As you all know, May was our RV Roadtrip Adventure. I came prepared… with a ton of books. I am proud to say that I did finish (almost) all the books I brought on the adventure (although I finished off the last one back at home). One of them ended up being one my absolute favorites of the year so far. I feel like my book choices have been so ~blah~ as of late so having a month where I loved almost every single one was refreshing. I purchased 10 books during my trip so… it almost evens out… right?
1. The Storyteller by Dave Grohl
I was always a Nirvana fan. I was far too young to understand suicide when Kurt Cobain died. In 2011, I lived in Seattle. On one of my first weekends, I took a trip to Pike Place and wandered into the used bookstore there. I found Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain. I know, I know. How incredibly cliche of me. I ate that book up (and realized that I love musician (auto)biographies) and really got into the history and music of Nirvana. From there, I dived into the Foo Fighters – which, admittedly, I’ve never been a huge fan of but Dave is fantastic. I bought this book immediately when it came out. A lot of the reasoning was because I wanted to know more about Nirvana but I also just knew this would be a fantastic book. And I was right. The book is aptly named. Dave is a storyteller and a good one at that. I appreciate that he made his book in chronological order. I know a good amount of reviews complained that Dave would remark about not being worthy of being around celebrities, as if he wasn’t one himself. I honestly think I would be the same way. If I were a celebrity, there would be no way that I would think that I was worthy enough to be in the same room as Cher – no matter how successful I am. I understood his humility. I enjoyed when he’d TOTALLY fan boy over a celebrity. It was adorable. I enjoyed his raw thoughts and emotions about things – especially seeing them grow as he had daughters. I think the most heartbreaking was his words about Taylor Hawkins, who passed away after this book was written but before I read it.
2. The Hazelwood by Melissa Albert
I wanted to love this book. This book created SUCH a cool concept. It had incredible world building. Basically, fairytales are real… just in a different dimension (think 10th Kingdom). The main characters’ grandmother wrote about the twisted and scary fairytales she encountered and shared them with the world. Except that it was forbidden. Now her granddaughter is stuck trying to run from (or to) her destiny.
This book should have been AT LEAST two books – if not three. There was SO MUCH happening in this one, fairly short book, that it was impossible to keep up. Every page was a new twist that would have been perfectly fine if it wasn’t always a slap in the face. There was no lead up to any of the twists and turns, it was just “BAM AND NOW THIS IS HAPPENING” and you’re left scrambling to figure out where you are. It is a series but I have no intention of reading the rest. I wish the author had slowed down a little to really flesh everything out before diving in.
3. Verity by Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover has a twisted mind and I love it. Everyone talks about It Ends with Us (which I read in January and loved) but this book was superior. The plot (one author takes on a book series of a now disabled author with a really really hot husband) was fresh and dark. There were a lot of ~creepy~ moments that made me shudder. It’s also a fantastic book for a Book Club because the ending is… Well. I’ll just leave it at that. The ending is. I highly recommend this book.
4. Kitchen Table Magic by Melissa Cynova
A few years ago, I was told about Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova. I had never read a tarot book that I related so much to. It really did feel like I was sitting at my kitchen table with Melissa, chatting about tarot. She helped me to understand it much better than anything else. I was later gifted her Kitchen Table Magic book and it was the exact same experience. I was chatting with a friend about magic and how it can help me. She broke everything down and helped expel a lot of thoughts I had (such as having to know everything about everything before practicing magic). She also helped me realize that a lot of things I have done my whole life is magical. I am an all or nothing person sometimes but this book mad me feel better about just starting at a point and going with what feels good.
5. Beach Read by Emily Henry
I thought I’d give Emily Henry another go after disliking “People We Meet on Vacation”. I’m glad I did. I throughly enjoyed this one! Now I have to read another of her books to see if I really do like her or not. It’s 50/50 now. This book follows a formula that I love: enemies (kinda) to lovers. Throw in a small town, summertime, and baggage and I’m set. It was an easy and fun book to read. The main character reminded me of a younger me – someone could be glaringly obviously into me and I’d never know. If I could get a list of all the people who had a crush on me when I was younger, I’m sure I’d be completely astonished. I’d play back every interaction in my head, trying to figure out what I missed (hint: everything).
