The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

**Review**

The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Every page of this book lived up to the hype. When I started reading, so many friends commented that I should be prepared to stay up all night reading. They weren’t wrong. I maintained my pace for the first 200 pages and then devoured the final half of the book in one night.

I’ve long loved historical fiction, particularly those set during WWII. The Nightingale just may be my favorite WWII novel.

Hearing the perspective from two very different sisters, with incredibly different views on the war and their role in it provided a robust experience.

Isabelle and Vianne captured me from the very first page. I cried with them (a lot) and mourned with them. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time.

After loving The Great Alone and, now, The Nightingale, I’ll be adding Kristin Hannah to my must read list.

Mrs. Everything, Jennifer Weiner

**Review**

Mrs. Everything, Jennifer Weiner (available 6/11/19)

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Where do I even begin? This book had my attention and heart from the first words in the author’s note.

Mrs. Everything follows Jo and Bethie, two Jewish sisters growing up in Detroit in the 1950s. The book tells each of their stories as they grow up, leave home, get married, have kids (or not) and find (or hide) themselves.

Jennifer Weiner’s books have always been among my favorites and her books are pretty much auto buys for me. The instant I saw she had a new one coming out, I preordered it. When I saw it on Netgalley, I immediately wished for it and nearly died when the publisher, Atria Books, granted my wish for the book. (Still keeping my preorder, because I fully believe in supporting authors and buying their books.)

Mrs. Everything just might be my top book of 2019. I know it’s still early in the year, but this book masterfully tackles hard and triggering topics. Weiner painted a beautiful narrative and presented two wildly different characters, yet I was drawn to and related to both in different ways.

As I read, my heart broke, not only for the sisters, but also for all the women who’ve followed similar paths and found a way to fight so no woman ever has to walk alone or broken.

This book was perfect from the beginning until the very last page.

Things You Save in a Fire, Katherine Center

**Review**

Things You Save in a Fire, Katherine Center

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I am not sure I have ever related to and loved a character as much as I loved and related to Cassie.

Things You Save in a Fire is a beautiful story about forgiveness, family, love and perseverance.

What I loved most was how real Cassie was. She experienced severe heartbreak and trauma, and while she closed herself off from emotions, she pushed herself to succeed in a career she was passionate about. She is both fragile and impossibly strong.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the inside view into what it’s like for female firefighters. Through Center’s writing, I felt like I was right there with Cassie fighting for her place, proving herself and finding love and forgiveness.

The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah

**Review**

The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I both loved and hated this book. The story and characters captured me from page one. Leni leapt off the pages and chased me every time I put this book down. I wanted to shake some sense into Cora and make her see her daughter, and herself, as I did.

This is one of those books that makes you scream at the characters as they make horrible decisions after horrible decision.

The Great Alone made me fall in love with a place I’ve never been to. Alaska was a leading character, and the one I loved the most.

The Hidden women, Kerry Barrett

**Review**

The Hidden Women, Kerry Barrett

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Some secrets are better left out in the open.

While I admit I had completely different expectations for this book than what the story delivered and it took me quite a while to get into the story, once I finally did, I enjoyed it.

Helena, an uptight, Type-A with an interesting job, a wonderful daughter, a chaotic family and a new love interest, was surprisingly relatable. But it was her Great Aunt Lil that captivated me. Lil’s story was inspiring, tragic and powerful. I think I could have read an entire book just on Lil.

The one aspect of this book that I wish had been revealed in the synopsis was the potential triggers it contained. This book does cover topics of rape, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, abandonment and postpartum depression.

Educated, Tara Westover

**Review**

Educated, Tara Westover

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This just may be the best memoir I’ve ever read. The story itself was engaging and interesting, but the prose was breathtaking. Her words transported me to Idaho, BYU, Cambridge and Harvard.

Her retelling of the events of her childhood and her growth made me cry, rage and, occasionally, laugh

Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

**Review**

Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I loved every page of this book. Every time I had to set it down, it stayed with me. Each mystery revealed left me with questions.

Rill’s story was heartbreaking. I was desperate to know what happened with her siblings and how Judy fit into the puzzle.

As I learned the truth along with Avery, my heart broke. Knowing that children actually lives nightmares like this is hard to fathom.

Wingate wove together a beautiful and heartbreaking story.

Becoming, Michelle Obama

**Review**

Becoming, Michelle Obama

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Oh Michelle. Your voice and story were exactly what I needed.

I picked up both the hardcover and audiobook of Becoming. I much prefer to listen to memoirs rather than read them. Hearing the author’s story is always so much more intimate and personal when you can hear their words in their own voice.

I learned so much about Michelle in a Becoming. I fell I love with her all over again. I cried tears of joy, empathy or sadness in nearly every chapter.

As a working mother, her openness about her struggles with balance and working mom guilt resonated deeply with me.

Her love for Barrack, her daughters, her family and America is genuine and raw. She tells her story with a humbleness that few possess.

I found myself wanting to keep listening to hear the full story but dreading the final words. Reliving the Obama White House years through her words brought me great comfort.

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

**Review**

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When I read the synopsis, I wasn’t sure how Gyasi was going to execute the multi generational story outlined.

She did it beautifully with impeccable prose and detail. The pictures she painted were so vivid I felt like I was living with each of the characters.

At first, I was worried I would miss Effia, the first character we meet. She was by far my favorite. I almost put the book down when I glanced at the chapter titles and realized I only had one chapter with her, but I’m glad I didn’t. I then fell in love with Esi and each of her and Effia’s children and their children.

Homegoing is like nothing I’ve ever read before. The story is disjointed and jarring as it hops from one generation to the next, but this jumping is what connects the reader to the family and the history they lived. Gyasi transported me through multiple decades and countries and bonded me to a history I’d never connected to before.

The ending was perfect and did not leave me wanting.

Is There Still Sex in the City, Candace Bushnell

**Review**

Is There Still Sex in the City? Candace Bushnell

⭐️⭐️

I wanted to love this book. I was beyond excited to receive an ARC from Netgalley. But it left me disappointed and wanting.

Is There Still Sex in the City reads like the narration to a TV show, but lacks the imagery and heart that should be playing while the narrator adds their clippy, smart commentary.

The chapters hopped from mini essays on social and dating definitions (Tinder at 50, kids, suicide, types of boys, mid-life crisis, etc.) and character stories without much emotion – lots of telling, little showing. Considering the topics covered, I was expecting to feel something, or at the very least, connection to the characters, but there wasn’t enough to build that connection on.

The writing was choppy and felt like a list of things that happened or of explanations of what was happening. Cliches, acronyms and text speak overflowed throughout. I felt as though it wanted to be smart and edgy, but fell short.