Wednesday, July 15, 2020

E-Books I've Read in Quarantine

I checked out E-books through the Libby app during quarantine since my library closed. Here's what I read - a good mixture of new releases and backlist titles; check it out! | What's a bookish girl to do when the library closes for months during quarantine? I mean, duh, my clothes budget became my book budget because I don't exactly need to change up my wardrobe often when I'm going, uh, nowhere.

But BookOutlet and Amazon can't sustain a 50-70 books a year reading habit comprised of mostly new releases. Just can't do it.

Sooo I had to turn to ebooks. My libby app had so many requests it was scroll-able.

The E-books I've read so far in quarantine! | Jenn Rych, #ebooks

I don't like ebooks. They're just so...not books. They're not beautiful, stackable, tangible, collectable, and they're just yet another way to keep staring at a screen. The things we do in quarantine! I ended up reading so many of them that I had to get blue light blocking glasses to keep headaches at bay. And I will admit - they were still fun to spend time with.

My two favorite perks are being able to highlight something and jump right to it later, and being able to find out the definition of a word just by holding your finger on it. I guess they've got that on actual books (she says begrudgingly).

At any rate, here's what I've read as an ebook during quarantine.

Ebooks to check out now through Libby

Open Book by Jessica Simpson (4/5 stars)
I already reviewed this one so I won't repeat myself, but this was the first ebook I grabbed in isolation. You can see my review of it here.

Moment of Truth by Kasie West (4/5 stars)
I am always first in line for Kasie West and I wasn't about to let quarantine stop me. It was such a fun book. Hadley is a driven competitive swimmer with a strong to desire to prove herself, but her life takes an interesting turn when a mysterious figure throws her off her game right before a swim meet. Her town has been tracking sightings of this guy who pulls stunts while wearing a celebrity's mask, and she becomes obsessed with finding out who he is. The answer is not at all what she expected, but her journey to figure it out leads her to discovering a lot about her own life in the process. This storyline was so interesting and different, with the usual Kasie West YA romance thrown in - but not in a way that overshadows Hadley's coming of age story. I really liked this one!

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (4/5 stars)
This book was my book club's pick for May/June and we all had mixed feelings. It had a very slow start - I wasn't really drawn into what was happening until halfway through. Even though I became a little invested at that point, the whole thing seemed to be lacking a lot of plot or depth, so I didn't walk away from it feeling very inspired or entertained. HOWEVER - when we met and really got into the details of the book, I developed a new appreciation for it. I didn't previously consider that keeping the discussion of racial and social inequality on the surface of the story was a perfect example of the subtle and systemic divides we have in our country currently. The book centers around an incident involving a black woman, Emira, who was harrassed while at a grocery store at night with the child she was babysitting (who was white). The book goes on to follow Emira and her employer, Alix (who is a well-known influencer living in an upper middle class home with her news anchor husband). The contrast between these two women, the man they have in common, and the fallout they each have to endure is a perfect reflection of the social environment we live in today. This is the perfect time to pick this one up!

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton (3/5 stars)
Don't judge me, haha. I heard a Booktuber recommend this book once and the name of it had stuck with me because, uh, it's kind of hilarious. I was in the longest hold lines everrr at the library and wanted to check out something fluffy that I didn't have to wait for, sooo here we are. And I have mixed feelings to share about it. Was it entertaining and indulgent and sexy? Yes. Was it almost embarrassingly corny? Also yes. There was....A LOT of cheese, including a cat who was apparently aroused by the sound of a woman meowing during sex. Not even joking. The entire cat arc of the series was beyond ridiculous - like this cat had characteristics that no cat in actual reality has ever, ever had and I've owned and helped foster hundreds of cats. The cat was its own character in an almost personified way, and it totally ruined the validity of this woman for me at times. She once described letting her cat play with her ponytail and needing to shower after. Uh, people don't do that, lady. I'm sorry: I'm not sharing any of the plot with you because I'm so hung up on this damn cat. Basically, a woman moves into a new apartment that shares a wall with her neighbor who has a very active sex life. She can hear everything which causes her to lose sleep and they begin a reluctant friendship that, naturally, becomes more. If you can look past the cat and just enjoy the good parts, it's not terrible.

