Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Book Review October 2020



Hey y'all! It's been a while since I've done one of these blog posts. Honestly between April and September, I really didn't read a lot of books. But after wandering into Barnes and Nobles one day, I walked out with three new books and knew I needed to get cracking down on reading all these books on my wishlist. I've also been taking advantage of the Libby app to download e-books from the local library, which is actually where I read seven of these eight books. 

My plan is to start doing monthly book reviews instead of doing them in parts like I have been doing so that I can hold myself accountable to read more books and get these reviews out for y'all quicker for reference. A few of these books I had to put a hold on them, but the turnover is quick and most of the time they were overlapping each other. There may be spoilers in the following reviews, but I try to be as vague as possible. 

Red, White, and Royal Blue - Casey McQuiston

Red, White, and Royal Blue is a story following the rebellious first son on the United States who gets in trouble for causing a scene at a Royal Wedding in England as him mom is running for reelection. Because of the scene caused and the tabloids running with the story, he is forced to do an event in England and in the US with the prince of England for positive publicity. 

I've been seeing this book on multiple social media platforms for at least a few months now and it has been on my list of books to read since then. I'm so glad I read this book. It hooked me in from the start because I couldn't figure out where it was taking me. In the current age that we're in, it was really nice to see a world written by the author where American was currently be lead by their first female president and the prince of England was gay. The biggest part of the story was seeing the first son of America figuring out his sexuality and navigating his new and unfamiliar feelings. 

Big Summer: A Novel: Weiner, Jennifer: 9781501133510: Amazon.com: Books

Big Summer - Jennifer Weiner 

Daphne Berg is a growing plus size social media influencer who is accepts a collaboration with a new clothing company and what better way to create content for the company than at Drue Cavenaugh's big Hamptons wedding, where she was shocked to not only be invited by her old friend, but also asked to be her maid-of-honor. After years of building herself into a confident, independent person after college, will Daphne turn back to her old ways by getting dragged back into Drue's world where she's in charge? 

I was recommended this book by a coworker who thought I would enjoy it for the fact that Daphne is not only an influencer, but also living in NYC and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed the book. This book is separated into three parts and the ending of the first part of the book left you with a huge plot twist in the novel and from there I was hooked and needed to find out what happens. It's a lighthearted summer read with a murder mystery twist and it also keeps you guessing on who the murder is all the way to the end of the novel. 

Amazon.com: American Royals (9781984830173): McGee, Katharine: Books

American Royals - Katharine McGee 

What if America had a royal family instead of a democracy? Two princesses are wanting the one thing they can't have and two girls are fighting for the prince's love. Beatrice is currently in line to become the first Queen of America and with that lives her life according to duty and honor for her country, even if it means sacrificing her heart. Samantha is the rebellious younger sister who wants to be in a relationship with the one eligible bachelor who she can't have. Nina is the best friend of Samantha who struggles with living a normal life while being best friends with a princesses, while also being in love with her best friends' brother. Daphne is the scorned ex-girlfriend of the prince who is trying to get the prince back to make her mother happy, while also hiding a dark secret of her own. 

I found this book after reading that ashleybrookebookclub's September book of the month was the sequel, Majesty, I knew I needed to read the first novel first. As someone who is obsessed with royal life, especially the current royal family in England, I was very intrigued to escape to a world where we had a royal family in America and Katharine McGee does not disappoint in creating this world. Out of the four narratives, I was most interested in Beatrice's point of view and even Nina's point of view. Beatrice really drew me in with her hidden, building relationship with her bodyguard Connor, while also dealing with the pressure from her parents for an arranged marriage with a pre-approved list of potential husbands (cue the Princess Diaries 2 plot line). 

While I'm not going to go into much detail about each of the girls, what I love is that they each have different personalities which allows readers to connect to one of the girls or even just their storylines. It's the Sex and the City for a younger generation - are you a Beatrice, Samantha, Nina or Daphne? Either way, McGee set us up at the end of this novel for an exciting sequel. 

Amazon.com: American Royals II: Majesty (9781984830210): McGee, Katharine:  Books

Majesty - Katharine McGee 

After ending the first novel on a cliffhanger, Majesty picks up right where American Royals left off. Beatrice is now Queen of America and with that has to figure out how to lead her nation and do what is expected of her, while mourning the unexpected death of her father. Samantha, upset that her relationship with Teddy is no longer an option, decides to create a fake relationship to make him jealous. Nina, still upset with how her relationship with the Prince ended, finds a friendship and potential relationship in the last person she expected she'd enjoy spending time with. Daphne is still on the hunt to get the Prince back and is willing to do anything to achieve that, but what will happen when she gets to the end and opens her eyes to what her life actually looks like? 

