Fiction – Contemporary
The Hicks have made quite a name for themselves as an upstanding, virtuous family with their own reality show, Six for Hicks. Father is the leader of a mega church; Mother gives off the image of perfection and maintains control in all situations. Their spotless reputation is suddenly at risk when Essie, their youngest daughter, winds up pregnant. Essie’s mother, Celia, begins concocting up ideas of how to handle the “situation.” Abortion? Arranged marriage? They’ll do anything to cover it up and keep their image. However, Essie has her own idea of the direction this could possibly go and, with that, she stands to both lose and gain immensely. It turns out this isn’t the only secret the Hicks family is trying to hide.
I have to admit that the first thing that drew me to this book was the presumed similarity to the Duggar family and their television shows. This book was full of many surprises that kept me reading, wondering what could possibly happen next. Each character is either really quite lovable or painstakingly reprehensible, and they each have their own compelling perspective. I enjoyed this book greatly; however, there are a few difficult themes discussed throughout that some individuals may have an issue with. If you are planning to read this, be aware that it contains topics of abuse as well as different aspects of faith and beliefs. Overall, I found The Book of Essie to be enlightening, heartfelt, and captivating.
Author Meghan MacLean Weir’s website
Fiction – Suspense
Meet Cassie Bowden–a flight attendant in her late thirties with a highly self-destructive lifestyle. If she’s not actively tending to customers on a flight, she’s drinking, to the point of blacking out, or engaging in some form of promiscuity with the next random guy she meets. Then she wakes up next to the dead body of a man she slept with the night before with no recollection of what happened. Did she kill him? She can’t seem to remember. If not her, who did this? And why? Cassie is determined to figure out the truth, which, of course, isn’t as simple as it may seem.
I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book, but I suppose it was to be expected after reading four five-star books in a row. The book was decent overall but didn’t live up to my expectations of it. I found it drug on a bit, and I was hoping for a bit more suspense. However, the author did a really nice job of establishing the main character and story line. The ending did have a really great twist, which I am a total sucker for. I think a couple more twists throughout would have kept me intrigued a whole lot more.
Here are six books I’ve read so far this year that I’ve given a 5 star rating to.
I highly recommend each one! I’ve linked each to Amazon for ease of finding.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the above books! Did you love them as well? Or maybe they weren’t your favorite? Let’s chat in the comments below!
Fiction – Contemporary
Eleanor Oliphant is a lonesome, socially inept twenty-nine-year-old who lives alone, works a less than exciting nine-to-five office job, and talks to Mummy every Wednesday evening. Her only social interactions, seldom and usually unwelcome, are with co-workers. That is until one day, she is forced into human interaction when she and the IT guy at her work save a man lying unconscious in the street. And so begins a series of events that switch up Eleanor’s very simple life. She soon begins to wonder what is it like to have a friend? Could another person truly want to spend time with me? But underlying it all is an extensively complicated relationship with her mum.
I loved the story of Eleanor’s life and getting into her mind to understand why she is the way she is. Yes, she is blatantly awkward and clueless, but she also has such a longing, like all of us, to just be loved. I really took to Eleanor, quirks and all; I empathized with her, and my heart broke for her again and again. I felt like I knew her and, by the end, wanted nothing but the best for her. The mix of hilarity with hardship was well done and balanced the story out nicely. I laughed out loud on many occasions and, quite frankly, considered incorporating some of Eleanor’s lingo into my own life for fun’s sake. I highly suggest this book; it is definitely one that will stick with me!
Author Gail Honeyman Q&A