Books I Read This Week 2020 – 35

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

The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals (4.5 stars): I am not sure why this book didn’t get more coverage. I absolutely loved it from the very beginning. It’s the story of Ariel who goes back home to her mom Mona’s animal sanctuary when she finds out that it is about to be sold.

It’s a coming-back-home story but has the animal sanctuary twist. There are also some political commentary so fair warning.

But what I loved about this book was the characters. There are several really interesting characters and they are so much joy to be around. I could definitely feel the small town feeling and I loved spending time with everyone in this book.

I really wish more people read this one.

with gratitude to edeweiss and the publisher for an advanced copy

In a Holidaze (4 stars): I’m just such a fan of Christina Lauren books. I know what to expect, and they never disappoint me.

Reading a book about Christmas in August was my favorite way to spend a few hours. This is the story of Maelyn who is at a Utah cabin with her family and another few families who’ve spent Christmas together for ever. The book starts off as a Groundhog’s Day trope which really worried me because I’ve read several books this year where the main character gets to re-live the same day and none of them were executed well so I got really worried.

But as it turns out she only gets to re-live a small number of times here and there’s something new and fun in each instance. So it’s not the main focus of the book, which for me, was a good thing.

This is a story about how it pays off to be yourself, to go after the things that make you happy and to take chances each and every time. Life is short and don’t compromise your joy because you’re too scared.

It’s fun, funny, inspiring and sweet. Everything I’ve come to expect from Christina Lauren and they deliver again in this wonderful holiday novel.

With gratitude to netgalley and Gallery Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Silent Wife (3 stars): Ok so this was book #10 in a series where I have read none of the book. But it had high ratings and I was craving a mystery so I read it anyway. It was about a serial killer (not the most uplifting topic but mysteries rarely have that.) It was the kind of mystery I like, where you get to know the characters and there’s a lot of room for not just the plot but character development. It’s about 2x longer than the recent usual twisty mystery books and the author uses all that space for her characters. Enjoyed this one.

The Worst Best Man (3.5 stars): Loved this super fast read. It was fun and funny. The hate to love trope isn’t usually my favorite but I just liked these characters and had fun with the story.

Stranger in the Lake (2 stars): Meh, this story was mostly boring. About a woman who marries a man whose ex-wife drowned in their lake and then now they find another body in the same lake and she had seen her husband talk to that woman the day before. Is he the bad guy? I mean if he were, wouldn’t it just be too obvious for a plot?

The Comeback (4 stars): “I’d like to say I didn’t understand what I was agreeing to, but I think it would be a lie– even back then I knew I was giving a part of myself away.”

This is a really well-written story about an actress who achieves early success thanks to a director who takes her under his wing. It’s the story of how he also sexually abused her and used her and took advantage of her.

It’s not as dark as it might sound and it’s really well written. What I liked the most about this book was the tone (which I don’t think I’ve ever written in a review before.) It had this perfect tone the whole way through where you felt the low level discomfort and unease the character had the whole time. Sometimes it escalated and I was on the edge of my seat and other times I could breathe more easily with her.

I was rooting for her 100% of the time. Really well-done.

And there we go, grateful to be reading.

Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 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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