Reading Lately ~ First of 2022

First of 2022 - Malibu rising cover

Its been a while since I drafted one of these and that’s mostly because I didn’t read all that much last year. According to Goodreads, I ended the year at twenty books. If you know me, you know that’s really not a lot by my usual standards. I don’t regret it one bit though. I spent the entire year writing the first draft of my first book, and I’m currently editing it and hope to shop it around this year, but that’s for another post. Also, given how stressful 2021 was on basically everyone in the world, I honoured the need to rest and not force myself to read (or do anything I didn’t want to do that I didn’t need to do). I’m just glad that I finally have it together to post a reading post, the first if 2022. Hopefully the first of many this year. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

Oh also, while this post is the first of 2022, its also my attempt to catch up on the Netgalley reads that I neglected last year so yeah, there are several books from Netgalley this month, none of them new. I am determined to get my ratio back up before I request any more. Anyway, here are my reads for the past month.

Loved it:

First of 2022 - Malibu rising review

Malibu rising ~ Taylor Jenkins Reid

TJR knows how to write a historical fiction. Particularly ones involving really famous people.

This book follows the Riva family – the ex wife and children of Mick Riva a famous singer and absentee father. I love a good family drama and this didn’t disappoint. I really loved the Riva siblings and thought each of the characters were written so beautifully. The story itself was so complex yet and easy, quick read.

Finally can I just say it was brilliant that TJR used Mick Riva as the famous singer. He was one Evelyn Hugo’s husbands and it’s no secret that Evelyn Hugo is my favourite TJR book.

I very much recommend this one.

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

Liked it:

first of 2022 - and now she was gone review

And now she’s gone ~ Rachel Howell Hall

Received from Netgalley for an honest review (a long time ago)

I love a story with a strong female protagonist and this delivered. It followed Gray, a female PI hired to find the missing girlfriend of a doctor. Lots of twists and turns in this one. I didn’t always love the writing style and it was a tad long but the story was still a really good one.

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

First of 2022 - if you must know

If you must know ~ Jamie Beck

Received from Netgalley for an honest review (again, long time ago)

Betrayal and distrust. Family and love. They all coexist in this book. It follows two not-so-close sisters, and their mother who is still in the throes of grief from the loss of her husband, who come together to support each other in the midst of family and relationship drama.

3.5 /5 stars

Goodreads link here

first of 2022 - the honeymoon

The honeymoon ~ Rona Halsall

(Received from Netgalley … you get the drift, a long time ago)

Chloe and Dan meet and marry in a couple of months. When they head off to a honeymoon and Chloe notices that Dan changed the destination without telling her, and then refused to let her leave, things take a turn.

Initially I found it to be a fast paced psychology thriller. I actually really enjoyed the writing in the beginning even if there was a lot of repetition and back and forth. At some point the characters’ actions, particularly Chloe’s, just made no sense. There were too many unrealistic, and frankly stupid, decisions.

Still, I read this quickly and was never bored. I’ll definitely read this author again.

3/5 stars

Goodreads link here

first of 2022 - we are not refugees

We are not refugees: True stories of the displaced ~ Agus Morales

Received from Netgalley for an honest review (yeah yeah, a long time ago…)

This was a very interesting and sobering look at stories of migrants in different regions of the world. This really brings to the fore the absolute terror and chaos that some survive around the world. It’s easy to forget that many person around the world live in a perpetual state of panic and fear and displacement.

I’m not a huge non fiction reader but this was a good one for sure.

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

first of 2022 - a palm beach scandal

A palm beach scandal ~ Susannah Marren

Received from Netgalley

Trigger warning – miscarriage, fertility issues, surrogacy etc.

We’re back in the upscale Palm Beach scene following Elodie and Aubrey. When Elodie makes a request of Aubrey, it inevitably leads to some family secrets being revealed.

I read the first book a couple of years back and enjoyed this one a lot more. I’d recommend if you’re looking for a beach read.

3/5 stars

Goodreads link here

Live your life (my story of loving and losing Nick Coldero) – Amanda Kloots with Anna Kloots

Its tough to rate memoirs. It’s someone’s story in a version they wish to tell it, so yeah, not an easy one to rate. That said I had mixed feelings about this.

I found Amanda Kloots on Instagram in 2020 while her husband was suffering from the effects of COVID-19. It seemed everyone was sharing their story at the time.

Now for the critique. I’ll be honest, I cannot fault her for going to the hospital, fighting to see him and using the privilege when it was afforded etc, I’d do the same for my husband and loved ones. I know that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but we do what we can for our loved ones. Most of us would have done the same if given the chance. My main concern was how Nick, the pre-COVID Nick, was portrayed. I’m not sure HIStory was very kind to him. He was painted as selfish, lazy and unproductive and their interactions seemed cold. I wish some of the loving Nick was portrayed along with the losing him.

Still very touching and a heartbreaking story for sure.

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

Confess ~ Colleen Hoover

Over the years I’ve loved Hoover’s books though recently there were a few misses. I decided to read this one up on a whim because i saw it on my kindle and my verdict is that it wasn’t a hit but also wasn’t a miss.

I didn’t mind the instalove and thought the painter confessions to be a nice concept. That said I didnt particularly love the characters. Auburn, the main character, was a bit spineless and quite a bit of a pushover to the point where I started to really dislike her chapters. Owen, her love interest from was himself also weird. Trey and Lydia, her deceased former partner’s brother and mother, were just insufferable. As a writer I can appreciate that these kinds of characters need to be written since in real life people come in all shapes and sizes, but I didn’t love them.

Still, I couldn’t put the book down and really enjoyed the end so it’s a 3.5 for me.

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

Not my vibe:

N/A.

And that’s my reading lately for the month, the first of 2022. Also, can I just say that Im very happy to be back, writing words on the blog.

Have a good one guys!

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