: George Orwell
Publication Date: 1949
Genre: classic, fiction
Method: audiobook via TPL

In 2022, I set out to read at least 4 classics, planning to read this in December. Honestly I was kind of excited about it because I thought I had fond memories from reading it in high school like 10 years ago. Um, not sure what I was thinking because this was kind of awful, to be blunt. I was intrigued for like the first quarter but it just dragged from there. Why is this mandatory reading in high schools??? This is why kids graduate high school and literally never read again, because of dull books like this. I need to just recognize that I read to either be entertained or learn something, and this story did neither of those things for me. If anything, maybe I retained enough to get a rogue Jeopardy question right, but unlikely because this was a snooze fest
Buzzword Readathon: December selection

56 Days
Author: Catherine Ryan Howard
Publication Date: August 2021
Genre: thriller, mystery
Method: ebook borrowed from TPL

I didn’t really have an expectations going into this story but this was a good time! I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the COVID pandemic as a backdrop for a mystery thriller but I thought it was well done. I liked the pacing and the cliffhangers, and the intrigue was there for me through the entire story. I’m always a fan of alternating timelines and I liked the countdown component of the story i.e. 56 days ago, 35 days ago, today. I’d pick up more from this author in the future!
Buzzword Readathon: December selection

Let’s Get Physical
Author: Danielle Friedman
Publication Date: January 2022
Genre: nonfiction, history
Method: hardcover from personal collection

I have a confession. I haven’t actually finished this book, but I made it like halfway through. I’ll finish it one day, I swear!

Until next time, Meryn



The Family Remains
: Lisa Jewell
Publication Date: July 2022
Genre: mystery, thriller
Method: hardcover borrowed from TPL

To recap, in October I picked up my first Lisa Jewell, this books predecessor, The Family Upstairs, and absolutely loved it. I was glued to TFU, fascinated with the characters and the psychological, familial drama that unfolded. So to say I had extremely high hopes for this story, the stand alone follow up, would be an understatement. And maybe I’m to blame, maybe I went in with the wrong expectations. Because of course I did

I’m saddened to say, I didn’t love this, I actually kind of hated it. I can suspend disbelief when needed but this was just ludicrous and unbelievable at times. Jet setting country to country, city to city, on the drop of hat? You’re telling me in Chicago, a city of 2.5 million, you can track down a single person in like less than a week’s time? It just didn’t hold my attention as much as TFU, so it’s like a 2 star to reflect my disappointment. I do find the title quite clever, took me awhile to pick up on the double meaning hidden within

Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Publication Date: September 2014
Genre: fiction, science fiction, dystopia
Method: audiobook via TPL

If I’m not mistaken, this is my first post apocalyptic and/or dystopian read since living in a pandemic, so that’s something. This was definitely unnerving and chilling at times, very eerie to think this was written in 2014 and yet it really captures the essence of pandemic life as we now know it in the 2020s. Likely something I would have hated reading pre-pandemic, but here we are

I’ve hesitated over the years to give this a go because, what on earth is a traveling symphony? All in all, it was quite bizarre, but I like how the story unfolded and how the stories of our 5 highlighted characters weave together. Like any other good hearted Great Lakes resident, I enjoyed the Michigan settings and the various Toledo and Ohio references, always fun to feel connected to a story in that way. Considered my interested piqued – I plan to read St. John Mandel’s 2022 release Sea of Tranquility in 2023!
Buzzword Readathon: December selection

One by One
Author: Ruth Ware
Publication Date: September 2020
Genre: nonfiction, biography
Method: audiobook via TPL

I had been holding off on reading this locked-room, mountain chalet mystery until the colder months and here we are. Another Ruth Ware hit, what can I say! I’ve read enough in the genre to know lock-room mysteries aren’t my favorite trope, so it’s not a new favorite, but I had a good time none-the-less. I enjoyed the large cast of characters, their connections through their business, and the alternating narrators, but I never had that jaw dropping moment that I expect and love so much from Ruth Ware. So, 3.75 stars rounded up to 4

I’ve read 6 of Ware’s 7 published novels and here’s my current ranking:
1. The Death of Mrs. Westaway
2. The It Girl
3. The Turn of the Key
4. One By One
5. The Woman in Cabin 10
6. In a Dark, Dark Wood

All I have left to read is The Lying Game, then I’ll be done with her backlist and ready for her newly announced 2023 release, Zero Days!
Buzzword Readathon: December selection

Of Mice and Men
Author: John Steinbeck
Publication Date: 1937
Genre: classics, fiction
Method: audiobook via TPL

