While I am still a YA reader at heart, I’ve been increasingly enjoying adult contemporaries. Below are mini reviews (and a bit jumbled thoughts) for the three adult books that I read in December.
China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2) by Kevin Kwan
Like many readers, it’s no surprise that I love Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians (both book and movie). China Rich Girlfriend was a fun sequel that expanded this extravagant, shopping-spree filled world and gave more insight on particular characters. Kitty and Astrid are my favorites, Kitty for her continued ridiculousness and Astrid for her intelligence and relationships with Charlie and Michael (who I definitely didn’t like). We also spent more time with Nick and Rachel. In addition, I loved the trip to Paris, I actually liked Rachel’s father and that storyline more than expected, and MANY things about the ending left me shocked. I am not so patiently waiting for Rich People Problems to come in from my county library.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
Lauren Graham is one of my favorite actresses and plays my favorite Gilmore Girls character. It’s also really cool that Jennifer E. Smith, one of my favorite YA contemporary authors, is her editor! Since I really enjoyed her personal essay collection this summer, Talking As Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between), I decided to read her fictional book, Someday, Someday, Maybe. The book follows Franny Banks, a twenty-something, struggling actress living in Brooklyn, with only sixth months on her self-made deadline to succeed.
I really enjoyed the book’s setting, taking place in 1990s NYC. It was actually a little refreshing to be in a world without cell phones, and Franny’s relationship with her voicemail inbox was quite funny. From acting class to practicing lines with her roommates, best friend Jane and aspiring sci-fi writer, Dan, it was also fun seeing the behind-the-scenes of the acting world. However, despite her narration, I did feel a bit of a disconnect with Franny. The book is also inserted with Franny’s Filofax calendar, which I understand was meant to be more ‘90s atmospheric, but I often found it distracting. As much as I love slow-burn books and at times, books that aren’t plot heavy, I felt that nothing much happened?? Or at least, the book leaves us in a place for a potential sequel. Someday, Someday, Maybe is definitely more about self-exploration, but as much as I loved the setting and atmosphere, it needed a tad more plot.
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
Meghan MacLean Weir’s The Book of Essie had been on my TBR for the latter half of 2018, mostly for its religious reality TV show premise. Essie is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality show that stars her father, who is a preacher, and their family. When Essie becomes pregnant, family matriarch, Celia, works with the show’s producers to decide whether to hide or celebrate her daughter’s pregnancy. Meanwhile, Essie quietly warms up to high school senior, Roarke, who has secrets of his own to protect. With the show’s approval, the newly formed couple does countless interviews with conservative reporter, Liberty Bell, another person who isn’t all she seems to be and helps Essie uncover the truth behind Six for Hicks.
I absolutely flew through The Book of Essie, thanks to its intricate plot and beautiful writing style. The book interweaves Essie, Roarke, and Liberty’s perspective, with Meghan MacLean Weir giving each character their own voice and continuing her descriptive and well-written chapters. The book definitely went into a darker direction than I expected, between the cause behind Essie’s pregnancy and Liberty’s past living in a religious setting, somewhat similar to Essie’s life. Between the three perspectives, I liked seeing the different threads come together for one shocking ending. One of my few “disappointments” was that the very ending felt a bit too perfect. However, given all of the characters’ past experiences, it did feel right.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Have you read any of the books above? Share in the comments!