Recent Reads: Vol. 21

May 9, 2019

Well, I’m happy to say I finally got my act together and wrote a blog post! Today I’m sharing the eight books I’ve read in the last couple of months (there are some really good ones!). One thing to call out is that I’ve switched it up from previous Recent Reads where I would either recommended the book or not to a rating system because when I read other book reviews I find ratings really helpful!

The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Harriet is in her early 20s getting by on her own as a tarot card reader at Brighton Pier. One day she comes home to a letter saying her grandmother has died and left her an inheritance. Harriet knows that they’ve sent it to the wrong person but goes anyway to collect the money so she can pay back some debts. Once she arrives at the Westaway home she realizes that things are amiss and gets tangled up in the family drama and mystery. We read this for book club and all agreed that it was just okay. It kept me entertained but there were some plot holes and I really didn’t love the main character. 
Rating: B-

Proposal/Remembrance. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I was ob-sessed with the Mediator series when I was in elementary and middle school. It’s a YA series about Suze Simon who is a ghost mediator. Naturally, I was thrilled when I found out that she had written new books about Suze as an adult. Proposal is a novella and Remembrance is a full book that continues the Mediator storyline. It essentially felt like a warm hug to step back into one of my favorite literary worlds, so I was loving every minute of these books. If you love YA, paranormal activity or teen romance I’d definitely recommend these books.
Rating: A

Balthazar. This was another trip down memory lane. After tearing through the Twilight series in middle school I wanted something similar to fill the vampire void, so I read the Evernight series.  It’s about a boarding school for vampires with lots of teen angst, love triangles and mythical creatures. This book was the last in the series but told from a different character’s point of view. Again, it was so fun to step back into one of my favorite series and I think these books hold up as an adult!
Rating: B+

Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win. This had been on my list for a very long time, so I was excited when I finally got it from the library! Charlotte Walsh is a tech executive living in Silicon Valley with her husband and 3 daughters. She decides she wants to challenge herself even more so her family moves back to her home state of Pennsylvania so she can run for senate. Needless to say, the campaign is grueling and she’s attacked about everything from her appearance to her marriage and living in California. The campaign takes its toll on her personal life, especially when secrets are dredged up, so she has to decide how far she’ll go to win. Overall, I liked this book but I wasn’t blown away. I had heard it was the only fictional book ever written about a woman running for office, so I felt I needed to read it!
Rating: B+

Blink. This is a Malcolm Gladwell book that wouldn’t normally be one I’d pick up on my own but it was chosen for book club. It’s all about “thin slicing” which is the split-second decision-making our brains do in order to keep us from having to labor over every decision or judgment we’re faced with. He lays out both the ways we do this to our benefit and to our peril. The topics ranged from racism to marriage to predicting heart attacks. It was very interesting and educational. It did take me a while to power through it because it was so research-heavy that I found myself going much slower than normal to absorb it all. I enjoyed it and learned a lot but some parts were pretty dated (it came out in 2005) or were a bit frustrating. 
Rating: B

The Other Woman. Emily and Adam meet in a bar and quickly fall in love. Everything is going great until Adam introduces Emily to his mother, Pammie (honestly could she have come up with a more obnoxious name?). Emily can’t figure out why but Pammie seems to hate her. Adam can’t see it because he adores his mother but Pammie goes to great lengths to make Emily’s life a living hell. This book was a little predictable but it didn’t stop me from tearing through it. There was some suspense and a few twists thrown into the mix so I liked it. 
Rating: A-

Daisy Jones and The Six. I’m so excited I finally read one of the ~it~ books in a timely manner! Usually I have to wait months to get it from the library but my mom had a copy. This book was unique because it was written as if it were a Behind the Music documentary. It’s told from several people’s perspectives who are being interviewed. Daisy Jones is a singer-songwriter living in LA in the ‘70’s. The Six is a semi-popular band that’s on their way up. Their mutual record company suggest they do a duet and after it’s a smash they decide to join forces to become Daisy Jones and The Six. There’s a lot of relationship drama, band tension and addiction. The story was very interesting, I really loved the way it was written, but I don’t think it lived up to the hype. That’s the trouble with hyped up books, even if they’re really good they might still disappoint because they’re not the best ever. Anyway, I did really enjoy this book and can’t wait for the mini-series!
Rating: A-

The Idea of You. You guys, I saved the best for last. This is by far my favorite book on the list! Solène is a 39-year-old divorcée who takes her 12-year-old daughter to an August Moon concert (August Moon is clearly supposed to be One Direction). They go to the band’s meet and greet and Solène meets 20-year-old lead-singer Hayes (the Harry Styles of the band) and they are immediately taken with each other. They go on to have a love affair despite the 20-year age difference. This book was v. steamy while still being well-written. I loved all of the characters and was not ready for it to end. Definitely read this book!
Rating: A+

xo Catherine 

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