Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Local Gone MissingLocal Gone Missing by Fiona Barton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I love books with a dual timeline, and I also love multiple narrators. This book had both of these things, however in this instance, it just didn't work. For some reason, I just struggled to keep up and remember who was who and when was when. Getting lost in the details meant I couldn't get into the mystery and clues placed along the way. I also need to stop reading procedural thrillers, and that is more about me than this book. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this recent release.

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRueThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, y'all, this one was a ride. It was definitely a slow build, and it was one where the build pays off in the end. The last quarter or so of the book was absolutely incredible. That said, the rest of the book is great, too! The story focuses on Addie LaRue who has made a pact to escape the life that is ahead and must live forever. The story then tracks where it all began, what happens along the way, and where she is now in her immortality. It was unlike anything I've read (especially because fantasy isn't always my jam), and I loved the journey of seeing where life took Addie. It was just so beautifully told, and it's one I'm still thinking about even a week after finishing it. I'm glad it's a book club selection because I have much to discuss!

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Yes PleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another book in my re-read of memoirs I loved in my late twenties/early thirties. The first time around I listened to this as an audiobook, and I will say that adds so much to this one and is definitely my preferred medium. It was still a joy to read through the physical pages of this one. Given this is an older read, I was also reading this around the same time Amy wrote it which made it connect with me in a different way as I re-read, especially the pieces about being a mom. While this is a memoir, it's more so her thoughts on life, love and career through her experiences. It's a collection with a little bit of everything, including some good nuggets of advice and reflection. I enjoyed the chance to revisit, and I'd love to see her build on this based on what she's learned since with a second book!

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The ShoreThe Shore by Katie Runde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is one word to describe The Shore: FEELS. Literally, all the feels. The first layer of these feels is Brian, a father and a husband is dying of a brain tumor. His wife and two daughters are each trying to navigate the grief and loss that comes with this process. Meanwhile, both daughters are also exploring young love and relationships. The other really interesting layer of this is that Margot, the wife, looks to an online support group to process her emotions and what she wants to do next. One of her daughters finds her mom's thoughts in this group and not only that, she creates a persona in the group to be able to engage with her. This one is real and hard emotion, but also it's told in such a beautiful and authentic way. It's a wonderful story exploring where we find comfort and connection through whatever comes our way. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the early look at this recent release.

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Carrie Soto Is BackCarrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Y'all, no one writes character-driven books like Taylor Jenkins Reid. This one is quite different from the first four of her novels that I've read, and that speaks to just what a brilliant author she is. This book focuses on retired tennis star Carrie Soto in the nineties. There is a new star in tennis, and Carrie just isn't ready to let her records go just yet, so she decides to mount a comeback. It's a little weird to read about a woman who is around your age being "old" and coming out of retirement, AND I also could relate with the feeling of trying to figure out where you fit into the world as you grow and age. Again, this author is masterful at writing compelling characters to create stories that just sweep you away, and Carrie (or the "Battle Ax" as she's been known) is so, so much that. I was thrilled to get this one early because I literally could not wait to get my eyes on this story. This is another must-read by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this August 2022 release.

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Rough Draft: A MemoirRough Draft: A Memoir by Katy Tur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is an interesting experience to read the memoir of someone you know nothing about. However, when an invitation to read this one landed in my inbox, I was intrigued. Y'all, I'm so glad I checked this one out, and I now want to know even more about the author! The story focuses on the author's reflections on a life in journalism. This starts with her parents who captured some of the most memorable news stories of the twentieth century through helicopter reporting. The story then goes into her own beginnings and journey through the news industry from local news to international work to her days following the T***p campaign to being an anchor. Throughout, she is candid and honest about the struggles she encounters as well as the lessons she learns. The story isn't just about her as a professional, but also a person. In particular, she talks about the abuse in her childhood from her father, as well as her father's transition to a woman. In these reflections, she reflects on the emotions and lasting feelings of the experiences. I appreciated that this was truly the author's memoir in that she talked about herself as a professional, but also the human she is. Again, as someone who knew nothing going in, I felt I truly got a window into this woman. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this upcoming June 2022 release!

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The Diamond EyeThe Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again, Kate Quinn is a master in the historical fiction game. What I especially appreciate about her books is that she tells stories about women in history I never knew and brings attention to their incredible tales of strength and perseverance. This story focuses on Mila Pavlichenko. As the story starts, she's a young mother, and then with the German invasion of Russia, she joins the fight literally. Mila becomes one of the most skilled snipers for the Russians. Mila then finds herself in America where the Russians are trying to build support for their cause. She even connects with Eleanor Roosevelt! Ultimately, Mila has a key role in stopping a happening that literally would've changed the course of history. As I read this one, I had to remind myself it was in fact a true story. It was unbelievable this was the first time I'd even heard of Mila, especially knowing the uniqueness of her journey. Thanks to the publisher for the look at this recent release!

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Hello, Molly!Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn't know much of Molly Shannon's story beyond that she was on SNL until she was recently on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. After watching her talk about losing her mom and sister at a young age, I knew I wanted to read this memoir. This is a beautiful and honest exploration of Molly's childhood through today. The most powerful parts of her story are her reflections on the long-lasting impacts of grief and how this grief influences her work. This is such an important topic, and I appreciated how she was willing to share her journey, as well as talk about her relationship with her father. Molly was on SNL during an era I loved, so I dug the behind the scenes look at her time on the show. The only thing I wanted more of was her life post-SNL. I know there was some intentionality of not sharing all the details about that, and I was just so loving her story that I just wanted a bit more of that, too!

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Year on FireYear on Fire by Julie Buxbaum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reading books about high school student as a thirtysomething is always an interesting experience. For this go-round, it was a love triangle or some shape of sorts. Immie and Arch are twins, and their friend Paige completes their triad. Except lately things within the three of them have gotten complicated. One of the twins kissed Paige's ex. She thinks it was Immie, but it was actually Arch. Meanwhile, Immie is trying to connect Paige with the new kid, Ro, except she likes him, too. The story is then a journey in trying to see who is going to end up with who, if friendships survive, and then also figuring out who is responsible for the fires in the bathroom. Ultimately, I just wanted more feels in this one. It was a interesting premise, and that premise just left me craving more connection to the story. Thanks to NetGalley for the look at this recent release!

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Out of the Clear Blue SkyOut of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What I love most about Kristan Higgins is the way she writes books that provide depth to all of the women in the story. With this one, she could have easily just focused on one character, but instead, she created a cast that allowed this story to be explored from a variety of perspectives. The story focuses on Lillie. Just as she's preparing for a new chapter as an empty nester, her husband informs her that she'll be taking on another new chapter with divorce. Lillie is devastated, especially because she didn't see this coming. Her reaction of choice to her ex-husband's choice is then pettiness and revenge. In addition to working through this, she's working to re-establish her relationship with her sister which has been strained since a decision they each made as a child. A childhood friend who was part of a tragic night from her past also re-enters her world. Oh, and there's a connection she finds in her ex-hsuband's step-daughter. That's a lot of layers, right? That's what makes this one so great. Each of these add dimension to Lillie's story via their relationship to her. This was just such a wonderful read about complicated dynamics when it comes to love, family and friendship! Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this June 2022 release!

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