May Reads

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Book 14:
"You Do You" by Sarah Knight
This is the second book I've read by Sarah Knight and my favorite of the two. (The other was "The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.") It's a book about learning to embrace who we are, which should be the easiest thing in the world, but we know it's not. To quote Knight herself, "The advice in this book boils down to one simple mantra: Stand up for who you are and what you want. How do you do that? Stop letting other people tell you what to do, how to do it, or why it can't be done."

With authenticity and the right amount of attitude, "You Do You" is a reminder that there's nothing wrong with standing up for what you want or need or deserve. As always, I appreciate that it's about learning to be selfish and "difficult" while also being considerate of others.
At my biggest, smallest, and sickest—even though I was lucky to have people around me telling me they loved me and I was beautiful—I never actually felt that way until I finally accepted myself for who I am, flaws and all."
Rating: 4/5

Book 15:
"The Wife Between Us"
by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Quite honestly, the blurb gives away the first big twist, so I recommend not reading that, and I'll summarize it differently: This book alternates between two points of view. First, Vanessa, the ex-wife, who is struggling with a drinking problem and obsessive jealousy ever since Richard left her for another woman. Second, Nellie, the young, new fiancé who is trying to shake the feeling that she's being followed while in the midst of planning her wedding. Vanessa is determined to stop her replacement from marrying the man she loves, but how far will she go?

I ended up figuring out very early on what the first twist was, which for me personally, automatically makes the book less enjoyable. Maybe I'm too picky when it comes to this genre. From there, I was hoping for more surprises but didn't get too many. I kept reading more out of curiosity on how it'd end rather than being invested in the mystery.

I did enjoy the final twists at the end, though, despite the cheesiness to them.

Rating: 3/5

Book 16:
"Goodbye, Vitamin" by Rachel Khong
I was seeing in a lot of reviews that this book was funny. I picked it up because I was in the mood for something lighthearted and quirky. I think I read the summary too quickly but the synopsis on the flap did say it was told from a deep well of humor.

"Goodbye, Vitamin" is essentially about a woman, Ruth, who moves back to her parents' for a year to help care for her father, who's in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Ruth's fiancé recently left her, and her father has lost his teaching job. They're coping.

I don't think I let out more than a hard-exhale laugh once while reading this book. I did, however, cry multiple times. This book wrecked me. Having said that, you should read it. It's a beautifully written story that I devoured in its entirety in one day. I loved it. I will definitely have to check out more from Khong.
What imperfect carriers of love we are, and what imperfect givers. That the reasons we can care for one another can have nothing to do with the person cared for. That it has only to do with who we were around that person—what we felt about that person."
Rating: 5/5

Book 17:
"Places I Stopped on the Way Home"
by Meg Fee
I've adored Meg Fee's writing on her blog for the past couple of years. She's a striking writer, and because of that, I knew her book would be no different. It is just what the cover suggests: a memoir of chaos and grace. It's reflective and honest, painting a picture of New York with memories of love and growth tied together through various essays. (I think the font used in the book is also the same as what's on her blog, which was a nice touch.)

As someone who has been in a long-term relationship since the beginning of college and hasn't lived in a city, I couldn't relate too much to the specific events discussed in these stories, but the feelings and emotions are universal. I have plenty of pages dog-eared to refer back to.
But this is what I know to be true, that in the worst moments of our lives, good things happen. That, in fact, good and bad rush in together, one somersaulting over the other. And you must be alert enough to look for both."
Rating: 4/5

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