Alright my 2020 resolve to review half the books I read has already failed miserably – partially because it’s already been a super hectic year, and partially because I’m managing to read WAY more books already thanks to being back on a train commute instead of driving!
So let’s count these wrap ups as reviews and everyone wins, eh?
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shafer & Annie Barrows
Oh boy, what a ripper way to start the reading month. This book was a treasure and a delight – with characters you will absolutely fall in love with. I’m always hesitant with epistolary novels as the letter format doesn’t always convey the growth of characters other than the lead character, however Shaffer & Barrows have proven that it’s possible to write with precision and depth in this form and I adored every second of it.
It took me a long time to finally pick this up, but boy I’m glad I did! Now, perhaps I can finally watch the film…
Read this one if you haven’t already – it’s full of heart.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill – Abbi Waxman
I always tend towards contemporary romances when I’m stressed or feeling like I need a literary escape. This novel was the perfect read for me as I dove in to the madness of a new job. Nina and her story were charming, digestible, and put a smile on my face with the charm of a witty lead character who also adores books and introverting (it’s a thing).
While this may not be the book for you if you’re in to more literary reads, it’s the perfect quick novel to pull a bookworm out of reality for a few days.
If I Never Met You – Mhairi McFarlane
Can you tell I was in a ~mood~ this month with back to back contemporary romances?? This one was fun and funny, though it had a slightly slower start to it. I’m still not sold on the ending but still glad I picked this one up and got to meet Laurie & Jamie.
I do applaud McFarlane for having genuine representation and diversity in her book though, especially so naturally. It’s crazy to me that this is still something worth commenting on in this day and age, but as long as it’s something not seen in every book, I’ll keep calling it out when it happens!
Pick this one up if you’re a romance fan looking for something more cute than steamy, and if you’re okay with the cheese-factor. Overall, still a refreshing and fun read!
The Guest Cat – Takashi Hiraide
There is something about the gentle attention Japanese authors draw to the beauty in everyday life that captivates me so wholeheartedly. This gorgeous novel was no different. Short and sweet but emotional and heartwarming as we see a bond form between a married couple and their ‘Guest Cat’. If you enjoy the slower pace of Japanese fiction (or at least what I’ve read of it), this is the purr-fect addition to your bookshelf!
Faithful – Alice Hoffman
I wasn’t sure what to expect when picking this one up – my first Alice Hoffman, a book I picked almost blindly off a bookstagram recommendation from @outofthebex, but a novel that ended up completely sucking me in.
The story follows Shelby in the aftermath of a horrible accident that has left her best friend in a coma, and Shelby in a severely depressive state. It’s confronting, but brimming with love and sorrow and every emotion in between. You’ll cheer for the characters and cry for them in equal measure – absolutely worth picking up, especially if you like contemporary fiction that is more drama than romance. It’s almost a coming-of-age story, but more shining a light on the power of everyday people finding the brightness in everyday life.
Permanent Record – Mary H.K. Choi
Yes hello I’m back to the contemporary romances. This one is a YA novel that charmed the pants off me! A little less relatable than Choi’s first novel Emergency Contact which I absolutely ADORED, but still a powerful reflection on living in America as a non-white male. I was also floored by the realities of how much college costs in the USA, and how that can affect teenagers (especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds) – something I haven’t seen another YA book tackle in quite the same way.
I enjoyed the read, and although I was hoping for something with the same heart as Emergency Contact, I still found myself rooting for Pablo.
Sheerwater – Leah Swann
HOLY HECK. This book was awesome. The blurb reads like a mystery, but it’s more of an exploration of relationships and family. A warning that there is some aggression/abuse written about. It’s gripping and moving, definitely worth picking up!
This one doesn’t hit bookstores until March 23rd but I highly recommend you race out and grab it!
It’s been a while but good to be back chatting books with you all – let me know what you’ve been reading!
Until next time,