Sunday, January 5, 2020

Book Reviews - The First Four of 2020!

And so begins another year of reading! I'll spare you a long introduction and just get straight to the reviews.

J/k, lolz, I do want to share I'm changing up my Read this book if... section of my reviews. I found those weren't necessarily the most helpful. I'm going to be using some ongoing quick tags to help you get a quick understanding of what I read.

Okay, now the reviews.

The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch: How the Canceled Sitcom Became the Beloved Pop Culture Icon We Are Still Talking About Today by Kimberly Potts was a deep-dive into all things Brady. This isn't the first time I've read a book about the Bradys, and they will always be a love of mine. I mean, y'all, have I told you about the time I MET GREG BRADY!?!

This book really looks at how a show that was on for just five seasons has come to be this incredibly resounding pop culture behemoth. I used to watch the show every morning before school, and I can still get sucked into an episode (or five) today, so I'm obviously the book's target audience. What was different about this book was that it talked about the show itself, both its up and (somewhat well-known) downs/drama. However, it does examine the spin-offs and continued storylines. While I'm very familiar with the original material, I definitely knew little to nothing about these other pieces. This is a well-researched piece on a family that will forever (and I meant that quite literally) be one of America's favorites. I learned some new stuff and also got those nostalgic Brady feels.

File this under: Pop Culture, Nostalgia, The Brady Bunch (doubtful I'll have anything else with this tag, but maybe?)

Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison was a book I reviewed for a blog tour stop. Find out what I thought and get an author Q&A HERE.

File this under: Thriller, Jawdropping Twists, Pageturners, All the Drama

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline was just a good, reliable thriller. This is my second book by this author, and I'm quickly realizing she just knows how to write a great pageturner. She's especially great at having that one big twist, but then continuing with even more twists after that. This story begins with Ellen seeing a "Have you seen this child?" flyer. One of the children bears a strong resemblance to her adopted son. This is something she cannot unsee, and she wonders about the validity of her adoption and if there is more to the story. As a journalist, she begins investigating while also harboring fear her son will be taken from her. As she digs deeper and deeper into the story, she has even more questions about potential deception and concerns about the safety of her family. This is one I read quickly. The premise was admittedly outlandish, but the sensational nature of the story still worked for me and kept me speeding through the drama.

File this under: Thriller, Pageturners, Family Drama

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is a book I've somehow never read. I took a Literature for Adolescents course in college, and we watched the movie, but I've never read the source material. What I find so incredible about this one is that the author wrote this when she was in high school. I mean, WOW. Even 50 years later, that just blows my mind. This is a story that focuses on a group of friends who are greasers. They find camaraderie in their struggle. They have an ongoing feud with socs who are those who have all the privilege. The story primarily focuses on Ponyboy. Initially, it is Ponyboy discussing his friends, his family, love, and their hatred of the socs. However, the story really takes a turn when his friend Johnny kills a soc. For a story about a group of boys who try to be "tough guys" throughout, this will also somehow have you all up in your feels. Specifically, "Stay gold, Ponyboy" is forever a line that just gets me in a certain kind of way. This is such a unique story of hope and wanting more from our current circumstances, and I'm glad to have finally read it!

File this under: Young Adult, All the Feels, Friendship, Classics, Great American Read

Onto the next ones!