Recent Reads: August and September

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Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
I liked this book a lot, my only downside to this book was I absolutely hated the ending! A private plane crashes after taking flight off Martha’s Vineyard and only two people survive, Scott Burroughs, a painter and the four year old son, JJ, of a television mogul. I could not put the book down wanting to know what happens in the aftermath to Scott and JJ once they are returned to normal life after the crash. I felt like I was so invested in their lives and for the book to end the way it did, I just wanted so much more from it and felt it was so anticlimactic.

Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry
I had been wanting to read this book for a few months and Amazon dropped the price on it one day and I had to buy it and I was very disappointed by the book. Isabelle is a high level Wall Street worker has to battle not only her male dominated workplace but also her unemployed husband, her three children, her ex-boyfriend and the impending financial collapse. I just felt like there were too many stories going on in the book and Isabelle is an extremely unlikable character so I honestly could not root for her at all.

The After Party by Anton DiSclafani
I really disliked this book, which was another book I was looking forward to reading. Unlikable characters, especially the main character CeCe that you are hoping will wake up before she destroys her whole life in the process for her friend Joan. And the twist towards the end? I think that made me dislike the book more.

The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton
This was a cute book, it was okay, not one of my favorites though. After the two I read before it and hated it was a welcome change to not hate the book. Three best friends, Jessie, Claire and Gabriela, are all turning 50 and are given the opportunity to return to the year they turned 40 and relive the year that changed all of their lives. By going back they can also impact their future if they chose to return to the present a year later. The ending I wasn’t a fan of, I would have liked to have seen it go in the opposite way that it did. For a book that touches on parallel lives I think Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid did a much better job than this book.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Holocaust books are always hard for me to read since my grandfather escaped Austria before being captured by the Nazis and my great grandparents were captured, but I keep being drawn to them. Lilac Girls is good but it is an emotionally draining book. It follows the lives of three different women, Caroline, a New York socialite, Kasia, a Polish teenager who is sent to the concentration camp Ravensbrück and Herta, a German doctor who signs up to work at Ravensbrück not knowing it is a concentration camp. Halfway through reading I found out that the characters of Caroline and Herta are based on real people and Kasia is based off of a woman from Ravensbrück. The research that Kelly put into this book was incredibly extensive and it shows. You feel like you are going through everything with these characters and as heartbreaking as their stories are, this is an incredible book.

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