Happy Thursday, friends!
It’s my APRIL BOOK REVIEW!
This month, I read four books. One historical fiction, one thriller, one based on true events and one chick lit…a nice variety, so hopefully, everyone will find something that speaks to them to read in May.
Spoiler alert: I LOVED THEM ALL!
Here we go, starting with BOOK #1:
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
So many of you have recommended this historical fiction to me over the last two-ish years, and I swear, it’s been sitting on my Kindle for almost as long. I’m not sure what took me so long to pick it up as it checks so many of my boxes: based in Paris, about people who love books, set during the middle of World War II, it’s about friendship and there is a little love involved.
I give this novel two BIG thumbs up!
This story toggles between 1980s America and 1940s Paris. You get a dose of both present day (-ish, I’m not sure we can count the 1980s as present day, but you get my point) and way back when. I thought the story moved quickly, I was super invested in both settings and not quite sure how they were going to all come together in the end. At first, I thought I was going to love the Paris chapters the most, but the portions set in the 1980s really grabbed my heart too. You guys, at one point, I cried! Yes! (And oddly enough, it wasn’t over the WWII parts, it was over a relationship between and daughter and her mother in the 1980s part).
I loved the main character, I loved the cheeky Parisienne references, I loved how this story weaves heavy and very serious events with a dash of hope and optimism. I loved how this really all boils down to friendship.
Loved it. Thank you for the rec!!
Next up, BOOK #2 by my lovely friend…
…Sally Hepworth 🙂 .
Oh my word, you guys, I love me some Sally!
Her newest novel…
The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth
…is another edge of your seat/don’t know what’s going to happen/why am I so nervous/ excellent read.
Now, in true Shay form, when I had dinner with Sally last April, I told her how I was so tired of Elin Hilderbrand including ghosts in her novels. The last two books she’s written have had ghosts. GHOSTS! Can you imagine? Sally is friends with Elin, so I was like “Sally, please tell Elin to knock it off with the ghosts”, and Sally says “Oh my gosh, Shay, my next book has a ghost in it.” Bahahahaha! Well, yes, yes is does. It’s this novel right here.
Buuuuuuut (and I’m not just saying this because I adore Sally Hepworth), SALLY’S NOVEL IS A SUSPENSEFUL READ ABOUT DEATH/MURDER/POTENTIAL CRIME/DECEPTION WHILE ELIN’S BOOKS ARE ABOUT LOVE, ROMANCE AND LOBSTER ROLLS. A dead person/ghost-type character narrating this particular book makes sense. It’s pivotal to the plot as we’re all trying to figure out “who done it and why”.
If you like a suspenseful read where you have no idea what’s going to happen, read this book. If you’re a big fat chicken when it comes to reading scary books (like me!), still read this book because it’s not frightening/gory/scary, it’s just filled with suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you stay up at night trying to figure out who’s good, who’s bad and whose side you are on.
In a nutshell (as I don’t want to give too much away), this is a fictional tale of a family of four who live in a lovely home on the edge of a cliff and well, someone falls off. Was it on purpose? Was it an accident? Is there a connection? I don’t know how she does it (she appears so normal, down to Earth, the girl next door), but Sally Hepworth is brilliant and with each and every novel, she can spin some unbelievable stuff into a book that leaves me thinking “holy cow, I did not see that coming!”. Read this one! You will LOVE IT!
So many of you, so many of my friends and even my brother strongly encouraged me to read BOOK #3…
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Awwww, you guys! I am so thankful you all did!!! By the end of the first chapter, I had purchased the paperback edition for Smith and by the end of the second chapter, Andrew had downloaded this book on audible. My family is newly smitten with the sport of rowing, so this book, based actual events, was the PERFECT read! This chronicles the men in the boat that won the gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. This book is so much more than just rowing though…it’s about trials and tribulations that get you places in life, about finding love and passion, about skill and determination, and it’s about Hitler and his early days of propaganda and deception as he hosted the Olympics while simultaneously hiding from the world the horrendous things he and his Nazi regime were already doing.
I loved every page. This is a book I will think about for many years to come. I am so thankful I read it at this point in my life. It was really motivational, educational (as I’m learning the sport!) and such an inspirational story. Loved it.
And finally, BOOK #4 was…
Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez
…a quintessential chick lit which was the PERFECT way to round out my month!
If you’re into chick lit like I am (I love it!), pick up this novel. The newest book out by Jimenez chronicles the story of two ER doctors who, of course, get off on the wrong foot only to realize maybe they should be friends. Or maybe they should pretend to be in a relationship to simplify some other issues. Oh yes, and maybe there is a kidney that needs to be donated. I mean, is that not the making of a great beach book or what? So much lightness and happiness that my chick-lit loving heart about exploded. I read this book from cover to cover in less than 24 hours while at the hospital with Ashby. It’s just delightful and so easy to read. A bit cheesy maybe and probably not super realistic, but who cares. It was happy. Who doesn’t need happy in their life right now? It is a bit rated R, so please take note, but I certainly think it’s a great and easy book that you and all of your girlfriends will be reading this summer.
That wraps up my APRIL BOOK REVIEW!
I loved this last little light read so much that I want more! Please leave recs for all of your beach books for May and summer please!
Also, don’t forget…
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.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2022 (all 60 of them), click here.
That wraps up Book Day! I’ll see you all back here tomorrow! xx