What I Read This Week: December 12, 2021

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I finished five books this week which brings me to 198 for the year. My goal is 200 so I’m in good shape to meet that before the end of the month.

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Contemporary fiction/mystery

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I must say this novel was MUCH BETTER than the author’s last two. I was almost afraid to try this one, but I’m glad I did. My main complaint is the story drags throughout the first half and the whole thing is at least 50 pages longer than it needs to be. After about the half way point, I was fully interested and invested.This is a family drama with a missing matriarch. The timeline alternates between current day, when she is missing, and previous month prior to her disappearance. I enjoyed the back and forth, it helped create tension and mystery. I recommend this novel for fans of the author and readers of contemporary fiction and general suspense. 

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

Literary fiction/Audiobook

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This is a slow paced family drama centered around adoption. When Ruth’s husband is ready to have kids, she can’t stop thinking about the baby she gave up as a teenager. She goes back to her small home town, hoping to find out what has become of the boy. The novel is a deep dive into the question of what truly makes a family. Does it have to be your birth family? The author shows different types of families, which I found interesting and powerful. I alternated between the physical copy and the audio book narrated by Shayna Small, both were slow paced. I recommend this one for reader of literary fiction.

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Psychological thriller

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Colleen Hoover writes such utterly bingeable books. Once I picked this one up, I couldn’t put it down. I knew going in to expect mind blowing twists and it definitely delivered. I was able to predict parts of it but not everything!Lowen is a broke, struggling writer who is offered the opportunity of a lifetime, to finish a series of best-selling books because the author is now too ill to do so. She agrees and finds herself staying in a creepy house, swept up in the family’s drama. I loved the fast pace of the novel. I could feel Lowen’s desperation and anxiety about her situation. I was alternating between wanting her to get the f- out of there and then wanting her to stay so I’d learn what was going on!While this isn’t Hoover’s typical sweet emotional journey, it still has some romantic elements and sexy times. Though I appreciate that she can write such a wide range of content. I highly recommend this one for readers of psychological thrillers.

So We Meet Again by Suzanne Park

Contemporary romance

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This is a closed door, “clean” romance, which isn’t really my jam but I didn’t know that going in. Usually I can get past that if the story and characters are strong enough but that wasn’t the case here. I liked the characters but the romance part of the story was pretty weak. A huge chuck of the book goes by without them even having any contact. And even when they do, it’s never quite clear if Jessie actually still hates Daniel (they’ve been rivals since childhood) or not and if not, when and why did that change?I did enjoy Jessie’s journey from losing her Wall Street job to starting her own business. And I liked her relationship with her mom. But the way her new business took off so fast didn’t feel realistic at all. This book had a lot of potential but didn’t deliver. I wouldn’t recommend it. 

Act You Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Contemporary romance

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Book three in the Brown Sisters series. This is my favorite in the series by far. This book captures everything I love about romance novels. It’s sweet, swoony, funny, and very steamy. We also have grumpy/sunshine and forced proximity, which always make a good story even better. Eve is my favorite of the Brown sisters. I found her the most relatable. She’s well intentioned, even though it might not always look that way, and she finds joy win taking care of others. Jacob is a wonderful romantic hero, he’s a grumpy perfectionist who despises Eve at first, even though he’s attracted to her. I loved setting of the bed & breakfast Jacob runs. It gave Eve a chance to shine outside of her family’s influence and was overall a charming setting. I highly recommend this one for romance readers. It could be read as a stand alone but the previous two are worth reading as well. 

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