Review of People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation is about Poppy and Alex who, despite being wildly different human beings, have become best friends after carpooling home from college one semester. While they spend most of their year apart with Poppy living and working in New York City, and Alex working as a teacher in their hometown, they seemingly pick up where they left off of their infamous “summer trips.” However, after the events of one trip, they stop speaking for two years. In an attempt to get out of the rut she’s found herself in personally and professionally, Poppy reaches out to Alex to try and make things right over the course of one more summer trip together.

To say I’m obsessed with this book is honestly an understatement. I cannot say enough good things. I had ALL the feelings reading this book. I was laughing out loud at parts and tearing up and genuinely loving every minute of reading this. Poppy and Alex’s banter is perfect and reminds me so much of my relationship with my childhood best friend, Matt, minus the wild sexual tension. (If you know me personally you know Matt has been dressing like a professor since he could walk and I have been dragging him into the center of dance floors and generally embarrassing him since 1999.)

The characters voices are incredibly authentic and the structure of the book allows the reader to feel the slow burn of this relationship develop, while fully understanding their past experiences together. Needless to say, I have immediately ordered Emily Henry’s other book Beach Read and will be reading anything and everything this woman publishes. Honestly, not sure why you’re still reading this review when you could already starting this amazing book.

5 out of 5 stars

Review of The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Full disclosure: I’m a John Green fanatic. He is hands-down one of my favorite authors. In all of the fiction novels he’s written, he has such a unique and authentic voice that shines through so it was so awesome to read something that was simply coming from him and not one of his characters. I really can’t say enough good things about this book to

This collection of essays is a poetic, but realistic, examination of the little nuances that humanity contributes to the world around us. In a time where we are often inundated with just how harmful humans can be to each other and Earth as a whole, Green celebrates the flaws that make the human condition what it is. He somehow manages to make something as mundane and ridiculous as the largest ball of paint a vector for commentary on larger themes of the human condition that would resonate with anyone.

This was exactly what I needed to recover after the whirlwind that was The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. For an even more ~elevated~ experience, I would highly recommend listening to the audiobook because one, it’s narrated by Green himself and two, theres 3 bonus essays that aren’t in the book. My personal favorite one is called “Mortification,” and it talks about the highlight reel that Green experiences when he tries to sleep of all the embarrassing things he’s even done in his life which is VERY relatable to this anxious gal.

5 out of 5 stars

Review of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

*This review contains mild spoilers*

In this book, every day at 11pm Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11pm. Aiden Bishop is tasked with solving this murder in order to break this horrific cycle, however, each day he wakes up in a different “host” that are varying degrees of helpful in saving Evelyn.

Honestly, this book is the wildest fever dream you’ve ever had mixed with Inception with a hefty dollop of thriller to keep things interesting. Up until the 53rd chapter Turton’s work had absolutely captivated me. This concept was so different than the mystery/thriller plots that I’m typically drawn to that I simply couldn’t put it down. I was so grateful that I had found this book during my Covid quarantine throughout Christmas and New Years. However, after the true story behind Aiden and Anna was revealed, the remaining seven chapters felt quite strained and a bit insufferable to push through. Instead of devouring each page on the edge of my seat, I found myself fairly drained by these characters. Without giving too much away, I found the pseudo-happily-ever-after for two of the characters to be far-fetched and frustrating. 

Ultimately, reading this book felt like riding an emotional rollercoaster while simultaneously trying to solve a geometry proof. I still feel the need to rate this book rather highly because it was so captivating for so long. However, after so much emotional turmoil as a reader, I was disappointed with how everything shook out in the end. 

3.5 out of 5 stars

Review of Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Happy 2022 Friends! One of my New Years resolutions was to read and write more so I’m going to try my hardest to resurrect this little passion project of mine that I keep coming back to. I had a lot of time to read and write reviews while I was stuck in quarantine with Covid this past Christmas & New Years so I figured I’d get back to blogging. My goal is to post once a week (but go easy on me if things get a little crazy with school & work). Anyways, hope you enjoy my thoughts on this book & happy reading!

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Wish You Were Here is narrated by Diana O’Toole who is “right on schedule” with her life plan. She has a great job at Sotheby’s, living with her boyfriend Finn who is a surgical resident, and she is about to go on one-in a life-time getaway to the Galapagos where, judging by the little blue box in his underwear drawer, Finn is about to propose to her. Then, the pandemic hits and everything changes. While Finn is required to work obscene hours fighting on the frontlines against COVID, Diana takes his suggestion and goes to the Galapagos on her own. 

Much to my surprise, I found this book to be frustrating. As a nurse still working on the front lines of this seemingly never-ending pandemic, the book was somewhat triggering for me. While I appreciated the research that went in to what front line workers were going through in March of 2020 as we desperately tried to figure out how to save people from this virus, it felt way too soon to fictionalize and memorialize. The language was very far-fetched at times. I have been a nurse for a few years now and never felt the need to use words like “cytokine storm” to my significant other which made the emails from Finn off-putting to me. While I recognized Picoult’s attempts to use much needed science to convey to the reader how dire the situation was, when the lay person can’t understand the language, it’s not as successful. 

Without giving away any spoilers, I appreciated the themes that resonated throughout the book about making the most of a second chance and living your most authentic life possible but overall, I felt like the wounds of the pandemic were just to raw to read a book about it. I was also frustrated by the way Finn’s character developed. I felt like he was characterized as being so rigid and not being able to deviate from the plan that him and Diana had dreamt of for themselves, yet I think the fact of the matter is that he was surrounded by uncertainty and death every day, he just wanted something concrete and worthwhile to cling to. 

Jodi Picoult’s work always will have a special place in my heart but this one missed the mark for me. I was disappointed by the lack of multiple perspectives which she so eloquently does in her works which create a unique level of depth. This in combination with the overall theme of the plot made it challenging for me to get through.

3 out of 5 stars