Buckle up friends! We’ve got three months of reading to review, and I was on a roll in April. Most of the books I’ve read in 2019 have been total hits, but there have been some duds here and there. I’ve got a lot of books to talk about, so let’s get started!
1. Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Little White Lies features 18-year-old Sawyer who was raised by a single mother 40 minutes away from her posh grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin. Sawyer is perfectly content being her mother’s keeper until her grandmother shows up one day offering her $500,000 to participate in the upcoming debutante season. Sawyer was hoping just to get some money to pay for college in the next year, but she got way more than she bargained for. She’s thrust into the secrets and lies of the wealthy, southern, elite, and she even makes some friends along the way. I gave this book 5/5 stars.
2. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
This is the best personal finance book I have read, and I’ve read a lot. My brother loaned me this book, and I’m forever grateful he did because it’s the only thing that’s really helped me get my finances into shape. Sethi breaks down everything you need to know about personal finance into actionable steps. Most personal finance books are only focused one aspect of personal wealth (saving more than you spend, developing a passive income, etc), but Sethi breaks down how to get out of debt, how to set up a credit card, how to invest, and more. I cannot recommend this book enough to someone starting out in the personal finance world. I gave this book 5/5 stars.
1. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
I was pleasantly surprised by Children of Blood and Bone. This book has been talked about all over Booktube, and I usually end up expecting too much from those types of books, but I absolutely loved this one. Adeyemi gave a voice to such a marginalized group of people, and I really enjoyed the way she portrayed magic in such a desolate world. Children of Blood and Bone takes place in a fictional land that used to be ripe with magic but was purged of it when the king became scared of the power the Magi held. Zélie must go on a dangerous quest with her brother and the princess of Orïsha to restore magic to the land. It’s pretty commonly accepted that Adeyemi has based Orïsha on traditional African tribes and there’s a underlying commentary on racism that translates well to our current political climate. I gave this book 5/5 stars.
2. To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han
Of course, I had to read To All the Boys I Loved Before again. I read this back in college when it first became popular, but with the new Netflix movie, I was dying to read it again. If you don’t know, TATBILB is about a girl, Laura Jean, who writes love letters to boys when she wants to stop loving them. She never means for them to see the letters, but one day, they are accidentally sent out into the world, and Laura Jean’s life is turned upside down. She gets a fake (real?) boyfriend, makes new friends, and has a school year she never imagined. Personally, I like movie Peter way better than book Peter and book Josh 10,000 times more than movie Josh. I finally got the second book from the library, so I’m excited to see where the story goes — I’ve never read the whole series. I gave this book 5/5 stars.
3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
You were probably getting sick of all the 5/5 star ratings and might have been thinking that I was being super generous. But here comes Outlander. I posted about Outlander asking people if I should keep trudging through since I wasn’t really feeling it, and I got very mixed messages. Turns out, I hated it. I really should have not finished the book, but I’m horrible at stopping halfway through and giving up. The book takes place in 18th century Scotland after 1945 Claire is teleported through time. She runs into a band of Scottish men fighting the English, and the rest is history. I really have nothing positive to say about this story unfortunately. I found it unbearably long with relatively little action. I wasn’t even particularly enthralled in the romantic scenes. I gave this book 2/5 stars. Don’t at me.
1. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry
My first true crime book of 2019, and boy was it a good one! I’ve never been particularly interested in learning more about Charles Manson, but Helter Skelter changed me completely. I had no idea how twisted and terrifying Manson was and the impact he had on his followers. I love that this book was written from Bugliosi’s notes during the trial and his experience attempting to convict Manson and his followers of the horrific murders. Bugliosi is thorough without being boring and detailed without being sadistic. If you’re interested in true crime, there is not a better book I could recommend to learn about Charles Manson. I gave this book 5/5 stars.
2. Transcription by Kate Atkinson
I read this book for a book club I did not attend, but I’m still so glad I picked this one up. I never would have read this book if it weren’t for book club, but I ended up kind of loving Atkinson’s style of writing. She’s all about character development, and I loved the quirks she gave the main characters of this historical fiction novel. Transcription takes place in London throughout history but mainly in 1940 and and 1950. It features a band of spies sharing intel on German sympathizers during World War II. Juliet, the main character, thinks her life of espionage came to a close with the war, but ten years later it rears its ugly head again. I gave this book 4/5 stars.
3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Go read this book. I have nothing but good things to say about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. The book takes place in modern day as Monique writes about the life of 50s movie star Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn chronicles her life for Monique, so much of the story actually takes place in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s as well. Jenkins Reid has a talent with words. She makes what should be a completely unapproachable story one of the most relatable things I have read in such a long time. I’m going to be doing a full review of this book, so please be on the lookout. I gave this book 5/5 stars (but it deserves 10).
4. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Weirdly enough, I would call this doomed tale one of the more charming stories I have read in a while. In a way, Silvera made me fall in love with life with his story about death. They Both Die in the End takes place in a world where everyone knows what day they are going to die, but they have no idea what time. Everyone is encouraged to make the most of their last day, and when Mateo and Rufus meet on an app geared toward making a friend on your End Day, what’s left of their short lives changes forever. Silvera’s story isn’t really about death — it’s about living. I gave this book 5/5 stars.
5. Who Thought This Was A Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler
My last full read of April (bringing me to a total of 10 books in three months (not bad for me) was a non-fiction, memoir type book written by the Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations for President Barack Obama. Mastromonaco is impressive for a plethora of reasons, but some of the biggest include the fact that she was a young woman in politics that held one of the most stressful positions related to the President of the United States. I decided to read Mastromonoco’s book after hearing her interview on Bad on Paper, and while it wasn’t completely what I expected, I wasn’t in the slightest disappointed. I gave this book 4/5 stars.
Whew! That was a lot of wrapping up to do, but I’m so glad I had so many books to share. I’m still plugging away at It, which I started back in October, and I finished the second book my friend wrote (I don’t want to share too much about it, but I absolutely loved it and am so proud of her for her dedication to her craft). I’ve been utilizing the library a TON to get all this reading done and not spend a ton on books since I’m really focusing on my money goals this year. What have you guys been reading lately? Are there any upcoming posts you want to see from me in the next few months? Let me know in the comments below.