You guys, I am SO SORRY!!!!!
Last month, with all of the traveling, I decided to combine my September and October book reviews into one post (today!), and well, clearly that was the wrong decision. In my 15+ years of blogging, I’ve never had more people ask me the same question…Where is your September Book Review?!
You know, as much as I HATE that I didn’t post last month, you really just have NO IDEA how much it means to me that you love my reviews as much as you do. Missing last month was all the motivation I needed to keep doing these monthly reviews forever. And ever. And ever. I promise you, I won’t miss again 🙂 .
So, over the last two months, I have read SEVEN BOOKS that I’m reviewing today. I have two memoirs, a thriller, a couple of chick lits, a work of fiction and one of the BEST books I’ve read all year…which is refreshing because…I honestly think this might be my least favorite year in books.
Anyone else feel this way? I’ve read 54 books this year and probably only liked four of them.
I mean, I didn’t hate (most of) the others, but I just haven’t lovvvved any of them. I don’t know? It’s just not been my year “in books”. Let me know if you feel the same.
Speaking of which, let’s dive in to this month(s)’ book review(s) starting with…
All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris
This novel right here checked the “suspense” box for me this time. This is the story of a woman who becomes head of the legal department at her corporation when her boss is murdered in his office…oh yeah, and she was having an affair with him. Now, she’s trying to figure out who did it (while also trying to keep it under wraps that they were having an affair), and she realizes her ex-con brother had a friendship/business relationship with him too.
Set in Georgia, this novel had all the makings of a great thriller. I liked it and couldn’t wait to pick it back up each day, buuuut I thought the ending fell flat. I just felt like there could have been *more*. It entertained me, it kept me guessing, I thought it was really insightful and (probably very) realistic about being a high-power Black associate at a company that isn’t diverse…buuuut again, I thought the ending was abrupt and lacking a chapter or two. Based on the year I’ve been having in books though, I would say it was worth the read.
Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I LOVED THIS BOOK! Ladies, this novel right here was hands down one of the best I’ve read all year. Taylor Jenkins Reid, you’ve done it again! If you’ll recall, in 2017, I selected her novel, One True Loves, as my favorite book of the entire year, and then in 2019, I selected her novel Daisy Jones & The Six as my third favorite book of the year…so needless to say, I’m a fan.
This right here is Reid’s latest novel, and it is just so FUN and ORIGINAL. This is a fictitious story about a former world champion tennis player who, after about a decade of being retired, decides to go back out there again. I’m not even a tennis person (see my review of Andre Agassi’s book HERE!), but I did not want this story to end. Not only that, but I want to sit down with the author and ask her all sorts of questions. I read every page of the acknowledgments but I still have so many questions. How did you make this novel so electrifying? So accurate? So emotional and yet FUN? If you are looking for just a unique, clever, and original book, here you go. The details about tennis will blow your mind. I felt like I learned so much while also LOVING the lead.
You guys, this one is GREATNESS! Read it!
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
Annnnnd then there is this one.
Okay, I had seen this book floating around all over social media. This is a memoir written by an actress who played in the Nickelodeon show iCarly years ago. I mean, my kids used to watch that show, so I had a frame of reference, but I wasn’t really that invested in this actor. Buuuut the title of the book (hello!) along with how many people were talking about it on the internet, made me want to give it a read. My honest opinion? I lost sleep over this one. The night I read the final page and realized “this is it”, I tossed and turned all night. You guys…this story is painful.
In a nutshell, this is the story of child abuse (sexually, physically and emotionally), neglect, starvation, and narcistic behavior just to name a few. When the book ended, I was mad for her. I feel like people should be in jail right now (her father, brothers and grandparents for allowing this abuse!). I was just so disturbed. The writer does say she’s in therapy now, but seriously, I think it was too soon to write the book. I just felt terrible for her…I feel like her story needs to be told, but she didn’t seem healthy enough to be telling it yet (clearly, my opinion). You guys, this was just rough. I wish I wouldn’t have read it. I just felt icky all over and angry.
Speaking of memoirs…
Live Wire by Kelly Ripa
…one of my faves wrote a book of short stories about her life. Hmmmm…I’ve loved Kelly Ripa for years and years. After reading her book, do I like her more or less? I’m going to say less.
Here’s the deal, I really loved the chapter she wrote about her three kids leaving the nest. That chapter made me tear up. That chapter was really powerful. The other chapters? She complained about a wholllllle lot of people. She complained about her mom, she complained about her job on the soap opera, and she complained quite a bit about Regis and Live. I just feel like Ripa must have so many other amazing stories to tell about her life…she’s interviewed so many famous people, traveled the world, been a New Yorker for 30+ years…so many great things. Why she spent an entire book alluding to the fact that Live didn’t “make her”, she doesn’t like it, she really doesn’t like anything about her career…blows my mind.
Chalk this up to another book I wish I wouldn’t have read.
Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
Well this book was certainly a breath of fresh air after the last two. This is basically an R-rated version of a Hallmark movie. Ha!
A big city girl has car trouble in a small town and the adorable mayor stops to help…and thus, the perfect little chick lit was born.
I needed this happiness. I needed this lightness. I loved the setting, the characters…I loved the fact that my brain didn’t hurt and I didn’t feel icky when I would pick it up each night. It’s cute, it’s predictable and it made me want to read every night. If you’re looking for light-hearted chick-lit, here you go.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Sooooo many of you told me to read this book, so…I did.
Hmmmmm…I didn’t love it.
This one reads a bit more heavy (think Where The Crawdads Sing) and would be considered a meatier fiction, but, I just thought it was a bit too (for lack of a better word) repetitive for me. I loved the plot…a mom dies which brings her two estranged adult kids back together to hear her attorney play a recording of their mother’s last wishes/thoughts which reveals a huge secret and a lot of questions for them. Yes, loved that! What I didn’t love was that I felt the whole book could have moved more quickly. The story lagged for me and kept going back to details already established which just made it feel long and boring. By the end, I was happy it was over which stinks because it had the makings of a great book. This one just wasn’t for me.
Lease on Love by Falon Ballard
Annnnnd I’m finishing the month with this book here.
Ugggg…it was okay.
This is another easy to read chick-lit book about a woman who leases a room from an isolated bachelor. It’s cute, a little quirky and very happy/upbeat…but I didn’t love it because I thought it was a little too gratuitous with the rated R business. The main character cusses the entire time which just didn’t seem necessary and the sexual content was not always super relevant to the story. Honestly, I think the story suffered because the language alone was distracting to the plot.
So boo. Seven books and only two that I liked. Now, this next month, I will continue my tradition of just reading holiday books so that when I review them at the end of November, you’ll know what to read in December. I have a nice list already of books I plan on reading, but if you have suggestions, please share them! If you have other non-holiday book suggestions, I’ll always take those too.
Here are holiday books I’ve recommended in the past if you’re looking for one right now too…
So, that was my September & October Book Review!
Again, I apologize for the delay! I promise not to let it happen again.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2015 (all 63 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2016 (all 62 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2017 (all 62 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2018 (all 61 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2019 (all 54 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2020 (all 54 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2021 (all 59 of them), click here.
That wraps up Book Day! Sending you all so much love on this Thursday! I’ll see all of you back here tomorrow! xx