Reading, Reading…

I’ve been on the reading struggle bus lately, friends… bogged down in some novels that aren’t making me whip through the pages, and also focusing on projects at home, and more than anything, crafting my thirteenth (!!) NaNoWriMo novel during November. I’ll be back soon, I promise!

–Marissa

Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams is the third in the “Bromance Book Club” series, and it’s just as sweet and funny and sexy as the rest! This time, we have Alexis and Noah, besties who both want to be more but aren’t sure how to take the next step. Loved it – and can’t wait for the next installment featuring The Russian!

Fortune and Glory by Janet Evanovich (otherwise known as Tantalizing Twenty-Seven, though I don’t know why they didn’t stick with the naming convention) is the latest Stephanie Plum novel. Silly and formulaic, yes, but it’s like checking in on an old friend for a few hours every year. 😉

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella was exactly the book I needed at the moment I read it! Ava, who can’t seem to follow through on anything she really wants, decides to go on a very strict writing retreat in Italy – only to meet and fall for another participant. She and “Dutch” decide to not share anything about their “real lives” back in London until the retreat is over – and then, they have to contend with what very different people they are! Warm, funny, romantic and easy – I loved it!

The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson… took me a REALLY long time to read, but it’s not for lack of interest in the subject matter or the writing… it’s just a really weighty tome with a lotta information packed into it’s 600+ pages! This time, Larson tackles Winston Churchill and the Blitz bombings of London during World War II. The best part of reading this was asking my auntie to elaborate on the stories my late father told me about World War II – his own grandmother’s house being blown up by a Doodlebug (killing her), and the family being evacuated to the country during the war. This was fascinating and obviously close to my heart, but it really did take me a LONG time to get through!

Group by Christie Tate is a deeply personal memoir of Tate’s time in several group therapy groups under the guidance of her therapist when she lived in Chicago in her 20s and 30s, and I could NOT put it down! Tate’s main reason for group is her desire for a fulfilling, intimate relationship, but also coupled with her compulsion to eat apples, her struggle to figure out her career path, and also her relationships with the other group members and with her Dr. Rosen. Warped, weird, compulsively readable, fascinating and hopeful, I really loved this memoir.

Memorial by Bryan Washington has been getting RAVE reviews for this novel about a gay couple who may or may not stay together when both their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of one parent and the illness of another, driving the two of them to different countries for several months. I think my biggest issues with this novel were the lack of frickin’ quotation marks (they aren’t that hard to use, people!) so we’d know who was talking, and the fact that neither Ben nor Mike were particularly likeable to me – I wasn’t rooting for them. This wasn’t a home run for me.

White Ivy by Susie Yang has been all over the press this fall, and was even a “Jenna Pick”, but man, I really struggle with novels where you can’t root for the main character, or just find them morally questionable and superficially obsessed. Ivy Lin just wants to fit in, to be rich, to be entitled, to be part of the upper crust, and will end up being pretty damn unlikeable in order to achieve it. I definitely had to finish it, but Ivy’s a tough one to swallow.

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