It’s my OCTOBER BOOK REVIEW!
You know the drill…I read a lot of books, we discuss, you tell me what to read next and we repeat next month. Friends, every December, I name my TOP THREE books of the year and right now, I have about 8 in contention (including one from today!). I don’t think I’ve ever had a year where I enjoyed so many of my books!!! This month, we had a nice little mix of fiction, memoir, and a biographical re-telling…it was a great month in books.
First up to bat…
So, this was the highly anticipated sequel to American Royals which came out last year and I LOVED. In fact, I loved the first book so much that I flirted with making it one of my top books of the year. I think the whole premise of this series is clever and original…what if the USA had been settled monarchy-style very similar to Great Britain. This is present day fiction about the current royal family and every little detail in this series makes me smile. I love how the author weaves in both current events along with clearly made up “what if” storylines had we been settled with a royal family. I sincerely loved the first book, but unfortunately, this second book fell a bit flat for me. It was okay. I didn’t “not” like it, but I did find myself getting a bit bored and uninterested in the plotlines. This sequel was a bit far-fetched for me. It was cute (maybe not quite as YA as the first one), but kind of long and many of the storylines weren’t nearly as clever as the first book. When it was all said and done, I thought it was okay. I do think there will be a third one…which I’ll probably read, but honestly, I think they should have stopped after the first book.
Next up, I read…
You Be You by my sweet friend Jamie Ivey.
Christian women out there, this book here is exactly what you should be reading. As soon as I put this book down, I texted Jamie and told her it was the antithesis of so many “Christian” books for women lately because instead of telling us to “make ourselves happy”, this book reminds us to BE HAPPY IN THE LORD AND SEEK HIM AND THEN YOU WILL TRULY FIND JOY AND CONTENTMENT.
I’m not going to name names, but there are a few female Christian authors right now promoting the message of “make yourself happy and really don’t worry about anyone else while you do it”, but that’s just not Biblical. I loved this one. I found it encouraging, funny, heartwarming, honest, raw and very real. If you’re looking for a book on faith that encourages you to dig deeper into God’s word and find your true calling based on how He uniquely and wonderfully made you, read this one. It is fantastic!
My third book this month was Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors!
Awwwwww…I love all of these cute little fictional stories that are a wink and a nod to Pride and Prejudice. This one was recommended by so many of you readers, and from what I understand, it’s the first of two books in a little series about this one wealthy Indian-American family living in California. The main character of this novel is one of their daughters who, on paper, appears to be the “model” child. She’s brilliant physician and very independent. In reality, she’s a bit of the outcast amongst her own family where politics and family dynamics take a front seat. I really thought the first half of this book was super, super cute. I was immediately sucked in because all of the characters were likeable, the food references were delicious, the setting was nothing short of fabulous…but the second half kind of lost me a bit. I don’t mind one or two “not really likely occurrences” in a book, but I felt this one wrapped up with a series of “I don’t really think that would happen” moments, and it fell a bit flat. Have any of you read this? What about the sequel? I really did love the main character and the “Darcy” character as well, but by the end, I wasn’t feeling it quite as much. I thought this little chick lit started strong but faded towards the end.
Now, the fourth and final book this month was…
I really don’t know how this one doesn’t end up in my TOP THREE (or at this rate, my TOP EIGHT!) for the entire year.
Okay, this is a retelling of an actual even that took place just a few years ago as one brave 19 year old Syrian refugee made her way to Europe. The author met this woman, Doaa, and was immediately captivated by her story of living in Syria and then fleeing to Egypt only to once again flee across the sea to Europe. It’s harrowing. I cannot think of another word for this story. It’s truly gripping and terrifying. It’s horrific. It’s actually almost too insane and absurd to believe except it really did happen to this teenager. Her re-telling of the story begins when Doaa is a young girl and then continues on to present day. No matter what political side of the aisle you may fall on, I think it’s so important to understand what’s happening to millions of other people in the world as they escape persecution and death from their own country to find asylum elsewhere (and then what happens when they’re not accepted there?!). I don’t think you could write fiction better than this non-fiction story. I read this book faster than any others this month because I couldn’t wait to see how this story ended. I really fell in love with Doaa and was rooting for her along the way. Every chapter left me wanting more…and when I closed this book, I was changed. Sometimes you put down a book and realize the story will stay with you forever…this was one of those stories.
Whew! That’s it for October’s book review!
Now spill it…what are you reading right now and what should I be reading in October?! Please share all of your recs in the comment section below!! I want to hear!!!!