Monday, July 18, 2016

New Release Round-Up

Summer time is reading time.  I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her Quick Lit series to share mini reviews of the new releases I have read this summer.  Per usual, these reviews are heavily cribbed from my own Goodreads.  Find me there!  I'm booksandcarbs.

In no particular order, I present my recent reads in the "new release" category ...

One True Loves is the third Taylor Jenkins Reid book I've read.  I've enjoyed them all.  I like how she explores relationships, usually with a view toward the post-happily ever after and/or the road not taken.  My friend and I have decided that Jenkins Reid has proven herself to a be a reliable author for a solid, satisfying read.  Recommended for fans of Emily Giffin or Jennifer Weiner.

I'm obsessed with the cover of Emma Straub's Modern Lovers and with the adorable postcard that was provided with my Book of the Month Club copy of this book.  I can't say I was as obsessed with the novel, but I enjoyed it ... eventually.  It was a slow start for me, but I liked seeing the novel's "modern lovers" and their various moments of crisis, introspection, and connection.  I gave it 3.5 stars on Goodreads.
The Versions of Us by Laura Bennet -- I liked reading the three versions of this love story. However, I wanted it to be a Sliding Doors scenario and it wasn't. The versions all start with the same "meet cute" but apparently events (like, say, a pre-existing physical condition) leading up to that meeting aren't the same in all versions. Interesting characters and stuff about "soul mates" and of "one true love" to ponder. But, at the of the day, I wanted it to be a Sliding Doors scenario and it wasn't. I did shed a few tears though.  Three stars on Goodreads.

The One That Got Away by Leigh Himes -- Summer read. Another Sliding Doors-ish story.  I get caught up in the technicalities of the impossible in such books (if you actually married a different guy in a parallel universe, how is it possible that you would have more or less the same children as with your husband in the other life?  Does not compute for me).  I liked it better than The Versions of Us and enjoyed the Philadelphia setting and the insight into a political campaign.  The grass is and is not greener.  Always good to be reminded of that.   3.5 stars.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler -- Great writing. Very absorbing story. I felt distanced from Tess throughout though, which might have been the point. Sweetbitter is a different take on the post-college-real-world-entry story with its focus on the restaurant world. That glimpse inside the inner workings and "family" dynamics of a high-end restaurant was definitely interesting, enlightening, and also a bit disturbing. It was hard to see Tess make so many poor (in my anti-drug, suburban mom, somewhat prudish mindset) choices, especially in the moments when they were barely choices, but I did think this was a very solid debut novel that I will remember for a long time.  Four stars.

Ann Leary's The Children -- This book contains one of my favorite kind of characters:  the confident imposter.  I really enjoyed this book, maybe not as much as Leary's The Good House, but a lot.  The interactions between/among the sisters and mom were witty and honest and perfect.  The ending seemed just a bit rushed, and I would have happily read a version of this book that was a hundred pages longer.  Four stars.

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison --  3.5 stars. Very twisty thriller. A lot going on (maybe a little too much) but quite a page turner. Liked the Nashville setting and the insights into the characters' childhoods.

I've read other books, but limited this post to the new releases that I had remembered to photograph.  Read anything new (or old) this summer?  Please share.


  1. I haven't read any books with sliding door writing. What would be a classic one you'd recommend for me to try?
    And yes, the Modern Lovers cover is so beautiful!

    Here are my June reads:

  2. My sliding doors touchstone is the film Sliding Doors, starring Gwyneth Paltrow! As for a literary example? I enjoyed Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Thanks so much for stopping by and for commening!