(In da) book cluuuuuuub! Yes I say this every time, JUST LET ME HAVE THIS ONE THING.
Alright, two things:
- Ignore my scratched glasses. It’s my own fault.
- These books! UGH. Raise your hand if you’ve heard of and/or read these three books. Higher, I can’t see them. Just kidding. Going back through my Goodreads and looking at the 11 books that I’ve read so far this year, these three stood out like a zit on a baby’s nose. Probably the worst analogy I could possibly make, but you get the point.
Let’s dive in!
Okay, We Were Never Here: OMG.
This is the deal, and no spoilers, I promise. These two besties go on these trips, right? These backpacking trips. Not like CAMPING trips. But they pick super off-the-grid or crazy-exotic places and travel together every year. And one year, something goes wrong. And there’s a body. And there’s a body (this is basically on the back of the book so don’t give me the evil eye) because of something that happened with one of the girls. And for a full year one of the girls is spent reeling in the horror and shocking aftermath of it all. She’s finally feeling okay with her life when they embark on their next trip. AND IT HAPPENS AGAIN. But in reverse. Sort of.
So you’re left with two young women, one back in utter shock, and the other very nonchalant and almost chipper about the whole incident. And then that young woman (the chipper one) moves closer to the shocked one. And things.get.weird.
I’m also not the best at book reviews.
But hold on, you’re probably like, “We get it. Someone’s a murderer.” You just READ this thing and get to that last line and tell me what just happened to you. The mind twists, the plot turns, the mental roller coaster, it’s so good! And quick. You’ll sail through it.
Make it happen.
Oooookay, get ready for some dreamy reading. First of all, this takes place in the Catskills, which will immediately give you Dirty Dancing meets Mrs. Maisel vibes. But it’s in current times, which will give you an insider look at how the Catskills lost its luster through the decades due to things like air conditioning and cheaper air travel. It’s so fascinating.
Also I want to go to the Catskills.
This is the premise: two long-time close(ish) Jewish families started the Golden Hotel together back in the ’50s I believe. Maybe the ’60s. It was wildly successful and the vintage imagery of this hotel back in its heyday will slay you. The stories. The clothing. The scandal! Oh, it is juicy.
But the problem is, the hotel just isn’t doing what it used to do. Financially, romantically, any of it. So, the two families (which have experienced drama with each other since day one) are all grown up with kids (that all find each other cute now and so there’s definitely some love triangle business happening) are faced with the possibility of having to sell. And on the flip side, if they decide not to sell, they’re faced with getting the place up to date, like with social media, a more updated menu, a whole vibe more enticing to younger generations. And who has time for that, really.
It’s so good. The family dynamic of course, the viewpoints of the younger folk with their flat stomachs and crop tops and Instagram accounts. The viewpoints of the older folk with their not-so-flat-stomachs and wanting to keep the retro charm alive. You relate to all the conversations and all the decisions. And the end is so fantastic, I can’t wait for you to come back and tell me if you teared up. I mentioned it’s juicy, right?
Get in this book pronto.
The Language of Flowers, uuuuuuuugh.
This one is a little older (2012), and is so enchanting, you will crumble. Aside from the story itself ripping you up from the inside out, you’ll learn a lot about flowers! And the messages they send. Besides the cliché meaning behind roses, there is a whole world about what a bouquet can say. What a single stem can convey. If you’re not careful, you could send a message you had no idea you were sending! Chances are though, the receiver has no idea what the unintended message was, so you’re good.
Where was I?
It’s the story of a young woman (an orphan in her early years) who navigates life mostly on her own. But not entirely. She has flowers to help her express her emotions. She works in a flower shop and befriends the owner, in her distant, clunky way. She naturally falls into the rhythm of floral arrangements, what they mean, how they should look, and what the effect it can have on one’s life, if done the right way. And of course there’s romance. How could there not be? Outside of the love story, the bigger story is her self love. What it means to live life without parents. What it’s like to have relationships with people, but not fully trust any of it. It’s delicate and tragic and hard to wrap your head around. But the flowers do most of the work, which makes the whole thing mesmerizing and almost mystical. Read this!
And that’s all I got today.
I still have four books in my list right now, but spaced on getting a photo. I’m 100 pages into What Alice Forgot (whoa! It is GREAT.) And then after this I’ll tackle The Girl He Used to Know. After that one, Illicit Intent is on the menu. And finally, The Nest. I’m excited!
Tell me what’s on your nightstand. Or in your TBR pile. Or in your backpack or hand right now.
You know I need these details to thrive in this life.