Saturday, October 26, 2019

Book Reviews - A MIxed Bag of Reads

As you probably don't remember from my last post, I read four really heavy reads. I made the (unplanned) mistake of starting this round with another heavy read. After that, I intentionally chose a mixed bag of reads to even things out.

The Boy in the Photo by Nicole Trope is a thriller that is full of some feels. Megan's son, Daniel, is kidnapped by her abusive ex-husband. She always keeps hope alive, but she also goes through the process of mourning the loss. Six years pass, and Megan's life goes on, including a marriage to one of the detective's who worked on her son's case and the birth of a daughter. Then, she gets the call she always hoped for - Her son is alive. Daniel comes back to her new home, but it is far from an easy transition. Daniel is not the same kind, sweet boy that Megan knew and loved. Megan and her family do what they can to make Daniel feel at home, but it's challenging. Throughout the story looks back at how Megan navigated the disappearance of her son, as well as how she is coping in the present with this new version of Daniel. And then, y'all, here was a twist that I did not see coming at all, and that is what made it so very great. Again, this is heavy given the unhealthy relationship that begins the story, as well as how the return goes, and the twist plays a role in that feeling, too, but this is a powerful story of a family working to rebuild and define an unexpected now normal. Thanks to NetGalley for the access to this thriller.

Read this book if - You want a thriller that deals with building a new normal and a super unexpected twist.

We Are Never Ever Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby was just the best of honest humor. It's rare that a book makes me legit laugh out loud, and this was absolutely that type of read. From the first essay, I was drawn into the stories the author was telling. She has a way of writing that makes you feel like she's telling these to you as a friend over coffee/wine/beer/etc. And y'all, again, they're just so darn hilarious. But then, there are moments where the essays take this emotional turn as she navigates grief, complicated relationships, and finding love. I loved the layers of this collection and how she writes in such an authentic way. This was such a unique voice, and it was something I needed in my reading life.

Read this book if - You need a memoir with humor. You want something that'll make you legit LOL while also feel some highly emotional feels.

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton is the first in the Kinsey Milhouse series. This series began the year I was born (which is why I chose to read this one as part of a reading challenge I'm only kind of okay at completing), and this is my first time checking it out. I love a thriller with a female lead, so this was definitely my kind of book. This begins with Kinsey, a former police officer turned PI, being brought out to investigate a woman who insists she was wrongly convicted of killing her husband. She gets to work, and the story goes from there. What I liked about this was the "throwback" vibes of how cases were solved in the eighties. It was something different to look back at how cases were solved back when. There is obviously all the technology today, and it was a nice break to look at solving crime without all of that. I can only imagine how this character develops over the course of the series, and I was intrigued enough to want to dabble in the series again. I'm glad I finally stepped into this world, and I got to ride along to see how Kinsey Milhouse does her work!

Read this book if - You're looking to start the Kinsey Milhouse series and are late to the game like me!

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert was a delight of a love story. What I loved most is this was so true to life. Rather than avoiding the complicated emotions and baggage that we can bring into relationships, this story made them a central component. After a near death experience, Chloe decides she wants to get more out of life. She comes up with a list of tasks that will help her to do this, and she gets to work. Along the way, she brings Red Morgan, her apartment complex's handyman in to help her with her goals. With this, Chloe feels a certain kind of way about Red, and he feels a certain kind of way about her. In addition, they bring the negative impact of previous relationships and how they feel about themselves into the mix. I again so appreciated this was a story that had a dimension of realness to it. Rather than knowing this was story where I could figure out the ending, and it was just how characters took on faux obstacles, this had authenticity. Chloe's story was such an endearing one, and I found myself cheering for her as she worked to redefine herself and learn she was worthy of love and all the adventures in life. I owe a thanks to NetGalley for the look at this December release. 

Read this book if - You want characters who you can relate to as they navigate actual challenge and relationships.

Until next time!