Saturday, July 11, 2020

Review: Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a LieTwo Truths and a Lie by Meg Mitchell Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good summer read. It moved quickly and kept my interest. The comparison to Lianne Moriarty is a good one.
The story is told from different points of view, one of which is 'The Squad'—the group of moms of middle school girls—that act as a 'greek chorus' by filling in details from there perspective. They aren't a likeable group of women. They are catty and cliquish—think 'Mean Girls' all grown up.
We know from the beginning that this is a book that does not end happily—somebody dies. We just don't know who or how. I enjoyed the journey. Though I wouldn't classify this book as a mystery or a suspense, there is some suspense along the way. One character is 'in hiding', on the run from a bad marriage. For the most part, the characters were likable and well-developed, though they often made questionable decisions.
The book is a great beach read, but will also appeal to book clubs. It would make a great selection for the summer when clubs are looking for a quick, fun read, but also something with discussion potential. Topics of discussion could include parent-teen relationship, grief recovery, abusive relationship, cliques, and more.

I won this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway!

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Monday, July 6, 2020

Review: The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing HalfThe Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! I chose it as my June Book of the Month selection because it got high ratings and because it was a 'sisters' story—a category I usually enjoy. I did enjoy this book, but I wouldn't really call it a 'sister' story because there was very little interaction between the sisters.
These were twins, with one growing up and choosing to pass as white, and the other retaining her identity as black. Though this book was set a generation and more back, the story very timely, showing the inherent 'privilege' enjoyed by white people. I found it interesting that in the community the sisters grew up in, light-skinned blacks were valued and dark-skinned blacks were not.
I was a little bit disappointed in the ending because I am a fan of 'happily-ever-after' and didn't quite get that. I also felt like the ending was a little incomplete—I wanted to know more about what happened to the characters. But that was a minor thing, and it was still a good book with a realistic ending.
One thing I really enjoyed about the book is the writing. The author had a way of expressing ideas that made me happy to read. Here are just a couple of quotes to illustrate...

When talking about ignoring the past...
"How she felt that you could flick away history like shrugging a hand off your shoulder."

And when describing that although the twin were identical and difficult to tell apart when young, they matured into different people...
"As they grew, they no longer seemed like one body split in two, but two bodies poured into one, each pulling it her own way."

This would make a great book club selection. The book is a quick, easy read, but has lots of 'meat'; topics to discuss. Pick this one up and enjoy!

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Review: The Last Flight

The Last FlightThe Last Flight by Julie Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I considered picking this up for my June BOTM selection but chose a different one instead. But I knew I wanted to read this one, too, so I picked it up through my library. I'm glad I did! I had 2 other books in progress, but set them aside once I picked this one up, and finished in 2 days. It was that good!

Though there wasn't a lot of action, there was a lot of suspense in this book. Claire is an abused wife trying to escape her politically-connected husband. She has tried and failed before and has every reason to fear another unsuccessful attempt will not end well for her. Eve, a young woman with a past, also on the run. Watching their stories unfold, wondering if they will be caught, was full of suspense. I liked both characters.

I have mixed feelings about the epilogue. I usually appreciate when the story jumps ahead to let us know what happens to the characters next, and to tie up loose ends. In this case I may have preferred to have a loose end. I did enjoy the book, though, and probably would have been critical of the loose end hanging, so I guess sometimes the author just can't win.

Read the book! It's a good one!

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Monday, June 8, 2020

Review: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

The Two Lives of Lydia BirdThe Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really, really liked this book! I'd read One Day in December by the same author and enjoyed it very much, but I think I liked this one ever better!
I liked the characters and I liked the plot. I'm not sure if it was fantasy or sci-fi or what, but it had a parallel universe thing going on and I enjoyed it. It really gave me a lot to think about as Lydia went back and forth between the universes.
I can't say I guessed how this would end, but I did guess how I hoped it would end, and I was not disappointed. The book is a romance, but also a novel of sisters and friendship, as well as a journey through grief. The book actually could have ended a few chapters early, at the end of 2019, and it would have been a very good ending. (view spoiler). But I'm so glad it didn't end there! This one will stick with me for awhile. If you enjoyed One Day in December, you need to add this to your list!

I read this ebook through my library's OverDrive collection.

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