Sunday, April 5, 2020

Book Reviews - Honest and Real Relationships

Y'all, this quartet was united in being some real stories. Three were made up, and one was a memoir, and whoa, this stuff was captivating and worth the read.

American Royals by Katharine McGee was just a spectacular read, and I am already ready for the sequel to be out because I need to know what happens next. This story imagines that instead of a democracy, America became a monarchy way back when. This story picks up with America's royal family in present day. Specifically, it focuses on the princesses and prince and their love lives. The chapters are told through alternating narrators as the love stories, crushes, break-ups and some deception in each of their lives are pieced together. Each of the royal family members has a unique personality and attitude, and I was so captivated by each of the characters. I love when stories are driven by relationships, and this book was so, so much that. Even though this was about love, it read like a thriller, as there were all the twists throughout. I don't want to give too many details on this one y'all because there's such joy in the build of this one. The multiple narrators piece together so many truths and secrets that will keep you turning those pages. I read this in one day because I was so obsessed and had to know what was going to happen. Y'all, I cannot say enough how I absolutely love, love, loved this one so much. Oh, and this was alternate history, so it also helped me meet my March reading challenge!

The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne was a book I highlighted for a recent blog tour stop. Find my review and an excerpt here.

Open Book by Jessica Simpson was one of the best celebrity memoirs I've ever read. I think part of what drew me in was that I "grew up" with Jessica Simpson's music. She was big during the time I loved pop music, so I knew her story well. However, this book is about the parts of her story fans didn't know. This is about the pain and secrets she's carried. This is her sharing her rawest, most authentic self, and it is beautiful. I loved this memoir because she didn't hold anything back. She told every piece of her story in such a thoughtful and reflective way. And y'all, she has been through some stuff in her childhood, in her twenties, and in the last few years. Again, she shares it all. She notes that the memoir she was supposed to write was more about the success of her Jessica Simpson brand. However, as she went to write, she realized this was the story she needed to tell. I am so, so glad this is what she shared. I know it was not easy to put these secrets out for all to see, but there is such power in her acknowledging this is her truth and how she has worked through so, so much. This was all-around outstanding y'all.

We Came Here to Shine by Susan Orman Schnall is the story of two women against the backdrop of the 1939 World's Fair in New York. First, there is Vivi. She is an aspiring Hollywood actress. Instead of being given a leading role in a movie, she's given the starring role in an aquatics show at the fair. She takes it on as it brings the promise of later movie roles. Second, there is Max, an aspiring journalist. She hopes to get an internship at the New York Times, and she is instead given a role at the fair's daily publication. Rather than writing articles, she is charged with creating the daily schedules for the fair which is far from what she hopes to one day do. Both women find themselves not where they want to be, and they also find that the fair isn't exactly what it seems. There is deception and lies and some shady relationships. Their stories are told in alternating chapters, but eventually, their paths cross, and the two women become friends. This was such a captivating story - Both women have such strength and depth, and I was rooting for both of them throughout. This is also full of drama in their stories and with the fair, and they ultimately come to a crossroads with what they need to do. This was quite the pageturner for me. I wanted to know what was going to happen with Vivi and Max as they were going through some stuff. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this book currently slated for a July 2020 release!

Onto the next ones!