Thankful for Books

I’m STUPIDLY behind on my book reviews, but I’m going to try and make up for lost time. Buckle up, let’s do this!

–Marissa

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus was an audio listen for me, and I absolutely ADORED IT. Set in the 1960s, Elizabeth Zott is struggling to be taken as an equal chemist in her male-dominated workplace, and did NOT plan to fall in love with a fellow chemist named Calvin. Fast forward a few years, and Elizabeth is the host of a beloved cooking show (think pre-Julia). This summary doesn’t even capture the sparkle, struggle, or sincerity and wit of this fantastic novel. One of my favorites of the year!

Breathless by Amy McCulloch is a thriller set during a novice’s climb up Mount Manaslu in Nepal. As a dork who will read anything about Everest ascents, I was eager to read this murderous tale set high up on the mountain. Lots of red herrings, freak accidents, weather and stress – this was a fast-paced suspense novel for sure.

Everyday Magic by Mattie James sounded promising – a small self-help guide to living your best life. Let’s just say I was… underwhelmed by this influencer’s work (a whole chapter on massages and skin care?). Eh.

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney is a fun locked-door mystery on an isolated island where Daisy’s family has assembled to celebrate Nana’s birthday… until the bodies start piling up. This ties up mysteries of the past and present, and to say I didn’t see the twist coming is a massive understatement. Not my favorite of hers, but kept me engaged!

On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi was a romance listen, pitting Ghanian-American medical student Angela up against sexy but directionless Ricky Gutierrez. This felt part coming-of-age and part romance, but was an easy listen with a happy ending.

Bad Vibes Only by Nora McInerny is a essay collection, and I can’t remember a single essay, so that should say something. :-/ This felt a little “I’m too cool for you” and kinda… vapid. I wanted to like it, but… not for me.

Mustique Island by Sarah McCoy was 100% picked up by me because of the connection to Princess Margaret after watching her on The Crown, and it didn’t disappoint (yes, she makes cameos!). Our main character is fictional, but real people and places are dropped in throughout, and with her comes a host of issues, romances and problems. This was a super quick, satisfying read if you’re looking for a true “beach read” book.

Tracy Flick Can’t Win by Tom Perrotta had me nervous as a sequel… I’d never read the original, and I’d never seen the movie Election, but I jumped right in and flew through these pages! Tracy is now in her forties, and instead of being President of the United States… she a vice principal at a high school. Local politics, scandal, romance, the hierarchy… it’s all here. This was occasionally snortingly funny and vaguely cringe-inducing, but entertaining as well. This was a perfect vacation read!

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