Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Review I feel like this is a book that everyone has already read and I missed it somehow. I picked up a copy last month and devoured it in a weekend. I truly enjoyed the story and the author captured the rigidity, repetition and quirkiness of Autism in a realistic and relatable way. Having only read the blurb on the back and seeing it on lists of books with neurodiverse characters I expected it to be more of a detective-with-autism caper than a heartfelt, emotional story of a boy, his world and his place in his family. I truly enjoyed this book and the sweet, sad, innocent and vulnerable Christopher. 5/5 stars ⭐️

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Review: We Are Okay

Photo: Amazon.com

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

This book is a short, quick read that contains so much depth and emotion it’s hard to believe it is all contained in so few pages. This is a story of grief, trauma, identity, friendship and love. Marin left out the side door of her life and moved across the country to start new. When her best friend comes to visit, she must make peace with abandoning her old life, face her past and figure out whether she is okay. This is a brilliant YA book that is emotional and heartfelt from the first page to the last. 4/5 stars

Items mentioned in this post may contain affiliate links which means if you click and make a purchase, I will receive referral compensation at no additional cost to you. And let’s be honest, I will use to buy more books.

Review: Becoming

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I was lucky enough to be at the United Center when Michelle Obama kicked off her book tour and discussed this book and her life. It was an emotional, empowering night I wished had gone longer, but luckily I had this book to continue that discussion.
This book is deeply personal and honest, and follows her life from childhood in a tiny one-bedroom apartment on Chicago’s south side all the way through two terms as First Lady in the White House. She is a brilliant, fierce, competitive, caring, empathetic, dignified, and inspiring. She is a treasure who has touched so many lives and left them better for her being in them.
I loved learning her story and reading her anecdotes and observations about her life, especially in her marriage and life as First Lady. Definitely a must read for anyone who loves the Obamas and misses the compassion, grace and heart in the White House. 5/5 Stars

Review: The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

This has been in my TBR pile for a while so I made it my pick for my moms’ book club this month. It was a slow start, I feel like it took about 100 pages to get to the action but it picked up. I did enjoy the intertwined and twisted classic fairytales and was rooting for David but there were definitely some parts that were very dark and graphically violent. It’s classified as young adult but I wouldn’t recommend it for the younger end of that audience or anyone who is averse to gratuitous violence, torture or brutality.
Despite the icky parts and the slow beginning, I did enjoy the book and thought it was well-written with interesting characters and stories. 4/5 stars ⭐️

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Review: This Is How It Always Is

This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel

There’s so much to love about this book. The
storyline revolves around Poppy, who was born the family’s 5th son, Claude, but by kindergarten was on her way to becoming their only daughter. However, I think the main story is this family. The characters are rich and complex, each has personality and true and complex relationships with each other. The parents are loving and well-intentioned, trying to do their best to raise five kids. I loved the family dynamics, the truthful descriptions of raising kids, of life with boys, of parenting and I loved this family’s love for Poppy. In the afterward the author said she has a daughter who was born her son, so while it’s not a true story or autobiographical, I believe it is, at its heart, an honest story of a family and their secret lives trying to do nothing more or less than love and protect a child. 5/5 Stars

Items mentioned in this post may contain affiliate links which means if you click and make a purchase, I will receive referral compensation at no additional cost to you. And let’s be honest, I will use to buy more books.

Review: Stardust

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

This is a lovely story with incredible details, daring adventures and heartwarming characters. I listened to the audiobook version read by the author and it was a wonderful way to spend 6 hours.
Stardust is a fairytale about a man who sees a falling star and promises to bring it to the girl he loves. His search leads him through a wall to another world where he finds what he seeks and much more. 5/5 stars ⭐️

Items mentioned in this post may contain affiliate links which means if you click and make a purchase, I will receive referral compensation at no additional cost to you. And let’s be honest, I will use to buy more books.

