May Reads and Reviews
Hey everyone! As promised in my monthly goals post, I'm here today to share the books that I read in May. They were all pretty good reads with a variety of subject matter! Be sure to let me know what you're reading- I can always use more ideas on my book shelf.
Open Book by Jessica SimpsonJessica tells of growing up in 1980s Texas where she was sexually abused by the daughter of a family friend, and of unsuccessfully auditioning for the Mickey Mouse Club at age 13 with Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling before going on to sign a record deal with Columbia and marrying 98 Degrees member Nick Lachey. Along the way, she details the struggles in her life, such as the pressure to support her family as a teenager, divorcing Lachey, enduring what she describes as an emotionally abusive relationship with musician John Mayer, being body-shamed in an overly appearance-centered industry, and going through bouts of heavy drinking. But Simpson ends on a positive note, discussing her billion-dollar apparel line and marriage with professional football star Eric Johnson, with whom she has three children.
This book is for you if you grew up in the 90s, are a fan of pop music and/or reality shows, are craving some gossip, and want a good summer read. There's a good dose of inspiration here (Jessica goes through her fair share of adversity and always wants to help others) and I found myself finishing the book a bigger than of hers. I liked getting a behind-the-scenes look into the start of the golden age of pop, with Christina and Britney fighting for the spotlight and boy bands being formed, as well as learning more about what happened behind the camera of Newlyweds. I enjoyed this book a lot!
My Rating - 4/5
Do You Mind If I Cancel? (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Gary JanettiGary Janetti, the writer and producer for some of the most popular television comedies of all time, and creator of one of the most wickedly funny Instagram accounts there is, now turns his skills to the page in a hilarious, and poignant book chronicling the pains and indignities of everyday life.
I feel so conflicted about this book for a few reasons. First- Gary is absolutely hilarious, and is a fantastic story teller. I felt immersed in his world as he told stories of struggling through school and the beginnings of his career. I loved learning about him and all the twists and turns he went through in his life (my favorite part was probably when he led a group of teenagers on a bike trip through France..how amazing would that be!?). But- this book felt more like a collection of short stories that jumped timelines and from place to place. I wanted more! It would be interesting to get a good picture of how exactly his life went and how he actually got his "big break" in Hollywood- throughout the book he is never actually working as a writer but getting life experiences to eventually write about. It's definitely an entertaining book and I read it within a day or two, but I wish there was just more focus or direction.
My Rating - 3/5
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
What a fun (and at times difficult) read this was! The beginning reminded me of Handmaid's Tale- women are only considered useful if they are picked for marriage and are able to bear children, otherwise they're cast out of society. All women are thought to have "magic" and are sent out for a year (called the Grace Year) to rid themselves of their magic before returning to society. We pick up at this point, where the main character is sent out with other girls her age. Here, we shift from Handmaid's Tale to the Hunger Games, and things get WILD. There's romance, adventure, horror- a little bit of everything. It's a quick read and will keep you on the edge of your seat! My only complaint is that the ending seemed kind of abrupt and didn't really match the rest of the book, but I just hope that means there's a sequel in the works.
My Rating - 4.5/5
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched. The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing. Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.
First I have to say that this narrative style- telling the story in reverse- is super interesting and I think works in this story. It's fun to have the entire picture from the beginning but then learn more and get more clues as you go on to fill in the blanks. This was an easy book to rush through- wasn't a literary masterpiece but definitely fun.
My Rating - 3.5/5