Great news! My reading has picked back up! I'm not sure what is falling by the wayside to make time for that, but hopefully it's just mindless scrolling on social media and maybe a little housework. Also, I've been reading some work that book review rags might tag as "compulsively readable." I can't wait to share most of them with you. Among the list, though, is a major page-turner that I feel so weird about recommending. Let's talk.
Someone Else's Shoes by Jojo Moyes
I find Moyes' books to be so much more serious and thought-provoking than they seem like they should be. Lately the covers have even been made over to be bright and cartoonish and more in line with what LITERALLY ALL ROMANCE NOVELS LOOK LIKE TODAY. That must be in caps. Can someone please explain to me...why the cartoons?
At any rate, I know anything by Jojo Moyes is going to be a solid choice when I consider her other novels like The Giver of Stars and Me Before You. Someone Else's Shoes was just awesome, and a great think-piece about viewing life through different lenses. Some mystery, some romance, some workplace drama, a riches to rags story, and of course a deep dive into female friendship rounded out this lovely read that was not the fluffy brain candy it looked like it could be.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
With the exception of one annoying and repetitive THING the author kept doing, I loved this book. Suspense isn't usually my genre, but when a time loop is part of the equation, I'm much more intrigued. I loved the premise of a mom witnessing her son killing someone and keeps waking up further in the past to try to stop the murder. Naturally, she makes all sorts of fun discoveries along the way. Happily, McAllister provided lots of fun nods to the changes in music, fashion, and ever-clunkier cell phones the further back in time we went. This was one of those books I picked up whenever I found myself with even a minute or two to spare.
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
After Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow AND the Storied Life of AJ Fikry, can you blame me for making it my mission to read everything Zevin has ever written?
I read it in a day. One of my favorite talents these days is the ability for an author to convey teenage life and strike just the right balance between plenty of drama but not over-the-top angsty. Additionally, teenage characters tend to be so one-note. Zevin brings layers to the jock, the nerd, the artist. Read and enjoy this love story in triplicate and recognize the self-love that edges out all the rest in such a gorgeous way.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
All I knew about Colleen Hoover was that she has learned how to market herself extremely well, is deemed as kind of a crap writer by readers I follow, but I know lots of readers with great taste who just love her. So, I had avoided CoHo thus far, but when my book club suggested Verity, I thought it might be a good opportunity to actually see what all the hype was about.
What makes a good book? A great story? A well-crafted tale, a beautiful turn of phrase, layered characters, a show-don't-tell writing style? Can something "compulsively readable" still be good even if it's kinda bad?
That said, I liked the story. It was quite the page-turner. The writing definitely made me wince from time to time, and I'm not sure I'll be returning to CoHo as a result. Still, that's just me! Now at least when people rave about these books, I totally get why.
There's no comparison, certainly, to the Fifty Shades mania. Content aside, those were just *bad.* The Fifty Shades era reminded me that people need to be reading more books!
What are you reading that is *compulsively readable*? Preferably with no cartoons on the cover.
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.