No better way to return from a slight blogging hiatus than with another round of my book review! Life got busy the last month. Kids were off school a lot more, projects were taking longer than normal (probably because of said kids…), and I was devoting my time to my home, my family, and all other aspects of my life. Sometimes it’s nice to take time off to gather my thoughts and ideas and return fresher, better. And when I come back, I just enjoy it a little bit more than when I left.
So I’m starting off May the very best way by sharing three books I read this past month and a follow-up on my Bible study I’m working through each morning during my quiet time. Let’s get to it!
I was completely enamored by Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones and the Six (you can read my book review HERE), and was hoping that I would start the month off strong with another killer read by her. Boy, the disappointment was real.
One True Loves is a book about a woman named Emma who found the love of her life during high school. They fall deeply in love and move as far away as possible from their sleepy town and her parent’s book store the first chance they can get. With a move to California, they start a new life of adventure together. When her husband, Jesse, leaves to take a helicopter ride over the Alaskan glaciers (as one does…) on their first wedding anniversary, something goes terribly wrong, the helicopter crashes, and Jesse doesn’t return.
Years later, she’s living a life she never once imagined for herself, when she gets a call. Jesse is alive.
I was so drawn in to this story and her tragedy. This book had love stories, had grief, had a roller coaster of emotion. I loved the whole first 3/4 of this book. But boy, that ending… I was so unimpressed with how predictable and quick this story concluded. I knew all along what choices she was going to make, and I might possibly be the worst predictor of books out there. If I can guess it, you know it wasn’t done well. This was an interesting book and a good one to read on a summer vacation, but don’t expect any meat to it. The concept is great, the characters are fabulous, but a beach read is the best this one will amount to in my mind.
Lucy Foley wrote the fabulous book The Guest List that I was so drawn into I would stay up all hours of the night reading because it was just THAT good. Another great author, but another so-so read out of them this month.
Jess, a troubled bartender, is seeking a little reprieve for herself and decides to visit her brother, Ben, at his apartment in Paris. When she arrives, it all looks a little too beautiful and extravagent for her journalist brother to be able to afford. A gorgeous, grandiose building with a gated entry in one of the best areas in the city. When Jess buzzes her brother’s apartment, he can’t be reached. After sneaking her way in, she realizes Ben has gone missing and no one can tell her where he is. The apartment is full of people that are off-putting and unpleasant and don’t want a thing to do with her, let alone help her find her Ben.
The story follows Jess as she navigates this new city looking for clues to find her lost brother and uncovering all sorts of hidden truths about what is really happening in this apartment building.
Two pieces that make any book enjoyable to me are the climatic scenes and the cast of characters. This one lacked in both those areas. The entire premise was, “Where’s Ben?” and it never truly gravitated from that. I spent the entire book slowly working my way to that resolution when it could have been done so much quicker. I don’t think we needed 368 pages to slowly get there.
And the characters were truly unlikeable. All so bitter, moody, and downright mean.
I really struggled to finish this book and was truly disappointed with the end. I’m certainly not giving up on Lucy Foley, but this one was really a struggle.
This book kept me guessing from the very start. One of those where you know one of these characters is bad, but you can’t quite figure out who it is and just why they are. They all seem good which means they can all be bad, right? I could never put my finger on what was going to happen and I was surprised until the very last page. The authors did a fantastic job of keeping me guessing and I can certainly share that this book was the best read this month. Although to be fair, the competition wasn’t great!
Marissa recently had an affair and reaches out to Avery, a risk-taking, think outside the box type of therapist, to help with confronting her husband and working through her infidelity. Avery has a guaranteed 10-step process to help her patients. One that has caused her license to recently be revoked. But her unconventional tactics are proven successful time and time again. Nothing is off limits and she will get to the bottom of the problem to fix it. Although Matthew is hurt and betrayed, he’s willing to give it a try. Suddenly, this perfect “Golden Couple,” that exudes wealth, class, love, and togetherness is not so shiny. Can they actually work through this? And what unfolds as they try is one twist and turn after another.
This couple is one of those that seems perfect from the outside but proves you just never know what people are dealing with on the inside. I loved and hated every character in this book, loved the twists, and really enjoyed it until the very last page. Great one for your next read!
Bible Study Recap
Since January 1st, I’ve been working my way through The Bible Recap by Tara Leigh-Cobble. I spoke about it a few times before but I wanted to do a quick update five months in to share my thoughts on this study.
Five months in and I haven’t missed a single day. Five months in and I’m learning something new every single day. Five months in and I love it more than any other study I’ve EVER done. Leigh-Cobble has done an incredible job choosing readings that allow for the Bible to be read chronologically, where it makes sense, and breaks it down so you don’t finish a reading saying, “What just happened?” The readings take roughly 15-20 minutes each day and then her study is a two-page breakdown where she teaches you what is happening, what God is teaching, and how His plan is unfolding.
I’ve done multiple bible studies and devotionals through the years, but this particular one is focused more on what GOD is saying over what the AUTHOR wants to say. This is a lesson in God’s word and no one else’s. I’ve learned something about God every day and I will recommend this to anyone who feels like reading the Bible is too much. Who feels like they can’t understand all the history and knowledge. This is for us who have a goal but haven’t known where to start.
There are so many voices speaking to us right now, trying to change you. I so encourage you to prioritize tuning into His voice. The voice of our perfect, never-changing, loving & life-giving God. This Bible Recap has centered me in a way nothing else has been able to. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t January 1st. Make May 4th a perfect day to start this journey. You will not regret it!
What’s on your reading list? I’m always looking for great ones!