Book Reviews

February 2021 Book Review

Another month, another set of books to share! This month, I read three very different books that all ended up being ones that stuck with me for very different reasons. One, a love story. Another, a dark look at grudges. And last, a book that didn’t have a real purpose but the words spoken sure have made a lasting impression on me.

First up…

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Fallon is about a make a cross-country move to find a different life, a fresh start, and to perhaps choose some decisions on her own. After being burned over half her body in the middle of her rise to acting fame, she basically lost everything: her role, her future in acting, and her confidence. She’s ready to start making a better life for herself and start taking some chances. During the last brutally awkward lunch with her dad before she flies out, she meets Ben, a writer with a past of his own. There is something immediate that happens between the two of them, but it’s all about following through with their plans and not letting this blossoming love change it all. A promise is made to meet back every November 9th for one day together for the next five years. And so the story begins…

I loved the premise of it, and I love stories that allow the characters to continue living their lives instead of leaving it all for love.

*Note: I love every Hallmark movie under the sun, but just once, can the guy leave his successful life in the city for the girl!?*

November 9 was an easy read, but had some very deep story lines that continuously unfold through the book. At no time was I bored, even as they had to keep meeting for five years straight. I thought Colleen Hoover did an incredible job keeping the story flowing and keeping me so invested in the characters. Great book for your spring break!

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Ohhh, my. This was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick, and the latest selection for my book club, as well. It was dark, the setting was cold, stark, and snowy, and there was one bad thing happening after another. People going missing, bodies being found, and a major snowstorm keeping all police officers away, except for one. One police officer fighting her own demons and visiting this hotel for a very important personal motive.

By the end of this book, I couldn’t stop saying good things about it. The reason behind the murder was absolutely fascinating and I thought it was such a complex, emotional, powerful intent. Pearse summed it up and tied all those loose ends really well and had me still to this day understanding the complex nature of human grudges and revenge.

HOWEVER, while I was right in the middle of it, I was starting to lose interest with what seemed like a wild goose chase. I thought maybe one too many left turns were taken and I just wanted the book to end so I could find out why. Best advice: Don’t give up on this one. It’s ending is a good one.

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

We all know him, we all love him, we may or may not have remembered him being arrested for playing the bongos completely naked in his living room at 2:30 in the morning about a 36 hour bender. He’s Matthew McConaughey and he’s a little different, a little earthy crunchy, and sometimes a little more hippie than this Type A personality can handle. But guys, I loved his book.

This memoir is a mix of his actual life story mixed with random pieces of writing he’s done through his life. He’s a brilliant man and has done a lot of “l-i-v-i-n” in his life (get it? Dazed and Confused, anyone?). What I loved so much about this book is just his lease on life. So many of his writings and story tellings had such powerful messages that made you just stop and think if you’re actually living your own life. He paddle boarded naked down the Amazon, he wrestled a champion wrestler in a small African town, he shaved his head prior to a movie just to get a fight going, he met the love of his life and lives a beautiful, present life with her and their children.

Now listen, I’m not saying I’m going to wrestle anyone and I’m surely not going to float down the Missouri naked any time soon, but reading this book, it made me start to actually question WHY. Why do we live for appearances? Why do we care so much? Why don’t we just take leaps? We get one life and maybe it’s about time we start living it.

This adorable, southern boy is not everyone’s cup of tea, but Matthew, your book was cool, it was funny, it was a little all over the place, but I love to hear your advice because we aren’t getting any younger in this one life we live. We might as well start living it.

Okay, three books this month and they couldn’t be more different. What should I be reading next? Give me all your scary, all your love stories, all your intense, all your favorites!

xx Rachel

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