Book Reviews

June 2020 Book Review

Eeee…it’s Book Review Day!

Anyone else feel like July 1st kind of came out of nowhere? Now that life is opening up slowly (and slowly closing back up, all at the same time), it seems like we’re back to warp speed. At times, I just don’t know how I feel about that. I didn’t love being stuck at home, but I really did like not having a plan. 🤷‍♂️

Anyway, I read 3 books this month, as well as came within one week of finishing my Bible study. Hint: I LOVED two books this month and could have just skipped the third.

Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

Okay, I’m preparing you for this one….get ready…ready yet? Okay, I have heard amazing things about the show on Hulu starring Reese and Kerry (who I LOVE!) and I was so excited to watch it, but wanted to read the book first. My book club even decided this would be the book we’re reading this quarter, and you know what? I didn’t like it. I shouldn’t say I didn’t like. I should more say I didn’t LOVE it. It was okay.

I think the problem was that there wasn’t huge character development in this story. I wanted to root for someone. I wanted to find a character that was going to win me over. And it just never came. There really just never seemed to be a “good guy” in this one and they all just seemed to be meandering poorly through.

The gist: The story begins with the Richardson house engulfed in flames and the family members standing outside casually talking about who did it. The story then rewinds and you learn about the whole Richardson family, as well as Mia and Pearl, new tenants in the Richardson rental property. Each character seems to be floundering through life, and many times through the book, they change course and do something more uncharacteristic of themselves. I found the most interesting and thought-provoking part of this story being the question of “What truly makes a mother? Is it simply that you’ve given birth or the ‘mothering’ characteristics that come with raising children?”

I’m still going to watch the show because Reese and Kerry are two of my absolute favorite people and I just have heard the greatest things about it, but I’m hoping it amounts to more than the book did.

Hollywood Park – Mikell Jollett

This one was nothing like it was advertised, but I loved it for all it ended up to be anyway! At first glance, this is a memoir about surviving a cult. Okay, you’ve already got me hooked, Hollywood Park. And yes, the first few chapters did get into him leaving the cult at a very young age, but it turned out to be so much more than that.

It’s a true story about breaking the cycle, fighting hard against what almost seems to be ingrained in you by your family. Mikell Jollett was a member of the Synanon cult (if you’ve never heard of it, you must read this article ASAP!) and grew up in a long-line of addicts, criminals, and mental illnesses. I loved this story for the sheer fact that I rooted so hard for some of the characters in his life. And as soon as you thought his life story was going to turn one way, you were jolted back by a downfall or a surprise success.

It was nothing like I had thought it would be, but it ended up being so much better than I could have imagined!

In Five Years – Rebecca Serle

Whoa! Downloaded this one and had it completely finished in 36 hours. I LOVED this one!

Dannie is an extremely successful lawyer in New York City. She has her life planned to the minute, has goals and reaches every one of them, and has a distinct five year plan. She will interview for her dream job at the best law firm in the city (check), get engaged to her boyfriend (check), and move to Grammercy Park (check). However, the night of her engagement, she falls asleep and has a vivid dream. So real that she actually believes it could be a premonition. In it, she wakes up five years in the future, engaged to another man, in another apartment across the city.

The story takes you through the next five years and you see just how her life unfolds a little differently than she ever thought.

I can’t tell you enough how much I loved this book! At the end of every chapter, I was dying to see what would happen next. Even staying up late (like 11:00, guys! 😳😉) to finish it. It’s light, it’s fun, and does an amazing job of tying everything together in ways you never thought. Get this one right away for a perfect summer read!

And if you’re looking for a great Bible study, I’m going to share again…

A Women’s Heart – Beth Moore

I’m in my last week of her Bible study and I have learned more about Old Testament stories through this study than I have through my entire life. I look forward to waking up early every morning to do this study. And I don’t stick to the five-day study plan. I’m in it every single morning, without fail. She does an incredible job of taking you through the Old Testament tabernacle and tying it to New Testament ideals.

Next up for me…

Breaking Free – Beth Moore

Amazing reviews and I’ve got to say…I’m a Beth Moore fan for life!

That’s it for June’s Book Review! I’ve got my first July read loaded up in my Kindle and looking forward to a little extra reading this holiday weekend. See you back here soon. xx Rachel

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