Coming to the End…

…of the year, and it’s almost time for my annual review of books, but first, a few I’ve been ploughing through before 2019 comes to a close! I’ve also committed (trying!) to reviewing all the titles I read on Instagram, so feel free to follow me there as well @theloudlibrarian. In any case, here we go!


Love Her or Lose Her by Tess Bailey is the upcoming title from Tessa Bailey (due out 1/15/20) and this romance title is SPICY! Rosie and Dominic have been married for years but live like strangers… except for their Tuesday night mega-steamy-sex-night. When Rosie wants more and walks out on their marriage, will they be able to salvage their relationship or will it come crashing down? Loved this title, but this is not a title for readers who prefer “fade to black” sex scenes! Wowza!

Meet Me on Love Lane by Nina Bocci was a perfect vacation read for me – easy to dive into on the plane for a few hours! Charlotte has moved home to her small town of Hope Lake from NYC to figure things out, and ends up charmed by the town, her new job, her old friends, and two dashing men… one new, one from her past. An easy romance!

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne is the first in her new Devil You Know series, and once again, Byrne has written a historical (post-Regency, pre-Victorian?) romance full of damaged, complex characters, wit and romance, and of course, a happy ending but it’s a tough road getting there. I really, really love Byrne’s take on this genre, dealing with modern issues (trigger warning for sexual abuse) but within a historical setting.

Good Girls Lie by JT Ellison was a vacation read for me, and eagerly tore through it on the plane ride home to see how it would all unfold! This ticks all the boxes – a girls’ boarding school, the obligatory bad behavior, and of course… murder… or is it murders?! Fulls of twists and turns, I didn’t see the ending of this one coming – definitely a readalike if you like writers like Mary Kubica, Paula Hawkins or Peter Swanson.

Long Bright River by Liz Moore (due out January 7) has been getting lots of pre-release buzz, and rightfully so – I zipped right through it and was pulled in straightaway. Mickey is a Philadelphia cop who spends her beat patrolling – and searching for her drug-addicted sister, Kacey. When a string of murders rock her neighborhood and Kacey goes missing, Mickey goes into overdrive and no one is above suspicion. I really loved this police procedural/family drama/mystery novel and was pulled right in by the prose, the story, and the characters. Highly recommended – you’ll be seeing this one a lot!

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid is due out December 31, and has already been *everywhere*. This complex story is about race and privilege, and full of vulnerable, cringy, and laugh out loud moments – this is a tough one to categorize! Emira is the (black) babysitter for (white) parents Alix and Peter and caregiver for truly cutest-kid-in-a-book-ever Briar. One night, a racially motivated incident occurs when Emira and Briar are out, and from there, the book races along, tackling white privilege, caregiver relationships with families, past lives coming back to haunt the characters, and that “what do I wanna be when I grow up” feeling. I tore through this one, and can’t WAIT to see what other reviewers say about this one!

Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl by Jeannie Vanasco is a non-fiction memoir that is timely as part of the #MeToo movement (trigger warning for rape). When Jeannie was in high school, she was sexually assaulted by a close friend. Years later and haunted by the memory of it, she actually reaches out to her perpetrator to get his side of the story and to try and find some closure. Both imminently readable and hard to get through, this is a unique view of sexual assault, told from both sides – cathartic, provocative, and interesting, despite the subject matter. A tough by worthy read…

Frankly in Love by David Yoon is a young adult novel (and written by the husband of Nicola Yoon, whose books I love!). Frank Li is the son of Korean immigrants, but totally rooted in American culture and life, except for “Gathering” nights with other Korean families. When Frank falls for an American girl, he hides it from his parents by masquerading as dating Joy, a fellow first-generation Korean immigrant with an American boyfriend of her own. As a first-generation immigrant, this resonated with me on SO many levels in terms of how to maintain culture in a new country, while also being warm, funny, emotional, and full of teenage love and angst. Recommended!

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