Holy Cats, I’m Behind!

So, I swear I’ve been reading oodles… I just haven’t been very faithful about writing up reviews of all I’m reading! So, let’s play catch-up, shall we?


We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt is a character-driven drama featuring Rob, devoted Londoner father and husband, but when tragic strikes his family, will he be able to go on as before? This was a super easy, “cotton candy” kind of read. Pleasant but forgettable…

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi is a darling new young adult novel, perfect for later teens or emerging adults. Penny has just moved to college, and through happenstance, meets her roommate’s ex-step-uncle having a really bad day, and they form a “text only” relationship. Filled with snappy dialogue, humor and heart – loved it!

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos was a must-read since I love de los Santos stories and writing, and this was another absorbing fiction read from her. Clare is struggling with whether to go through with her wedding when she meets Edith, an older woman who offers wisdom – and much more – at just the right time. This is a great two-person perspective novel, telling two stories that end up merging together in a lovely way. I loved this gentle read…

The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen is a super quick, super easy read about what happens when a wife reads a text message on her husband’s phone, and is derails their entire relationship and life they’ve built together. Pekkanen is a writer of really accessible women’s fiction, and this is another winner to add to her shelf!

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao takes place in India, and features two female characters who have to shoulder a lot more ugliness and strife in this world than any teenage girl should. When Poornima and Savitha are separated by circumstance, they each vow to find their way back to each other – and the getting there can be harrowing. This is an absorbing, difficult but ultimately hopeful women’s fiction work.

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani is almost a suspense novel, except that you know from page one that every mother’s nightmare has come true. Louise is the perfect nanny for Parisian wife and mother Myriam, and the family barely notices just has ensconced Louise becomes in their lives… until it’s too late. Quick and eerie…

Everybody’s Son by Thirty Umrigar was actually a title chosen for our book discussion, and it definitely sparked discussion! A young black boy is taken into foster care as his mother descends into drugs, and is taken in by a wealthy white couple. His progress through life is meteoric – but which family should have been his real family? Lots to chew on with this one…

Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman was just the perfect “palate cleanser” novel – fast, fun, and at times, laugh-out-loud funny! Frances is the typical soccer mom, ferrying kids here and there from the neighborhood, until one day she walks in on a friend sleeping with a man who is NOT her husband. This is definitely mommy lit but done at it’s best!

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer has been EVERYWHERE, and reviews abound. While I enjoyed it, and liked the writing style, I thought at 450+ pages, it was just… too long for what Wolitzer was trying to achieve. It felt a bit overwrought to me, but I still enjoyed it…

A Little Life by Hanya Yanigihara was a book that came out a couple of years ago I promised to get to… someday. Finally, I have tackled this 800+ page book, and it’s taken a while to recover from this sprawling, emotional, difficult novel that takes on issues of sexuality, art, childhood horrors, love and loss, depression, and life in New York City. Well worth the accolades, but make no mistake: this is a difficult novel, and it took TIME to get through.

I also read Bingo Love by Tee Franklin (a great graphic novel featuring minority, LGBT, female characters) as well as Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai (a romance novel that’s been hitting all kinds of “best of” lists!), and Space Battle Lunchtime by Natalie Riess, another fun graphic novel for young adults!

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