I am by no means a harsh book critic. I like all kinds of books, all kinds of ideas, and if you take a look at my Goodreads profile you'll see that I rarely give a book a low star rating. (Apparently my average book rating is 4.31.)

I started out this month with a list of books to read, but sometimes I feel like books plop you down in the passenger seat and take you on a journey of their own choosing. I've picked up 3 books in the last week-ish that are wildly different, not on my list of April reads, and unlike anything I've read before.

Maybe I'm attached to them even more because they were recommended by friends, and in this time of being so separate from our friends it feels good to have something to connect over besides "how are you feeling today?" That's still a very important question and we should ask it regularly. But picking up your phone and dishing about your favorite character from the book you just couldn't put down, and remarking on character developement that I can only dream of writing, is a special gift these days. It's an opportunity to connect and have fun and frankly have less serious texts. And we can all use a little bit more of that lately.

While I'm not picky about books, my absolute favorite kind are the ones that I can't put down. True book-scapism (TM) - the kind that makes me disregard the lack of cleanliness in my house, work that needs to be done, news that needs to be read, and texts that need to be answered. All of those things are important, but I love to feel that the only important thing is the book I'm reading. These three books, while very different, check that box. And here's why.

Book Number 1

Start Date: April 10, 2020
Twice in a Blue Moon

Twice in a Blue Moon was pure fun to read. Christina Lauren excel at writing both young adult and grown characters, which I truly loved. I'm too grown at this point to really love a book fully about high school romance, but the time-jump that took place shortly after the first quarter or third of the book allowed me to indulge in the fantasies of young love and then read about characters my own age. I also can't stop thinking about the ins and outs of Hollywood now, which I didn't see coming. This book took me 2 and a half days to read, and would have been a lot less if I didn't have to do things like be a parent and eat.

Book Number 2

The Last Mrs. Parrish

I've come to realize over the last year or so that Caroline is a gold mine for book recommendations. She somehow doesn't do much research (if any) on book choices but ends up finding fantastic reads (except for the time she checked out a book for children, thinking it was a trendy new novel.)

At this point, anything she tells me to read immediately goes to the top of my list. That's why books 1 and 2 are in my life, and I could not stop texting her while reading them. Let's talk a little bit about The Last Mrs. Parrish. The character development in this book is out of this world. It's told in two parts, focusing on the perspectives of each of the two main characters in turn. For a long time, you can't really decide which character is the one you side with, because you find yourself seeing good and bad in everyone.

Liv Constantine blew me away with this book. I think I read this in even less time than Book 1. We didn't need to eat as much as I needed to know how this one ended. RUN to read it asap.

Fun fact: Liv Constantine is a pen name for sisters that co-wrote the Last Mrs. Parrish, and Christina Lauren are a NY Times best-selling writing duo. Moral of the story: if women are fire on our own, imagine what we can accomplish together. Team up and run the world, girls.  

Book Number 3

The Wife

The Wife was a recommendation from friend of the pod Heather, so you may have heard her talk about it several weeks ago if you were listening. It was not at all what I was expecting, and falls in the category of books that leave your jaw on the floor. Alafair Burke truly knows how to keep you on the line and make you want to shake some sense into the main character, until you start seeing larger parts of the story. It's a really intelligent read, and an interesting take on traumatic events in one's life. (Maybe a touch of a trigger warning for this one as there is some talk about sexual violence. However, it isn't dwelt upon, or described in detail, and is told in past-tense.)

I check out books on the Libby app through my library. If you're not familiar with this system, most (if not all) public libraries have e-book borrowing systems nowadays, which is invaluable at a time when libraries are closed. If you don't have an e-reader, like a Kindle or Nook or iPad, you can download the kindle app on your phone and read any time, any place. If you don't have a library card, check to see if your library system will let you set up an account online!

How are you book-scaping these days?

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