Firstly, God bless Gary Sinise for narrating the audiobook. Secondly, I’m ready to give up on classics. I know for a fact we read this in junior high or high school because I so clearly remember watching the movie with Gary Sinise and John Malkovich. I read to be entertained and I haven’t found a classic that is entertaining, facts are facts. Definitely an interesting book to pick up having read The Four Winds earlier this month, but not something I’d revisit again anytime soon. Thankful the audiobook was only just about 3 hours

Once Upon a December
Author: Amy E. Reichert
Publication Date: October 2022
Genre: Christmas, romance
Method: audiobook via TPL

Here’s my obligatory holiday romance for the month of December, and this was good, honestly better than expected! Holiday romances can be a real hit or miss for me. I found this cute and endearing, would recommend, but likely wouldn’t reread. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 overall

What’s up next on my TBR

Until next time, Meryn


One quarter left of the year and I only have 8 books left in my 2022 TBR!

One quarter left in the year 2022 and I’ve read 22 of the books on my 2022 TBR, making my completion percentage 78.57%. I’m still on track to finish by the end of the year, yay! Of the 6 I read this quarter, there was one 5 star, three 4 stars, and two 3 stars.

My predictions for what I’ll have finished by end of each month as we wrap up the year:


Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
The Secret History by Donna Tartt


Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson
The Push by Ashley Audrain
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi


56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard
Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

What book should I pick up next?

Until next time, Meryn

2022 TBR – SECOND QUARTER UPDATE linked here
2022 TBR – FIRST QUARTER UPDATE linked here
2022 TBR – INTRODUCTION linked here
Goodreads 2022 Bookshelf linked here
READING GOALS + TBR LIST // 2021 linked here
Goodreads 2021 Bookshelf linked here


It’s giving chaotic reader and genre diversity. It’s historical fiction, Greek retellings, campus thriller, book in translation, contemporary fiction, and humor nonfiction about what else but birds. Stand out favorite from the month was The It Girl by Ruth Ware followed by Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin.


Total: 10 books
Pages: 2,784

Fiction: 9
Nonfiction: 1

Audiobooks: 5
Physical books: 5

Borrowed books: 7
→ Library savings $146.91
Personal collection: 3

2022 TBR: 3
2022 Release: 2
Book of the Month: 1
Buzzword Readathon challenge: 5
Debut Work: 2


In September, my top priority is Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney – really hoping it’s just as amazing as Rock Paper Scissors! For the #buzzwordreadathon prompt of objects, I hope to also read Things We Do In the Dark, Dark Places, and possibly a reread of Home Before Dark. Lastly, hoping to get to Fates and Furies because I said I’d read it in August and that was a bust

Until next time, Meryn


The variety of my reading within a single month is astounding, and impressive, if I do say so myself: a couple romances, a couple of thrillers, a YA non-fiction about racism, my first ever graphic novel, a book of haiku, and even a humous field guide about birds. Top tier, 5 star favorite is Rock Paper Scissors, my first, and certainly not my last, by Alice Feeney – that reveal had me GASPING. Definitely worth mentioning is The Flatshare, the only romance I’ve rated 5 stars that wasn’t written by Emily Henry. Couple other books I loved were Upgrade and The Paper Palace. Pleasantly surprised by Eating Salad Drunk and The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America, the two wild cards for the month


Total: 11 books
Pages: 2,863

Fiction: 9
Nonfiction: 2

Audiobooks: 5
Physical books: 6

Borrowed books: 8
→ Library savings $148.90
Personal collection: 3

2022 TBR: 1
2022 Release: 3
Book of the Month: 2
Buzzword Readathon challenge: 2
Debut Work: 5


In August I plan to read The It Girl by Ruth Ware because it’s one of my most anticipated releases of the year, fingers crossed it’s a 5 star knock out! For the #buzzwordreadathon prompt of objects, I hope to read In My Dreams I Hold a Knife, The Nickel Boys, and Velvet was the Night. Lastly, hoping to throw in squeeze in The Song of Achilles and Fates and Furies because I said I’d read them in July and that obviously didn’t happen

Until next time, Meryn


Eating Salad Drunk: Haikus for the Burnout Age by Comedy Greats
Author: Gabe Henry
Publication Date: February 2022
Genre: poetry, humor
Method: hardcover borrowed from TPL

