March was filled with so many good books – including some older books and a few that were on my “most anticipated” list! Reading (and listening!) to so many great books made it entirely hard for me to choose a favorite this month. If I *had* to choose it would be between The Idea of You, Daisy Jones & The Six, and The Girl He Used to Know. Each one, while totally different, totally stayed with me and kept me so intrigued the entire time. So, let’s get started with the reviews shall we….
As always, you can see all of my book recommendations in my Amazon Shop and you can see all of my book review posts HERE! And of course, I always welcome you to share what you read this month & what books you’re loving! P.S. I know this post usually comes at the end of the month but I was so busy trying to finish Never Tell that I got a week behind. Oops!
THE IDEA OF YOU BY ROBINNE LEE | When Solène Marchand, a 39 year old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly. An evening of screaming teenagers over a boy band? No thanks. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is charming, clever, and a slew of other things and the attraction is immediate. Never mind the fact that he’s fifteen years younger than Solène. What starts out as a not-so-innocent meetup, turns into a passionate romance that both Hayes and Solène have to learn to navigate. review: This book had been recommended more times than I can even count, so I decided to give it a go. And I’m SO MAD AT MYSELF that it sat on my bookshelf for so long. I was not prepared for how freakin’ good this book is. The steamy romance mixed with juggling a relationship with a much, much younger man kept me flipping the page until the very end. I thought the story was well written, the characters were developed well and it was the perfect mix of steaminess, real life & a peek into the life of celebs! I want more from this author!!! rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️
DAISY JONES & THE SIX BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID | Daisy Jones & The Six became an iconic band in the 70s and while everyone knows about their rise to fame, no one knows the real reason for their breakup. Daisy Jones, daughter of a music artist, has always had the attention of others. From her looks to her cool-girl personality, she quickly becomes an “it girl” among the music scene when she begins singing in popular spots in LA. The Six, an up and coming rock band led by Billy Dunne, is also getting a lot of attention as their popularity rises. So when a music producer has an idea to put Billy & Daisy together, he knows something great will come of it. TJR brings sex, drugs and rock n’ roll all together in combination with love, resentment, addiction and fame to tell a beautiful, raw story. review: Taylor Jenkins Reid has become one of my favorite authors because her writing is phenomenal and the characters of her books are always so well developed. Daisy Jones & The Six was a bit of a departure from her other books, but I think that made me appreciate her talent *that* much more. The book’s clever interview style format lends itself to telling this story beautifully. At first the format threw me off (I’m typically a chapter to chapter reader) but I ended up loving the format and the way it allowed the reader to see the different POVs and recollection of events. While reading it I was reminded of VH1’s Storytellers and couldn’t help but picture Fleetwood Mac! If only Daisy Jones & The Six were a real band! I’m already looking forward to seeing how Reese Witherspoon produces this into a series. rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️
FIVE FEET APART BY RACHAEL LIPPINCOTT | Five Feet Apart follows Stella, Will, and Poe as they are in the end stages of Cystic Fibrosis. Each one has a different form of CF, and each one deals with the disease in their own ways. Stella has taken to educating and sharing her story with others through her wildly popular YouTube channel. Will has chosen to essentially give up -he doesn’t take his medicine when he should, he is lax about using the vest, and he knows he can never have the life he wanted. Poe tries to make the best of the life he has and is always checking in on Stella and making the best of his friendships – while staying six feet apart at all times. This story explores the isolation, frustration, and the emotions that come with having Cystic Fibrosis. review: I read this book partly because of the movie coming out, but mostly in part of a “book friend” of mine, Kat, who is living with Cystic Fibrosis. She has been wonderful at educating her followers on the disease and giving a real depiction of her life with this disease. There has been a bit of controversy with this book among the CF community, but I am sharing my review as someone who doesn’t have the disease but was interested to learn more. I thought overall it was a great book that really allowed you to feel the isolation within the community and how scary life with CF can be. It’s clear this book is a Young Adult novel, but given that, I loved the ill-fated romance and friendships within the book. I felt like I had learned quite a bit about CF and I think there’s something to be said for creating a buzz (and educating!) others on a disease, such as this one. I will definitely be doing to see the movie (and bringing tissues along!) rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW BY TRACEY GARVIS-GRAVES | The Girl He Used to Know is a wonderful, memorable novel. Told in dual timelines, you follow the story of Jonathan and Annika who meet in college, and then again when reconnected in Chicago a decade later. Their romance is anything but conventional. Annika prefers space, alone time and doesn’t do well in social situations because she is on the Autism spectrum. Jonathan is the guy everyone can’t help but like with his good looks and personality, but he only wants Annika. Graves is methodical and deliberate in her story telling. The story of their relationship is a gripping one and you will certainly fall more in love with Annika and Jonathan the longer you read. review: I don’t think I could have loved this book more, even if I tried. I adored this book and everything about it. The dual timelines work perfectly for this book and the storyline within it. I loved seeing how Annika and Jonathan’s relationship progressed with the dual timeline and found myself cheering them on and wanting them to work out so badly. I felt a fondness for Annika – my youngest sister has Asperger’s and a lot of Annika’s anxiousness and social awkwardness is something I am very familiar with. In fact, I picked up on Annika being on the spectrum almost right away from just a few clues at the beginning. I certainly was not prepared for quite a few parts of this book and ended up crying over the ending, but man, it was excellent! This was my first book written by the author and her others have quickly jumped high on my TBR list. rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️
