What I Read This Week: October 3, 2021
Hello and welcome to the first weekend in October!
I finished five books this week.
Beautiful World, Where Are You? by Sally Rooney
Two and a half stars. This is a story about a group of young people who are figuring themselves out. I know that’s Sally Rooney’s jam, but this one felt different from her others. None of the characters were particularly likable and I couldn’t understand the purpose of the story. The chapters are written in alternating styles, which is jarring and prevents the writing from flowing. The third person narrative is interrupted by long rambling emails the characters send each other. I don’t feel they added much to the story. The last 50 pages or so were the best, once the emails stopped, and I do like how COVID was brought into the story. Overall this was a miss for me but I’d still recommend it for readers of literary fiction.
Heat by Penny Reid
New adult romance
Available on Kindle Unlimited. My biggest complaint about this series is that in doesn’t read like the rest of Penny’s novels. This is the second installment in this series and I liked it least. It’s formulaic and reminds me too much of Fifty Shades. With that being said, it’s a sexy book and has some funny moments. I do like Kaitlyn as a heroine and am enjoying watching her grow as a person. I’d recommend this series for readers who enjoy new adult romance.
If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy
This super cute story is a loose retelling of Cinderella. It was a fun read from start to finish but I was left feeling like something was missing. I wanted more swoon worthy moments at the end. Cindy agrees to go on a reality dating show hoping it might jumpstart her fashion career. She’s the only plus sized contestant, which ends up being more difficult than she expected. While this is a sweet, funny read, it also tackles some heavy topics such as grief, blended families, and familial obligation. Ultimately it’s about being true to yourself, especially when that’s difficult. I recommend this one for readers of romance, though it reads more like YA than adult.
Capture by Penny Reid
Available on Kindle Unlimited. This is the third installment in the Hypothesis series. I liked it much better than the previous one. Here Penny finally takes a bit of a turn away from the standard formula for this style of romance. Again, I appreciated Kaitlyn’s journey and we finally get a bit more from Martin. Instead of coming across as a straight up jerk, our hero gets a little depth and I enjoyed watching him and Kaitlyn find each other again. I recommend this series for readers of new adult romance.
Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon
This book embodies every single thing I love about the romance genre! It’s sweet, funny, steamy, and it’s got some heaviness.
Besides hitting all my must-haves, this book is gloriously positive and diverse all around. Even though the characters deal with some serious stuff, it never gets bleak. I also appreciate the variety of characters in regard to race, ethnicity, and sexuality. Xeni is a bisexual Black woman and Mason is a bisexual plus-size white man. It was such a fantastic change of pace from the majority of the romances I read. I highly recommend this one and can’t wait to read more by Rebekah Weatherspoon.