Friday is the first day of summer! (And the last day of school for us.) I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about this. Summer is my favorite. It’s so relaxing. I get so much reading and writing done in the summer (and there is no homework to nag about every day, either). To kick off our summer, let me tell you about my favorite books of spring 2019.
Most of these were 4.5 stars. For some reason, I haven’t really read a solid five star book in quite some time, but let me assure you, my favorite books of spring 2019 have been fabulous must-reads.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Lucy Hutton and Josh Templeman are assistants to the CEOs of a publishing company. They share an office. They play games all day. And they hate each other.
With a chance at a promotion for both of them, the stakes to their hating game is raised. If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.
My Rating: ****(and a half)
I was listening to a podcast in the early spring and they were speaking with Sally Thorne about her newest novel, 99 Percent Mine. I thought the premise sounded interesting so I picked up the book. As a result, I almost didn’t read this book by Sally Thorne. I read 99 Percent Mine first and I didn’t really like it.
I’m glad I decided to give the author a second chance because otherwise I would have missed out on this book. The chemistry between these two characters that hate each other, Lucy and Josh, was palpable. Throughout the book, you find yourself rooting for the obvious ending, the logical ending. What you don’t realize until well into the book is that this book is dealing with some heartbreaking issues. It’s not what you would expect in this otherwise lighthearted rom com.
If you liked the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, give this book a try.
Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
My Rating: *****
So this is the second time I’ve mentioned this book on my blog. Not only was it one of my favorite books of spring, I think it’s on my top list for the year so far as well.
I was so impressed with Daisy Jones & the Six that I dedicated an entire blog post to it a few weeks ago. You can read the review HERE.
Woman Enters Left by Jessica Brockmole
In the 1950’s movie star Louise Wilde has an unfulfilling career and a marriage on the rocks. One day she receives a phone call—she has inherited the estate of a Hollywood screenwriter, “Florrie” Daniels, whom she doesn’t even remember. When she goes to the estate, she discovers that among the screenwriter’s possessions are old pictures of her mother. On a whim, Louise embarks on a journey to the East Coast to visit her father and hopefully shed some light on the mystery of the inheritance.
In a parallel tale, it is thirty years earlier and Florrie and Ethel, Louise’s mother, are embarking on their own journey—from New Jersey to Nevada. Ethel is on a journey to reconcile with her husband and daughter before her marriage ends. Florrie may not wish for that to happen—her own journal holding onto secrets she doesn’t want discovered.
My Rating: **** (and a half)
Absolutely NOT what I was expecting at all. This was one of my Books to Read in March. I was thinking this would be a mindless, fluffy Hollywood novel and it was not at all.
This book takes us back into the twenties after the First World War. The girls who had painted the dials on the watches used by the soldiers were suddenly coming down with unusual illnesses—anemia, teeth loss, spontaneously broken bones. They’re dubbed “The Radium Girls”.
The novel follows two of this girls as they travel across the country from New Jersey to Nevada. In a separate timeline, we follow Louise, daughter of one of the radium girls, years later when she is traveling in the opposite direction… LA to New Jersey. She discovers important facts about her mother’s history that affect her present.
I would definitely give this a read if you like historical fiction at all.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.
So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.
My Rating: ****(and a half)
I loved so much about this book. The character development, the mystery surrounding Lydia’s death, the characters themselves, despite the fact they were deeply flawed. I enjoyed that it took place in the sixties and seventies, giving insight into what life had to be like for a mixed Chinese American family at the time.
The only thing I found lacking in this book was the disorganized nature of the chapters—the author volleyed between characters and time frames so often that you really had to concentrate on what was going on.
Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter
Andrea Oliver’s mother, Laura, is the perfect small-town mum. Laura lives a quiet but happy life in sleepy beachside Belle Isle. She’s a pillar of the community: a speech therapist, business owner and everybody’s friend. And she’s never kept a secret from anyone. Or so Andrea thinks.
When Andrea is caught in a random violent attack at a shopping mall, Laura intervenes and acts in a way that is unrecognisable to her daughter. It’s like Laura is a completely different person – and that’s because she was. Thirty years ago. Before Andrea. Before Belle Isle.
My Rating: ****(and a half)
This one was on my list of Books to Read in June. All of those books were audiobooks.
Pieces of Her was riveting to listen to on audiobook. The narrator was phenomenal—she really got the voices down—I could feel the characters as she spoke. The author’s use of descriptive language created a world that I could visualize as I listened, quite a feat considering I am hearing impaired and have a hard time listening to fiction books on audio.
The story line was fascinating. I could visualize it as it unfolded. while there was some predictability, most of it was twists and turns that you wouldn’t expect. My only complaint is that listening to it meant I had headphones in for 16 hours and couldn’t skim read at all to get to the end. I stayed up way too late to finish this one.
So those were my favorite books of spring this year. What were your favorites? What are you reading now?