Thursday, May 28, 2020

Book Reviews - None Is Like the Other!

Remember when I was good at keeping up with reviews? Yeah, me neither because that doesn't happen ever. These are books I read awhile ago as I do, and also as I do, each of these is from a very different genre!

This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf was a recent stop on a blog tour here.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is the second book in the A Court of Thorn and Roses series, and y'all, this one was some kind of ride. As I mentioned in my review of the first book of the series, fantasy is not my normal jam, but this series so is! The second book picks up where the first left off with the story of Feyre. I don't want to give too much up in this review as much of the excitement of this series comes in the journey. I will say I thought I knew where this one was going early on, and that turned out to be far, far different. I then loved how the story progressed and ultimately ended. Again, this was not what I expected as all. Also, as I say over and over, this is not what I have picked up my own, but now I am so, so drawn into this faerie world! What I love about this series is the way the story is built - The characters and relationships are so compelling. The depth of this part of the story has drawn me in, and y'all I need to know what happens to these people (and/or faeries).  I also love the dynamics of the worlds created in this one, and how this plot builds. Again, I recognize the intentional vagueness of this review is odd, but I'm going to respect others who want (and NEED) to go on this journey! Y'all, I loved the first one in this series, but I LOVED this one, and I now am excited to see what happens next!

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman was a book that pleasantly surprised me. The story focuses on a mother and daughter who are on a college tour. Jessica, the mother, is hoping this trip is a chance to bond with her daughter. Emily, the daughter, is unsure about what she wants to do after high school, but hasn't yet fully had that conversation with her mother. The story is narrated in alternating chapters by Jessica and Emily, and y'all, again I'll say how much I love dual narrators. This was especially well done as the alternating narration built depth in the characters. It showed how each of the women was navigating the trip, how they felt about the other woman, and how that had changed and/or was changing. I also really liked how the dialogue flowed so well and had some wit throughout. I was drawn into the relationship and how they navigated things. It was complex at times, but also lighthearted. Again, sometimes you need those light reads, and this was definitely that with the added depth of relationship. Thanks to Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House, for the early look at this June 2020 read. If you're looking for a nice, chill summer read, this is going to be your jam.

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs by Leslie Connor was another one of those middle grade books that had me up in my feels. This book focuses on Lydia. 13 year old Lydia's mother has recently died. Her father left the two of them years prior, so Lydia moves in with her Aunt Brat and her wife Eileen. Lydia is now navigating a new town, grief, and then a dog is added to the mix. Lydia has never really been a dog person, so this is new for her. This one was some real, REAL emotion y'all. Lydia reflects on her time with her mother (including some tough stuff), friendship (again, some hard stuff), and her father leaving (once again, it's tough), and each of these situations show that life isn't easy. Lydia is trying to find her place in this new family while also keeping the memory of her mother alive. I always appreciate a middle grade read that deals with real feels, and this definitely does that. This was an advanced copy (thanks HarperCollins) I've had for awhile, and it's been out since February 2020, but I put it off because I knew it was going to be emotional. That said, this is worth the read for kids and adults. Grief can be messy, moving to a new place can be messy, finding your place in a family can be messy, and each of these messes should be talked about like they are here!

Onto the next ones!