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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Books I've Read Recently (& Whether or Not You Should Read Them).

Tangerine by Christine Mangan

Plot: "The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends—once inseparable roommates—haven’t spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy—always fearless and independent—helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country. 

But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice—she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.

Tangerine is a sharp dagger of a book—a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless."

Favorite quote: “Time moves quickly, I have found, turning people and places into first history and then later stories.” 

My thoughts: It was a creative plot and a beautiful setting...on paper, I should have loved this book. And I really really tried. But it just felt choppy and jumpy and I was trying to hard to keep up with a story that felt like it was just going in circles. 

Should you read it? Eh. I enjoyed certain aspects of it, but wouldn't recommend it. 

Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin 

Plot: "Jess Dunne is third-generation Hollywood, but her star on the boulevard has yet to materialize. Sure, she’s got a Santa Monica address and a working actress roommate, but with her nowhere barista job in a town that acknowledges zeroes only as a dress size, she’s a dead girl walking.

Enter Jess’s mother—a failed actress who puts the strange in estrangement. She dives headlong into her daughter’s downward spiral, forcing Jess to muster all her spite and self-preservation to snag a career upgrade.

As a personal assistant for a famous (and secretly agoraphobic) film composer, Jess’s workdays are now filled with shopping for luxury goods and cooking in his perfectly designed kitchen. Jess kills at cooking, a talent that only serves her intensifying urge to dig in to Los Angeles’s celebrity buffet.

When her food garners the attention of an actress on the rise, well, she’s all too willing to throw it in with the composer and upgrade again, a decision that will have far-reaching ramifications that could explode all her relationships.

All the while, her mother looms ever closer, forcing Jess to confront the traumatic secrets she’s been running from all her life. 

Oh! You Pretty Things is a dizzying ride at the carnival of fame, a fast-paced and sharply funny work that dares to imagine what happens when we go over the top in a town of gilded excess."

My thoughts: This was a quick, reality-show-feels kind of read, and I loved it. I read it on New Year's Eve by the pool, and it was the perfect pool read. 

Should you read it? Add it to your list for when you need a mindless beach read!

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Plot: "There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe."

Favorite quote: “But after a while, searching for the answers felt like grasping around in the dark. At some point, you have to choose to live in the light.” 

My thoughts: I read someone describe this as "Riverdale meets Veronica Mars" and I honestly couldn't describe it better myself. I flew through it, was caught off guard several times, and overall just really enjoyed it. We all know I love a good YA book and I love a good thriller, so it was fun to find a book that was both. 

Should you read it? Yes!

What have you read lately?
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