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Book Reviews (April - September 2020)

At the beginning of the year I made two goals that surrounded reading more books. The first was to read a book a month which I am on track to accomplishing, but the second was to write my book reviews each month and that one I have definitely been slacking on. I wanted to catch up and share the books I have read and the ones I recommend and the ones I don't. Spoiler alert, I've really enjoy them all. Take a read below and see if any of these books catch your eye. Happy Reading!

Those Girls By: Chevy Stevens

I read this book as something of a "palate cleanser" after reading three non-fiction books prior to it. Sometimes I need an easier read after thinking so much with some of the self-help style books I tend to gravitate towards. Overall this book dealt with some traumatic scenes and it was not exactly the easiest read due to the content. The story follows three sisters who go through a very traumatic event that leads them run away, once again putting them in a very dangerous siltation. I will say that it was a page turner and kept my attention and I finished it in only a few days. I would recommend it if you enjoy suspense novels.

The Hate U Give By: Angie Thomas

Chauncey had purchased this book for me at Christmas and I hadn't read it yet, but I put it to the top of my reading list due to the current events in the world. The book is centred around race and race relations. The main character a young girl who lives in a poor black neighborhood but attends a predominately white private school outside her neighborhood. Daily she has to navigate the two very different worlds. When she witnesses the shooting of her best friend (who is also black) by a white police officer her whole life changes. This book is extremely eye opening and I would highly recommend you add it to your reading list. Especially if you want to have a better understanding of the current political unrest and the need for a war on racism.

24/6 The Power of Unplugging One Day Per Week By: Tiffany Shlain

This has been the most impactive book on my life this year. I can not recommend it enough! I listened to the audio version of the book, which I really enjoyed as it was read by the author. The concept of the book is simple, unplug for one day per week. That means no phone, no TV, no computer, nothing. I implemented this a few weeks ago (with only one day taking a break as we had a lot going on so I needed my phone) and overall I think it has been the best decision. We also have no screens for Mckenna on our "Tech Shabbat" as the author calls it. Do yourself a favor and get this book! And more importantly implement a day of rest from your technology. You won't regret it!

The Home of Unwanted Girls By: Joanna Goodman

I really loved this book and I was shocked to learn that it was based on true events. Maggie the main character of the novel becomes pregnant at 15 and is forced to give her baby Elodie up for adoption. The story follows both Maggie and Elodie through the years. In the 1950's a new law was passed that gave more funding to psychiatric hospitals than it did to orphanages, and so overnight the children were declared mentally ill and the orphanage became an psychiatric hospital. I couldn't believe it when I was reading it and so I did some quick google searches and it will truly shock you that everything she describes is based on true events. I had never heard this piece of Canadian history before reading this book. Once again, this is a book I'd recommend.

The Alice Network By: Kate Quinn

Similar to the previous book this too was a fictional story based on true events. It tells the story of two women from very different backgrounds and how their lives are intertwined. The interesting part is the historical aspect of the Alice Network which was a group of women spays in WWI and WWII. Women seemed to have an easier time spying on the enemy in war-torn Europe. I really enjoyed the author's writing style and I think I am now hooked on historical fiction. Another book I'd recommend!

Before We Were Yours By: Lisa Wingate

I feel like with these three books back to back I was on a role with historical fiction! Once again this book was based on a really shocking history. Based on the real-life scandal of a women named Georgia Tann who was the director of a Memphis adoption organization, only the adoptions were of stolen and kidnapped children. The story is heartbreaking and it was difficult to read it as a mother, but it was a very captivating story. I have had great luck this year with the books I've read in that I've really enjoyed all of them.

Open Book By: Jessica Simpson

I needed another "palate cleanser" after reading three very heavy historical fiction novels. I listened to the audio version of this book that is read by Jessica and I recommend the audio version for that very reason. It was great to hear the story of her life in her own words. I wouldn't say I was a big fan of her growing up but I did grow up listening to her music on the radio. The era of Britney and Christina and of course Jessica. I found her story interesting and I really enjoyed hearing her side of her famous divorce with Nick Lachey, as I was a fan of their MTV show "The Newlyweds". If you like pop culture I think you will really enjoy her book.

The Next Person You Meet In Heaven By: Mitch Albom

I read Albom's book The Five People You Meet In Heaven years ago and I really loved it. I loved it so much I read it again the very next year. So when I saw this sequel to the original I had to read it. I will say I enjoyed the book, but it is definitely was not as good as the first book (they never are!) If you were a big fan of the prequel than I'd recommend giving it a read. It's short and you can get through it pretty quickly .

Image by - Dariusz Sankowski

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