her zest for life and travel would be to recreate those vacation days with Alex. But when he agrees and everything starts to go wrong for the duo, they are forced to face the vacation that broke them apart.

This was such a fun read. I read Beach Read by Emily Henry a few months ago and loved that too. She has a knack for writing romance that are build around a more serious topic without losing the fun of banter. Poppy and Alex were a great dynamic, they were the epitome of the sunshine&grumpy trope which I adore. There were a few steamy scenes and a slow burn that made the pay off more than worth it. If you enjoy The Brown Sisters series or Sally Throne's books, give this a shot. 


Honey Girl
Morgan Rodgers 

Grace Porter is a 28-years-old woman, a PHD student, and just drunkenly got married to a girl she doesn't know in Vegas. Can they make it work? And is Grace's time at her unfulfilling job nearing an end?

The character growth in this book is flawlessly done. I adored Grace as a character, she was messy while still showing a vulnerability that kept her feeling real. I really enjoyed how Grace's career was the main drive for her story. Her love for science translated well off the page and I even learned a few things! There is a podcast element to this story that worked great if reading this as an audiobook. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this! It was an authentic look at a 20-something woman struggling to find her footing in life. Also.. how gorgeous is this cover?


Indelicacy
Amina Cain

Too cautious to pursue her passion of art, Vitória instead works as a cleaner at an art museum. When she meets a man who can offer her more, her entire world gets turned upside down. But the artist soon learns that having it all can quite easily feel like having nothing. 

Though the main plot of this 2020 release is centered around a marriage, at heart Indelicacy follows in the footsteps of Convenience Store Woman opening a discussion of loneliness, feminism, and dreams. I adored this mere blimp of a novel (it's 112 pages) way more than I thought possible. The writing flowed like poetry while maintaining a grit that the story needed. Though at times dislikeable, Vitória had a complexity to her that kept me invested in her story. If you enjoyed books such as My Year of Rest and Relaxation and The Bell Jar, pick this up. Definitely one of the best books I've read in 2021. 


The Invisible Life of Addie Larue
V. E. Schwab

Though marketed as a love story between a forgotten girl and the devil, the complexity of this novel is impossible to be summed up in a mere sentence. In 1714 Addie Larue made a deal with the devil to escape the life she was being forced into. She lives until she wishes to give up her soul, but on the condition that everyone she meets forgets her within minutes of being apart. Lonely, unable to lay down roots, and craving intimacy with another human, Addie goes through her day-to-day life as a ghost. That is until one day a miracle occurs: someone remembers her. 

Firstly, this truly isn't a love story between Addie and Luc (the devil), so I felt a little conned about that. However, have you ever read a book that gave off such a haunting atmosphere? That's how I feel about Addie Larue. This is my first Schwab book, and I was honestly blown away by the writing. It was flowery, but in just the right sense. I grew to love Addie as a character, and felt the loneliness that riddled her. Some negative reviews I've seen are mainly about the length, which yes, this was a tome of a book. But when a book has to rely on you bounding with such a small character list, I think it needs the slow burn. If you're easily bored or go into this expecting a fast-paced fantasy, it'll disappoint you. It gave me We Have Always Lived In The Castle vibes, but in a romantic setting. I can't stop thinking about this book. 


How to Pronounce Knife
Souvankham Thammavongsa

2021 has been the year of me discovering my love for short story collections, but boy, are they hard to summarize. In this debut collection, there are themes of immigration, sexuality, youth, love, family and that's just to name a few. I have yet to read another collection that captured my heart the way this one did. I could very easily give each story a 4 or 5 star rating (there was only one that I felt meh about). The thing that I found remarkable was how Souvankham Thammavongsa managed to keep each individual character unique. Nothing bled together in this collection. Beyond that, the writing was exquisite. It's hard to believe that this was a debut. I look forward to seeing what the author does in the future. 

What books have you been recently given 5 stars to? Lemme know in the comments! 

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1 comment

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