A mixed bag this month – some books I LOVED and some that were just ok. What have your read lately?!!! Let me know!

1. The Cactus – This book was compared to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I LOVED that book! So I was hoping I would love this one to but sadly it didn’t even come close. While the character was a bit quirky like Eleanor, the story was not as good. Susan Green is a single woman in her mid 40’s that has a very structured and routine life. She likes things a certain way and likes to always be in control. Until her mother passes away and she finds herself pregnant and all that control goes out the window. I enjoyed the ending of the book so that allowed me to give it a slightly decent rating. Rating: 5

2. Invisible Girl – A typical mystery/thriller which I normally prefer to read but this one fell a bit flat. Saffrye Maddox is a teenager that after experiencing some trauma as a child, is now under the care of psychologist Roan Fours. Though she feels they are making progress during their sessions, Roan decides after three years that she no longer needs the helps and ends their patient/client relationship. Saffrye feels abandons and develops a bit of an attachment to him – following him home from work, watching him at home, etc. During one of these times she learns that Roan is having an affair and living a double life. Shortly after Saffrye goes missing and residents suspect it is the creepy neighbor across from the Fours family, but as things begin to develop Roan’s wife has other suspicions about who could be to blame for Saffrye’s disappearance as well as the other random sexual assaults and attacks that have been happening to women in the area. The book is interesting but not riveting. Rating: 7.5

3. The Push – Wow. Wow. Wow. This book left me speechless. I should give a trigger warning with this one because it involves the death of a child and can be hard to get through at times. However it is a gripping and terrifying novel that kept me on the edge of my seat. Blythe and Fox are happily married and about to welcome their first child into their lives – a baby girl named Violet. Things seem fine at first but Blythe begins to notice that she isn’t bonding with Violet as she would have hoped and Violet seems to be a bit different. As she gets older, Violet begins to exhibit very terrifying behaviors but Fox doesn’t want to address it and it causes a rift between Blythe and Fox. They hope that bringing a second baby into the home may help the dynamic but that is not the case. Devastation ensues but noone except Blythe believes that Violet could have done such a horrific thing. This is a major page turner for sure!! Rating: 9.5

4. Everything I Never Told You – I loved Celeste Ng’s book Little Fires Everywhere so I had high hopes for this book. Sadly I just couldn’t get into it. The story is emotional and very complex but I felt it was too slow at times and I lost interest. It’s the story of a Chinese-American family living in Ohio in the 70’s and the challenges they face as a mixed race couple. The challenges their children face and the toll it takes on the family’s internal relationships with one another. After the death of the oldest daughter, things begin to unravel and they are left wondering if something sinister happened to her or if she took her own life. Rating: 6

5. Beach Read – I blew through this book in two days and then immediately downloaded The People We Meet on Vacation which is by this same author. I love her writing!! This book is an easy beach read that is fun, romantic, emotional and a nice break from reality. January moves to her father’s lake house after his death in order to escape a failed relationship and work on her next novel. Unfortunately on her first day at the house, she has an unpleasant encounter with her next door neighbor which doesn’t set a great tone for her stay here. After wandering into town later that week, she meet a local business owner who informs her that the grumpy next door neighbor is the author Augustus Everett and January’s college nemesis (and secret crush). I could not put this book down and loved the cute romantic vibe of the entire story. Rating: 9

6. The People We Meet on Vacation – Another Emily Henry book that I downloaded immediately after finishing Beach Read. And I LOVED this one too! Poppy and Alex are best friends that met the first day of college and have hardly anything in common. Except traveling. They love to travel together. Each summer they decide to go on a trip together and have a blast exploring new cities on the cheap and making memories together. But Poppy moves to NYC to pursue her dreams while Alex stays back in their Ohio hometown to become a teacher. They date other people, live separate lives but always come back to their friendship as a comfort and connection that allows them to be their true selves. After a trip to Croatia, they have a falling out and don’t speak for two years. Poppy decides to reach out to Alex to reconnect in Palm Springs where they both are attending Alex’s brother’s wedding. Things change on that trip between Poppy and Alex and they must decide what to do next. It’s a heartwarming and super cute story and I would read it over and over again! Rating: 9