Book Reviews in 2019
Stay With Me by Adebayo Ayobami *****
This book will stay with me. Akin and Yejide’s story has a beauty even with all the pain. There are shocking moments. The writing is lyrical. I felt like I was in another land. This is not a typical read for me, but I loved it. And, the ending is a huge WOW!
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris *****
This was one of the most powerful stories of courage and horror that I have ever read. Lale was sure he was going to survive, even through so many atrocities. Incredibly, he did, and bravely shared his story. This is a historical fiction novel based on a true story. When I give a book 5 stars, that means it has made an ever-lasting impact on my heart and Heather Morris did that beautifully in this tale.
Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson *****
I had never heard of Zamosc before, but now I will never forget it. A favorite quote is, “We must never allow the world to forget.” This was a painful story about Ben Solomon and Otto Piatek, who were once brothers. Sadly, during WWII, Otto eventually turned on Ben and his family. As an elderly man, Ben recognizes Otto, now Elliott Rosenzweig. His attorney, Catherine, tries desperately to help Ben find justice. However, first she must hear Ben’s story. And, so we all hear it – the many horrors of Nazi Germany and Ben’s journey. This book really got inside my head, especially as I listened to it on audio. The narration was wonderful and the story was quite compelling.
Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman***
This was a fascinating look into a completely different world. I am happy for Deborah that she was able to escape and make a new life for herself that fits her. There is a lot of sexism in this culture, which I found disturbing. Her community does dispute some of her story, but it is her memoir and her perspective, so I can’t argue with that.
Missing Molly by Natalie Barelli***
I listened to this on audio. I enjoyed the narration and the story, although I probably never would have read this book. It was a light, fluffy thriller thrown in after some heavy reading.
Ask Again Yes by Mary Beth Keane*****
I absolutely loved this book. It was such an unexpected great read. The story of Peter and Kate, and all of the relationships, tragedies, and triumphs was so real. There were themes about forgiveness. I also loved the cover!
Book Reviews in 2018
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin *****
This book was AWESOME. The subject matter was very current. The characters were so well-defined. The story kept you guessing. I could barely stand to put this down.
A photograph is taken of a girl at a party and sent around. Finch is being held responsible. Is he? He really likes Lyla. But, Polly is jealous. Lyla’s dad is a single parent, navigating the waters at her elite private school where she has a scholarship. He is so great in how he doesn’t back down. I admire him. Nina wants justice, even if it changes the course of her son’s life.
Favorite quote “Justice isn’t only about what a person deserves, but also about what a person needs. ”
Girl’s Night Out by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke *****
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC! I have loved everyone once of Liz and Lisa’s books and this is no different.
Three friends head to Mexico to reconnect because things haven’t been right with them. But, after a night out, Natalie wakes up on the beach in a wet dress with a memory gap, Ashley is no where to be found, and Lauren hasn’t seen her. As Natalie and Lauren search for Ashley, and Natalie tries to piece her memories together, we are taken on an adventure. No spoilers, but I found several things surprising! I can’t wait for to see what these authors come up with next!
Digging In by Loretta Nyhan ****
Digging In was not my typical read, but it was a Kindle First book and it sounded interesting. I had also read that the author lost her husband while she was writing this book, and thinking about how difficult it must have been to write this definitely intrigued me.
Paige is a quirky, lovable character who came from a rough background. She lost the love of her life in a tragic car accident and is left with a teenage son and a job she loves. But, then the other main man in her life passes, her boss. And, now his son has taken over the ad agency where she works and Paige and her friends are in for an interesting ride. While they embark on an adventure, Paige also starts to rediscover life on her own. She starts by digging up her backyard, which she turns into a garden. This leads to many wonderful things that she never could have expected. Filled with quite an interesting cast of characters, this was a heartwarming read. Good for you Loretta, for making this work through your grief.
Every Note Played by Lisa Genova *****
I am grateful to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC. Every Note Played is a tremendous book that deals with ALS and the complicated relationships among people. I feel like I just went through the wringer with Richard and Karina. They are both so flawed and yet who among us isn’t?
I learned so much about ALS. I can’t imagine the horror of losing control of your body bit by bit and still wanting to go on. Lisa Genova never disappoints in weaving wonderful stories while educating us about difficult medical conditions. This is a must read!
The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter *****
This book is intense and packed with non-stop drama. It is so dark and has some really tough content so it is not for the sensitive at heart. But, I absolutely recommend it. I think it is over 500 pages and I blew through it.
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan ****
I really liked this book. It contains important information and was interesting. Susannah did an excellent job sharing her story. It was terrifying.
There was the right amount of medical content, without going overboard.
Neighborly by Ellie Monago ****
I liked this. It kept me engaged. I kind of figured out one piece of the puzzle but it wasn’t the whole thing. Good prime selection.
The Dry by Jane Harper ***
It took me a long time to get hooked on this. At 80%, I was all in! So, it was good but I didn’t love it like many others. I found the build up a bit slow. Great characters and overall plot.
The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White (4.5 stars)
Great story about a very real, interesting family and how OCD impacts them.
Still Me by Jojo Moyes ****
I enjoyed this latest book about the quirky Louisa Clark.
How to Walk Away by Katherine Center*****
I was so fortunate to receive an ARC of this book.
I’ve never read this author before but will read more of her work.
I loved this book! Margaret’s struggles are tough to witness but the life lessons are so valuable. The characters are so well-drawn. Chip, her parents, Kitty, her PT Ian, his boss Miles- wow.
I was drawn in and really cared. I felt like a fly on the wall of this family’s life. I also loved how the author didn’t just do a quick wrap up at the end, which you often see.
Definitely check this one out!
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict*****
I forgot to write my review immediately after I finished this, but it was wonderful.
I really loved Mrs. Einstein and was frustrated by her many sacrifices. Her husband was a real shit. Sadly, that was likely the way many women were treated at that time.
My favorite books of 2017
I highly recommend that you visit your local independent book store! The links below are to Amazon for browsing.