December 2022–Part Two

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 Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (Length: 366 pages) This is a well-written rom-com with a unique premise. Florence Day is a ghostwriter for a beloved romance writer who is hired to finish out that author’s multi-book contract. Florence can also SEE ghosts, having grown up in a family-run funeral home. She can also see her ghostly hot editor, Benji Andor, and they spend a magical week together after Florence’s dad passes away. This is witty, charming, and strong character development. This is a rare bird among rom-coms in that it’s actually memorable. I absolutely recommend this!

Book #2:

The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock (Length: 464 pages). This novel is part adventure, part family saga–lighter on the adventure part, to my disappointment, and it’s about 100 pages too long. I never had the urge to go back and pick this up to read, but once I did, I was glad I did, for whatever that’s worth. This is a well-written saga told just as World War 11 was winding down, and is set in the Evertell home/property just outside Savannah, Georgia, and it was also the home of the “stone” from the real-life Lost Colony of Roanoke, Virginia. Again, I wish it was heavier on the adventure parts as those are what kept me reading, and overall, I’m glad I picked this one up. It’s worth a library pick at least.

Book #3:

June, Reimagined by Rebekah Crane (Length: 283 pages).  This rom-com was an Amazon First Reads, which is always a crapshoot lately, but I enjoyed this romance set in Scotland. A college junior, June, escapes her life in Ohio after her brother’s death, and meets a brooding, grouchy Scottish, hunk, etc. This is a bit deeper than most rom-coms and the characters are interesting, if thinly-drawn. I give it a 3 out of 5 starts ultimately because this romance suffers from the same issue that I have with many rom coms . . . if the characters would simply TALK to one another, the issue plaguing each and every relationship in this book, they wouldn’t have the problems they do. I won’t remember this one in a month but it was an easy and enjoyable read.

Book #4:

Mothertrucker by Amy Butcher (Length: 283 pages)  I adore this book! This is a non-fiction account of a feminist literature professor from Ohio (who is also a victim of ongoing domestic violence) who tags along with Joy “Mothertrucker”, the only female big rig truck driver on the infamous Dalton Highway from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Joy herself is also a victim of domestic violence, and the author uses gorgeous writing to draw parallels between their lives living in such different places, as well as drawing from the beauty of the landscape they drive through on their journey. I highly recommend this book!

Book #5:

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena (Length: 363 pages)  I listened to this one on my commute, and I was hopeful it would be a better listen than the last Lapena audiobook I reviewed a few weeks ago. This one is about spoiled rich kids who as adults are looking to divide their inheritance from their uber-wealthy parents. Their father was an emotionally abusive pyschopath and their mother stood by and watched. And apparently psychopathy is partly genetic which makes all of them (along with others) prime suspects after both parents are found brutally murdered after a family Easter dinner. The narrator in this book is much better than the last Lapena book I listened to, so that was a better start. The underlying mystery here is decent, but the author’s reveal of the murderer almost fell anticlimactic, as once again, no clues are given throughout for the reader so the reader is just along for the ride. Without that emotional investment, the ending isn’t as satisfying as other murder mysteries. Perhaps this is just what this author does, so lesson learned for me as I am looking for something different with these reads. All told, however, this was an entertaining read and I don’t feel like I wasted my time reading this novel.

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