Sunday, May 28, 2023

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

I've seen Emily Henry's cute book covers everywhere but never felt compelled to read one. Also the hold lists are incredibly long at the library, so I figured I'd get to them eventually. When I went to pick up my holds (pictured), People We Meet on Vacation was just sitting on the display shelf, so I grabbed it, not knowing what to expect.

My impression of the author, based on nothing in particular, was that she was more literary than "chick lit" (don't get me started), like Liane Moriarty. And, after reading the book, I think that's true. It was a little more romance-y than I expected. When I started reading it, I was surprised, thinking, "Wow, it's so nice to consume media where a man and woman are legit just friends!" Spoiler alert: joke's on me!

That said, it's not a romance-romance book. It felt realistic but not overwhelming. What I loved most was the travel. I used to travel a lot. After my first "real" job after college closed down, I gave up my lease and lived out of a backpack for about six months, then again a few months after that spree. I was a different person then and the world is different now, so I'm glad I did it when I did, but probably wouldn't do it again. That said, I do miss traveling. And I think this book perfectly captures that freedom and wonder of going to a new place and exploring, talking to people and going with the flow. This book felt like a dozen trips in one and brought back a wave of memories.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

People discussed this book at a family dinner and I was just intrigued enough (before humming to avoid spoilers) to get it from the library. While the writing was a bit clunky, I loved the concept.

If you haven't read this book but want to, this is your cue to start humming...

I thought the rewinding worked so well because I kept thinking, "Oh this is the event that is the undoing." It was really interesting to go back in time and find out what inspired one small action. How you think it's the obvious answer but it's actually something really small you might have forgotten about. I think I love dwelling on that concept more than I liked the book.

But I always love time travel, magical realism, and parallel universe ideas, so this book met that interest. It reminded me of Before the Fall by Lauren Oliver, which I haven't read in years, but the general concept stuck with me. In that book, a girl dies in a car crash and hangs out in purgatory, reliving that one day over and over until she makes things right and can die. It has a narrower and more immediate focus, but a similar foundation.