Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Book Reviews - Beans. Bones. Books.

At this point, do I even need to introduce these posts? Well, I still do. Let me just begin with how this post is going to end - I LOVED THE BEAN TREES. The other stuff was good, too. . .

Girls Like Us by Christina Alger is an upcoming July release. Nell Flynn returns home after a decade away to handle her father's affairs after he's killed in a motorcycle accident. Going home brings about many memories for Nell - Specifically, she thinks of her mother's murder, as well as how her life changed after. While home, there are two young women's murders that the police are investigating. A colleague of her father's asks her to join the investigation. The interesting thing about this is that Nell starts to wonder about her father's involvement in these crimes. This also makes her question what she knew to be true as a kid. This was definitely an interesting dimension of the story, as you feel the suspense along with Nell. It framed up the story, so you started to look for clues to affirm what Nell was feeling. I liked having the "suspect" revealed in this way, as I focused not on the "Who?" of the crime, but the "How?" and "Why?" things could have gone down. This also had some good twists, and I didn't piece it all together before the big reveal. It's one I even read in one sitting as I breezed through the story and had to know what was going on. As y'all know, I love a good thriller, and this one definitely worked its captivating magic on me. Thanks to G.P. Putnam's Sons for the early peek at this summer page turner!

Read this book if - You like a thriller that's more based in process and piecing together clues.

Doll Bones by Holly Black was a children's book that I related with on some levels and didn't totally gel with on others. The piece I related with was that crossroads we all get to with our toys. We know we're getting older, and we can't play with our toys forever. There is that "last day" we're going to play - Sometimes we know when it's happening, and sometimes we don't. I can remember it happening for me and my Barbies around 12. Anyway. In this one, Zack's dad throws his toys away. He decides it's time for him to grow up. Problem is that said toys are part of a magical world he's built with his friends Poppy and Annie. Zack decides that instead of telling his friends the truth, he'll just tell them he doesn't want to play with them anymore. A fight ensues, and they stop talking. That is until Poppy has one more quest for the gang. She is certain a doll is haunting her, and they need to give her some peace. From here, a wild adventure begins? Realistic? Not a chance. Interesting? Yes. This one was a unique blend of mystery and fantasy and ghosts and friendship and growing up and all the things. As I said, the feels were totally for me, while the eeriness wasn't as a connect, but I think kids who like a good twisty read will dig this one.

Read this book if - You like your coming of age tales with a side of fantasy, spookiness and intrigue.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms was just a fun read. It focuses on Amy Byler (obvs) who is a librarian. For the last three years, she's been a single mom as her husband is estranged and off around the world. When her husband finally returns and wants to get to know his kids once more, Amy is able to head off to a conference in NYC, as well as some needed vacation time for the summer. With her time in NYC, Amy starts to explore who she wants to be, what she could do, and wonders where she might go with relationships, career, and life in general. While Amy is exploring this, she is hesitant. She's been so plugged into her life back home that she hasn't focused on herself much. It was exciting to read how Amy worked to reclaim herself and her space in the universe. She is truly torn between where she's been and where she wants to go which also made this one captivating as she tried to decide where she best fit. Also, BONUS, she was a librarian, so there was some book stuff!! This was a light read which I dug. It had some drama and some complicated relationships, but really it was just a story of a woman trying to figure it all out. Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to check this one out!

Read this book if - You need a light beach read. You like books that have some connections to books?

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver was just a beautiful book. It was just wonderfully written with a captivating story that just sucked me into it, and I so loved the tale. This is the story of Taylor. Taylor grew up in rural Kentucky, and she's ready to get away. So, she starts driving west. Along the way, she is literally given a child. As I type that, it sounds so wild, but in the story, it works and is so interesting to see the relationship and developments around this. As she drives, Taylor finds her way to an auto repair shop and subsequently the community around it. Y'all, this book was character-driven above all else. It was such an assortment of unique backgrounds that find their paths intersecting. This was truly their story as they navigate their past(s), their present(s), and their future(s). It was truly unlike anything I'd read given the variance in characters and what happens when they all get together. Sometimes you just need a good, solid book in your life, and that is what this is. This one just warmed my heart, and I so love, love, LOVED it.

Read this book if - You're just looking for a really good book.