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What I’ve Read Lately

Hello everyone! Today is my very first “what I’ve read” post and I am SO excited! I asked you all on instastories whether you wanted me to do these types of posts and I got a resounding yes. I’m totally going to steal the format from Krista because I love her book reviews! These are the books I read towards the end of December and beginning/middle of January! I’ll probably do another post like this maybe end of March or early April. Let me know if you like this format or if I missed anything you’d like to see in this type of post!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Summary: This is the story of two sisters and the war that women fight while the men are out for battle. Set during World War II, this book tells of the very different lives that sisters Vianne and Isabelle led in German-occupied France. Without giving too much away, this is a story of love, heartbreak, triumph, defeat, and the strength of the spirit of a woman.
Why I loved it: The book had me absolutely on the edge of my seat. While I wouldn’t call it suspenseful or a thriller, you so badly want to find out what happens to these sisters. I found myself connecting to both Vianne and Isabelle, despite their vast differences. You’re rooting for both of them and the writing is absolutely gripping. I’m not a huge history buff or typically into this time period, but I couldn’t put this book down. I finished it in 6 hours!
Would I recommend it: Absolutely

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Summary: This tells the story of a girl named Naomi and the shocking secret she discovers about her dad that will set the course for the rest of her life. Now, as an adult, Naomi finds herself starting fresh on the opposite end of the country from her family as she tries to start a life away from her past. Her chance meeting with a man named Xander, who is desperate to find out who she really is, sets the stage for her old life to come back to haunt her.
Why I liked it: This was a page turner. The beginning read like an episode of SVU and then the rest is what I’d call a romantic thriller. The relationship between Naomi and Xander was one worth investing in and I, personally, was dying to figure out the ending. This was a page turner for me, despite some of it being a bit cheesy.
Would I recommend it: Yes, if you like thrillers

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Summary: This is the story of Ruth, an African-American labor & delivery nurse who is denied the ability to care for a newborn who is the son of White Supremacists. When tragedy strikes the family of the newborn, Ruth is sued. The novel takes place from the viewpoint of Ruth, her lawyer, and the father of the newborn. The story then centers around the trial while secrets come out and justice for all is the end goal.
Why I loved it: I have always loved Picoult’s writing and I do believe this is my favorite of hers. Especially in this day and age, the story is so relevant and the writing has you turning each page faster than the last. The end absolutely rocked me and I still find myself thinking of this story long after I closed the cover.
Would I recommend it: Absolutely

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Summary: This is the story of Emma and Jesse, high school sweethearts with a heart for adventure. One day, Jesse’s plane goes down and he is presumed dead. Heartbroken, Emma moves back home and gets involved with another man from his past. She is happy and free of all that heartache, until Jesse comes back alive. She then must choose whether her past or present will prevail.
Why I kind of liked it: This story is at times sweet and captivating [I even shed a few tears!] but it is also cheesy and predictable. I think this type of book is a perfect palette cleanser after a gripping thriller or mystery, but overall it wasn’t amazing. It was a quick and easy read and good if you like romantic stories.
Would I recommend it: Maybe. This was just ok, but it was a quick page-turner and a happy ending.

The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson

Summary: This is the story of Allie and Wade, who from the outside, look like they have it all. Set in New York City, This novel tells the story of secrets in a marriage and how, sometimes, the idea of him can be better than the real deal. There’s twists and turns and surprises in store for Allie and you wonder how she will come out the other side.
Why I kind of liked it: This book is an episode of Real Housewives come to life. There’s tons of drama, some steamy scenes, and a secret that you’ll find yourself wanting to know the answer to, despite how crazy everything gets. I almost laughed when I shut this book at how ridiculous it was, but again, this book is what I’d call a good palette cleanser; an easy read and a somewhat interesting plot twist.
Would I recommend it: Maybe. There are many books I’d recommend before this, but if you need something easy and juicy, this is a good one to go with.
You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh
Summary: This is about how to find yourself and be present in every moment of your life. Centered on Buddhist principals, this book gives you real-life examples of how to live mindfully and be present.
Why I kind of liked it: I should have guessed it, but I didn’t expect it to be so heavily rooted in religion/spirituality. Some of the writing was very, very cheesy but there were some powerful passages that I’ll take with me. I had envisioned something else when I bought this book [off of Grace’s recommendation], but there were still a few worthy excerpts. I’d like to find some other reads about being present, so if you know of any, leave me a comment!
Would I recommend it: Maybe
The Widow by Fiona Barton
Summary: This novel tells the story of Jean and Glen Taylor and the disappearance of baby Bella. Once Glen surprisingly dies, Jean is free of needing to keep Glen’s secret. Jean gets wrapped up in a tangle of reporters and media, and the secrets she kept as a doting wife to Glen can finally unravel.
Why I didn’t liked it: I honestly felt like this book was about nothing. Nothing surprising happened, no plot twist, the ending was exactly what I had imagined. I would compare this book to the weakest episode of Law & Order SVU. I had heard so many things about this book and it fell totally flat for me. I honestly even contemplated not finishing it because I was so bored. I stuck it out and the ending was abrupt and predictable.
Would I recommend it: No but I did like the writers style, so I may check out of some of her other work.
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3 Comments

  • Reply
    What I’ve Read Lately – Nines to 5
    April 6, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    […] I liked/didn’t like: I had previously read The Widow and did not enjoy it at all. However, I had heard good things about this one so I gave it a go. […]

  • Reply
    What I’ve Read Lately – Nines to 5
    May 16, 2018 at 7:05 am

    […] I’m back with the third installment of my What I’ve Read series [see the previous ones here + here]. I’ve so enjoyed putting these together and I hope I’ve given you some new […]

  • Reply
    What I’ve Read Lately – Vol IV – Nines to 5
    July 4, 2018 at 8:18 am

    […] and couldn’t wait to hear about who her one true love actually was. Speaking of, I had read “One True Loves” by Reid prior, and while I liked it, this story and writing were far superior and showed real advancement […]

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