Friday, April 10, 2020

March Quick Reviews

Here's a quick review round-up of some of my March reads!

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir (2018)

Essie is a preacher's teenage daughter, a preacher who also happens to have his own popular reality show, starring his family.  Essie's pregnancy wouldn't be good for the family's image, so a plan is hatched for her to marry a classmate of hers, Roarke Richards.   But, is her family hiding more than Essie's pregnancy?

I really enjoyed this book.  Essie was a lot smarter and more calculating than I thought she would be.  The behind-the-scenes look at the filming of a reality show was fun.  The story ended up being a lot darker than I expected, and I appreciated seeing it all play out from both Essie and Roarke's POV.  There's also another POV, reporter Liberty Bell, and while I didn't think her backstory added a ton to the plot, it was nice for Essie to have another form of support.  4 stars

On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves (2012)

T.J. and his tutor Anna are flying to his family's vacation home in the Maldives when their plane crashes and the two are stranded on a deserted island.  As they struggle to survive, they begin to fall in love, despite their age difference.

I love a good survival story, so that aspect of the book really drew me in.  Although it felt a little repetitive at times, I liked the way Anna and T.J. worked together to survive on the island.  They each had strengths and were a good team.  The romance felt like it progressed naturally.  Minor spoiler: they do make it off the island and then have to adjust to life back home, where their relationship is questioned.  Again I felt like the story was a bit repetitive, and Anna and T.J. just kept facing the same issues without the story moving forward enough.  The ending was a bit quick and tied everything up a little too neatly for my taste.  3.5 stars

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms (2019)

When Amy Byler's estranged husband offers to take their two children for the summer, Amy takes the opportunity to visit NYC, where she indulges in some self-care and even a little dating.

Although it took me a little bit to get into this book, I ended up really loving it.  At first, the characters just felt like a little too much - too snarky, too quirky.  But, the story quickly found its groove and I couldn't stop reading.  Amy has been a single mom for three years after her husband walked out on the family, but he seems serious about reconnecting with the kids for the summer.  Amy finally gets a break - to read tons of books, get some nicer clothes, and do things on her own schedule.  I think lots of moms will be able to relate to Amy and her devotion to her kids, while still wanting some alone time, but even readers without kids can identify with Amy's feeling that she has lost herself in the mundane of everyday life.  Plus, Amy is a huge bookworm and her devotion to her job as a librarian is really awesome.  At times both wildly funny and very emotional, this book was a real winner.  4.5 stars

32 comments:

  1. The Book of Essie looks good, and I love the island survival sound of On the Island. The Maldives sound awesome to read about lol. :)

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    1. I know, right? Heavenly but also kind of scary in their remoteness!

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  2. These all sound really great but the one I'd love to read is On The Island. Love stories like that!

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  3. Amy Byler was on my radar, so I am happy to hear it was enjoyable. Gayle Foreman did a book a bit like that, where the mom gets a break (very different circumstances). Though I am a mother, I have never been a wife, but could still relate to all parts of her story. I think I could have the same experience with Amy, and well, you know, love those bookworms.

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    1. Yes, I love when you can relate to a character even if you don't have everything in common with them.

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  4. These sound like great reads! The Overdue Life of Amy Byler sounds especially fun. Hope you're well!

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  5. I will have to check out The Overdue Life. Sounds good! I loved On the Island, but I am a sucker for a good beach read even if it's overly fluffy.

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  6. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler sounds really good, I'll have to add it to my TBR :)

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  7. I have The Book Of Essie on my TBR list. I hope I can eventually find a copy because it sounds really good!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler sounds so good. I’ll have to check my library for it.

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  9. A librarian protagonist, how cool!!

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  10. I really enjoyed The Book of Essie! I'm glad you liked it too! The Overdue life of Amy Byler sounds really interesting. I might check it out soon.

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  11. everything about the blurb for Book of Essie makes me want to read that book -- but goodness, every time I sww that cover I just change me mind bc it always makes me so depressed! I adore your review though -- that's exactly the type of book I hoped it was!

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  12. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler keeps showing up on my Amazon page as a recommendation. I can see why now after reading your review. It sounds so good!

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  13. I enjoyed On An Island, the other books are ones I'd like to try.

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  14. I haven't read the other books but On The Island is one of my personal favorites. It's a great novel that's my favorite advventure/Island book.

    Beena @ Beena Khan

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    1. I'd read one other book by the author, so I was eager to try more!

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  15. I've heard mixed reviews about The Book of Essie, but I'm still so curious about it. Glad to see you enjoyed it. I hope I do too.

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!