September Reads and Reviews

It's getting to be the cozy season where all I want to do is sit in a comfy chair with a steaming mug of tea, heated blanket on my lap, and dive into a cozy book. Can't beat that! In September I was still able to read outside a lot, but I'm very quickly moving indoors as the temperatures drop! Here are the books I read last month- get ready for more seasonal books coming next month!


The Chiffon Trenches by Andre Leon Talley

The Chiffon Trenches offers a candid look at the who's who of the last fifty years of fashion. At once ruthless and empathetic, this engaging memoir tells with raw honesty the story of how André not only survived the brutal style landscape but thrived--despite racism, illicit rumors, and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry--to become one of the most renowned voices and faces in fashion.

Woven throughout the book are also André's own personal struggles that have impacted him over the decades, along with intimate stories of those he has turned to for inspiration (Diana Vreeland, Diane von Férstenberg, Lee Radziwill, to name a few), and of course his Southern roots and ongoing faith, which have guided him since childhood.



I think that the description of the book gives a really good insight into the story, and kind of explains why I wasn't a big fan of it. I'm not a huge fan of high fashion or socialite life, and that's pretty much all the book was about. It follows Andre as he made his way through the fashion world and all the people he met along the way. I appreciated hearing about how he made it and what all he went through, but it was too name-dropping for me, and didn't even mention the one part of his life I really wanted to hear about (when he was a judge on America's Next Top Model!). All I can say is- this makes me very happy that I'm not in this world because it sounds so toxic. Heidi Klum is right when she says "In fashion, one day you're in and the next day you're out". 

My Rating - 1/5


Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?

The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The parents, Stan and Joy, are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killers on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are Stan and Joy so miserable?

The four Delaney children—Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke—were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups and there is the wonderful possibility of grandchildren on the horizon.

One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. The Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.

Later, when Joy goes missing, and Savannah is nowhere to be found, the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure—but as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light. 


It's hard to talk about this book and not give anything away so I'll just say that I really enjoyed it! The audiobook was very entertaining (I switched between that an the actual hardcover as I made my way through this). I loved the chaotic Delaney family and all of the tennis connections in the book. The Savannah part was kind of confusing to me and the ending was a bit creepy but overall it was a fun story and very entertaining to read!

My Rating - 4/5


The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel

Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast, and happily single woman. The moment she realizes her parents' latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she's out the back door in a flash. Imagine her surprise when the same guy shows up at her office a week later -- the new lawyer hired to save her struggling company. What's not surprising: he's not too thrilled to see her either after that humiliating fiasco.

Jay Shah looks good on paper...and off. Especially if you like that whole gorgeous, charming lawyer-in-a-good-suit thing. He's also arrogant and infuriating. As their witty office banter turns into late night chats, Liya starts to think he might be the one man who truly accepts her. But falling for each other means exposing their painful pasts. Will Liya keep running, or will she finally give love a real chance? 


I know this is in the enemies to lovers trope, but this veered a bit too much into the hate category for me- the first half was hard to read and seemed unrealistic for there to still be a relationship after some of the things that happened and were said! I like parts of this but overall there was too much focus on conflict and being way too sassy that it kind of ruined the romance part of the book. But also yay for Liya standing up to abusive men! I also appreciated having an Indian love story and learning about different cultures in this book instead of reading the same old story that's been told way too many times.

My Rating - 3/5


Oona Out Of Order by Margarita Montimore

It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order...

Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Margarita Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.


I loved the unique premise of this book and the writing was really engaging! The idea of jumping around in time and living out different lives reminded me a lot of The Midnight Library and I enjoyed this one just as much (and also got annoyed with some of the decisions the main character made just the same). It's hard to talk more about this book without giving away spoilers but one complaint I had was that there were so many major points that I wish were talked about in depth instead of just a passing mention, and then other timelines that didn't seem to have a lot of meaning in the future that dragged on. Pacing could have been a little better but otherwise loved this. I also saw this is being made into a show which I think would be so good!!

My Rating - 4.5/5


The Club by Ellery Lloyd

The Home Group is a glamorous collection of celebrity members' clubs dotted across the globe, where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash out in its five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of fans and the media. The most spectacular of all is Island Home—a closely-guarded, ultraluxurious resort, just off the English coast—and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade.

But behind the scenes, tensions are at breaking point: the ambitious and expensive project has pushed the Home Group's CEO and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits. All of them have something to hide—and that's before the beautiful people with their own ugly secrets even set foot on the island. As tempers fray and behavior worsens, as things get more sinister by the hour and the body count piles up, some of Island Home’s members will begin to wish they’d never made the guest list.

Because at this club, if your name’s on the list, you’re not getting out.


This took me a while to get through but the last 25% was really entertaining and I couldn’t put it down. A bit too much going on for my taste and too many random jumps in time made it hard to keep track of what was going on. Also the reveals of all the dirty little secrets took a bit long for me and I was getting frustrated waiting to see what had happened. It was interesting that it was hard to pick out who to root for or if there were truly any good people in the book!

My Rating - 2.5/5


Audiobooks

I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy - This definitely wins for a book title that stops you in your tracks! I'm really glad that I listened to this, because I think that hearing Jennette tell her story really added something extra. This is a classic story of a child actor being abused and exploited, and she pulls no punches in telling her story. It's mostly heartbreaking because she didn't realize what was going on until very recently, and you can tell by the way she got emotional talking about it that it's still hard for her to process. Really amazing story told by a talented writer- hope she'll share her gift even more!

Comments

  1. Interesting. I think we might have divergent views on books! I thought Oona Out of Order was an interesting concept, but the casual drug use and poor choices made by the character really turned me off. I've never really been a big Liane Moriarty fan, but your description of the book made me want to check it out because it sounds super intriguing.

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean! I really hated that chapter of her life...but also if I was in the same scenario I could see losing control and not caring about my future so I could kiiiiiiind of understand? But also could have left that out and talked more about some of the holes in the story (like the big big one that ended up being a big twist?!)

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  2. I liked Oona too, but HATED those chapters with the drug use. I just... well, I don't approach life that way, I guess! I've never, ever gotten into Liane Moriarty though. Have tried multiple times and... nope. Not for me, I guess!

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    Replies
    1. Ugh definitely...hard to see her just not care at all and not worried about the repercussions. Also interesting that it was never mentioned again...I guess addiction or withdrawl doesn't happen when time traveling?

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