Happy Friday, friends! I’m adding a new monthly installment to my blog all about books – which ones I’m reading or have read this month, which are my favorites, and my general review in case you’re interested! As some of you may know (those who follow me on instagram), I am part of a really great book club that consists of an amazing group of women here in the silicon valley area. As a group, we’ve all really clicked so much so that we’ve gone away for a weekend together! I’ve always loved to read but being apart of this group reinvigorated my love of books (thank you, AK!) and of course its a very fun bonus to have friends to drink wine with, eat all the snacks, and laugh with! With that being said, here is my first Book Review post in which I discuss all of my January reads.
‘Beartown’ by Fredrik Backman
In order to read this you Must. Love. Hockey. KIDDING. But it is a very strong theme throughout the book and played a huge role to showcase the communal or herd-like mentality of a small town that was gripping onto something bigger than themselves and in this case, sport.
The book takes place in Beartown and is about a small community that is built by working class men that believe in hockey more than anything. The junior team is going for the national semi-finals and all hopes and dreams in this small town rest on the players (teenaged boys) and coaches shoulders. During the course of events leading up to the big game, a traumatic event occurs in which a young girl is raped and accusations are made against the star player of the team. As you can imagine, this is where the drama really ensues.
My general review of the book is that I liked it and would recommend it however, I didn’t LOVE it. It didn’t keep my interest especially in the beginning as it was slow to build (I’d often put it down and struggle to pick it back up as there were SO many characters and story lines) however, the end picked up and also left you hanging.. (spoiler altert: there is a sequel).
A couple of my notes: while this technically takes place in rural Sweden (as the author is Swedish), I found this could’ve taken place here in the US or Canada given the strong love of hockey and the small town story telling. Also, I found that because the author was male, I struggled with some of the language surrounding the female perspective and roles especially when elaborating on the rape incident and how he describes women in the workplace. Lastly, something that I didn’t pick up on however someone in my bookclub did was that the author tells the story from a narrative POV and not from one character in particular and because of this, makes universal statements throughout the book that come across as fact rather than a character’s perspective. Something that turned many off from his writing style. All in all, an interesting winter read.
‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book. You guys. I honestly devoured it in ONE WEEK and was sad when it was over because it was that good. I really enjoyed the writing, the characters, and the hooks really got me. It was such an easy read because it kept my interested the whole way through, I didn’t want to put it down. I would highly recommend this one!
The book is about a Hollywood icon, Evelyn Hugo, and follows her story of rising to fame from the early 50’s to modern day and her personal life which is equal parts scandalous & surprising. She decides she’d like to expose her personal life and chooses an unknown journalist, Monique, to write her “tell-all” and although it is a surprising choice to most (including Monique herself) Evelyn purposely seeks her out as their lives intersect in a way no one would expect.
Again, I can’t say enough good things about this book. I loved how unexpected it was – and not just in the end but there are surprises popping up throughout the entire story. I loved the old Hollywood glamour of it all, and of course the strong female characters.
I loved this author so much and her writing style that for next month, I’ll be talking about ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ and am looking forward to diving in!