Today I’ve got a post for all my book-loving-friends! I go through seasons of reading, and lately I’ve been on a roll with some incredible books. And since ‘Book Reviews’ is something many of you asked for more of this year, let’s do it!
Since I was an only-child for 16 years, books were oftentimes my best friends. I love nothing more than getting lost in a story, and can’t tell you the number of times I’ve stayed up all night to finish one. Especially this time of year… is there anything cozier than climbing in to bed early with a good book?!
Today I’m excited to share what I’ve read and loved lately! Books are obviously subjective, and no two people will have the same thoughts, feelings, and opinions about a story. But never-the-less, I love reading other book reviews, and have discovered so many incredible reads through your recommendations.
Bluebird by Sharon Cameron //
I love historical fiction based on WW2, especially reading from the different perspectives of people impacted by it. Bluebird is the first time I’ve read anything as told from a German citizen’s perspective, and it was so completely eye-opening.
It’s 1946, and Eva leaves battered Berlin behind for the safety and fresh start of New York City… or so we think. Justice for a Nazi who got away is actually her mission.
There’s little else I can say without giving so many of the secrets of this book away, but I loved it! German life isn’t one I’ve considered much, especially one that’s directly tied to key Nazi figures.
This book made me think, made me feel, sparked conversations, and opened up an entire new storyline in WW2 history that has me looking for more.
The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron //
When I find a book I love, I tend to make my way through the author’s library… and so begins my dive in to Sharon Cameron! The Light in Hidden Places is based on the true story of Stefania, a Polish teenager who hid 13 Jewish people in the attic of her tiny cottage for three years! I loved it!
This story is told with such devastating, gritty detail of Stefania, who was faced with the horrors of finding work to feed and care for not only herself and her 7-year-old sister completely on her own in a starving, war-torn Poland, but also the 13 men and women living in the cramped darkness of her attic. At times Nazi soldiers lived in her spare bedroom, forcing her friends to lie in a cramped corner for days without moving a muscle or having any food.
A recent pick for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, The Light in Hidden Places is so beautifully written, I was holding my breath with every devastating moment. It was heartbreaking, and so inspiring to read about one woman’s bravery and humanity.
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover //
This book has been around for awhile, and I’m 90% certain I’ve read it before, but such is turning 50, I guess… ha! With the new release of a sequel, I grabbed It Ends with Us to refresh myself with the storyline, and devoured it in a single day in Mexico!
Lily leaves her small town and abusive upbringing behind for Boston, where she meets charming and successful Ryle Kincaid. Life is perfect, until maybe it’s not? Then she runs into her first love, Atlas Corrigan… and her past begins to threaten her future.
This story deals with physical abuse, both obvious and subtle, and takes you on an emotional roller coaster that’s hard to put down. There were times I felt a little sick to my stomach, and thanks to the author’s ability to show the human side of her characters, I found myself siding with perhaps the ‘wrong’ guy. I loved all the characters in this book, especially the friendships, and couldn’t put it down, but it certainly didn’t leave me with warm and fuzzy feelings.
It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover //
The author said she rarely writes a sequel, but had such an overwhelming response from readers wanting to know how Lily, Ryle, and Atlas’s story ends, she delivered with It Starts With Us. I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to the characters either, so I read the two back-to-back.
While it was a fast, easy read, and I enjoyed watching Lily’s life come together, I felt like the author rushed this book. And whereas in the first book, she made us fall in love with each of the characters and see their humanity, in It Starts With Us, Ryle went from being a soft-hearted tortured soul to just a raging a-hole.
I’m glad I read it, but can’t say I needed this ending for them all.
Midnight Blue by L.J. Shen //
Okay, so my reading taste is definitely all over the place… I love a meaty historical WW2 or suspenseful thriller, followed by a lighthearted beach read. And every so often I throw little smut in, too. This is a no-judgment zone, ha!
In my defense, when I downloaded Midnight Blue I had no idea it fell in the smutty category until that first scene rolled around! Whoa, that will get your attention quick!
Indigo Bellamy has fallen on financial hardship, and is hired to babysit a famous musician, Alex Winslow, who has a propensity for drugs and trouble. All she has to do is keep him clean for the three months of his world tour… how hard could that be? I actually really enjoyed the story and characters of this fast read, so the sexy time was completely unneeded!
Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid //
Let me just start by saying I LOVED THIS BOOK! It’s the kind of read I can’t stop telling people about! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was one of my favorite reads last year (I really liked Malibu Rising too!), so the library of Taylor Jenkins Reid is another body of work I’m making my way through.
Carrie Soto retired as the world’s best tennis player and held the record of most Grand Slam titles… until young phenom Nicki Chan came along. Not one to ever back down, Carrie decides to re-enter the world of professional tennis to defend her title, at the unheard-of old age of 38.
Friends, I don’t even play tennis, and I could not put this book down! I loved the heart, the grit, the father-daughter relationship, the power of vulnerability… all of it.
Definitely a mixed bag of topics, from heavy to light, but I like to mix it up! I love the feel of a real book in my hands, but have been turning to my Kindle Paperwhite more often. It’s crazy lightweight, waterproof, and so easy to read in all light, especially on the beach or by the pool.
Up next on my nightstand is The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois… it’s a beastly book of 800 pages with an intense storyline, but comes highly recommended from one of my favorite book nerds, so I’m excited to dive in!
Okay… your turn! Comment, share, discuss… what have you read lately? What are your thoughts on any of these books? What should I add to my list!?