I’ve been really passionate about reading everything & anything lately. I have a folder on my desktop with screenshots of books I want to read and I have a routine where I order three books at a time on Amazon, finish those, and order my next three. I’ve been enjoying reading before bed and during my commute rather than mindlessly scrolling through my phone. It’s also helped a lot with my anxiety by being able to open a book and getting lost in a story.
So, today I wanted to share a few books that I’ve recently finished along with my thoughts on them.
I’ve also recently signed up for the Goodreads 2018 reading challenge. I’m totally late to the game, but I signed up to read 24 books before the end of the year and so far I’ve read 8 books towards my goal. Since we’re already halfway through the year, I hope I can do it and I’ll be updating my progress with book reviews as I go!
A MONTHLY READ AND REVIEW OF MY LATEST FAVORITE BOOKS
THE WILD ONE – A BROOKLYN GIRLS NOVEL – BY GEMMA BURGESS
I absolutely love the Brooklyn Girls Series! I actually reviewed the first two books in my first Read and Review if you want to read more about my thoughts on the overall series.
But, basically I found this book when I was feeling a little lost and discouraged with where I was in life and it really helped pull me out of a funk. The series basically explores living life in NYC in your 20s and it’s so spot on.
The third book explores the story of Coco who is the innocent and naive one in the bunch. She’s currently working a job she doesn’t like just because her dad and sister thought it would be the best fit for her. She’s dating a jerk. She’s super quiet and timid about life and has no idea what she wants out of her life. The book explores her journey of making life changes and figuring out who she wants to be and what kind of life she wants.
I really loved this one the most because I felt like I could relate with Coco and her story really inspired me. I would definitely recommend! I just wish this wasn’t the last book in the series and that there were more books.
SMALL ADMISSIONS – BY AMY POEPPEL
Small Admissions focuses on the story of Kate Pearson whose life is in shambles after getting her heart broken and pretty much losing everything. I’m talking day drinking and giving up basic hygiene. After a big push from her sister, she goes out for an interview for a position in the admissions office of an elite private school. Surprisingly, she gets the job and the book goes through her meeting the candidates who are at times ridiculous because of their wealth.
The book also explores Kate trying to pick up the pieces after her breakup and learning how to navigate a new job she thinks she’s unqualified for. Along the way, you meet her sister who has made it her life mission to worry about Kate, her roommate from college who feels she is to blame for Kate’s breakup, her other roommate from college who doesn’t particularly like her that much, along with a few other notable characters along the way. I feel like I would give the book away if I keep listing off characters!
I found all the characters to be pretty annoying and dramatic at one point or another and wasn’t really rooting or siding with them when I felt like I should have. I really enjoyed when Kate was meeting the candidates for admissions, which included the children and their parents. I found that to be pretty funny and interesting. I started to like the book more at the end, but I didn’t like that everything kind of fell into place abruptly. Like one minute life was in shambles, then it was fine, then it was on the verge of shambles, then magically everything was fixed.
I didn’t hate the book and I wouldn’t not recommend it, but it wouldn’t be my first recommendation.
IT HAPPENS IN THE HAMPTONS – BY HOLLY PETERSON
Loved this book from page one! It’s funny because on Goodreads, this book has horrible ratings and it seems like everyone hates it. But, I actually really enjoyed this book and flew through it because I couldn’t put it down.
The book focuses on Katie Doyle, although it is written from the perspective of an all knowing narrator so you get the point of view of every character. Katie is a single mom from the West Coast, whose mother passed away recently. She meets a charming man at a convention who invites her to move out east to the Hamptons to spend the summer so she packs up her life and her son to make the big move. You follow Katie in navigating this move, this new life, this new love and trying to make a living for herself and her son. Along the way, you meet the locals and the rich families that come to the Hamptons for the summer. There is also a sexual predator on the loose who preys on underage girls so while you meet all these new cast of characters, you’re trying to figure out who that person is.
I really enjoyed this book and meeting all the different characters. I felt like I had an inkling of where the story would go, but it still took me on twists and turns and I was still surprised at the end and at the same time, still thought “I knew it!”
Again, I read some reviews and a lot of people seemed to not be into it, but I really enjoyed it so I would recommend it and definitely think you should give it a try for yourself.
SHE REGRETS NOTHING – BY ANDREA DUNLOP
Okay. Where to start with this one?
The story follows that of Laila Lawrence who is twenty three years old. Her father passed away when she was a teen and her mother recently passed away. Three strangers show up to her mother’s funeral in Michigan, claiming to be her cousins. So all of a sudden, Laila went from having no family members to this new family she’s never met that lives in NYC and are very wealthy. She leaves her old life behind and moves to NYC and immerses herself in this new life of luxury and wealth. You follow Laila’s journey of trying to make a name for herself and trying to secure financial security for herself.
