Monday, September 3, 2018

All The Feels & Some Thrills

Hey, here are these books I read. 

Find Your Awesome: A 30-Day Challenge to Fall in Love with Your Playful, Imaginative & Colorful Self by Judy Clement Wall was a quick and enjoyable read that I got to check out thanks to my pals at NetGalley. This one is in a journal/checklist format, and it provides challenges around self-love and putting more kindness into the world. I didn't obvs take the 30 days to do all the challenges included, rather I just read through to see what this one was all about. I really enjoyed the concepts here. Some of the ideas were things I'd heard before (but appreciated hearing again), while others were new and useful ways to put more good into the world. I also really dug the style of this one. It was just designed in a really fun way that brought some additional positive energy to the read. I didn't go into this one thinking I'd get so much out of it! I wrapped this one with new strategies for how to make my dreams more of my reality.

Read this book if - You need a quick jolt of energy to be more creative, more positive, happier and/or more full of self-love. You're looking for new, simple strategies around self-care. You want a challenge that isn't terribly time-consuming and will help you do you.

Fly Away Home was a book I picked up because I knew what I was going to get. Jennifer Weiner is one of those authors that always just "hits the spot" for me. This book was really focused on three women's stories - A mother and her two daughters. The story begins with it coming to light that the father in this family has had an affair. As he is a senator, this story is national news. However, this is only one layer of this family's drama. One of the sister's is a recovering addict, and the other is a successful doctor, but in a loveless marriage. Each of the women narrates throughout as they each try to make sense of what's happening with the scandal, the aftermath, and all the other "stuff" they have happening in their life and relationship(s). For me, this book was just what I needed it to be. I couldn't decide what to read next, and this one delivered a captivating story about humans as I hoped it would. I love the way Jennifer Weiner writes about relationships, and I always enjoy the time I spend in her universe. 

Read this book if - You are a fan of Jennifer Weiner (duh), and you haven't read this one just yet. You need a good beach-ish read about the complicated nature of relationships.

Perfect GIrls by Alison James was a thriller I received from NetGalley. I liked it. This one is apparently the third in a series about Detective Rachel Prince. This is the first of the series I'd read, so if there are things this character is known for and such, that was totally lost on me. Anyway, the story revolves around murders that appear to be connected to the CasaMia app which is an Airbnb-ish tool. When women who were using the app are murdered, Rachel goes into action to figure out common threads and what the heck is going on. There were parts of this one I really liked. In addition to following Rachel, there were chapters where the culprit narrated. As the story want, more was revealed about who this voice was, and I found I looked forward to this parts of the story to know more. There was also a twist on this one that I didn't see coming, and it was definitely an angle I hadn't seen before. Overall though, it just didn't grip me throughout for a reason I can't totally pinpoint. There were moments I had to know where the suspense was leading, but then there were others where things drug a bit. I would be interested in reading more Rachel Prince books just to get to know who she is for perspective.

Read this book if - You are looking for a thriller with a really unexpected twist. You've read other Rachel Prince books?

P.S. There is also a book called The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan that I've previously read. I also have a book called The Perfect Girlfriend on my NetGalley shelf. So, that's super confusing.

Taylor's Gift: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope by Todd and Tara Storch was an emotional and beautiful read. Todd and Tara are the parents of Taylor who was tragically killed at 13 in a skiing accident. This book focuses on the after of this tragedy. The largest component of this is their choice to donate Taylor's organs. There is also the authentic and honest portrayal of the aftermath of the loss of Taylor, including the varying ways grief shows up in their family. Y'all, this one was a book I read in one sitting because it was so captivating. There were moments where tears streamed down my face as I read of their pain. With that, there were moments I smiled as I read about the hope they found in what happened. The book does an incredible job of talking about why organ donation matters. Since Taylor's death, the Storch family (and even some of the recipients of Taylor's organs) have worked to raise awareness around organ donation. This book was the selection of my online book club, and Tara Storch will be joining us for the chat. I am really looking forward to hearing more of her and Taylor's story. While a heartbreaking read, there was also incredible beauty in the faith and family of this one, too. You should absolutely take the time to go on the emotional journey of this one.

Read this book if - You want something that will fill you with all the feels, but such hope and inspiration of how one life can have an incredible impact.

Until the next round!