NON-FICTION FAVE & CONTEMPORARY READS: January 2021 Mini Reviews

Another mini review round-up, another example of me finally remembering to share mini reviews from December 2020 and a few reads from January 2021. I know I shared my reading goals last week, but I think one of my blogging goals for this year should be for me to write my mini reviews as soon as I finish a book I read! Today’s reviews feature my last read and one of my favorites books of 2020, a adult contemporary meets thriller that I really enjoyed, and a YA contemporary that had sat on my TBR for way too long.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

December can often to turn into a reading month where you try to catch up on some of the books you were meaning to read over the year (and maybe avoided for whatever reason) and some fluffier reads. I don’t know if that makes sense, but in short, I didn’t expect my last read of 2020 to be one of my favorite books of the year, especially a larger non-fiction reader about therapy.

Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone had been on my TBR radar since its 2019 release, but so many signs this December pointed me to it. Lori Gottlieb was a recent guest on the Girls Gotta Eat podcast, and one of my favorite authors, Hannah Orensetin, included the book on her favorite books of 2020 instagram stories. And let’s be honest, we could all probably use some therapy thanks to 2020. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is about scenarios Lori Gottlieb has encountered as a therapist and her own experience going to therapy. Each of her ‘patients’ – due to ethical concerns of course, their identities and exact stories were changed and the scenarios were adapted and based on her experiences with multiple patients – stayed with me for different reasons. I also loved following Lori’s own life and experience with therapy, as she dives deep into her personal journey and her really unique experience having a career shift from entertainment & TV to med school to psychotherapy. No matter what kind of reader you are, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a book I encourage EVERYONE to read. 

We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

We Came Here to Forget is one of my favorite books so far in 2021! This was a Bad on Paper Podcast book club pick back in 2019. I decided to pick it up because I was craving an adult fiction read, and since I had a long commute for the few weeks in January, I was catching up on old episodes and wanted to try out their older book club picks. This adult contemporary follows, Kate, a former Olympic skier who relocates to Buenos Aires after a family tragedy and takes on a new alias there as Liz. The book alternates between Kate’s present in Buenos Aires and her past, exploring her relationship with her sister and her skiing career. 

I don’t want to be too spoilery, but We Came Here to Forget gave me major contemporary meets thriller vibes. I found myself equally invested in Kate’s past, exploring her relationship with her sister and her sister’s mental illness, and her present, as she tries to distance herself from her old life in the US with a new life in Buenos Aires. I never really considered traveling to Buenos Aires until I read this book, but it is for sure now on my travel bucket list. From the dance studio to Kate’s nights out with her fellow ex-pats, I couldn’t get enough of the setting and atmosphere. Overall, this book’s mystery and relationship exploration made it the perfect cozy & addicting read for a weekend in this month. 

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I put off reading Emma Mills’ 2020 release, Lucky Caller, for quite a while since some of my blogging friends had mixed reviews about this one following high school senior Nina’s radio broadcasting class. I actually ended up enjoying Lucky Caller more than expected! There’s just something that’s so quiet and comforting about Emma Mills’ books. They’re often very driven by the character’s relationships with others, specifically family and close friends. Nina’s mom is getting re-married, which may mean a move for Nina & her two sisters into their soft-spoken soon-to-be-stepfather’s house, while her hit radio host of a father out in California. Nina is also trying to repair her friendship with childhood friend, Jamie, as they work on their class radio show together. There’s also these bits of humor sprinkled throughout, often from Nina’s radio partners. I did enjoy the plot, as Nina promises to get her dad as a guest host on the show… which leads to a major mix-up from their show’s fans about who the mystery guest actually is. 

Overall, Lucky Caller was a cute and quiet read that I recommend picking up especially if you’re intrigued by the radio broasting synopsis. 

Have you read any of the books that I mentioned? Do you have any non-fiction or contemporary book recommendations for me? Share in the comments! 

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