NEVER TELL BY LISA GARDNER | D.D. Warren arrives on the scene and instantly recognizes the woman–Evie Carter–from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many. Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a hard thing to come by. As they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have? review: Lisa Gardner has done it again, y’all. This book was also on my “most anticipated” list and it didn’t disappoint! If you have never read a LG book, definitely start with Find Me, as you’ll find out about the ill-fated “friendship” between D.D. Warren and Flora. Told in three different perspectives (Evie, D.D. & Flora), you see the crimes unfold and slowly figure out how each of them may be linked, leaving you with more questions than answers. Her books are always very compelling and once you start figuring it all out you’re left mind blown! I’m already anxiously awaiting her next book. P.S. A lot of her books are part of a series, but almost all of them can be read as standalone books. rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️
MY LOVELY WIFE BY SAMANTHA DOWNING | Millicent and her husband may appear to live a normal life, but their marriage is anything but normal. Sure, they met at an airport, they settled down, and started a family in the suburbs. But deep down, both of them are very deceiving and hold dark secrets – some they share with each other and others that are best kept to themselves…for now. review: It’s hard to say much in my review without giving anything away, but y’all this book was very eerie and creepy. I wanted to stay up late to read it, but every time I did I had nightmares. It’s hard to believe this is Samantha Downing’s debut novel, because she has the suspense thriller down! I know the synopsis doesn’t say much, but I think it’s best going into this one almost knowing nothing because even if I told you, I don’t think you would be prepared for what happens in this chilling book. My heart was racing for a lot of this book. *deep breaths* Be prepared to fly through this one, especially if you like thrillers and unreliable narrators! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
IN THE DARK BY CARA HUNTER | A woman and child are found locked in a basement, barely alive, and unidentifiable. No missing persons reports that match their profile, and the confused, elderly man who owns the house claims he has never seen them before. But Detective Inspector Adam Fawley knows nothing is impossible. And no one is as innocent as they seem. As the police grow desperate for a lead, Fawley stumbles across a breakthrough, a link to a case he worked years before about another young woman and child gone missing, never solved. When he realizes the missing woman’s house is directly adjacent to the house in this case, he thinks he might have found the connection that could bring justice for both women. But there’s something not quite right about the little boy from the basement, and the truth will send shockwaves through the force that Fawley never could have anticipated. review: I read my first Cara Hunter book last year and really enjoyed it, so I immediately downloaded this one. This book was unsettling from the start and I kept trying to piece together the different cases to no avail. At times I found the book to be a bit slow or confusing, but overall enjoyed it especially as everything came together. rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️
THE HATE U GIVE BY ANGIE THOMAS | Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, a drug dealer and a gangbanger. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. review: This book had been on my TBR list for entirely too long. A friend told me it was great on Audiobook, so I took her suggestion and started it immediately. This book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and it was both educational, riveting, and filled with raw honesty. The author did a fantastic job addressing a very, very important subject and portraying the injustice, police brutality, and the racial bias in the Black community. I found this book to be incredibly powerful, eye-opening & is certainly a book that will stay with me for a long time. In addition to the story, it was well written and the narrator did a fantastic job! rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️
ON THE COME UP BY ANGIE THOMAS | Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to become the next big rapper. She’s got the passion for it and the talent, it is in her blood after all. Her late-father was a rap legend in Garden Heights, but got mixed up in some bad stuff, leading to his death. She wants to be big enough to make it out of Garden Heights and help her family no matter what it takes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it. review: I downloaded this book via Audible as soon as I finished The Hate U Give. I had high hopes for this book after finishing Angie Thomas’ first book and while this book is different than that one, it still packs a powerful punch! I think the most important aspect of this book is the cultural awareness. The characters are so well written and real – you really feel for them as they continue to struggle, be faced with challenges, and fight to keep up. With that said, this book is also enjoyable and the story is fun. Bri is a sassy little thing and isn’t going to let anything or anyone stop her – even when it gets her in trouble. I loved that about her! Again, the narrator was AMAZING and I loved being able to actually listen to the raps that are throughout this book — so so good! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️