Books I Read This Week 2019 – 47

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Love Lettering (4 stars): I really enjoyed my time with this sweet story. The blurb tells you most of the plot of the book. Meg’s a letterer and Reid and his wife-to-be are her clients. A year later, Reid finds her and asks about the message she’d hidden in their wedding announcements. 

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot since there is a bit of a twist towards the end of the book (which I guessed somehow) but this isn’t a mystery novel so it’s not really about the plot. The characters are fun and each uniquely interesting and the main character was developed enough to make the story enjoyable for me. In many romances, the characters seem to be cardboard versions of themselves, with the author not feeling the need to develop the characters fully in favor of developing the romance/electricity. In this novel, I felt both of the characters were developed enough that they felt real to me. Even the secondary characters like Meg’s roommate, the client Lark, and the women at the store were all fun additions to the story without seeming completely one-dimensional.

I love lettering and I love numbers so the extra layers of Meg’s job and Reid’s job were an added bonus for me. If romance is your genre, I am pretty sure you’ll enjoy this one.

thank you to netgalley and Kensington Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

ps: this book also has the honor of being my 100th netgalley read this year 🙂

The Man Who Solved the Market (3.5 stars): This was an easy, interesting read. The author states from the very beginning that the ex- and current employees don’t like to talk about the company and Simons didn’t want him to write the book. It’s clear that while there’s a bunch of research, the book, to me, didn’t come alive the way some of the similar books in the genre do. The characters didn’t seem 3-dimensional and the story didn’t have the spark it needed to move from a research project to a compelling book. It didn’t really come alive off the page the way I had hoped it might. The reader is left with some interesting tidbits about Simons and Renaissance but not the real essence of what made them tick. Still found it to be quite readable and enjoyed my time with it.

After the End (4 stars): I put off reading this book for a long time because I was worried that the plot would make me too sad. And it really did. Deciding whether to pull the plug on your child’s life support would easily wreck any parent, let alone when the two parents disagree. These types of experiences strain a marriage so much and that’s partially the focus of this story. Many people wrote in the reviews that they didn’t like the second half of the novel where the narrative splits in half and you get a Sliding Doors like experience of finding out how each choice would have turned out. 

But I loved it. 

I didn’t necessarily find each of the narratives super-engaging but what I loved was the way it highlighted how there’s no “right” choice in this scenario and how regardless of what path they had chosen, their relationship would still have taken the intolerable tax of losing a child. To me, this demonstrated how impossible the choice was. It was a great example of showing and not telling.

The Color of Style (3 stars): I’ll be really honest here, I hate shopping. I would have never picked this book up if it weren’t for a work friend who said she had a meeting with Zyla and raved about him. In fact, I am absolutely sure he’s fantastic in person. The problem, in my opinion, is that his unique and very personal talent is hard to translate into a book. Finding these very unique colors that will suit you perfectly is something that requires a really keen eye for subtle differences. It’s hard for an ordinary person to do it, in my opinion. I loved much of the advice here and found myself wishing that I had already had a personal appointment and knew my colors so I could read this book and figure out how to start turning over my closet. It does have good tips for people who don’t like shopping and how to build it out slowly. As with most things, there’s no easy magic bullet here, you can’t replace a personal experience with a book. It was still enjoyable to read.

I Will Never See the World Again (3.5 stars): I was born and raised in Turkey so when my childhood friend who lives in London recommended I read this book, I added it to my list. It took several more months for it to come to the United States but I finally got it from the library this week. Like Dawn, the author of this book is also in jail. Unlike Dawn, this is a non-fiction novel and not stories. 

I don’t know enough about the politics and truth behind so much of what happened during the coup and this particular author’s part (or lack thereof) in it. So I can’t really speak to that, but I can say that this book is powerful and full of beautiful imagery and gives you a glimpse of how inconsistent and nonsensical the legal process (or lack thereof) can be.

I am glad I read it.

The Bromance Book Club (4 stars): This book was super fun. After several heavy reads, I needed something light and quick. I didn’t really know what the plot was but it looked like it would be exactly what I needed and it totally was. I read the whole book in one breath. I loved the characters and the playful plot. I saw a review that said this was a feminist romance, I am not sure I’d qualify it that way but there are strong female characters in it which can sometimes be not common in a romance. It also was awesome that this is about romance within a marriage which is definitely rare. That last bit is what moved it from a 3.5 to a 4 star for me!

Saving Francesca (4 stars): And I hear nothing because it’s like the volume button has been turned down on our lives and nobody has anything to say anymore.

It took me a while to get into this novel. I had added this to my to-read list a while back and checked and rechecked it out of the library before I finally settled down to read it. Once I got about 30% of the way in, I didn’t want to do anything but keep reading this book. I thought about the characters the whole time and really wanted to know how the story turned out. 

The depression belongs to all of us. I think of the family down the road whose mother was having a baby and they went around the neighborhood saying, “We’re pregnant.” I want to go around the neighborhood saying, “We’re depressed.” If my mum can’t get out of bed in the morning, all of us feel the same. Her silence has become ours, and it’s eating us alive.

The story had a lot of flaws, in my opinion. the secondary characters weren’t well developed. The dad seemed a bit more cartoonish for most of the novel (except some fantastic sections) and while I felt like the descriptions of depression and its impact on the family were very realistic, acute and palpable in this novel, I felt like the ending and the story behind Francesca’s mom’s journey of how she got there was a bit cleaner than I would have liked. All this is messy and I wished the book had not resolved as much. Even though I also think that definitely does happen (it did to me.) I still wish it was a bit messier.

All in all, this was still a great book. The teenagers in the book were honestly portrayed and were richly developed. I loved reading it.

Once More We Saw Stars (3.5 stars): It was really interesting to read this book after I read After the End which was a fictional novel based on a true event that happened to the author. I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to read two novels around a kid dying in one week. The nonsensical nature of the death of their daughter makes this story so very heart-wrenching and such a terrible reminder that life is precarious and can change on you in a moment. The pain and heartache of this couple is so acute and so hard to read. 

And yet it’s also hopeful in so many ways. The couple stays together through this horrible experience that usually breaks most marriages. They have another baby and continue to honor their daughter and her memory. 

It broke my heart but I am glad I read it.

And there we go, a bunch of reading this week, ending my week is 360 reads for the year. Here’s to another great week next week.

Books I Read this Week 2019 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2019 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

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