March 2023

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:

Scandalized by Ivy Owens (Length: 319 pages) I am a fan of the Christina Lauren rom-com writing duo and Ivy Owens is the pseudonym of one half of the duo–Lauren Billings. This is a VERY open door romance (ie, stay FAR away if you are easily offended) and features the trope of a celebrity dating a “regular” person. In this case, it’s Alex Kim, a British TV star and Georgia Ross, a journalist. Their chemistry leaps off the page and it’s actually a semi-believable pairing thanks to them previously knowing one another in high school. This is a very spicy, fun read!

Book #2:

The One by John Marrs (Length: 448 pages). This is dystopian/science fiction about a DNA “match” service connecting 2 people in the world via their DNA. Any gender, age, geographical location can be matched, regardless of their current marital status. This obviously results in some broken relationships while people decide to follow their scientific match. The author follows 5 different people in the UK, and this novel is their individual stories. One of the people happens to be a serial killer. The plot is creepy, entirely propulsive, and is very unique. However, I found the dialogue to be a bit clunky and emotionally stilted. Overall this works and is fun to read, but don’t expect a masterpiece.

Book #3:

The Age of Miracles  by Karen Thompson Walker (Length: 304 pages). I’ve had this book on my bookshelves for awhile and decided to take it with me on vacation. I opened it on the airplane and 100 pages later I finally looked up from the book . . . it sucks you in that quickly! This is climate fiction and is told from the point of view of an adult woman looking back to when she was 11 years old in a Southern California town. One day the earth starts “slowing” and the days gradually get longer. Birds start dropping out of the sky (due to gravity being disrupted due to the earth’s rotation slowing), crops start dying, and people begin to go a bit mad. This is VERY well-written, the plot is propulsive and I really enjoyed the perspective of an adult looking back through her pre-teen eyes. While this is a bit sad, it’s so well done that I think it’s a must read! It’s also very quick to read so if you’re looking for a short but sweet novel, this may be the ticket.

Book #4:

The Measure by Nikki Erlick (Length: 368 pages) This novel is classified as literary fiction and magic realism by the publisher and I’d have to agree. I did enjoy the unique premise where everyone 22 and older on Earth simultaneously receives the same indestructible wooden box with a piece of string. The length of the string is different for each recipient, but the meaning is the same–it determines exactly how much longer you will live. Some people decide to open their boxes immediately and others don’t want to know. The writing is a bit clunky in places (yet oddly really well done in others) and the plot holes are so big you can drive a semi through them (ie, what about babies and children who die early, and why 22 years of age) but I did really enjoy the author’s development of the main characters. There are some love stories throughout (which are slow to begin and then we suddenly speed forward several years a few times). I had to keep reading to find out what ultimately happens. On the whole, I’d give this 3.5 stars for its entertainment value. It’s a great book club choice as you can all discuss whether YOU’D open your box.

Book #5:

One by One by Freida McFadden (Length: 295 pages) I listened to this one–the second audiobook by this author–and it was just as bingeable as the one I reviewed last month. The narrator (Alyson Krawchuk) didn’t annoy me, and it was VERY easy to listen to. The basic plot of this book is that three couples head to a remote fishing/hiking resort, and get lost on the way. While walking around, hopelessly lost, one by one, something nefarious happens to each of them. This is a bit cheesy for sure (in tone and in plot) but there is a double twist that I didn’t see coming. I actually listened to the last 3 hours of this on the tail end of an 18 mile hike out of the Grand Canyon, and it was the PERFECT distraction for my pain and exhaustion. 😉

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