SLIDER

Book of the Month on the Brain


Yesterday, I chatted about my recent obsession with Book of the Month. I'd planned to end the post with reviews of four BOTM books that I read in April, but it ended being so long that I figured this would be better separated out. And then since I had extra writing space... I got a little carried away while talking about these books. Oops? Anyway, let's chat about what I read! The first three books were thrifting finds, and the last one was my April selection.


GOODBYE, PARIS BY ANSTEY HARRIS – This one immediately appealed to me because the summary compared it to a book and an author that I love. It was music to my ears! When I saw that Laura loved it, too, I was sold. I'm not telling you the comps, though it's in the first sentence of the Goodreads summary, because I think they affected my expectations this book. I struggled initially because it wasn't what I'd wanted it to be based on the description. It was often very hard for me to sympathize with Grace. As a reader, the flaws in her relationship seem glaringly obvious. And she is just so blind to them! There were moments in the moment when I wanted to shake her, and I probably would have DNF'd the book if not for the setting and the musical aspects. I found those parts so wonderful, however, that I kept going. And the longer I read, the more invested I became in Grace's journey. I fell for the surly teenager who works for her, and the endlessly patient elderly customer who finds her at her lowest moment. I was rooting for her to succeed, to get her life on track, and to escape a toxic relationship. She's a flawed, frustrating heroine, and my investment in her story snuck up on me. I So Enjoyed It in the end!


THE WIFE BETWEEN US BY GREER HENDRICKS & SARAH PEKKANEN – I recently reviewed An Anonymous Girl, this duo's second book, and mentioned that I liked this one just a bit more. So, let me tell you why! First, I have a confession: I accidentally spoiled myself for one of the big twists of this book before I even started it. But it honestly didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story at all. I missed out on that awesome "WHAT?!" feeling, but I did get to see the clues laid out. That was fun in a different way! As with An Anonymous Girl, I do think this story is bit on the slower side. I didn't mind at all because I love the building tension as the plot unraveled. Some parts of the story were a little predictable, but there were others I didn't see coming. I listened to the audio, narrated by Julia Whelan, and loved that format. I was inventing tasks and errands so that I could keep listening! Additionally, I was more invested in the heroine and the concept of this one. I'm giving it the same rating – So Enjoyed It – because I just can't quite bump it up to Loved. But Goodreads reviewers seem divided on which of the two books they like best, so don't take my word for it if you like this genre. I'll definitely pick up whatever they write next!


THE PROPOSAL BY JASMINE GUILLORY – I read Guillory's debut back in 2017, which I liked but didn't leave my rushing to read this companion book. When it was chosen for Reese Witherspoon's book club, I started to pay more attention. And when I spotted it at a thrift store for $3, I was sold. And y'all, I'm so glad that I gave Guillory another chance to win me over. This story was so much fun! The hero was first introduced in The Wedding Date as a secondary character, and the original couple does have a cameo in this book. I love when books tie together that way! You don't have to read the first, but I think it's more fun if you do. The beginning was immediately engaging, I loved the female friendship aspect, and the diversity was such a nice bonus. It was nice to see the hero and heroine become friends and then build to something more. Their relationship is the focus, but I liked the secondary storylines, too. They're both dealing with some emotional baggage – the heroine from a previous relationship and the hero from the loss of his father. That added some nice depth to the book for me. It's not the strongest writing, but everything else came together just right for me. I So Enjoyed It. It's got some flaws, but I just couldn't put it down.


BEYOND THE POINT BY CLAIRE GIBSON – And finally, my book choice for April's box! This is the story of three women who attend West Point, and it follows them from a few months prior to college into their lives post-graduation. I'm always drawn to stories of female friendship, and this one didn't disappoint. I loved how life took each woman on a different path, but all three showed up for one another when it mattered. The book depicted friendships, including their ebbs and flows, in such a realistic way. It was my favorite thing about it! The faith element was a nice surprise, and I enjoyed what I learned about life for women in the military. However, I did struggle with some aspects of the story. It covers almost seven years, and yet it often felt like nothing was happening. The story would shift in time right the story got interesting, and then significant events + their outcomes were only referenced in hindsight. It was frustrating! I So Enjoyed It overall, but it could have wowed me with a shorter timeline, more focused conflict, and better editing. Also, I actually listened to this on audio from the library. I liked that it had three narrators, but the format probably made some of the lulls in the story more noticeable.

What have you been reading lately?

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