At the end of June, I took a look at the genre related goals and intentions I set for the year of 2022 and realized I hadn’t yet picked up a comedy or humorous book, so this was my first pick to rectify that. I will admit, this was fun! I had quite a few chuckles and some big smiles. Nothing I would ever need to re-read or purchase, but a fun hour of entertainment

“Strangely enough, there seems to be no better poetry for our burnout age than this five-century-old Japanese triplet. Haikus are the world’s shortest poems—snapshots of the world in its smallest distillations—and we are a generation that requires its information short and distilled. (And snapshotted, too, if possible, with a Juno filter please). With platforms like Twitter restricting the space in which we convey and consume our world, and traditional media rushing to meet our ever-shrinking capacity to concentrate, we now expect everything in bite-sized, meme-ified form. Haikus, in their brevity and appeal to the attention-deprived, may just be the poetry for these times.”

The Paper Palace
Author: Miranda Cowley Heller
Publication Date: July 2021
Genre: contemporary, fiction
Method: audiobook via TPL

Not very verbose but the only word I can come up with to describe this story is wow. What a powerful and emotional story about one woman’s traumatic adolescence, her lackluster marriage, and her attraction and pole to her childhood sweetheart. Full of lies, secrets, and familial drama, this is story that will both pull at your heart strings and enrage you hopping between past and present story lines. I’d definitely like to read more from this author, fingers crossed she’s working on her next novel
Buzzword Readathon: July selection

The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America
Author: Matt Kracht
Publication Date: April 2019
Genre: humor, nonfiction
Method: hardcover borrowed from TPL

Another short, cutie book I nabbed from the library in an attempt to read more humor and comedic books this year. This was enjoyable, there’s no denying that! Funny, educational, and the haphazard pen drawings are joy inducing. You know what, 4 stars. And I’ve requested his follow up from the library, The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of the Whole Stupid World

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife
Author: Ashley Winstead
Publication Date: August 2021
Genre: thriller, mystery
Method: hardcover borrowed from TPL

I picked this up in equal parts due to the amazing reviews, general mass appeal, and because Kayla (Books and Lala) slotted this as her favorite thriller of 2021, so obviously I had to read it. I really wanted, and expected, to love this, but I was so underwhelmed, and I very much seem to be in the minority on this one

Other readers and reviewers have used the terms “fast paced” and “couldn’t put it down” to described the story, but that was not my experience at all. Nothing was drawing me back to this story. It just felt so methodical, predictable, and formulaic. On paper I should have liked this: large cast of characters, multiple timelines, and rich girls with rich girl problems. But I just couldn’t get over the main character, so was so annoying. Sometimes that works for me, this time it just did not

Maybe I made a mistake by reading this in the summer versus holding out for the fall. But I don’t know that academic thrillers are really for me. I read The Maidens by Alex Michaelides last year and that fell flat for me too when I expected it to be an automatic 5 star thriller. Despite this flop, I still plan to pick up Ashley Winstead’s 2022 release The Last Housewife!
Buzzword Readathon: August selection

This Is a Book
Author: Demetri Martin
Publication Date: April 2011
Genre: humor, comedy
Method: hardcover borrowed from TPL

Maybe this is dramatic, but Demetri Martin is a comedic genius, but also, a regular genius. I had a small obsession in 2014 with Demetri and his comedy specials, specifically the bit about his point system for self improvement, IYKYK. So when I realized he’d written an handful of books, I immediately requested them from the library. And this was so enjoyable! This book is exactly what I expected having already loved Demetri’s cerebral and analytical tv comedy bits. I laughed, I smiled, I shared these stories with loved ones, it’s a solid 4 stars!
Buzzword Readathon: August selection

What’s up next on my TBR

Until next time, Meryn


My Monticello
Author: Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Publication Date: October 2021
Genre: short stories, historical fiction
Method: audiobook via TPL

Ugh, it’s hard to rate a collection of stories. This collection starts out this a bang with Control Negro, performed live by LeVar Burton (yes, from Reading Rainbow). It was incredible, so gripping, eerie, and unsettling. The audio experience made for a very chilling and unnerving experience. The tone and intensity reminded me of Black Buck – which was fantastic in it’s entirety. I was nervous going into the collection but was so excited to continue after the first story was such a power house

Unfortunately, the rest of the collection fell flat for me. I found myself speeding through the back half of the book. I think this is just the case of ‘not every book is for every reader’, and that’s okay! I’d be more interested in a full length novel by this author. I think I’m learning that a collection of unrelated stories isn’t for me right now, much like The Office of Historical Corrections

This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work
Author: Tiffany Jewell, Aurelia Durand (Illustrations)
Publication Date: January 2020
Genre: nonfiction, race, young adult
Method: paperback borrowed from TPL

Accessible, beautiful, and informative. I set out to read at least 5 non-fictions text about race, racism, and the work of anti-racism, and it was a nice change of pace to throw in a book targeted towards a younger audience!

