No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Rating
5/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Contemporary/Christian

Summary
Follow the lives of Camille, Jen, and Anaya as their worlds entwine when an inner city school district loses its accreditation, sending many of their misplaced students to a well-to-do school district that is less than excited to take them in. Camille seems to have it all—a wealthy husband and three beautiful children that attend some of the best schools available. How will this school integration affect her affluent family? Jen, her husband, and their newly adopted Liberian daughter are new to town and just trying to settle into a normal life. Should they send their daughter to school with other kids like her or one where she is the minority? Anaya is in her first year of teaching and has accepted a job in the school district receiving transfer students. Despite her hesitancy, she is determined that she will make a positive impact somehow. With racism and segregation at the forefront of this story, these three women will have to figure out a way to do what is best for their children, family, and community.

Review
This book was incredible! I was intrigued from the very beginning. There is such an intricate and enlightening story that unfolds, and it will stay with me long past the last page. Topics such as racism, segregation, family dynamics, adoption, and faith are all delicately and empathetically discussed within a story that just flows so well together. Each character was well developed and portrayed, with each of their personal stories and growth being equally fascinating. How Katie Ganshert managed to piece together such difficult topics into a story so beautifully is beyond me. I think it really says something about a book when it can make you look at things differently in life—in a good way. My eyes have been opened to some of the significant struggles many individuals have faced and continue to face. I would highly recommend this book to anyone! It would spark some great discussion for a book group, or it could just be an enthralling solo read. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Author Katie Ganshert’s website

Thanks to NetGalley and Waterbrook & Multnomah for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

4 star books

Here are some more recommendations for you all! I have read each of these books this year and gave them 4 out of 5 stars. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did!
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah & Skye Chatham
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
As you probably know, the Crazy Rich Asians movie is currently in theaters. I always prefer to read the book first and then see the movie. Hoping I can see it sometime soon!
Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts on them? I am such a huge fan of Liane Moriarty and Ruth Ware, in case you don’t know that yet. 😊
Happy Reading!

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

Rating
3/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Contemporary Romance

Summary
Up and coming political enthusiast Ella Durran is off to fulfill her childhood dream of a year studying at Oxford University. Upon arrival, as she quickly worries that she is in way over head surrounded by Oxonians, she meets an arrogant playboy named Jamie Davenport, who turns out to be her professor. As their relationship develops into something unique, Ella learns that Jamie has been hiding something from her. In order to figure out how to move forward, she must look within to decide if what was important when she first arrived at Oxford is still important now.

Review
So, I went into this book knowing very little about the content. I had only heard it had received great reviews, therefore I suppose my expectations were a little high. The first half of the book was a bit rough for me. I definitely wasn’t pulled in from the first page. I felt like a fair amount of the language was way above my head, which—I’m not going to lie—left me feeling somewhat inadequate. The second half picked up and was more enjoyable for me. This was probably due to the fact that the major story line and conflict occured. I found Ella to be a really neat character, and I could empathize with her in many ways. I would recommend this book mostly based off the fact that so many others loved it—I tend to be in the minority for some of these popular books. So, give it a shot and, if you do, let me know what you think!

The Thinnest Air by Minka Kent

Rating
3.5/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Suspense/Thriller

Summary
Meredith Price feels like she hit the jackpot when she marries a wealthy, older man with two children. She quickly settles into her new life of luxury—spa days, yoga classes, and shopping. But when she suddenly goes missing, her wallet and keys still left in her car, no one has a clue what could have happened. When her sister and closest confidant, Greer, flies into town, she starts to wonder who can really be trusted. And soon she might be more wrapped up in this case than she ever thought possible.

Review
I enjoyed this book; it was definitely good, but I wouldn’t put it in the category of great. I really liked the suspense—it kept me reading as I was always curious to know what was going to happen next. I do, however, think the ending was a bit short-lived. It felt rushed and anti-climatic to me. It’s the classic woman goes missing, money is involved, whodunit book. Nonetheless, this is a great one to pick up if you’re looking for a quick, suspenseful read!

Hey Ladies!: The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, and Way, Way Too Many Emails by Michelle Markowitz & Caroline Moss

Rating
4.5/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Humor

Summary
A year in the life of eight friends as told through their emails and text messages. Each friend has their own unique personality and quirks that speak to the type of friend they are. From failed relationships to job issues to planning for an upcoming wedding, there is no shortage of hilarious antics in this quick read that will keep you entirely entertained.

Review
Guys, I loved this book! I found it to be so hilarious—there were many times I was laughing out loud. It was also a fast read due to the format of writing. I was worried that I might not be able to differentiate between the eight friends and keep everything straight, but as soon as I got into it, it was super easy to tell them all apart. This is a group of girls being totally candid so with that comes some crude humor and language, but I found it to be at a manageable level. I would definitely suggest this book as a light, easy read; one that can be a nice break when you’ve read a lot of heavier books lately. Hope you love it as much as I did!

Hey Ladies! website

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng



Rating
3/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Contemporary

Summary
The Richardsons are an affluent family living in the pristine community of Shaker Heights—where things are perfectly planned, laid out, and cared for. Worlds collide when Elena, the family matriarch, rents out a home to Mia and her daughter, Pearl, who come from an entirely different background and way of life—only just making ends meet and moving from place to place. As the Richardson children grow close to Pearl, Mrs. Richardson begins digging up Mia’s past. Secrets are uncovered, friendships are formed and destroyed, and no one is likely is to be the same after all is said and done.

Review
This one started out slow for me. I had seen others say the same thing so I decided to keep reading anyway. The first portion focused on getting to know each character and definitely moved at a snail’s pace. However, about one-fourth of the way into the book, it started to pick up. The character development was nicely done, allowing the reader to have a better understanding and appreciation for the events that occur. I enjoyed the detail in which the author explored each relationship and took the time to establish them. Even though this was a slower moving story, there were definitely some surprises that kept things interesting. If you can go into this one with lower expectations than the hype it received and welcome the serious tone, I think it’s one you could really enjoy. Will it stick with me for years to come? Probably not. Am I glad I read it? Yes.

Author Celeste Ng’s website


All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover



Rating
4/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Romance

Summary
A beautifully-written, heartbreaking love story about two soulmates who meet in the most unlikely of ways. Their relationship, then and now, is explored—how two people can grow and change in different ways over time. Graham and Quinn must dig into the depths of their souls to determine whether or not love is truly enough.

Review
Graham and Quinn are two fascinating characters. With chapters switching between the past and present, I grew to understand and empathize with them both, and I felt like I was personally invested in their relationship. I was elated by their successes, heartbroken by their hardships, and hopeful through it all. I love a book that exquisitely establishes its characters and their relationships, and this book does just that. However, there is a fair amount of sexual content included, a distinction that I, personally, could have done without. Additionally, one of  the main topics is infertility, which I know can be a sensitive topic for many.

Author Colleen Hoover’s website