I read 8.25 books in September - some were good, some were great, and one was so meh I didn’t finish.
How Could She: Lauren Mechling (audiobook)
Geraldine, Sunny and Rachel are all friends in Toronto. Several years later, Sunny and Rachel (who aren’t really close) have moved to New York City. Geraldine is single, in a dead-end job, and desperately wants to move to New York where her friends seem happy and thriving.
As Geraldine struggles to find her way and establish a new career in New York, we start to see the cracks in Rachel and Sunny’s seemingly perfect lives.
This book is about female friendships and their evolution, but I didn’t love this book. To be honest Geraldine’s friends are kinda jerks, and weirdly competitive, and it’s more about frenemies than healthy relationships. Also, nothing really happens in the book. It’s like a capsule look at one year in these women’s lives, and overall, it’s fine, but I don’t get the hype.
Overall grade: B
My Friend Anna: Rachel DeLoache Williams
I love a good true crime, more so when it includes a con artist. This story is the real life story of how Anna Delvey (currently serving time for nearly $300,000 in fraud) conned her “best friend” Rachel DeLaoche Williams out of over $60,000. I was so stressed out reading this book because I could see exactly how Rachel fell into this trap, and the story is super intriguing, BUT I don’t recommend you read this book. Why? Because it’s super repetitive and rambles on in parts, and you’re better served reading these stories by Vanity Fair and The Cut.
Overall grade: A for story, C+ for execution
A Court of Wings & Ruin: Sarah J Maas
This book is the conclusion of this section in a trilogy, and of course I had to read it.
The war is here, and Feyre, Rhys and every surviving character (and some new ones) is involved in the epic battles. It’s all very dramatic and campy (SO campy) and I loved it. So much escapist fun.
Overall grade: B+
A Court of Frost and Starlight: Sarah J. Maas
Coming off the high of A Court of Wings & Ruin, I decided to read the little novella that occurs after that book. I shouldn’t have bothered. Nothing happens in this book. There’s no plot advancement, it’s just kinda - well, the war is over, here’s what everyone is doing. It’s probably great for the super fans of this series, but I found it kinda boring.
Overall grade: C+
The Kind Worth Killing: Peter Swanson (audiobook)
This book was a recommendation by my friend Carolyn and I had to text her when I got halfway through the book to express my shock.
Here’s the premise: Ted and Lily meet at the airport as they’re waiting on the delayed flight from London to Boston. As they start chatting, a slightly drunk Ted confesses that his wife Miranda is having and affair and he’s thought about killing her. Lily calmly says “I’d like to help”. Back in Boston, plans proceed, and then PLOT TWIST.
The book alternates narrators between Ted and Lily, and I did not see this story coming. I was listening as I walked the dogs and loudly shrieked at the twist. People turned to look.
Anyway, this book is super f*ed up and twisty and SO SO GOOD! If you love Gone Girl or anything with murder, this is an excellent read.
Overall grade: A+
Drowning with Others: Linda Keir
This book was a freebie with Amazon’s First Reads program that gifts you an ebook each month.
High school sweethearts Ian and Andi are a super successful couple in St. Louis. Their eldest daughter Cassidy is following in their footsteps by attending the prestigious Glenlake Academy. There, a submerged car is dredged from the bottom of a swimming hole on campus, and a body is found in it.
Cassidy’s English class takes on the story as a journalistic endeavor and uncovers connections between the person found in the car and her parents.
This book was a quick read, and I flew through it. It was very enjoyable and while it wasn’t a huge PLOT TWIST type revelation, it was entertaining nonetheless.
Overall grade: B+/A- but would have likely been a solid A- had I not read it immediately after The Kind Worth Killing
Naturally Tan: Tan France (audiobook read by the author)
For the record, I really like Tan France on Queer Eye. I think he’s absolutely charming and kind and has great tips (French tuck anyone?) and I’m sure he’s a wonderful person in real life.
This book however, is not.
It reads like a bad diary from high school, and if that’s the genre you like, then Andy Cohen has two excellent, funny, books you should read instead. I got 3 chapters in, fell asleep listening, tried again, and just couldn’t finish.
Overall grade: F (did not finish)
The Dazzling Heights (Thousandth Floor): Katharine McGee (audiobook)
This is book 2 in Katharine McGee’s Thousandth Floor series, best described as a futuristic Gossip Girl. So if you liked Gossip Girl, you definitely need to read this series.
In this book, all the main characters are dealing with the aftermath of the end of The Thousandth Floor, and a new character with her own murky backstory is introduced to the circle of friends. Oh, and someone else dies.
Overall grade: A
American Royals: Katharine McGee
This book was a new release in September and I pre-ordered this so it arrived on its official release day. Unlike most books that I fly through, I took this one slow, because I loved it SO much that I wanted to savor every second.
American Royals imagines an alternate universe where George Washington became King instead of President. In 2019, his descendants are American Royals, and Princess Beatrice is the heir- apparent, in line to be the first woman to ascend the Throne. She’s caught between two suitors and the choice between marrying for duty and marrying for love.
Meanwhile, her siblings, twins Princess Samantha and Prince Jefferson have drama of their own.
Oh, and this is the start of a series, and it ends in a cliffhanger. Book 2 isn’t out until Fall 2020. You have been warned.
Overall grade: A
So here you have it - a great mix of genres and overall some very enjoyable reading! I’m starting October with two non-fiction books, which is quite the departure for me. If you would like a preview, make sure you’re following me on Instagram (particularly stories) and/or join my online Book Club (you don’t have to read anything, it’s more for recommendations).