I have a love/hate relationship with unreliable narrators. Sometimes they make a story and sometimes … it’s annoying. This month, one worked for me and one really didn’t. And yes, I only read three books this month. I already feel awkward about this so let’s not dwell on that fact but instead note that 2 out of 3 books had unreliable narrators, which is still a majority. The romance book was also my favorite so all in all: it was a weird month.
The Books I Liked
These are the books I enjoyed, from most liked (4 stars) to liked (3 stars).
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Book Description: Alexa impulsively agrees to be a stranger’s plus one to his ex-girlfriend’s wedding and to their surprise, neither want their fake relationship to end.
Book Review: A cute, frothy romance is not my normal read these days but I wanted a change of pace. And quite honestly, I needed something light and hopeful and this delivered. Alexa and Drew make a cute couple and I particularly liked that Alexa is black and Drew is white. My only real quibble is that there isn’t much to the story beyond their relationship (no real subplot), even the side characters and work scenes are mainly focused about their relationship, which made the book a bit repetitive. But overall, a sweet love story that should make romantics hearts swell.
To Read or Not to Read: Yup. This would make a great beach read.
The Elizas by Sara Shephard
Book Description: When Eliza is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, everyone assumes its just another failed suicide attempt but Eliza knows she was pushed and her investigation reveals hidden secrets from her past.
Book Review: Eliza is the kind of unreliable narrator that puts me on edge because you know she’s off but you’re not sure why. Is she intentionally misleading you or not? Am I going to want to slap her? Hug her? Do both? When I distrust my protagonist, my level of caring also decreases, which can make it hard to engage with the story completely. I never felt fully invested in Eliza until closer to the end, but it did eventually pull me in and I don’t regret my time spent with her either.
To Read or Not to Read: Sure. Sara Shephard wrote the Pretty Little Liars series, although this is technically not YA but it still kind of is. And for the curious — I’d give Eliza massive side-eye, mumble under my breath and shuffle my feet and eventually give her a hug. And maybe a high-five too.
Note: I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. The Elizas is now available.
Our Little Secret by Roz Nay
Book Description: The wife of Angela’s high school sweetheart, HP, has disappeared and the police believe Angela knows what happened to her.
Book Review: This was okay. I felt that the author was so busy trying to protect the end “twist” that everything was generic, if that makes sense. Seriously, there are two possibilities: she’s guilty or not. The how and why is what makes everything interesting. But in this case, it was rather banal until the end and frankly the “twist” wasn’t worth protecting because it wasn’t really shocking or a surprise. Sometimes just letting people wave their freak-flag loud and proud makes a far more entertaining and (ironically) twisty story.
To Read or Not to Read: Dealer’s choice. It’s by no means an awful story (cuz I obviously read the entire dang book) but there was so much missed potential in my opinion.
Note: I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. Our Little Secret is now available.
TL;DR — My Recommendations to You
For those who want their hearts to go pitter patter I recommend The Wedding Date. It’s a light, fun read and perfect for those poolside or beach days. Those who love a good unreliable narrator then The Elizas is a solid choice. She’s a little frustrating initially but she grows on you.
To More Great Reads
My NetGalley queue is getting full again — mostly because I didn’t read as much as I intended last month. I had to go out of town unexpectedly and weirdly found myself not in the mood to read the majority of the month. I kept picking up books at the library (and fine — NetGalley too) then decided I didn’t want to read them right now. Sigh. My reading mojo is at an all-time low so I’m hoping some great recommendations from the Show Us Your Books Link-Up hosted by Jana and Steph will get me back on track. Cuz this reading aversion weirdness — has got to go!!
What great books did you read last month?