Reading wrap-up #55

Reaching my reading goal of 70 this books this year will actually be a challenge as I’ve gotten a full-time job and don’t read as much as I would like. However, these reviews will also be more slow-going for a while as I’m working on two special reading wrap-ups of my highest and lowest rated on my TBR, with two down and eight to go!

As a reminder, here is how I rate my books:

  • (★★★★★): Loved it
  • (★★★★): Really liked it
  • (★★★): Liked it enough
  • (★★): Didn’t care for it

Another few notes: I will warn if there are any spoilers with (start spoiler) and (end spoiler) so you know when to stop reading and pick up again if you don’t want to ruin the book for yourself. I no longer go out of my way to watch adaptions, but will continue to mention them and their general critiques (from Rotten Tomatoes) in my reviews. Finally, you can always check out my book review index page if you’re looking for my extremely important opinion on any book in particular.

Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Rafael Bob-Waksburg

Image result for someone who will love you book coverRating: ★★★

Genre: Fiction, short stories, humor

GoodReads rating: 4.16 / 5 (6,000 ratings)

Medium used: Audiobook (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: Written with all the scathing dark humor that is a hallmark of BoJack Horseman, Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s stories will make readers laugh, weep, and shiver in uncomfortably delicious recognition.

Thoughts: I watched a few seasons of BoJack Horseman back in the day and it’s that kind of dark humor we’re all a bit scared to admit we relate to. This book did just the same… at least with some of the stories. I listened to the audiobook on a recommendation of a BookTuber (who is now escaping me) as it’s narrated by a lot of celebrities, most notably for me Stephanie Beatriz (at the time of writing, it’s her birthday!). The stories that had a lasting impact on me were Salted Circus Cashews, Swear to God and Lunch with the Person Who Dumped You. The rest were either a bit too surreal taking away from the “point” or just not my taste. For example, I hated the story Lies We Told Each Other, which examples included lying about how many people you’ve slept with, how you’re feeling, etc. It wasn’t “deep” or ironic, so what’s the point? All in all, not bad though.

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Image result for the wife upstairs book coverRating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction, thriller

GoodReads rating: 3.83 / 5 (24,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-book (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

PopSugar prompt: A book published in 2021.

Summary: Jane moves to a posh neighborhood of Birmingham when her job as a dog walker introduces her to charming Eddie who recently lost his wife Bea in a tragic boating accident. When questions about Bea, Eddie’s intentions and Jane’s past start to circulate, how long until the truth comes out?

Thoughts: As I’ve said before, these domestic thrillers that all seem to have indistinguishable titles will never be my all-time favorites and usually fail to shock me. But I wanted a quick read and this did the trick. Plus, I lucked out when this was available to loan at the library being so new so I thought, why not?

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Image result for take a hint dani brown book coverRating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction, contemporary, romance

GoodReads rating: 4.13 / 5 (24,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-book (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: Dani is focused on a tenure path and doesn’t have time for romance. But when ex-rugby player security guard Zafir rescues her from a drill gone wrong, the Internet is obsessed with the viral video of them. Zafir could use the fake relationship for publicity for his charity while Dani would enjoy his intimate company. What could go wrong?

Thoughts: I ate this up. This was so freaking cute while also being steamy. I like this romance book because it knows exactly what it’s doing hitting all the clichés with the fake relationship and reverse stereotypes (where the man is a hopeless romantic and the woman just wants a hook-up). It had great characters and representation, banter I can relate to and was also quite steamy. I highly recommend this.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Image result for beartown book coverRating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction, contemporary, sports

GoodReads rating: 4.25 / 5 (230,000 ratings)

Medium used: Audiobook (Overdrive) and paperback purchased from Cannon Beach Book Company, Oregon

Summary: Beartown hopes their junior hockey league’s national championship win will get them back on the map and help out the local economy. “Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semifinal match is the catalyst for a violent act that leaves a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Hers is a story no one wants to believe since the truth would mean the end of the dream.”

Warning: This book contains discussions about rape and mention of suicide.

Thoughts: For those who don’t know, ice hockey is the only sport I care much for and this author seems to be doing well for themselves so I was excited to read this. I struggled through the first 100 pages, the book would have been fine without it. I felt the small-town clichés were really shoved down your throat and the stakes for the games weren’t fleshed out enough. For example, I would have loved it if there was some conflict (romantic, personal, athletic, anything) with the rivals as well. There were too many characters for me to keep up with it took me until the halfway mark to totally remember who everyone was. There is a handful of things I would have done different, but after struggling through the beginning, I devoured the rest of this book, earning its four star review.

Other adaptations: There is a Swedish limited series that has some decent reviews.

Have you read any of these?

Photo by Radu Marcusu.

 

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