Author: Blake Crouch
Publication Date: July 2022
Genre: science fiction, thriller
Method: audiobook via TPL

The more that I’ve sat and reflected on this story, the more I want to open the book back up and reread it! Gene targeting and manipulation – what a fascinating premise and concept. Of the 3 Blake Crouch novels I’ve read, I had the easiest time following this story line specifically given it’s emphasis on genes, biology, and anatomy, versus his prior books centered around time and space. Let me tell you the ear to ear grin I had when the main character Logan references the brachial plexus, cricoid cartilage, rectus femoris, and the flexor pollicis brevis, because as a graduate student who literally dissected a human cadaver, I was squealing

Equally as exciting were the handful of references to our nation’s National Parks and diverse, beautiful landscape, many of which I have the honor of enjoying this time last year on our 3 month National Park road trip. Crouch makes a point to mention in his novel, Glacier National Park had no more glaciers, and the near reality of that is truly heart breaking to me, as it should be for you as well. However, can’t give it a perfect 5 star rating because I didn’t find it that thrilling, and maybe that’s due in part to listening to the audiobook versus reading my physical copy, 4.25 stars

Author: Amy McCulloch
Publication Date: May 2022
Genre: thriller, mystery
Method: BOTM hardcover
I was so excited to dive into this after loving, loving, loving the snowy setting of Rock Paper Scissors. And while I was very intrigued for the first few chapters, given I know absolutely nothing about the world of alpine mountaineering, the story telling kind of just fell flat for me. For a thriller set on a literal mountain, I thought there would have been more snow related references. I mean, the main character definitely complained about being cold but I just had a hard time picturing in my mind the sherpas and the various campsites and the equipment, etc etc etc. And maybe that’s on me, like I could have googled Manaslu, Mountain in Nepal, a dozen times by the time I finished the novel, but never felt motivated enough to do just that. And the big reveal was so incredibly obvious to me. I didn’t guess all of the motives and connections that tied into the reveal but I wasn’t by any means shocked. All in all, it was fine, a standard 3 star thriller for me

Wash Day Diaries
Author: Jamila Rowser, Robyn Smith (illustrations)
Publication Date: July 2022
Genre: graphic novel, contemporary
Method: paperback borrowed from TPL

My first graphic novel, yay! And it was so beautiful, both in art and in story telling. I loved the sex positive and body positive messaging, both overt and suggestive. I loved learning about these four women, their friendship, and at the center of the stories, their hair

What’s up next on my TBR

Until next time, Meryn


The House Across the Lake
Author: Riley Sager
Publication Date: June 2022
Genre: thriller, mystery
Method: signed hardcover

Regardless of rating, this book will always have a very special place in my heart. I will read anything and everything Riley Sager writes and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet him during his book tour stop in Cleveland. Riley, thank you for signing all 6 of my books and personalizing my edition of The Mouse Across the Cake, IYKYK

I destroyed this book. I’ve never dog eared so many pages in my life. From reveals, to suspenseful moments, to easter eggs sprinkled throughout refencing his prior novels. While I enjoyed the setting, the characters, the dual timeline, the easter eggs, etc, etc, I just can’t give this a perfect 5 star rating when I was truthfully disappointed by the “banana pants” plot twist. I didn’t hate it by any means, it’s just that I read this (almost exact) plot twist in a thriller in the month prior. I can’t imagine Riley didn’t have this book that shall not be named (for fear of spoiling the entire book) in mind while writing this story

Main character Casey wasn’t my favorite, but I almost never love an unreliable narrator with a drinking problem. Please, Riley, please, I’m begging you, bring back worthwhile heroines with some street smarts, dignity, who aren’t overtly stupid (e.g. my OG queens Maggie and Jules). Riley did hint at recent literary inspiration related to an art heist, which may or may not influence his writing. Fingers crossed we get a quick witted, clever main character in one of his next releases

I did really enjoy the almost historical component with the lake and its legends, very reminiscent of The Last Time I Lied, but I wanted more. Here’s the summary: more history, less drinking, more flashbacks, less drinking, more suspense, less drinking

Definitely not my favorite Riley Sager, but not a flop by any means. I was entertained, shocked, and surprised. I had a good time! It’s a 4 star for me. Would obviously recommend, would obviously continue to read whatever he releases next

