This month went pretty much as I expected. Didn’t get to as many books as I would of liked but did end up reading a 5 star which I am always stoked about!
Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke – ⭐️3/5 stars
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – ⭐️4/5 stars
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas – ⭐️4/5 stars
My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham – ⭐️3/5 stars
How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix – ⭐️3/5 stars
Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid – ⭐️5/5 stars
Lakewood by Megan Giddings – ⭐️3/5 stars
Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica – ⭐️3/5 stars
Writing into the Wound by Roxanne Gay – ⭐️4/5 stars
I absolutely love reading duologies! They aren’t too intimidating to get into and I always feel accomplished when I finish off a series so quickly. It’s been about a year since I did a post about my favourite duologies and I have a few more to add to the list.
Bladesmith duology by Tricia Levenseller
All of Us Villains duology by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman
Malice duology by Heather Walter
Clown in a Cornfield duology by Adam Cesare
The Celestial Kingdom duology by Sue Lyn Tan
By the time Carrie retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach. But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning, British player named Nicki Chan. At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked the ‘Battle-Axe’ anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.
Carrie was so fascinating and entertaining to read from. I loved seeing her throughout the course of her career and her life and how at each of these stages she evolves and grows. She is unapologetic about her success and feels as though she deserves it because she put in the work and isn’t afraid to say that out loud.
Bowe I wasn’t as attached to at the start because he comes in a bit later in the story. I did warm up to him though and I appreciated how he challenged Carrie and he wasn’t afraid to tell her the truth at any turn. He really stepped up when she needed him the most and communicated effectively when he needed it to be reciprocated which was lovely. He was also going through his own emotional and physical journey before his inevitable retirement and I loved the way he ended his career.
Taylor Jenkins Reid so far is the only author that creates historical fiction work that I actually enjoy! This book was absolutely amazing and I loved experiencing Carrie’s comeback. The sheer will and determination she shows even though everyone is doubting her at every turn, having those negative thoughts bouncing around in her head and still prevailing was inspiring. I feel like you have to either like or have an appreciation for tennis to fully become invested in this story and luckily for me it just worked beautifully!
⭐️5/5 stars I loved this, Carrie is a breath of fresh air!
It’s been a little while since I did a haul of all the books I have added to my collection. I’ve recently been thrift shopping and bought a couple books brand new over the last couple of months!
When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world. Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.
Neither of our main characters were very likeable in this book. I think because we get Louise’s perspective first we think that she is trying to do the right thing by her parents and Mark is insufferable but as the plot progresses we see things in a different light. She definitely gaslights her brother after we find out what Pupkin made her do at the pond. She keeps trying to dismiss everything that she is seeing first hand and continue in the delusion that her family weren’t weird and everything is fine.
Mark has issues for sure, I think he really needed that admission of guilt from Louise about what happened when they were younger and then telling her in turn how Pupkin also ruined his life. There was just so much miscommunication between the siblings that felt quite natural because of the different kind of upbringing they each got. I do feel like it was nasty of him to not share the inheritance with Louise at the start and have to be manipulated into giving her half so he can get help with all the paperwork.
All of the scenes in the house with all of the dolls and the creepy puppets were a little hard to envision in my mind. It was just too chaotic and frantic and I didn’t get to relish in the fear and horror of the moments, especially the scene with Louise and Pupkin with that sewing needle (omg). I would of liked it to be more drawn out and frightening in those moments. The rest of the book honestly was way too long, slow and kind of boring. All of the family drama though necessary in terms of the plot didn’t really capture my attention and the whole sequence with Poppy dragged on.
⭐️3/5 stars not my favourite from Grady Hendrix