What I’m Reading

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes.

This was a pleasantly surprising read and so different from everything else I’ve read by Moyes!

The characters were all so amazing and it was easy to really feel everything that was going on, from the friendship to the anger to the sorrow.

The storyline itself builds up perfectly, following Alice who came to the USA on the promise of glitz and glamour only to wind up in Baileyville, full of unrealistic expectations, no rights, and a colour barrier that has yet to be broken.

In an effort to both get away from and spite her father in-law, Alice volunteers to join the Packhorse Library program and finds a lifestyle and friendship that she never expected.

At first I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, but like I said, the characters were all so amazing and involved. The only person I wanted to hear a bit more from was Bennett, Alice’s backboneless husband who turns out not to be the man she thought he was.

If you haven’t picked this one up yet, get on it! You won’t be disappointed.

My rating: ★★★★½/5 stars

What I’m Reading

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This one really left me on the fence as to whether or not I like it. Part of me did because I found the revealing of Eleanor’s past to be rather intriguing, but then part of me wanted more from that reveal.

Eleanor was a pretty quirky individual, which is no surprise considering her past. Raymond has a pretty obvious crush on her and so I don’t know why he never simply states that to her all things considered.

Overall, I did find the characters to be entertaining and captivating. I could’ve lived without the whole bit involving Sammy.

My rating: ★★★½/5 stars

Dear Girls by Ali Wong

I love, love Ali Wong’s humour. Her pervertedness is hilarious and her cultural references are totally relatable. When I heard she was coming out with a book I just know I had to get it! (Why did I wait so long? Because it was on sale last week and I didn’t earn the nickname “Chincy *maiden name*” by accident.)

Anyway, I generally don’t gravitate towards memoirs or biographies, but Wong is so relatable to me that I wanted to give Dear Girls a shot. While it’s formatted as letters to her two young daughters, I applaud her openness about her life experiences and not hiding anything (and I mean anything) from them. They’re likely going to need therapy after they read this.

In a nutshell, if you don’t like her stand-up specials on Netflix, you probably wouldn’t like this book. For me, it was a bit repetitive, but I still felt like I got a really good glimpse into her background and life before she really “made it.”

My rating: ★★★★/5

What I’m Reading

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

At first, I had the hardest time getting into this book. I’ll fully admit that I forgot what the book jacket said (ebooks are funny that way), thought it was going to entirely be about hockey (I’m a “bad” Canadian and don’t follow hockey all that closely anymore), and I nearly gave up on it because I found myself nearly falling asleep while reading through the first few chapters.

I’m glad I didn’t.

Once I got through the first few chapters and got to the “main event” I was shocked and angry and couldn’t put it down. It reminded me a lot of Emily Giffin’s All We Ever Wanted in the way that it discusses entitlement and privilege and the Blame Game.

While I’m late to the game (no pun intended) to reading any of Backman’s work, overall I really enjoyed his style of writing in this particular book. It was very “matter-of-factly” which reflected most of the town’s attitude towards hockey and what winning meant.

The ending? It was wonderfully wrapped up and I wouldn’t ask for any more.

I encourage anyone who picks up this book to push past the first few chapters of “hockey stuff” – you won’t be disappointed by the rest of it.

My rating: ★★★★/5