November Reading Recap
We're nearing the end of 2019, folks! How is that possible?
I read 8 books in November: 4 library books, 2 ARCs (thank you Celadon Books and NetGalley!) and 2 books I won in Instagram giveaways. My birthday was on the 21st though, and I couldn't help buy myself a couple books I had already read and loved earlier this year (Warcross and Wildcard by Marie Lu.) Plus, I went into Denver on Black Friday and scored a couple of used books at Tattered Cover, one of the best bookstores in the area.
On to the mini reviews!
*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger, 3/5
After I finished this book I wasn't quite sure what to think. I really enjoyed the premise and setting, as well as Holsinger's pacing. He made a story about parents vying for spots at a gifted school pretty thrilling. However, the characters irritated me so much I didn't care if they were redeemed or got what they deserved at the end. I think your upbringing and views on parenting, education, and privilege will highly influence what you think of The Gifted School.
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, 5/5
One of my favorite books of the year. WOW. I ramble about Bad Blood in my bookstagram review, but suffice it to say that everyone should read this. It's a thrilling, jaw-dropping analysis of startup culture, Silicon Valley, and fraud. Sooooo good.
The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao, 2.5/5*
Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for my advanced review copy of this book. Unfortunately, it didn't do it for me. The cover and synopsis intrigued me ("Crazy Rich Asians as written by Gillian Flynn") but the story fell flat on both counts. It wasn't quite the addictive family saga as CRA nor was it an edge-of-your-seat thriller. The Majesties had a lot of potential, but it fell flat, even the twist at the end.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, 5/5
In the mood for a book that'll make you cry? Well, do I have the book for you! The Nightingale is a sweeping historical fiction novel about 2 sisters surviving WWII France. I loved The Great Alone so I wasn't sure if The Nightingale would live up to my expectations, but it did and more. It also made me cry. A lot.
Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin, review to come!*
Frankly in Love by David Yoon, 5/5
Another favorite read of the year! I loved it so much I posted about Frankly in Love numerous times on my Instagram, which I don't usually do. It's such a clever exploration of race, family ties, love, and growing up. It's a young adult book that may sound like a rom-com in the synopsis, but it's so much more than that.
A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson, 4/5
This was our second book pick for #JAMbuddyreads! I liked the setup and how Edvardsson wrote from 3 different characters' perspectives. All their voices were distinct and unique, and each part furthered the mystery along nicely. I would have preferred that the reveal to this legal thriller came earlier in the book, but I still really enjoyed figuring out what happened.
The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal, 4/5
I loved Kitchens of the Great Midwest so I was eager to read Stradal's new family drama that spans 3 generations of women in a Midwestern family. As a beer lover I enjoyed following the characters' journeys into brewing in Minnesota. The book jumps around from 3 different characters' perspectives as well as back and forth in time, which usually I don't mind, but it got a little disjointed and threw off the pacing for me. Despite this, I really liked the setting, characters, and story overall.
I have 9 books to go until I reach 100 books read in 2019. Can I do it? We'll see...