I’m seriously impressed by the sheer number of books that I’ve made my way through this month. Well, I was, until I checked out #bookstagram and realised that reading five books in one month (six, if you include a beta read!) is child’s play compared to my online friends who power into double digits on a monthly basis.
Travel Fuc* Love: A True American Love Story by J. Gatz
It’s been a month since I finished reading Travel Fuc* Love: A True American Love Story by indie author J. Gatz and I’m still conflicted in my thoughts on it. I’m very much a happily-ever-after kind of girl and I didn’t expect to get one in this book, but I’ve been left thinking about it.
This book spills opulence, wealth and the life that people dream about onto its pages, but it also reminds us that things that we can see don’t always make us happy. Monetary wealth is often nothing compared to the wealth of finding that one person that changes you in all the best possible ways and brings out the person that you were meant to be.
I have a feeling that I’ll be thinking about this book for a while to come and I’m sure that that’s exactly what J. Gatz wants.
You’ll love this if: you would go anywhere in the world for a love that big.
Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty
Liane Moriarty is a big name in Australian authors. In fact, she’s probably one of the most successful, with three of her novels picked up to be made into motion pictures. I’ve never seen Big Little Lies and I’ve never picked up a Liane Moriarty novel to read the blurb before I came across Three Wishes in my audiobook catalogue, but I figured if she’s sold more than 20 millions copies of her books and Nicole Kidman likes them, there was a good chance I would enjoy it in some regard.
Three Wishes is not a rom com, so I’m not surprised I hadn’t come across it before, but I popped in my ear buds and gave it a chance – and I kept listening whenever I could. I was so intrigued in the way the story was told, the way the characters intertwined and the way they changed throughout the book.
I loved the differences in the triplet characters and their careers and partners and the way the novel explored family and romantic relationships. There were some things that I felt went unresolved in the novel, and I won’t give anything away by mentioning anything specific, but the ending didn’t seem to conclude the book.
If you’re after a clean, happily ever after, this is not the book for you, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and the way it explores the messiness of life and the complicated way we play the cards we are dealt.
You’ll love this if: you’re missing your sisters and craving some real life
Don’t You Forget About Me By Mhairi McFarlane
You know those books that you keep thinking about after you’ve finished them? Mhairi McFarlane really got me with this one. Don’t You Forget About Me is the story of Georgina and Lucas, who were madly in love for a short period in high school until their relationship came to an unfortunate end. Twelve years later, they’re reunited when Georgina applies for a job at the bar that turns out to be his. Fortunately, or unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to remember her.
I don’t think I have anything in common with the main character, and yet I could relate to her so much. That’s such an odd phrase, but I stand by it. Something to remember when reading Mhairi McFarlane’s writing is that it leans more into Chick Lit than Romance. There’s a romantic element, but it’s only one piece of the story.
I loved the way this book captivated my attention and let the characters get to know each other again while sharing snippets of their past. I loved the way Georgina started to come into her own and, as always, Mhairi McFarlane has a way of bringing real-life issues into an enjoyable story line, like toxic relationships and mental health.
You’ll love this if: sometimes you wish you could go back and re-write your story.
Roomies by Christina Lauren
I’m a big fan of Christina Lauren. I like their humour and sexual tension and the way a story unfolds and makes your heart sing. When I’m looking for something light, funny and a bit of fun, I know I can rely on them to give me something to binge.
I was influenced by Instagram on Roomies. I didn’t even read the synopsis before I started reading the first page, I just trusted my favourite Bookstagrammers and went with it.
Roomies was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down. I read it on my lunch break, while I was doing my teeth and while I was supposed to be sleeping. I rewarded myself with pages between putting on loads of washing or between sets when I worked out.
I fell in love with the story and with the main characters. I feel Holland’s quarter-life crisis in my bones some days when I have no idea what I’m actually doing with my life. And Calvin. Wow. He had me hooked. Everything about him had me swooning. Why? I’ll never know. There was something about the spark and the banter during their marriage of convenience that I couldn’t get enough of.
Long story short: this is on my buy list.
You’ll love this if: you’ve ever had a crush on a musician.
The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren
I was on a Christina Lauren roll this month. I’ve seen The Honey-Don’t List all over Instagram. I’ve read the reviews (good and questionable) and fell in love with the pretty cover and the promise of some HGTV references.
This book didn’t make my buy list, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t find it super enjoyable. It was funny and dramatic and made me put all the HGTV couples into its storyline, just to see who I thought would fit. I’ve casted Chip Gaines (Fixer Upper) and Kortney Wilson (Masters of Flip) into the characters of Rusty and Melissa Tripp. Tell me I’m wrong!
Anyway, the relationship between Carey and James was a little quick-footed for me. The whole book takes place over a short period of time and while I’m not opposed to quick romance, this one just didn’t have the chemistry that I would have liked. Regardless, it was a fun, light read and I absolutely sped through it.
You’ll love it if: you’re a fan of HGTV and ever wondered what those couples are like off-camera.