Monday, February 5, 2018

More January Reads

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott was an intriguing thriller. It centers around a tragic death with suspicious circumstances that affects a high-achieving gymnastics training facility. The book focuses on the demands of the gym both on the athletes and the families as they also try to piece together just what the heck when down. I liked this one because I couldn't figure out the twist, and there were some bonus twists built in along the way. I also liked that it was a pageturner because of the mystery, but also because of the environment it was exploring. This one had a been on my wish list for awhile, and I'm glad I was able to finally check it out.

Read this book if - You love a good Lifetime move and wish it came in book form.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan was this month's book club selection. I'll be real that it took me awhile to get into this one. Even about 75% of the way through, I wasn't quite sure if I liked this book. However, with the last 25%, I was totally captivated, and I am eager to find out what happens in the second book. I should also let you know this book is stressful, and I don't do well with rudeness in books, and for much of this book, that's what kept me reading. I needed resolution, and I needed it to get better. I recognize this explanation isn't totally a glowing review, however this one is a unique spin on a rom-com/chick lit that is actually quite good. The story centers on Nicholas who brings home his American-born Chinese girlfriend Rachel, and all the madness ensues. Turns out, Nicholas really didn't tell his gf anything about his family's high profile life in China, and that's kind of important because it's a lot - A lot of personality, money, attitude, etc. etc. From there, well, things just go as you can imagine. . .

Read this book if - You like a good chick lit read with a heaping helping of draaaaama. You want to read a book that will probably be better than the movie version of it that is due to come out this year.

P.S. Since this is a book due to be a movie in 2018, it meets one of my reading challenges! Woohoo!

Only Child was a book that gave me SO. MANY. FEELS. Y'all, this one will easily be one of the most emotional reads of the year. It was an ARC by Rhiannon Navin, so it's just now really getting out into the world, but I expect it'll get some well-deserved big buzz. This book centers on a six year old boy who experiences a school shooting, and the book is told entirely from his perspective. While the book is entirely from his point of view, he describes how the other characters (his family, his teachers, the media, the shooter's family, etc.) react to what has happened. This is particularly poignant given his older brother is one of the victims. Zach's story is both beautiful and tragic, especially in light of how 2018 has begun. It is an emotional read, but I would say the feels are worth it as Zach shares the characters and their stories in such incredibly well-written depth.

Read this book if - You are a fan of well-written literature. You are looking for a book that explores the range of human emotion from hurt to healing and everything in between. You are okay keeping Kleenex handy as you read.

Cardboard Gods by Josh Wilker was a book I bought for my husband at some point. I think I heard about it on a podcast? It was also clearly early in our relationship because I had that, "Well even though he doesn't like reading, if I get him the right book, he will." No way I'd try that now. Anyway, we are doing some big decluttering, and I thought maybe I should give it a read since my husband won't ever. Note: That wasn't bitterness. That's just reality. The book is built around the author's baseball card collection. For each card's picture, he anchors a time of his life and/or an analogy for the card involving his life. As I was reading it, I realized something - Books (both fiction and nonfiction) involving dudes coming of age/revisiting their teen years just aren't my jam. I don't know if it's because I can't relate or what. The use of cards in this one was unique and interesting, but overall, this one was just okay. I always feel like a jerk when I critique memoirs, but it is what it is.

Read this book if - You were really into baseball cards during your childhood years and like books. As I said before, my husband only meets one of these criteria, and it didn't so much work.