I seriously feel like I just wrote last month's post on the books I've been reading. September really did fly by in the blink of an eye! The month started out slow for me on the reading front as I tried to work my way through a review book I was sent. I wasted about a week on it before finally calling it quits (more on this book below). What a relief when I did! And thank goodness too, because I ended up moving on to three WAY better books!
Here's what I read in September:
1. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I think everyone (at least out in blog land) has read this book already and I'm so glad I'm one of them. It usually takes me months (sometimes years!) before I get to a book that everyone is raving about. Luckily, this was A Slice of Brie Book Club book last month, so not only did I get to enjoy this book, but I got to talk all about it with a bunch of other people who loved it (you can read the discussion post HERE if you like).
For those in the dark, this book is about Emma, a 31 year old woman who finds love again after her first husband, Jesse, goes missing when his helicopter goes down. It's been a few years since Jesse disappeared and Emma has to accept that he is dead and never coming back. She reunites with an old highs cool friend, Sam and over time, their relationship develops and they get engaged. A few months into their engagement, Emma received a phone call from Jesse: he's still alive, having survived the crash and has been living on a tiny island and is coming home. Now Emma must figure out what she wants, who she is and ultimately, who she wants to be with.
Needless to say, I loved, loved, loved this book. I was hooked from the first page and while I wanted to devour it in one sitting, I also wanted to savour every page. I enjoyed all the characters and I really liked how emotionally invested I was in this book. And I truly wasn't sure how it was all going to end. This is one of those books that I now recommend to anyone who will listen! (5/5 stars)
2. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid: When I picked up One True Loves at the book store, they had After I Do for $5 so I grabbed it too. I read it immediately after reading OTL and really, really liked it too. Reid just writes in a way that I find addicting and I love her characters and their relationships with one another. After I Do is about a married couple who's relationship is on the brink of destruction. Rather than throw in the towel though, they mutually agree to a year long separation (in which NO communication is allowed), hoping that this would allow each of them to find themselves again, figure out why they are so unhappy and downright resentful of each other, and overall, remember why they fell in love so many years ago. I can't imagine doing what they did, but it was a really interesting look at relationships and marriage: Why do we get married? What do we expect out of our marriage? (4/5 stars)
3. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa*: I was looking forward to receiving this book as it's a story of World War 2 that I am not familiar with (the safe passage of Jews from Europe to Cuba). Just when I think I cannot possibly learn anymore about the horrendous things that Hitler did during the war, I am proven wrong.
This book is told in dual narrative, alternating between Hannah, a 12 year old Jewish girl living in Berlin in 1939, and 12 year old Anna, Hannah's great-niece, living in New York City 70 years later. Anna's father passed away before she was born and so she grew up knowing very little of him, especially nothing about his family's past. Until one day she receives a package in the mail from Hannah who is still living in Cuba all these years later. Anna and her mother, in an attempt to put together the pieces of Anna's father's past, travel to Havana to meet Hannah and hear her story.
The German Girl wasn't nearly as engaging for me as other historical fiction books I've read about WW2, like The Nightingale, or Sarah's Key, but the fact that it was teaching me something new about a time in history that I love to read about, kept me invested. I had a hard time connecting with the characters, and an even harder time understanding why the aunt insisted on staying in Cuba her entire life. I was frustrated at times with the life Hannah had seemed to accept for herself, but then again, I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to have to flee the only country you've ever known after it turns on you and your people.
If you enjoy WW2 historical-fiction, and haven't read anything about St. Louis, the transatlantic liner that took Jewish people to Cuba at the beginning of the war, then you'll probably enjoy this book. While the ship offered a glimmer of hope, securing passage on it was another story. Not only that, once the ship arrived in the ports of Cuba, Hitler was at it again and made it nearly impossible for anyone to disembark. (3/5 stars)
I never, ever DNF a book. I know, I know, life is too short to read bad books, but I have a hard time not seeing them through to the end. There's always this part of me that thinks it just has to get better! But this book was holding me down in life. I was dreading picking it up and it took me a week just to read 100 pages. It was boring and confusing and not engaging in the least. I felt somewhat obligated to see it through to the end since I was sent it for review, but finally I knew I needed to move on. It's amazing how relieved I felt once I made that decision!
This month's A Slice of Brie Book Club book is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. If you want to join in the discussion (or link up with us), we'd love to have you! We'll be meeting back here on October 26. More details HERE.
What have you been reading lately?
Have you read One True Loves? Or any of Reid's other books?
DNF - do you DNF books or stick them out to the end no matter what?
*Copy of The German Girl was sent to me by Simon & Schuster Canada for review. All opinions and review are my own.
Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books!