2019 Reads and Reviews pt. 1

I haven’t been on top of the book reviews the way I like. Let’s be honest, when am I ever on top of it? But I wanted to authentically share what I read, what I liked, and what I didn’t like.

I decided the easiest way to do this was to take it in bite sized pieces- so I’m going to try- notice I said TRY to share five books a week, closing out 2019 (and going slightly into 2020).

The goal is to try- once again- TRY to get back on top on things in 2020 and post monthly like I did many moons ago.

Also, the thing about my book reviews– I don’t enjoy giving synopses, and my personal favorite way to read a book is to go into it blindly based off of a couple trusted reviews, so I don’t give synopses, just my honest opinion.

Thank you for reading with me, and as always- please please please always feel free to share your own opinions of these books, as well as any other books you think I might like.

Book people are my people!

~AT

*If you’re interested in viewing any of these books on Amazon, click on the picture of the book for a direct link.

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

4.5/5 Stars

I started off the year strong, and scared, very very scared. Disclaimer: I rarely read thrillers. I love them, they just MESS ME UP. This book did that.

In this novel, you go back and forth between different lives and years, but ultimately, in true entrusted thriller fashion, it all collides, and you will gasp… a few times.

But this book is so much more than a frightening tale. It is a deep, horrifying, and enthralling view into humanity and motivation. It shows the darkest corners of a soul and a mother’s determination for answers.

My Lady of the Chimney Corner by Alexander Irvine

4.5/5 stars

This book was gifted to me by family in Northern Ireland, and it was such a privilege to experience this view into one of their culture’s treasured works. Thank you so much, Robert and Sharon!

Written in the Early 1920’s, and set in the years of Irish Famine, this is Irvine’s story of his own mother and father and their determination to overcome so many obstacles in the midst of poverty. It is a beautiful and inspiring tale of the power of love and resilience in even the hardest of circumstances. It is a classic that BELONGS on your “to-read” list- especially if you have any Irish heritage.

If you choose to read this one, and you should, I recommend finding a quiet space to read the dialogue out loud, particularly if you are not from the UK, as it does tend to have many colloquialisms and choppy dialogue that is better understood when read out loud.

Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

4/5 Stars

“Because, cupcakes make everything better. Except type two diabetes, I guess.”

Oh man, do I appreciate optimism, and oh man did I appreciate Polly. There are so many hard books that handle the hard topics, and they are so necessary, but sometimes you just need a light and optimistic way of viewing the absolute crap we have to go through in this life.

This book was that for me. This book looked at hard topics, and showed the different ways people face hardships, one person falling apart, the other person choosing to live really LIVE until her very last breath. This book was breath of fresh air in the heartache department, and it was such a joy to live even the darkest pages with the brightest character.

This is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today by Chrissy Metz

4/5 Stars

Surely I have some Fellow This is Us fans out there! Even if you’re not a fan of the show, I thought this book was so introspective into the mind of a woman, who rarely gets seen below surface level.

That’s essentially what happens when you are severely overweight, people start to see this first impression of you, and nothing more. This book was a story of overcoming countless odds, and making it in a vicious field. Follow her journey from a broken family in Florida to staring in an beloved NBC television show. This book was both well-written and inspiring. It gave me such an authentic view into the life of this woman who I watch on TV every Tuesday night.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

5/5 stars!!!

FIVE STAR ALERT! Yes this was my first five-star book of the year because… wow. This book was worth every hour (there were many) that I dedicated to it. What an interesting story, or stories, for that matter. It was so many stories, all revolving around this one man’s passion to live and love the way he wants to in a world that is violently opposed to his life style.

The book comes full circle multiple times like I’ve never seen before. It gave me a view into the AIDS crisis in America, the shame that so many of these humans faced while dying of such an awful disease, and the devastation of all involved in the fight.

Truly such a devastating and impactful story.

Disclaimer: language, and heavy, HEAVY topics. But I challenge you to jump out of you comfort zone, and dive into this beautiful, ugly, and incredibly well-crafted tale.

Until next week, friends!

~AT


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