Along the way, you meet her oldest cousin, who is by far the sweetest and most level headed of the bunch and she’s the most independent since she has her own career. Laila also has two cousins close to her age that are twins, a girl and a boy and they are selfish and spoiled. You also meet her aunt, uncle and her oldest cousin’s best friend & brother.
When I ordered this book, it was by far the one I was most looking forward to reading. I wanted to like this book so badly. I was so excited after reading the blurb at the back of the book. I even thought the book had a strong beginning, but it was all down hill from there. I felt like the author wanted you to sympathize for Laila and root for her, but I hated her. I found her to be selfish, delusional and just a social climber. I actually hated all the characters, except her oldest cousin.
I will say, there was a big twist in the story which I did not see coming, but I felt like the way it was handled was still a disappointment. The ending wasn’t really an ending and was kind of cheesy.
I think the story really wanted to explore wealth in NYC and how the other half lives and how it can really tempt and change someone who didn’t grow up in that kind of lifestyle, but I found that it really missed the mark. I really hated Laila and the book left me feeling gross at certain moments.
Definitely would not recommend.
THE BUCKET LIST TO MEND A BROKEN HEART – BY ANNA BELL
This book is actually based in the UK, which I didn’t realize until I started reading the book and saw the different lingo. I actually think that made the story more charming.
The story follows Abi who has recently been dumped by her boyfriend of a year. She instantly shuts down and shelters herself away from life, until she is not longer able to work from home per HR and has to drag herself back to work. When her ex-boyfriend returns a box of her things she left at his house, she finds his bucket list inside and comes up with a plan to win him back by completing his bucket list and hopefully turning into the girl of his dreams. You follow Abi as she overcomes her fears and try to complete super adventurous items on the bucket list and in turn changes as a person.
I admit, doing crazy things to win back a boy seems pretty lame, but I actually really enjoyed this book and think it became so much more than winning back a boy. I found Abi to be relatable and likable and she made you want to root for her. As someone who is afraid of their own shadow, I really related to her fears and anxiety and I enjoyed going on that journey with her to overcome them.
Overall the book was really fun to follow and it was sweet and had a great ending. I would recommend!
SARONG PARTY GIRLS – BY CHERYL LU – LIEN TAN
I am really struggling with this review guys! I don’t even know what to write!
The first thing that drew me to this book was the fact that it was written by an Asian author and takes place in Singapore. We have had quite a moment for Asian representation with Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and Awkwafina recently hosting SNL, so I wanted to continue that by supporting Asian authors.
The book follows Jazzy who lives in Singapore and has recently turned 27. She makes a pact with her two friends that by the end of the year they will have all married “ang moh guys and have Chanel babies” which means they will marry white guys and have white and Asian mixed babies. Jazzy isn’t particularly wealthy so she is definitely motivated by wanting financial security and a life of luxury. The story follows the girls going out and partying pretty much every night and meeting guys.
I really wanted to like this book. Really, really wanted to. I felt invested in Jazzy’s story and wanted to know what was next, but I was just really disappointed with this book. It is written in Singlish, which I didn’t know until I started it. So it’s a melting pot of different phrases and it’s not always grammatically correct. There are phrases like “Don’t play play” and “You confirm will find man to marry.” I really struggled with that at first, but I think it did add to the book and the story. Although, given the choice, I wouldn’t read another book written in Singlish again.
I didn’t necessarily root for Jazzy, but I also didn’t hate her. I felt sorry for her at times and especially towards the end, I felt really sad with her and for her. There are many parts in the book that left me feeling uncomfortable and upset. I didn’t realize that the term Sarong Party Girl was real and that it stands for a Singaporean girl that dresses a certain way and goes out partying looking just for white men. Had I googled that before, I feel like maybe I would have known what the book was about, but I naively went into it and just thought it was going to be something else than it was.
I was most disappointed with the ending, because I felt like it was unfinished and I was taken on this emotional journey that didn’t really give me closure. So I would not recommend. It did give an interesting perspective. It’s like the total opposite of Crazy Rich Asians and explores the lower/middle class, but it just wasn’t the book for me.
As you can see, half of the books I’ve read recently, I have not been a fan of! There’s nothing worse than having back to back books where you just don’t connect with the story or the characters. But, I’ve been loving my newest batch of books and can’t wait to share in my next Read and Review.
If you have any recommendations I would love to hear them or if you’ve read any of these books, I would love to hear your thoughts on them!
Shop All Of My Recent Read and Review Books!