Review: Miles Morales Spiderman

Miles Morales Spiderman by Jason Reynolds

I’ve never been big into comic books or graphic novels so most of my love of Marvel comes from the MCU movies and the tv shows. This book showed up in my recommendation list around the time my kids were playing the Spider-Man video game non-stop, so I figured I could learn more about Miles Morales. (Then my husband told me there are a bunch of different MM storylines and universes…)
Anyway, I enjoyed this book, it’s a novelization, not a comic or even illustrated, which is more my thing. If you’re looking for graphic novels this isn’t it. Miles Morales was bitten by a spider, like the previous Spider-Man Peter Parker, but he doesn’t have the same catalyst to be the hero Peter did. He has two parents who are happily married and love him, he goes to a fancy private school (on a scholarship) and while he does use his Spider-Man powers, the book starts at a time when he’s been suspended from school for trying to follow his spider-sense so he’s hung up his mask and wants to quit.
His roommate/best friend Ganke is a wonderful character who provides humor and support to Miles throughout the story.
I found the book a bit slow in the middle, not unbearably so, but on the whole, a solid story. It does make me want to look into the authors other books and I’ll definitely join the kids at the Spiderverse movie coming out in December. 3.5/5 stars ⭐️

Items mentioned in this post may contain affiliate links which means if you click and make a purchase, I will receive referral compensation at no additional cost to you. And let’s be honest, I will use to buy more books.

Review: The Hate You Give

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

I finished this book last night and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I’ve read nothing but accolades for this book but I’ll be honest, I didn’t love it. I had big expectations based on all the buzz surrounding it, and it was gritty, emotional, thought-provoking, uncomfortable and uplifting. The story and the character experience is important and relevant. The main character Starr is two characters really, she’s the daughter of an ex-con, former gang member who lives in a neighborhood of gang affiliation and drug violence and she’s a smart, shy high school student in a private school far from her neighborhood where she’s one of the only black students and has to assimilate and hide her other self. As the book starts, she sees her unarmed best friend shot by a police officer at a traffic stop and the book is her POV of the weeks that follow as her family, her neighborhood, and the community react. She lives in her two worlds and tries to not fall apart from the trauma of losing her friend while she tries to find her voice to speak out against injustice and systematic racism. Starr finds her voice is the best tool she has for change. The complexities of race, poverty, community, belonging, fear, anger and growing up form the central message of this book and it’s well done. That said, I had a hard time getting through the book for other reasons. I feel like it dragged in spots and it was repetitive and the language and structure seemed like a 16-year-old writer. I think it was intentional, not bad writing, but I’ve read plenty of other YA books with teen narrative that didn’t read like 16-year-olds wrote it. 4/5 stars

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Review: WE: A Manifesto For Women Everywhere

Review: WE: A Manifesto For Women Everywhere by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel

I am not sure what I expected from this book, but it has been eye-opening and positive. I am an occasional reader, and not very fast, so it has taken a while to get through this book in a way that I feel I am absorbing and appreciating. I even found myself taking notes which I rarely do. I plan to read it though a second time now that I know what to expect and made sure I am getting the most from it.

I am at a time in my life I really needed to read/hear the ideas in this book. I am guilty of not putting myself first, not taking care of myself in my frenzy to make sure everyone else’s everything is tended to. I am a 40-something mom with two young kids, who left the workforce to stay home with them. I have second-guessed every decision I’ve made recently and I have been very down on myself as I am in this season of my life. This book really helped me to see my value and had concrete plans to help me address these concerns.

5/5 Stars

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Review: Bucky F*cking Dent

Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny

I got this book because I’m a long-time David Duchovny fan from his acting work but found he’s an incredible writer as well. This is a great book, period, not just a “good book by an actor.”
The story is emotional and real, and will have you rooting for the characters. I laughed so hard at times and cried at others. This is a touching father and son tale with baseball as the thing that brings them together, but not how you think it will.
Duchovny is intelligent, articulate and a born story teller.
I can’t wait until his next book.

Items mentioned in this post may contain affiliate links which means if you click and make a purchase, I will receive referral compensation at no additional cost to you. And let’s be honest, I will use to buy more books.