Know My Name
Author: Chanel Miller
Publication Date: August 2020
Genre: nonfiction, memoir
Method: audiobook via TPL, annotated paperback

Incredibly powerful and thought provoking. My heart constantly aches when I think about Chanel and her story. I can’t write a review of this book, I don’t have any of the right words inside of me, at least not now. Just know this should be required reading for all

The Flatshare
Author: Beth O’Leary
Publication Date: April 2019
Genre: romance, contemporary
Method: audiobook via TPL

Look, it’s rare I give a romance written by someone other than Emily Henry a 5 star rating, but I did what must be done. I was just so charmed, chuffed to bits, as a Brit might say. Finally, a couple that I loved and cared about both as individual people and as a couple. Even the side characters and secondary plots I found interesting, crazy! O’Leary mentioned in an interview that the inspiration struck when she moved in with her boyfriend when he was working nights and how she felt they were “ships passing in the night” and wondered, “what if you fell in love like that?” That hits close to home when Kyle and I were navigating opposite scheduled 2 or so years ago in our relationship. I’ve got a feeling I’ll be reading more from Beth O’Leary this year, this was just so cute and fun

Rock Paper Scissors
Author: Alice Feeney
Publication Date: September 2021
Genre: thriller, mystery
Method: hardcover borrowed from TPL

Not to be dramatic but I loved this book. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Can’t stop thinking about it. Already texted 2 friends about it, begging them to read it. So glad my first Alice Feeney was such a success and now I’m even more hyped to read her new release next month, Daisy Darker

The intrigue was there from page 1, chapter 1. First off, the setting: a creepy, abandoned, possibly haunted, chapel in the Scottish Highlands, in the middle of winter, yes yes yes. Next, a marital dispute and/or marriage on the rocks. Wasn’t my thing last year, but getting more and more into them this year. Also, so many unanswered questions or leading statements and clues, yes give me more. Additionally, multiple timelines presented in a unique story structure aka letters from one character to another, genius. Also again, jaw drops, many of them

It was everything I needed in the middle of summer, apparently. It was smart, well crafted, misleading, surprising, it hurt my brain at times. Dare I say favorite thriller of the year? Dare I say favorite book of the year?
Buzzword Readathon: July selection

The Layover
Author: Lacie Waldon
Publication Date: June 2021
Genre: romance
Method: audiobook via TPL

Picked this up solely based on the cover and vibes alone and didn’t really have high hopes for it, to be honest. And it was okay at best. I was hoping for a fun, beachy romance but I just didn’t really care for any of the characters, like not a single one. I appreciate a flight attendant romance written from an actual flight attendant, like I don’t doubt the knowledge base or accuracy of this story, it just fell flat. Would I read from this author again? Only if I had the audiobook and an entire day of mindless chores during a summer month

What’s up next on my TBR

Until next time, Meryn


Another month and another couple memoirs, thrillers, a romance, a contemporary, and a poetry collection. The stand out favorite, without a doubt and as expected, is Riley Sager’s The House Across the Lake, which was a solid 4 star mystery-thriller. Pleasantly surprised by It Ends With Us, much better than the last few Colleen Hoover’s I’ve read, and by All Adults Here by Emma Straub. It goes without saying that Know My Name was exceptional, my heart still hurts, Chanel is a force


Total: 7 books
Pages: 2,320

Fiction: 4
Nonfiction: 3

Audiobooks: 3
Physical books: 4

Borrowed books: 3
→ Library savings $64.98
Personal collection: 4

2022 TBR: 2
2022 Release: 3
Book of the Month: 2
Buzzword Readathon challenge: 1
Debut Work: 2


In July I hope to read The Layover, which looks and sounds like the perfect summer romance. The state of the world is crap, so maybe it’s time I read The Handmaid’s Tale because I’m seeing a lot of refences to it lately. For the #buzzwordreadathon prompt of bookish and book related words, I want to pick up Rock Paper Scissors and The Paper Palace. Lastly, hoping to throw in squeeze in The Song of Achilles and Fates and Furies from by 2022 TBR

Until next time, Meryn


The Hunting Wives
Author: May Cobb
Publication Date: May 2021
Genre: thriller, mystery
Method: hardcover BOTM

