May 2021–Part One

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez (Length: 385 pages).   This author comes highly recommended for writing well-written “chick lit” books. I picked up this first book in a three-book series to check her out. I enjoyed the snappy dialogue as well as the character development, but I will say that this particular book is an example of why I’m not a particularly huge fan of this genre. There are problems the protagonist has with her romantic partner that literally could be solved with a five-minute conversation to clear things up. Instead, we are drawn through the mud with the pair of them, all the while we are yelling, JUST TELL HIM! (The female protagonist thinks she’s infertile and the male protagonist wants children, so she’s too afraid to tell him this is why she can’t be with him.) This is annoying as heck to me but I guess this is the way the author is creating the central conflict here. Perhaps I’ve had too much life and relationship experience for this book? If you are into a fun, breezy read, this is a good one to check out, but if you’re also easily annoyed like me . . . consider yourself forewarned.

Book #2:

Gratitude by Oliver Sacks (Length: 63 pages). I picked up this very slim volume of four essays on gratitude after reading about someone who keeps this on their nightstand to read whenever they are in need of a reminder to be grateful they are alive. These four essays by this hugely prolific author (and doctor–the neurologist at the center of Awakenings) were written by Saks in the two years before his death from liver cancer. The essays contain his thoughts on dying, old age, etc and are absolutely worth reading. They aren’t maudlin in the slightest, and indeed, are reminders to us to be grateful for every sunrise, every sunset and every day.

Book #3:

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (Length: 401 pages).   This is the sequel to The Friend Zone reviewed above. I enjoyed this book much more than the first. It features Sloan, the BFF of the protagonist Kristen in the initial book, and she’s definitely not as angsty as Kristen which helps. The dialogue in this book is snappy and fun, just as in the first book, but the romantic relationship at the center is much more natural (even though the boy is a huge rock star). In an ironic twist, Kristen tells Sloan to just talk to her boyfriend to resolve their big issue. Duh! This is a fun beach read, and the writing and character development are sufficiently well-done that I’ll likely read the third book in this series sometime.

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