Newly released ebooks

Rusty Nailed by Alice Clatyon (3/5 stars)
I don't know, I guess I wanted to see where the story went. It was okay. The cat was less of a weirdo in this second book, and I got to see Caroline and Simon (the main characters) live a little bit more of a normal life with real-life struggles. It was a good filler book while I was waiting for other holds to come in.

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane (5/5 stars)
Loved iiiiit! So good. This book was published by an English author with a lot of British-sounding jargon that was a bit hard to wade through at first. Give yourself some time to acclimate to that, because this book is SO worth it. If you're into the fake dating turned real trope, this one is going fly to the top of your favorites! After spending 18 years with the man she thought she'd spend her life with, Laurie is dumped by her boyfriend only to find out that he had a woman waiting for him - and she's pregnant. One evening as she's leaving work, she gets trapped in an elevator with the office playboy. The two strike up a deal to fake a relationship to not only make her ex jealous, but to help him appear settled and committed so he could get a promotion. Things get a bit dramatic, but they also get quite deep and unexpectedly emotional. It's not only a fun fake-to-real story, it's got some real life issues and deep connection that make the reader instantly attached to these characters. Highly recommend!

Untamed by Glennon Doyle (4/5 stars)
Woo, this one, okay. So much to say. This was another one of my book club's picks, and again - it was met with a lot of differing opinions. Overall, I really liked Glennon's messages throughout the book. It was marketed as a memoir, but it's really much more of a self-help book that aims to get the reader (presumably female) to own their power and break out of the societal cages us women tend to get put in (or put ourselves in). In one way, I didn't get the same "ooh!" feeling because I've been a cheetah my whole life (you'll have to read the book to see what that one means), but I loved that she was encouraging others to unleash their inner cheetahs. The thing that I didn't love was that the book was sort of jumpy and pieced together. I'm pretty positive that some of the chapters are just lightly edited blog and social media posts. In fact, I once shared a screenshot of something she tweeted, and the entire thing appeared as a chapter in this book. I'm not going to pretend that I wouldn't do the same thing...but it just felt a little unnaturally stitched together. I also felt that as she told her story, she wasn't careful enough about pointing out her privilege. Not everyone gets to have breakfast with Oprah or chat over their issues with Liz Gilbert. I think the book and its messages would have been better served with that in mind.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle (4.5/5 stars)
This book was not at all what I thought it was! The story centers around Dannie who is a hyper-organized type A lawyer living in NYC. On the night of her engagement (which she had planned to the last detail), she falls asleep and wakes up five years in the future. In this reality, she's living in a different apartment and seems to be engaged to a different man - one she's never met before. When she goes to sleep in this reality and wakes up again, she finds herself back where she was when she fell asleep on the night of her engagement. The dream (or whatever it was) leaves her reeling - she even goes to therapy to try and figure it out. After chalking it up to just a strange occurrence that she will probably never be able to explain, she meets the man from her dream - when her very best friend in the world introduces him as her new boyfriend. As the reader, you find yourself thinking her "dream man" was stolen by her best friend, even though Dannie has been engaged for years. But in the end, this story is not at all what it seems to be! I won't spoil anything but I'll just say - I cried pretty hard at this one. The depth of love and beauty in this story was not at all what I expected, and I mean that in the very best way.

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (4/5 stars)
This was cute! It was...a little cheesy and embarrassing at times, but the overall premise was good and the tension between the main characters, Sloan and Jason, was top notch. Sloan is two years a widow (sort of, she wasn't married but engaged) and having kind of a rough day. As she's driving along, a dog runs in front of her car and stops traffic. He ends up jumping into her sunroof and all but deciding that Sloan will be taking him home. After waiting two weeks for a response from the dog's owner and thinking that the dog is now hers, she finally hears back and he wants his dog back. He's out of town, so the two strike up a bit of a friendship over text and phone calls and by the time he's back in town, they have a date. What Sloan doesn't realize until the middle of their first date is that Jason is a rising rock star with all sorts of show biz drama trailing behind him. Things get complicated, but the way these characters care about each other is heartwarming and addicting. Super good!

With my Book of the Month boxes arriving and The Reading Rush starting next week, I've been working my way back to physical books, thankfully. I don't think ebooks are really going anywhere, though, since trips to the library aren't what they once were. Have you read any good ones lately? Let me know!

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you! That means if you click through or purchase a book through one of these links, I may make a teeny tiny commission! It's super small, but it helps me run my blog, so I'm wildly appreciative. Thank you so much for your support! <3

No comments:

Post a Comment