Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What I Read in May

     I was able to read 6 novels this month. Nothing great. A lot of women's fiction/chick lit. And yes, there is a difference between the two genres. For me, Women's fiction means; written for women, main character(s) are women, not necessarily a happy ending (i.e. girl doesn't always get guy). Chick lit is; written for women, main characters are women and their love interests, and usually all end with a happy ending. You basically know how it's going to end when you start, but the fun is in how you get there. Sometimes. Both should be believable but chick lit is probably allowed to be less so.  I think all the books I read this month would make for great beach reads if you're looking for some.
     Anyway, here's what I read this month.

Dear Thing by Julie Cohen
      The first two books I read this month ended up having a lot in common. Both take place in England and deal with baby issues. In this novel, the main character are two best friends, Romily and Ben. Romily has always had a little crush on Ben, but Ben is married to Claire. Romily is a single mother but Ben and Claire have struggled to conceive. Romily volunteers to be a surrogate using her egg and Ben's sperm. I think every reader can imagine what comes next and everything kind of falls apart but all ends up how it should in the end. Plus there's a home birth. Unplanned, but I loved that it was in there without any complications for the birth mother or baby. (It's always nice to find a good birth story in a novel). I enjoyed this novel. Nice twists and turn. I think this is more Women's fiction than Chick lit due to the emotional drama. And the happy ending was just one of several ways the novel could have ended.

The Secrets We Keep by Stephanie Butland
      Another novel that takes place in England with an unexpected baby in the plot. I read this because I had it out from the library for months - it had a "New Spring 2015" sticker on the spine - and I wanted to return it. Novel centers around Elizabeth and Kate. Elizabeth's husband, a police officer named Mike, dies rescuing Kate from drowning in a pond. He drowns instead. It's a very good novel with a lot of twists and turns that I didn't expect. Highly recommend it. I'd tell you more but I'd rather you discover all the secrets yourself.

      Somehow, I ended the month by reading 4 books by the same author, Mary Kay Andrews. I read two this weekend. They are fast reads. All take place in the Georgia/ Carolinas area. I would consider them all Chick Lit novels. Definite beach reads. Each novel is around 400 pages (hardcover) and I have several more checked out or requested from the library. Little warning - all the books below contain swearing and sex, so read only if you are comfortable with that kind of stuff.

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
     I read this one first, because I requested it from the library. Not sure why I requested it. Perhaps I read a review or just from looking at the description on the library website. Novel centers around Riley, who always summers on Belle Isle in North Carolina. This year she arrives to a notice on the front door that her house is in foreclosure and her husband, who she is going to divorce, is missing. He turns up dead and plenty of people are suspects, including Riley. Riley spends most of the novel investigating her husband but then gets side-tracked with an old flame. My only complaint about the book is that the murder seems completely forgotten about for 50 pages while she is romanced and then quickly solved with about 15 pages left. She also has a 12 year old daughter who has been diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes within the past year. The author uses it as a plot device when necessary but I found that very frustrating. My nephew has juvenile diabetes and from what I've learned in the 8 years since his diagnosis, the way the disease is treated in the book is very unrealistic.  However, I enjoyed it enough to go to the library and check out a bunch more of her novels.

Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews
      Novel centers around Cara, a florist in Savannah. I don't think much description is needed for this book. A guy she meets at the first wedding mentioned in the book, ends up being the obvious love interest. There's drama, competition from a new florist in town and a runaway bride. But it all works out in the end, of course.

Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
      Ellis, Dorie and Julia are lifelong friends that meet up for the month of August in Nags Head, North Carolina. Each has there own problems and secrets that come out as the novel progresses. They are joined by Maryn/Madison who has secrets of her own. Each lady gets a happy ending (some happier than others) by the time August is over. Predictable but enjoyable.

Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews
      Annajane is all ready to leave her job and ex-husband, Mason, behind. She has a new job in a new city with a new fiancee. When Mason's wedding is stopped as his new bride is walking up the aisle, Mason and Annajane end up with a second chance. Lots of family secrets emerge giving the novel some good twists. Of course they end up back together, but how do they get there? You have to read to find out.

      May bookmark. I guess I read in bunches this month, but I'm coming to realize that is often how I read.  
Have you read anything good lately?

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