As always, many of these reviews first appears on my Instagram @theloudlibrarian. Enjoy!
“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett has been getting oodles of positive reviews this summer, and with good reason. This thought-provoking novel tackles race, family relationships, gender identity, growing up and finding yourself, family secrets, and so much more, all while flowing along like a river through the Louisiana bayou. Recommended!
“What You Wish For” by Katherine Center… I have been such a fan of Center since “Happiness for Beginners”, so I was eager to read her new one! Look, this book is going to be too cheesy, too feel-good, too “okay, that wouldn’t happen” for some people, but for my weary soul in these times, I LOVED this book. I love the laugh at loud moments, the descriptions of the school, the growth of the characters, all of it. It’s what I needed right now. 🙂 The plot is simple yet hard to describe, but suffice to say it features a school librarian, an unrequited crush, an elementary school being transformed (but not for the better), medical woes, a prickly principal, a dog named Chuck Norris, and of course, loss and love. Recommended!
The Safe Place” by Anna Downes is a great summer read (I mean, look at that cover!). Emily is waaaay down on her luck, but circumstance (and a wealthy ex-employer who is rich as Croesus) leads her to the South of France to be an au pair, housekeeper and companion for Nina and her young daughter. Naturally, not everything is rainbows and unicorns. 😉 Pretty predictable, but still a good suspense-y, escapist, beach read!
“The Imperfects” by Amy Meyerson was a perfect staycation read for me – family drama, historical fiction, shifting timelines, a mystery, and… priceless jewelry. Grandmother Helen has died, leaving behind feuding siblings, an untrustworthy mother, and a huge diamond of questionable provenance. The sibs must work together to unravel the mystery of the diamond… and of their grandmother. I really loved this one and flew right through it! Recommended!
“Know My Name” by Chanel Miller is just… searing, difficult, emotional, awful… and so very necessary and luminous and brave on every page. You may know the story… you may have read her victim impact statement… but this is Chanel’s experience in her own words. This is just so very, very important.
“The Truth Hurts” by Rebecca Reid was another great staycation read, as Poppy the nanny is fired from her job while on vacation with the family she works for on Ibiza… only to meet a wonderful (rich, older) man who sweeps her off her feet… but in return for a fairytale life, he makes her agree that they NEVER talk about their past. Gee, what could go wrong? 😉 This one flew by and kept me guessing until the end (which was a bit flat, but still) in this satisfying “beach read”!
“My Friend Anna” by Rachel DeLoache Williams was FASCINATING. This memoir details her time – and serious trouble – in the company of Anna Delvey (later known as Anna Sorokin). This is a first-person account of Rachel’s friendship with Anna, a con artist claiming to be a German heiress who befriended then eventually scammed Williams for over $62,000 (and many, many others, which is why she’s in jail now). The web of deceit and ‘high living’ is absolutely fascinating, and the pacing and detail of this memoir had me flying through the pages and finishing it in one day. I highly recommend this stranger-than-fiction- true story!