I can’t believe it’s April—March legitimately felt like a decade. While I am happy it’s April, it makes me a little sad knowing we won’t be able to take advantage of the first few days of al fresco dining season like we have in the past. I feel like this time of year is always so much fun since everyone comes out of their winter hibernation, and this year we’re literally doing the opposite. (For good reason, but it doesn’t make it any less sad!) I suppose it will make next spring that much sweeter.
I feel like my relationship with reading really ebbed and flowed this month. Obviously, when things were normal at the start of the month, I was reading like always. When the pandemic panic really set in, it was hard for me to focus on reading—I was too consumed with the news to sit down and concentrate on anything and instead found myself turning to TV and movies right before bed more often than reading, which is really unusual for me! After about a week or so of that, I realized my news consumption was causing so much stress, so I cut way back and decided right now, I’ll have the most success with reading if I choose light, chick lit, rom com reads, so that’s what I’ll be reading for the time being. The first two lighter reads I picked up were duds, but third time was the charm, and luckily for me, it’s a mini-series, so I’ll be set for the time being.
If you read regularly, I’d love to know if you’ve also had time focusing on reading or if you’ve been able to read like normal—drop me a line in the comments below!
As is custom on these posts, I wanted to call out that I’m part of a program where Random House will send me some of their new titles each month. I’m under no obligation to post about any titles I receive, so I really can tell you my own opinion (good or bad!) about them. I’ve starred the books Random House sent me for free below. I’m so lucky to be sent books and that’s not lost on me!
You can always follow along with what I am reading in real-time over on Goodreads—feel free to friend me there! x
NOVEMBER 9 // COLLEEN HOOVER
Fallon is at dinner with her dad in LA on November 9, the day before her cross-country move to NYC. He’s quizzing her about her love life, when Ben walks up and pretends to be her boyfriend. Ben and Fallon end up spending her last day in LA together. The pair decide to spend every November 9 together for the next five years, and if they are still single at the end of that timeframe, they’ll get together. But along the way, secrets are revealed—and Ben’s original appearance might not be as innocent as it seems.
Would I recommend it? This was a cute read, but if you’re looking for a great book with a similar concept, I liked Waiting at Hayden’s more.
THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD // JOSIE SILVER*
Lydia and Freddie have been together for more than a decade and are happily engaged. On her 28th birthday, Freddie dies in a car accident and his best friend, Jonah, is behind the wheel. Struggling with grief, Lydia leans on her mom, sister, and brother-in-law to carry her through. But when she falls asleep each night on her Savoy mattress, she inexplicably finds herself back in an alternate universe where Freddie is still alive. Living two lives at once, she’s eventually faced with a choice—stay in her dreams with Freddie, or live in the present where someone new in her life wants her to stay.
Would I recommend it? I really liked this one and think this story would be so comforting to someone grieving an unexpected loss, but I liked One Day in December more.
THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ // HEATHER MORRIS
This is a World War II historical fiction based on a true story. Late is a Slovakian Jew who is forced from his home into Auschwitz by the Nazis. His captors realize quickly that he can speak multiple languages, so they put him to work tattooing numbers on new arrivals to the camp. One day, he meets prisoner number 32407, a beautiful woman named Gita, and vows to escape the prison and marry her at all costs. The rest of the story follows how the two survive their time in horrible conditions and sheds a light on the horrors inflicted by the Nazis.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely—I can’t wait to read Cilka’s Journey, the sequel to this book, but I am going to wait until COVID-19 passes and I can stomach more serious reads.
IN FIVE YEARS // REBECCA SERLE
Dannie is a type-A lawyer who lands her dream job at a law firm and gets engaged to her loving boyfriend on the exact same day. But, she goes to sleep that night and has a dream where she wakes up exactly five years in the future, only she’s in a different apartment, with a different man, and has a different engagement ring on. She only tells her therapist about this weird dream, and tries to move on with her life. Four and a half years later, she meets the man in her dream—and he’s dating her best friend Bella. I can’t say anymore without giving it away, but the story will suck you in.
Would I recommend it? YES! This was the best book I read all month.
THE JETSETTERS // AMANDA EYRE WARD*
70-year-old Charlotte loses her best friend and decides it is time to reunite her three estranged grown children, each with their own set of issues. Lee is an almost-famous actress, Cord is a handsome venture capitalist but hasn’t come out of the closet to his family, and Regan is a tired mother-of-two with a husband who is probably cheating. She wins a 10-day European cruise and convinces her kids to take it with her, physical and emotional baggage included. Can these four lost adults reconcile the pains of the past and come back to each other?
Would I recommend it? Meh—I am usually a big fan of Reese Witherspoon’s book club picks, but this one was just ok. There are better books out there!
THE INTERMISSION // ELYSSA FRIEDLAND
After six years of marriage and a miscarriage, Cass proposes to her husband, Jonathan, that maybe they should take a six-month intermission on their marriage and see if they are meant to be. Jonathan, is taken aback by his wife’s suggestion, but ultimately realizes he doesn’t have a choice but to agree. Cass decides to move to LA, and they decide to swap their dog every 30 days in the airport, but other than that, they won’t talk. As time goes on, they realize they both kept secrets from the other that may keep them from getting back together after all.
Would I recommend it? Another meh read—I didn’t find a character to root for in this story, so it was harder to stay engaged. There are better books out there.
THE SUMMER GIRLS // MARY ALICE MONROE
Dora, Carson, and Harper, three half-sisters, are invited to Sullivan’s Island for the summer by their grandmother. Each has their own struggles: Dora, a mother of a child on the Autism Spectrum was recently left by her husband, Carson, a somewhat washed up actress has no income at present, and Harper, the daughter of an Anna Wintour type who is serving as an assistant for the magazine her mother runs. Their grandmother hopes the summer will bring them closer than ever, and be the perfect time to reveal family secrets.
Would I recommend it? Yes! This is a really cute, lighthearted story that reads like a RomCom. I’m excited to have found it since there are four other books in this little series!