So many great books to share with you all this month! As usual, I read a mix of fiction/nonfiction and light/thought-provoking, which is the best mix, if you ask me! Recaps below…
More than Words: I had the opportunity to hear Jill Santopolo, the author, speak at Politics and Prose earlier in the month (more on that in a separate post soon!) and having loved The Light We Lost (it’s seriously one of my all-time favorite books), I knew I had to read her new release. The book tells the story of a woman working in politics and making a life for herself while being torn between two men and struggling as she takes care of her dying father, who wants her to inherit and run the prestigious family company one day. Following his death, she learns of a poor decision he made and grapples with the consequences and her new perception of her father and also reevaluates her romantic life. While I didn’t find myself as enamored with this book as I was with The Light We Lost, I still enjoyed it and would suggest it to anyone who appreciates a good love triangle!
My Favorite Half-Night Stand: I think this is my favorite Christina Lauren book thus far! Millie is a college professor in California and is close friends with a group of guys she works with at the university. They’re used to sharing everything with each other, but things get secretive once Millie and one of the guys, Reid, start seeing each other discreetly. To make matters more complicated, Millie is also engaging with him using a fake persona she created on a dating site they all decided to join. While the ending of this book was definitely predictable, I still really liked the story and concept!
Roomies: This is another Christina Lauren book that I sped through on a snow day (her books are perfect light reads–they still have enough substance but are easy to finish in a day or two). Holland is living in New York and develops a crush on Calvin, an Irish man who she sees playing music in the subway every day. She becomes somewhat obsessed and goes out of her way to see him play before their lives become further intertwined after she’s involved in an accident and Calvin begins working for her uncle. They decide to get married so that Colin can keep the job and live in the United States legally, but their actual romantic situation begins to get messy as they realize they might actually like each other! You can guess what happens next, but I thought this was a cute read.
The Accidental Beauty Queen: Again, this is another light but fun read. Identical twins Charlotte and Ginny couldn’t be more different–Charlotte likes Harry Potter and works as a school librarian, while Ginny has spent her life as the pretty one who competes in beauty pageants. But when Charlotte suddenly has to step in and take Ginny’s place in the competition, she’ll do what it takes to win for her sister, even though her world is completely altered. I loved the concept of this book, and while it definitely read as more of a YA book (despite being for adults), it was a cute one!
Bad Blood: For whatever reason, I wasn’t as glued to this one as I expected I’d be (if you know me, you know that when I become obsessed with a true story like this, I get really obsessed), but it’s still 100 percent worth reading (and the reviews definitely prove this point!). Bad Blood tells the true story of Theranos, a medical startup in Silicon Valley that made false promises to investors and patients and paid the ultimate price when people began to discover how faulty and dishonest the company truly was. The book is largely the story of Elizabeth Holmes, who founded Theranos as a young college dropout, and features perspectives from many former employees, who had spoken with the author as he was completing his investigation of the company. If you’re involved in the medical world at all, you’ll likely appreciate this book even more, but it’s definitely a good investigative piece regardless.
The Sun is Also a Star: I’d heard good things about this YA book and then recently saw a preview and learned it would be turned into a movie, so I knew I had to read the copy I’d picked up a few months ago. The book tells the story of two teenagers in New York, who meet unexpectedly the same day that one of them is being deported to Jamaica with her family. Despite their brief, day-long encounter, they quickly find a connection and fall in love, despite their families differences and biases. The book is written so that other characters’ perspectives are frequently woven in, and the entire piece is a testament to how intersectional people’s lives are, even in this big city–characters are influencing each other in ways that aren’t even apparent at first glance. I really liked the ending, too!
An American Marriage: This is another one that I’d heard good things about FOREVER, and I’m so glad that I finally made the time to sit down and read it. Roy and Celestial are a young, African American couple living in Atlanta and preparing to start a family, but their lives change forever when they travel to Roy’s hometown in Louisiana and he is accused of a horrible crime that he and Celestial know he did not commit. He is sentenced to 12 years in jail, and in the meantime, Celestial is beginning to rebuild her life and leans on a childhood friend Andre, who has always been her support system. As she contemplates her marriage with a man who is in jail, she faces difficult decisions, and the book is told from her perspective, Roy’s, and Andre’s. It also examines marriages between Celestial’s and Roy’s parents and is a captivating story.
The Party: I read mixed reviews about this thriller, but I absolutely loved it! Hannah, a high schooler in San Francisco, is preparing to celebrate her Sweet 16 at a sleepover with a few of her friends, but the celebration quickly turns into a disaster after one of the girls is hurt and families are torn apart from the stress. Like many of the books on this list, this one is also told from multiple perspectives, and while it doesn’t have as many twists and turns as other thrillers (I was expecting more), the ending definitely threw me for a loop!