A Review of My March 2021 Reads

Hey there,

Here we are, almost a week into April, and I still haven’t shared last month’s reads!

I finished four books last month, and while they weren’t all as good as the ones in February, I still enjoyed them.

There was some good variety in these books, which I attribute mostly to the fact that I’m choosing each one at random from my Book Jar.

Reviews of the books I read in March 2021 are included below, as well as links to purchase the books if you’re interested in checking them out.

The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I vividly remember finishing this book two days into March. I stood in my bathroom at 8am, just crying.

The scariest part about reading a book like this is realizing how easily something similar could’ve happened to you. Or to your little sister, your niece, your future daughter…it’s a quick read and a short story but it’s such an important one.

It’s about a 14-year-old girl who has always been in love with her dad’s, much older, friend. Once our main character starts getting more mature, the family friend finally starts to show some romantic interest in her.

One of my favorite things about this book is that it’s written in the form of a long poem. The words flow quickly and easily, and the plot itself keeps you in painstaking suspense as you watch a young girl let her fantasies lead her into a dark place.

I found this story heart-wrenching. It highlights how blurry the line between appropriate and inappropriate can be until it is, ultimately, crossed.

“To Luke, / it was probably no big deal. / But / to me- / it felt like / the opposite of innocent.”

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

It took me a bit to adjust to this author’s writing style, but once I did I truly began to appreciate her skill. The way she weaves the landscape into the story itself and how she can make you get lost in the characters’ thoughts along with them are two of my favorite things about her prose.

This is an unusual story about a woman, her husband, and his former family. I loved the different perspectives, but my favorite was the new wife’s–Ann. She has a way of imagining things so vividly that sometimes it is hard to tell what is fact versus something she’s conjured up.

I loved reading this book, but the ending left me wanting more. I didn’t feel like it gave enough answers to the main questions that were raised again and again throughout the story. I felt that I deserved more after going through that entire journey with our characters.

Here are two quotes because, as I mentioned, the writing was truly a treat:

“How quickly someone else’s life can enter through the cracks we don’t know are there until this foreign thing is inside of us. We are more porous than we know.”

“On a sunny fall day, she lay next to him on the ground, and as he dozed she felt his old life, his memories, radiate off his skin. She felt everything leave him but her. She shed her own life, too, to match him. They lay there together like a point in time.”

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I barely knew anything about this book before I decided to read it, but the reviews were great and the title kept popping up everywhere. I’m so glad it did, because this was a joy to read (or, listen to, since I used Audible for this one).

It’s a great fictional story about an extremely famous and, as we come to see, misunderstood actress. I love the glimpses it gives into Hollywood but also into the lives of people who live in the public eye. I’ve always wondered how much of what we see from celebrities is true to who they really are, which of their actions are strategic over heartfelt, and this book definitely centers on that theme.

Evelyn herself is an amazing character whom I won’t soon forget. The author is another who’s name will stay in my head. She crafted a wonderful book and just when I thought I knew what the ending twist would be, it took another turn and surprised me.

Here’s a choice quote:

“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.”

One Little Secret by Cate Holahan
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

This is an interesting glimpse into the lives of three couples who vacation in the Hamptons together. The characters drew me in right away; they’re interesting and real, and we get to switch perspectives and learn the different points of view and insecurities of a few of them.

At its core, this is a murder mystery, but the search for the killer almost takes a backseat while the story focuses on all of the other drama and the backstories of our characters. 

Overall, this was a good read and it kept my attention, but I do feel that I could’ve been more invested in both the people and the outcome. The action starts pretty quickly, which I like, but I would’ve liked to get to know the characters a bit more so that I’d feel more regarding what happens to them.

Here’s a quote that I liked:

“His irises seemed to melt into his pupils, two black holes rimmed with dying stars, sucking the light from the room, pulling her into darkness.”

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