Since this summer is winding down, I was scrolling through my Good Reads account and feeling accomplished at how much reading I have done this summer. I have a bit of a confession, though… I love reading the cheesy, fiction, mystery stories. My sister and I share this obsession and often trade book titles of what has to be read. That makes up most of what I have read this summer but I wanted to do a recap of every book I have read since May! Some of these I loved, some of these I hated. Either way, I’m giving a short review of each book.
Best Book: Becoming by Michelle Obama
Worst Book: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Some people might really enjoy this book, but I did not enjoy it one bit. Small Great Things tells the story of Ruth, a nurse in the labor and delivery unit. She is the only black person in this unit, but seems not to have taken notice of it until one fateful shift. Ruth came in and began working on a newborn she’d been assigned to. Immediately, she was ordered not to care for that child as the father and mother were white supremacists. The hospital complies with the parents requests and Ruth is ordered not to even touch the child. But when an emergency occurs and all other nurses are busy, Ruth is left alone in the nursery when this same child begins having complications and passes away. Ruth hesitated before performing CPR and because of that, is charged with a serious crime.
*Spoiler alert* I have to spoil this book to tell you why I did not like it. There are so many reasons but my number one reason is that it screams white savior. Her attorney is a white woman that is “awaken” by Ruth’s tragic experience and “brings the issue of color into the courtroom” as if for the first time. But worst of all, the white supremacist has a change of heart by the end of the book and becomes an activist. Best described, Small Great Things is a very white way to tell a black story. Personally, I wish I’d given my time to an author that is a person of color who has more experience and authority to speak on the topic.
Everything In Between:
White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White by Daniel Hill
A suggestion of my mother’s, I started my summer with this honest and eye-opening book by Daniel Hill. Typically, when white people are reading a book about racial issues and reconciliation, I don’t think a white author is your best choice… however, I do think this author speaks to white people effectively. Daniel Hill offers ideas and suggestions for white people’s place in racial reconciliation and what he has learned thus far. Truly, I found this book to be a great read and full of learning opportunities. I strongly recommend it!
The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
Quite a shift from the previous book, this focuses on a twisted love story. Typically, these stories focus on the male perpetrator but this one was interesting because you are reading from the perspective of a crazy ex girlfriend, Juliette who will stop at nothing to win Nate, her ex, back! She’s twisted, manipulative, and completely crazy. This book kept me drawn in with twists in turns in each direction. If you like these types of books, pick it up and I swear, you won’t be able to put it down.
Hush by Kate White
This book, definitely a thrilling read but will have you cringing at the main characters choices. The focus is on a young woman, Lake who is in the midst of a nasty custody battle with her ex-husband; that is shockingly not the main plot line. Lake is working for a fertility clinic as a marketing consultant. She gets caught in a really sticky situation and flees the scene of a murder.
Lake then starts learning about some shady shit going on at the clinic. Throughout the entire book, she lies to police repeatedly, which is infuriating because it’s never resolved!! Honestly, if you are looking for a mysterious read, this is a good one, but all the other details make me say, pass!
This is an audiobook I particularly enjoyed and listened to in just a few days. Rachel Holloway seems like your typical woman; great husband, sweet daughter. She works for a small newspaper in her town that seems doomed until an employee comes up with a great concept for a podcast — Missing Molly. The podcast would cover the mysterious events that occurred in a nearby town twelve years prior. Molly’s entire family was found murdered, but the young girl hasn’t been seen since.
Rachel’s life unravels as she tries to keep her past behind her, and her present safe! In order to do that, no one can ever know she is Molly. This book kept me drawn in; I’d definitely recommend it for someone who likes this genre.
Essentially the story follows people in a women’s reproductive health clinic, all there for various reasons, when an anti-abortionist shooter comes in. He takes everyone inside hostage. Police shows up and the hostage negater begins doing his job when he realizes the unthinkable; his daughter is inside! He continues working, despite potential moral obligations to walk away. The book focuses on several other perspectives that are incredibly interesting. Truly, I felt as though I got a lot out of this book and would definitely recommend it. Just be prepared for a bit of confusion!
When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica
*Spoiler Alerts* A contender for worst book of summer reads 2019, this book is not one I would recommend. It’s as though someone had a great concept and decided at the last minute to throw it in the garbage. Here is my advice to the author: DO NOT ESTABLISH AN ENTIRE PLOT LINE, TELL A NEARLY COMPLETE STORY AND HAVE THE LAST F*CKING CHAPTER REVEAL IT WAS ALL A DREAM… I cannot tell you how infuriated I was to get to the end of this book and have all the questions the author had set up be destroyed because it was just a dream. Ridiculous. It’s like being told you’re getting authentic Italian food and then being fed Olive Garden. I really do not recommend this book!
Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning To Say by Kelly Corrigan
Kelly Corrigan is a hilarious author, this book is no exception. Throughout this book I was laughing along, and crying along. This is a book picked for my book club and we all really enjoyed it. The book is a breakdown of things Kelly is learning to say, with each chapter being a new word or phrase. Consistently, I thought of my mom; it was either things she already says or should start saying. Truly a phenomenal read with something inside for everyone.
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
This is another book I’ve already written about in another blog post, but this was an incredibly cute story about a girl in high school who pursued her dreams of becoming a chef despite the obstacles put in her way. Definitely recommend reading this one.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
This riveting read was suggested to me by my thrill-loving sister and I enjoyed it. It focuses on Lo Blacklock, a travel writer for a magazine heads out on a glorious cruise. She’s fortunate enough to take a peek into a life she could never afford… at least that is what she thinks. Shortly into the trip, Lo witnesses something terrible and no one believes she saw it. After being accused of going insane, Lo is finally able to show everyone the danger she has seen and it will blow everyones mind. Pick up this book and be shocked!
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
Lent to me by a co-worker, I read this book in exactly 2.5 days. It was just one of those books I didn’t want to put down. Ghosted tells the story of Sarah and Eddie; the pair fall in love hard and fast in just seven days… but as soon as they part ways on the seventh day, Sarah doesn’t hear from Eddie again. Convinced something is wrong, she digs and digs until she finds out their histories are entangled in the most tragic and horrifying of ways. Can they move past this? Sarah is convinced they cannot. I loved all the twists and turns of this book and never expected some of the outcomes. I definitely recommend reading this book.
My reading has zero intentions to wind down, but I was so eager to share some of these titles with you!! I hope you got a lot of reading done this summer. Have you read anything on this list? What were your best and worst books of summer 2019? Share in the comments below…