Hi, I’m Ally, and I’m book obsessed. If you’re here for some book love too, you can check out some of my previous posts about amazing books I’ve read or listened to:
But now, I’m going to share the best books of spring 2018, (my humble opinion) and a few you can skip. Keep in mind, I listened to most of these on Audible, so that can definitely alter my opinion!
Hands Down the Best Book I’ve Read in a Long Time:
The Alice Network! This is, hands down, the most wonderful book I’ve read, maybe ever. It follows the story of two women during the first and second world wars: one, a pregnant runaway looking for her cousin, and the other, a crotchety old woman whose flashbacks of her time as a WWI spy will wrap you up and never let you go. The best part? All of this is based on the real women of The Alice Network, the badass all-female spy network you’ll wish you could be apart of. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be horrified, and you’ll be touched forever. This is one of those books where you finish it and immediately start it over again because you refuse to leave their world.
Juicy Beach Reads
I first heard about The Last Mrs. Parrish from Reese Witherspoon’s book club, so I knew it was going to be a good one. Get comfy on the beach with a cold drink in your hand, because you’re going to be sitting and reading this one until it’s done! Told from the alternating perspectives of both the wife (Mrs. Parrish) and the mistress, this dark and twisty affair drama will leave you floored (and obsessed) after the twist in the middle of the book. After that, your heart rate won’t slow down until the end. This one is wicked, juicy, and satisfying.
Yes, this is smut. Yes, I loved every second of it. I actually read the first book in this series a while back, and recently finished the third and final book. They are super quick reads, so they are perfect for a pool day. The story is 50 Shades of Grey meets Pretty Woman, and I liked it way better than either.
Not That I Could Tell is definitely for lovers of Big Little Lies, or anything by Liane Moriarty. This deals with the daily drama of suburban women, their marriages, and their children. After a neighborhood party, one woman and her children go missing, while her husband and neighborhood friends desperately try and figure out what happened. You’ll get sucked into the lives and lies of this cast of characters. I especially loved it because it is set in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a town next to the University I went to and am very familiar with! You won’t want to put this one down.
Wow, this book. I’ll warn you: it’s extremely heavy and deals with rape and suicide, (often graphically). That being said, you should really give it a chance. The book is told from the perspective of a psychiatrist who helps victims recover their memories from traumatic events. One of those patients is a high school girl recovering from her brutal rape and suicide attempt. As the doctor helps her recover her memories about that night, the police department undergoes their own investigation about who did this to Jenny. When the doctor’s own son becomes a suspect, the book really gets interesting. You’ll start questioning the line between good and evil, and what lengths you would go to protect your own children.
Oh, how I loved this book. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda got turned into the recent blockbuster “Love, Simon” so you know it’s going to be good. But, I was unprepared for how overwhelmingly lovable and wonderful this story is. On the surface, it’s a pretty straight-forward high school coming-of-age story about coming out and finding love, but it’s so well done that it stays in your heart long after you finish. I was definitely guessing until the end about who the mysterious online love, “Blue”, would turn out to be!
About halfway into reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, I Googled the author, Robert Galbraith because I was loving the story and writing style. GUESS WHAT: Robert Galbraith is J.K. Rowling’s, (of Harry Potter) pen name! As a completely obsessed Harry Potter fan, I was shocked and amazed and in love all at the same time. How did I not know about these secret works? Anyways, The Cuckoo’s Calling was a great, classic detective murder mystery story focused around a dead supermodel and an underdog detective, Cormoran Strike. Read this before you watch the series it got turned into (called CB Strike) that just dropped on Cinemax!
A Few You Can Skip…
She Regrets Nothing was a recent pick for my book club, and I think it was a unanimous letdown. Touted as a Gossip Girl-esque mystery, we were all excited, but it fell flat. The main character is completely infuriating, irresponsible, and an unlikable sociopath. In fact, the majority of the characters have no redeeming qualities as you listen to them bounce from parties on the Upper East Side to private islands and the Barney’s dressing room. I won’t say it’s a complete dud because I did finish it, (which I can’t say for all of the books I read).
The Rules of Magic is the prequel to the hit book Practical Magic. It centers on the lives of the two cooky aunts from Practical Magic, and follows the Owens’ girls from childhood to old age. I’m a fantasy genre lover, and a rabid Harry Potter fan, so I was so excited to read a book about “magic”. However, this one left a lot to be desired. I think it went wrong trying to cover the entire lives, several decades worth, of the lives of siblings in one book. Everything felt surface-level and undeveloped; the magic falls short and their lovers are entirely forgettable. I didn’t hate this one, but I didn’t love it either.
The Woman in the Window is another one you can skip. I actually read the physical book, but had a co-worker listen to the audible version which is apparently unbearable. The premise of the story is an agoraphobic woman that spies on her neighbors through her window, until one day she sees a neighbor get murdered. I will say, the author does a good job of throwing you right into the delusional mental illness of the main character through the writing style, but I found it confusing and hard to follow. Also, as a lover of twisty mysteries, this one’s ending was totally blah and lackluster. In fact, the entire book is depressing and wacky.