Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People by Sally Rooney

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I have a relative who always says, “yeah, but what is normal?” about various things when people say “that’s normal” or “that’s not normal.” Normalcy is, in many ways, a social construct. What is “normal” to some may not be normal to others. Sally Rooney’s Normal People brings to light what it’s like to yearn for something normal and also examines why “normal” is a loaded term. Connell and Marianne are two people who appear very different but form a very strong friendship and complicated on-again-off-again relationship. Continue reading “Normal People by Sally Rooney”

Fruit of the Drunken Tree

Fruit of the Drunken Tree

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One of my bookish goals for 2019 was to read books featuring diverse voices. One of the books I’d seen pop up on Instagram was Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Ingrid Rojas Contreras’s debut novel about two young girls in Escobar-era Colombia. Told from alternating perspectives, this story is about Chula, a seven-year-old girl from a wealthy Colombian family and Petrona, a thirteen-year-old girl from a poor family works as a maid in Chula’s home. The two voices diverge in important ways. Chula’s voice is marked with naivete and immaturity, which serves as a sharp contrast from Petrona’s voice, which is one tainted by early loss and understanding of the dangers in their world. Still, Petrona’s age does come through at important moments, specifically when she is easily manipulated by a character in the book. Continue reading “Fruit of the Drunken Tree”

Daisy Jones & The Six

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To write an entire novel in the form of interviews is an ambitious task. Personally, I have trouble reading interviews that are longer than a few pages. So, when I saw Daisy Jones and The Six floating around the bookstagram world, I wasn’t sure it was for me. I’d heard Taylor Jenkins Reid was a compelling storyteller, but I was hesitant about the structure of her latest hit. However, when this novel was an option through Book of the Month, I jumped on the bandwagon. After finishing my last final (ever!), I started this one. I figured it’d be a nice into fun reading after law school. I was right but this story is far richer than I expected. Continue reading “Daisy Jones & The Six”

Me You Everything by Catherine Isaac

Me You Everything by Catherine Isaac

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I’m here today with a review of my final August TBR book! I realize it’s September, but I had trouble reading this book my last week home in California because I was trying to enjoy time with my family. Still, I finished it last Wednesday, and am so glad I got through it, even if it’s a bit late. Continue reading “Me You Everything by Catherine Isaac”

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

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My second choice for Book of the Month for July was The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams. This is also the third book of four for my August to-be-read. I’d heard really great things about this read, and after loving The Lost Vintage, I wanted to read more historical fiction. This book takes place in three different years: 1930, 1951, and 1969. All great years! It also takes place on a small island off the east coast and it felt like the perfect summer read. Continue reading “The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams”

The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah

The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah

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I am so excited for my review of this book. I actually finished this book in Starbucks and had to try very hard to not tear up. As you know, I’ve been trying to read as much as possible this summer, and I’m really proud of myself for actually accomplishing that goal. It’s been so refreshing to reach for a novel rather than a TV show (though I still watch The Bold Type each week because it’s amazing). Anyway, I’ve read seven books (!!) this summer so far. Of the seven, I think The Lost Vintage may be my favorite. This book was a perfect blend of historical fiction, contemporary fiction, coziness, intrigue, and romance. Honestly, it’s the total package. Also, wine snob that I am, I was so happy with the wine component of this book. I now kind of want to read up on the Master of Wine test… *begins thinking about taking the exam someday* Continue reading “The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah”

She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop

She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop

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I am so excited about this review because this book was a bit lighter than some of the previous reading I’ve done this summer. She Regrets Nothing is Andrea Dunlop’s second novel, and now I’m hoping to pick up a copy of her first soon. Her writing is captivating and fun and kept me turning pages so quickly. Usually I’m a slow reader, I like to absorb a story slowly, really enjoy the words, but this book kept me guessing I wanted so badly to know where the story was headed, that I blew through 20 or 40 pages during my morning reading session and 60 or 80 pages during my after work reading session. Continue reading “She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop”

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

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I usually wait a day or two to write a review after finishing a book, but after finishing An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, I have so many emotions that I wanted the feeling I have to be reflected in my review. Honestly, few books leave me with a physical reaction to a book. But this book has my chest tight, my eyes watery, and my heart heavy. To be perfectly honest, I’m a bit surprised by my final reaction to this read because initially, I was having trouble getting into the story. I was lukewarm on the characters. I didn’t dislike them, but I was also having trouble liking them. However, the struggle with whether I liked them or not was fitting by the end because the story doesn’t have a “happy” ending, but it has closure, which I think is better. I will say this book is beautifully written. I found myself loving the language, loving the similes, the comparisons, and the unraveling of complex human relationships that are sometimes beautiful, often messy, and seldom perfect. Continue reading “An American Marriage by Tayari Jones”

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

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My reading for June is going well. I have one week left and one book left on my June TBR. So, I’m hoping that because the book is a bit shorter, I’ll be able to zip through it this week. Today, however, I wanted to share my review of Educated by Tara Westover. I don’t typically reach for nonfiction and have rarely finished a memoir, but I ripped through this memoir and couldn’t stop thinking about it between reading sessions. This book highly recommended by people who read it. I first hear about this book from Ali Edwards, who shared her praise for this book on Instagram. Continue reading “Educated by Tara Westover”

June To-Be-Read (TBR) (and why there’s overlap with May)

June To-Be-Read (TBR) (and why there’s overlap with May)

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May was not the best reading month. What I read was great, but how much I read was less than I wanted or expected. I think in the chaos of ending finals and trying to move to DC and then start working I just wasn’t in the mood to read all the time. I also, admittedly, was spending a lot of time binge-watching Riverdale, which is so addicting. So, I only got through Little Fires Everywhere and The Great Alone. Continue reading “June To-Be-Read (TBR) (and why there’s overlap with May)”