This is the anticipated sequel to American Royals from the September book of the month and I waited weeks for this book to be available on Libby. I think the weeks of built of anticipation ended up being too much for me, because I was actually a little disappointed with this sequel. After building up this relationship with Beatrice and Connor in the first novel, fans of this relationship will be very let down in the sequel. I actually ended up enjoying Samantha's parts the most in this book, watching her grow from being the spare to now the heir and wanting to take on more responsibilities while growing her first real and meaning full relationship with someone. 

Amazon.com: Beach Read eBook: Henry, Emily: Kindle Store

Beach Read - Emily Henry

January Andrews is a best selling author who is currently struggling to write her newest novel. She decides to go out to her dad's beach house to pack it up after his death and learns about his other life. Augustus Everett lives next door and turns out he's also struggling to write his next novel. Both successful writers in different genres and former classmates, they decide to challenge each other to write a novel in the other's genre to challenge themselves and help them write the books they're struggling with. This includes trips planned by each of them to help with ideas and research. 

This book is exactly what it's meant to be a fun beach read book for the summer. I really enjoyed this book and it's a quick read for those who want something fun to read for a couple of hours. I've been seeing this book around on social media and decided to read it while waiting for two books to become available on the hold list and I'm glad I ended up reading it. I needed the lightness of it between books and I really loved escaping to the summer days as we were transitioning to the fall weather. 

His Only Wife: Medie, Peace Adzo: 9781616209155: Amazon.com: Books

His Only Wife - Peace Adzo Medie 

His Only Wife is the October 2020 Reese's Book Club pick and as always never disappoints. Afi is a young seamstress from Ghana who's arranged marriage is happening as the novel starts. Not only has she never met her husband, but he isn't even at the wedding. As Afi starts her new life, she struggles to become the wife for a husband who is still in love with a woman that the family doesn't approve of and also shares a daughter with. She begins to find her own ground while also falling in love with her husband, but is she strong enough to make her own demands and walk away if necessary? 

This book started off very slow for me, but once the story started moving, I couldn't put it down. I loved getting to read about the African cultures in both the small country town and the capital of Ghana and the differences in classes. Afi is seen struggling to adjust to a world where she can have anything she wants without a second thought and is expected to be the wife who is controlled by not only her husband, but his family. She believes that she is allowed to demand certain things that she wants, such as living in her husband's house with him instead of alone at the apartment and a career as a fashion designer. The reader goes on a journey of a young, meek girl to an independent, entrepreneurial woman who isn't afraid to defy her family for what she wants. This book had me in near tears going through the emotional journey with Afi and I highly recommend it to everyone. 

Then She Was Gone: A Novel: Jewell, Lisa: 9781501154652: Amazon.com: Books

Then She Was Gone - Lisa Jewell

Laurel's world was turned upside down when her daughter, Ellie went missing and has never been found. Ten years and a divorce later, she's finally starting to build a new life seeing how isolated she's become to everyone, including her other children. When she meets Floyd, she's surprised by the feelings she's having and the emotions of moving on. She meets his daughter, who looks a lot like her missing daughter. Is she finally going to get the answers for what happened to her daughter ten years ago? 

You know my book review posts are never complete without a psychological thriller and this one didn't disappoint. I had so many questions while reading this book and I was definitely guessing what had happened all the way up to the end. What I loved most about this book is that the book would flip back and forth between Laurel in the present time and Ellie ten years ago. Further into the novel you also get to see two other point of views that helps answer all the questions that the reader starts to have at the beginning of the novel. 

Amazon.com: The Kennedy Debutante (9780451492043): Maher, Kerri: Books

The Kennedy Debutante  - Kerri Maher

The Kennedy Debutante follows Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy as she lives with her family in London, where her dad is the ambassador as a debutante being presented to society and falling in love and follows her journey to the height of World War II. 

This book is actually the debut publication for Kerri Maher and you would honestly have no idea. I'm obsessed with this book. I wasn't familiar with JFK's sister before this novel and while reading this novel, I was doing so much research on their family to further educate myself. We all know that this family has suffered an unusual amount of heartbreak and Kick's story takes you through the Kennedy Curse of the 1930's and 1940's - with Rosemary's lobotomy, Joes' death and even Kick's husband of a few months dying in battle. What I love about this book is how throughout the whole story, you see the struggle that Kick goes through wanting to please her mother and marrying the guy she's in love with, who's of a Protestant family.  We all know that the Kennedy's are a huge Catholic family, and what I love is that throughout the novel, Kick never falters from her faith and even found a middle ground for her and Billy to get married that works for both of their faith. 

Any historical fiction fans or even Kennedy family fans must read this book. You can feel all the research that Maher did to make it accurate and takes you on a journey to America and England as they enter the war. Kerri Maher has already come out with a second book about Grace Kelly that I can't wait to get my hands on to read. 

Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments below and give me some book recommendations also! 

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