Speaking of this… Here’s a good story for you. I am going to vague up some details though (I know, so unlike me). There was once a guy I had a crush on during my early 20s. I was very obvious about my crush so, to me, if he liked me, he had a bright green light to ask me out. I’m still not convinced he liked me but after telling this story to people, they are convinced that he was into me. Anyway. One of the Twilight movies had come out and I saw it at midnight (duh). I was telling him about the midnight showing to which he responded with, “Yeah, I would go see it if I had anyone to go see it with”. To which I responded with, “I’m sure you could find someone to go with you!”. That was that. We never dated.
The main character seems to have this issue too. So I understand her.
6. Psychos: A White Girl Problems Book by Babe Walker
I disliked this book but it was such a simple read and I so wanted it to be better than it was, that I pushed through. I have no idea how this book is rated so highly. It’s bad. Like, really bad. I quickly realized that this was book 2 of a series and MAYBE if I had read the first one, I would have enjoyed it more. I doubt it though. I know I’ll get people who say that I probably didn’t “get” the joke. Oh, I got it. She’s a spoiled, vain, rich, narcissistic white girl. I got it. Ha. Ha. Super funny joke? I don’t know. I read through some reviews and everyone was “laughing so hard” all the time. Maybe I’m not white enough to get it? Or rich enough? Or blonde enough? Basically, you follow a very stupid, very rich blonde girl around her basic life as she claims she’s trying to “better” herself. She gets into sticky situations due to her stupidity and gets into toxic relationship after toxic relationship. The front of the book that I read had a review from Ashley Benson saying something about relating to this book and it definitely made me question her as a person. Sorry. I really believe that I lost brain cells by reading this book.
7. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Ooof. This book is beautiful. I almost have no words because I loved it so much. Being a huge fan of Greek Mythology, I’m really loving the reimaginings coming out. It’s bringing a lot more attention back to Greek Mythology, which I’ve been obsessed with all my life (I even have a few Greek Mythology related tattoos). Everything about this book is beautiful. The plot line, the writing, the characters… Just perfection. The main character is so relatable. His internal monologues feels so real – he’s in love with someone he “can’t” be in love with… a person he’s been watching grow into someone he doesn’t recognize anymore. We’ve all been there. That flash of, “Who are you?” while watching a love one handle a situation poorly. You’re stuck between love and horror. Ugh. I cannot recommend this book enough.
DISHONORABLE MENTION (Didn’t Finish): Horror Stories by Liz Phair
I’m not even putting the picture here. You’ve read my reviews. I more or less finish every book, even when I don’t like it. But I couldn’t finish this one. Which is a shame. I’ve loved Liz Phair’s music for a long time. It’s evident from her lyrics that she knows how to make things sound beautiful. And that is the only good thing about her book. The rest is just trash. I struggled a lot with this book. Parts of me wanted to just finish it to finish it. I was half-way through! But I kept hoping that if I read just one more story, it would be better. So I’d read one more story. And it was never better. I’m going to be brutally honest here. Liz Phair is probably the most self-centered person I’ve ever read about. She should have taken her stories and made them into one fictional story so that I could dislike the main character but be okay with it because it’s fiction. This a real person who I did like. Now I don’t think I’d ever listen to her music again. I understand that the book’s point was that “everyone has mean/dark/rude thoughts so you can’t judge” but I can and I will because wow, I don’t think I was ever that mean. And also, there’s a lot of thoughts that should probably just stay in your head. Some examples include: watching child abuse and doing nothing (except saying her punishment is a lifetime of remembering this moment and suffering from it….. Gee, hope the kid is okay), saying she understands the fear of a black man vs a hysteric white woman with cops because she feared for her life, making herself out to be the victim (again) with the girlfriend of the guy she was cheating with, trying to get our sympathy for being a cheating spouse (she considers herself the victim A LOT), and just general narcissism. I don’t know how it was possible that her agent let her release this book.