September Reads and Reviews
Good morning everyone! Today I'll be sharing the books that I read in September. This was a great month because I joined the library here, which means reading more physical books! I forgot how much more I enjoy reading them (even though it's much easier carrying around my Kindle). You can never run out of batteries in the middle of an exciting chapter with a real book.
Here's a look at what I read this month with some real gems mixed in-
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.
Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.
Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.
Very, very cute book with likable characters (I especially loved Olive, even though her character is just like all of the main characters in Christina Lauren's stories....). It was a fun take on a predictable enemies-to-lovers trope, and with some hilarious writing! Easy read on vacation and the perfect formula for an easy, fluffy read. Now I want to go back to Hawaii :)
My Rating - 4/5
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized racism, from an exceptional new YA voice. Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students' dark secrets to light. Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can't escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn't afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they're planning much more than a high-school game...
It's so hard to say anything about this book without giving anything away, so all I can say is WOW. Also this book will break your heart and make you feel so angry. It's messed up, it's sad, but what an amazing story. I could not put this down after the halfway point- really sucks you in till the very end! Most people described this as "Get Out" meets "Gossip Girl" and I definitely think that's accurate, so if you like either of those then you should check out this book for sure.
My Rating - 5/5
Act Your Age Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It's time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she's not entirely sure how…
Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.
Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.
I just adore all of the Brown Sister books (this was the third in the series) and wish there were more. I love how each book can stand on its own and doesn't feel like you're reading the same story over and over, but also feel connected enough that you feel like part of the family.
This was probably my favorite of the three because Eve's character was just so charming and relatable, while the setting was very quaint and cozy. The banter and the chemistry was there like all the other books but I liked progression of the relationship so much more! Plus, the emotional transformation that Eve went through was a great side plot.
Would love to see a spinoff series with the twins we meet halfway through..they were so lovable and hilarious and would love to explore that world a bit more. Please Talia!
My Rating - 5/5
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.
Entertaining book, kept me flipping pages which is what I'm now coming to expect with Riley Sager's books. I liked the switching in timeline as Quinn started to put the pieces together, and personally liked the twist at the end (unpopular opinion?). Overall a very enjoyable and quick read but won't go down as one of my favorites of the year. Still want to read more by Sager though!
My Rating - 3/5
The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker
Chrissie is eight and she has a secret: she has just killed a boy. The feeling made her belly fizz like soda pop. Her playmates are tearful and their mothers are terrified, keeping them locked indoors. But Chrissie rules the roost -- she's the best at wall-walking, she knows how to get free candy, and now she has a feeling of power that she never gets at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer.
Twenty years later, adult Chrissie is living in hiding under a changed name. A single mother, all she wants is for her daughter to have the childhood she herself was denied. That's why the threatening phone calls are so terrifying. People are looking for them, the past is catching up, and Chrissie fears losing the only thing in this world she cares about, her child.
Such a gut-wrenching book! The writing is so clever and makes you go back and forth between hating Chrissie for what she does, then sympathizing for her since all she wants is to be loved and to have a family that cares about her. I loved how the author captured the essence of the crazy things kids say and think - some of the interactions made me laugh out loud. I also liked how the book switched between young Chrissie and the adult, while weaving in bits and pieces of her childhood memories as well. It was well done and kept the book moving along really quickly.
Enjoyed reading this (and then felt guilty for enjoying it since it's such a dark subject matter). Can't wait to read more by the author!
My Rating - 4/5
What's the best book you've read lately?
Do you prefer physical books or e-books?