I can’t help myself, I love rich white women and their unrelatable drama. It’s giving Big Little Lies and Desperate Housewives vibes. Fast paced, juicy, over the top, salacious, and scandalous, jam packed with a cast of selfish and idiotic characters who are just fun to read about. This isn’t the world’s most clever or well crafted mystery novel, but it was easy to fly through which it’s insanely short chapters. I didn’t really see the twist coming, but it also didn’t really impress or shock me. Like I remember thinking, “oh, that makes sense.” Not a new all time favorite, but nothing wrong with it, 3.5 stars. Definitely interested in picking up May Cobb’s newest release, My Summer Darlings

Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up
Author: Selma Blair
Publication Date: May 2022
Genre: memoir
Method: audiobook via TPL

Picked this up on a whim knowing next to nothing about Selma Blair, aside from hating her in Legally Blonde as a preteen. I went into this memoir knowing I was less interested in her experience and fame in Hollywood and more intrigued by Selma’s experience with multiple sclerosis

Definitely an emotional read, Selma crying while narrating equates to me crying while driving. I was fascinated by Selma’s ability to articulate her MS symptoms, even decades before her diagnosis, “It was a fitting role for me because, for years of my life beginning in my twenties, I often had the sensation that my arms were on fire. The feeling would come and go inexplicably: a tingle all the way down to my fingertips like tiny electric shocks, then a burning so intense I felt I might combust, then gone. Though it nagged at me, I never said anything about this to anyone, not even my mother. It was just one more mystery about my body I didn’t understand.”

Selma is very up front and honest about her mistakes in life, “I’ve come to understand its all part of the process of learning how to be human, and no repeats. Please.” And her experiences with grief, “Someone once told me, that grief is love you can no longer express.” Overall, a classic celebrity memoir, full of growth, beauty, struggle, and triumph

And We Rise
Author: Erica Martin
Publication Date: February 2022
Genre: poetry, young adult
Method: hardcover borrowed from TPL

This poetry collection exploring the Civil Rights Movement is powerful, impactful, and packs a punch with beautiful and brilliant use of white space that serves as both a history lesson and jumping off point for much needed conversation in the 2020s

Favorite piece, 1960: The same people who mock, beat, & kill us, slater on sticky lotion and fry their pale skin, outside, in the sun, inside, under a lamp, just to look dark, like us

All Adults Here
Author: Emma Straub
Publication Date: May 2020
Genre: fiction, contemporary
Method: audiobook via TPL

I love these slice of life stores. It’s like we the reader have been dropped into someone’s life, peering through a small window, given permission to observe and learn from the characters for a short while. This just feels like real life, I don’t know how else to articulate. I loved the commentary on aging, death and dying, self discovery, identity, and normative gender roles

I just finished annotating my physical copy, having listened to the audiobook, and I’m realizing I just love this author’s writing style. The praise at the end of the novel says it all, and more eloquently than I ever could: “Emma Straub is master of human emotion. From her debut story collection to her latest New York Times best selling novel, Straub’s fiction is defined by a thoughtful balance of warmth and with that makes it at once sharp and addictive, entertaining and wise. With prose that is funny, tender, expertly observed and packed with wisdom; and characters suffused with humor and humanity, their relationships flawed and resilient and ringing with truth.”

Comparable titles: A Little Hope, A Man Called Ove, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and Olympus Texas, all of which I’ve rated 4 to 5 stars
Buzzword Readathon: June selection

It Ends With Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: August 2016
Genre: romance, contemporary
Method: paperback

I was hesitant to pick up this book given the last two Colleen Hoover books I read were 2 and 3 stars, yikes. But this is extremely hyped up across book tok, bookstagram, even friends in my life super love this book. Literally, 7 people I know gave in 5 stars on Goodreads. But hot dog, happy to report I liked this one, I like I even loved it!

Here is where I acknowledge I’m a hypocrite because I claim to have hated Ugly Love because I couldn’t stand the primary relationship/romance, preferring a side romance more, thus the low rating. But with It Ends With Us, I have to put my foot in my mouth because the primary romance was problematic and the secondary romance was heart flutters. I think this Colleen Hoover reading experience was better for me this time around for two reasons. Firstly, I skipped the audiobook and opted to just read the paperback copy I had and secondly, this novel isn’t a male-female dual perspective, which is what I really didn’t like in Ugly Love and November 9

What this story gave me that other romance novels don’t, is a male character to fall in love with and root for. It’s rare that I ever ~feel~ much for a character, but Atlas Corrigan, we are ready for your happy ending. And we don’t have to wait very long because the follow up novel, It Starts With Us, releases in October! I’m 1000% picking that up

What’s up next on my TBR

Until next time, Meryn