These past 3 months have been very productive for me, as I managed to read 9 books! Below are my reviews, inlcuding which ones to buy immediately (The Idea of You) and which ones to avoid (The Passenger). Happy reading!
The Idea of you by Robinne Lee: If you read one book this entire year, make it this one! Recommended by everyone under the sun, you will finish this steamy book in one sitting. When a boy band comes to town, Solene draws the short straw and has to bring her teenage daughter and her friends the concert. While the teens are crushing over the band, it is Solene that catches the eye of one of the band members. A secretive romance quickly develops and you will not be able to put this book down!
The Farm by Joanne Ramos: The Farm is a story about a company, who profits off surrogacy. Women are paid, very well, to carry a child for a complete stranger. However, they must live at the farm for their entire pregnancy. Each women gets a monthly salary, and a massive delivery bonus upon arrival of a healthy child. So what's the catch? The women are tracked and monitored 24/7. The book is a good read into a world that is not too much of a stretch into what could be our future.
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land: I found this book through BOTM. Maid is a true story of a young women, whose life changes when she becomes pregnant. Her hopes and dreams of attending college are put aside to raise her child. After leaving the child's father, the book continues with the heartbreaking story of the hard work Stephanie puts in at a maid service, working full time to attempt to make ends meet. Stephanie is able to shed a light onto the government assistant programs that she was able to take advantage of, and how they simply were not enough. A heartbreaking and heartwarming true story.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones: My work book club selected this for July. A newlywed couple has their lives changed forever, when the husband is arrested and convicted of a crime that he did not commit. How do they manage through their first years of marriage, while he is behind bars? Will they survive this curve ball in life? I was impartial to to this book, as it wasn't good but it was not bad either.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer: An impulsive airport purchase, this book is a quick read, but the book really did not have much substance behind it. As soon as Less finds out that his old love is getting married, he plans a world tour to distract himself from the upcoming wedding date. The book follows Less through the various locations that he visits, while uncovering bits and pieces of his history as the journey progresses.
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz: This book was voted on, and selected for my Hey Ladies Book Club. The summary of the book hooked us and we were excited to read it. However, it was awful. We met this week to discuss the book, and after 5 of us tried to recap the plot, to two of the girls that gave up reading it (it was that bad), we all hated the book even more. The plot contains, murder, secret identities, cover ups, more murder, a prevented terrorist attack, running from the cops, an affair with a cop, more murder, and incest. Steer clear of this one.
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton: While this book went into more historical details on the history of Cuba than I had expected, I enjoyed this one! A young woman fulfills her grandmother's final request, to have her ashes spread in Cuba. However, when she visits the country for the first time, she uncovers part of her family's history that was previously unknown. A bit of romance sprinkled in, made the book a good read. I believe there is a sequel too, which I am interested in.
How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper: I randomly stumbled across this book, in the depths of a Good Reads newsletter. It was a quick read, but was rather predictable. A young man starts a new job, and somehow gets trapped in a lie... that he is married with two children, when in reality he is single. The lie continues at work, until a new employee starts and catches his eye. Does he come clean with his coworkers, but risk the backlash from spending years in a lie? Or does he keep quiet and watch his hopes of a future with his coworker slip away?
A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson: A pick from BOTM, this crime novel unravels the truth behind 18 year old Stella's arrest, for murder. Told in three parts, the father's, the daughter's and finally the mother's point of view, each family member tell their side of the story on what happened leading up to Stella's arrest. You learn details on the family's history, as well as how Stella even came to know the 30 something business man, that she is accused of murdering. Was she really involved? Did she do it? Read this thriller to find out!