What I Read This Week: April 11, 2021
As I mentioned last week, I seem to have gotten back into my writing groove. I finished four books this week, including my book club pick which I struggled with to start and ended up liking a lot. Then I wasn’t feeling well enough to attend our meeting.
I highly recommend three out of the four from this week, so here’s a look at them:
Happy Endings by Thien-Kim Lam
Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication May 18, 2021 While this was an overall miss for me, there are things I liked about it that kept me reading when I considered quitting. I enjoy stories with a strong sense of place and that was consistent throughout the book. I also liked the sex positivity! The biggest bummer about this novel is it reads like an early draft that would benefit from some strong editing. The writing is repetitive and the dialogue often feels forced. I really wanted to like this book but I couldn’t get past the weak writing. There are much stronger romance out there, so I can’t say I’d recommend this one.
Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett
This is an exceptional memoir, but I really struggled to get through it due to the writing style and also the subject matter hit a little too close to home sometimes. It’s written in the first person, which is unique and creates a sense of urgency throughout the book. The author starts out narrating as a five year old, which I had a really hard time with. It doesn’t seem like the way a child that age would think and speak, and it really rubbed me the wrong way. But as Mikel ages, his narration matures and becomes more insightful and self aware. I felt a shift at the halfway point, when music becomes important in Mikel’s life. I could relate to him more and the narrative became more compelling. The last 30% of the book was the best and by the end I was in awe of his story and his writing skills. I highly recommend this one for readers of memoir.
The Cad and the Co-Ed by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid
Book three in the Rugby Series. This was much better than the first book but not as good as the second. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book with the secret baby trope before and I guess I don’t love it. It made sense here as to why it was kept a secret, and I enjoyed the character development that took place for the two parents to get together. This storyline is a perfect example of why I love Penny Reid’s characters, they are realistic and complicated. They make mistakes and forgive each other and show that redemption is possible, even when it’s difficult to get there. I recommend this series for readers of romance.
Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe by Laura Lynne Jackson
This was my second time reading this book. I re-read it because it resonated with me so strongly the first time and I need some positivity and inspiration right now. Pandemic life has been hard on me, along with extra personal challenges I’ve faced recently. I knew this book would deliver the reminders I needed that we are all connected and I am not alone. The writing is overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. Jackson uses straightforward language to best explain her beliefs and give guidance. She shows those who are ready how to not only remain open to signs from The Other Side, but to live a life that is based in love, not fear. I highly recommend this to any reader.