Recent Library Reads

Recent Library Reads

I would like to first start out by giving a major shoutout to the country’s libraries. While I have a full time job and money to spend, I’m at the point in my life where I’m not the keenest on buying books for keeps. If it’s a brand new book that I truly cannot live without, I’ll typically order it off of Amazon or B&N if I have a gift card, but otherwise I check out books from the library or borrow books from friends. (Shoutout to all the friends I’ve borrowed books from!) Again, I just wanted to say thank goodness for the Fairfax County Public Library system, which is my local library.

Reviews of my last three reads are below. I hope you’re intrigued enough to add these to your TBR list!

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch // This book was SO adorable! It’s definitely a young adult novel, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

Lina is a high school student who loses her mother to cancer. Lina grants her mother’s dying wish by spending a summer in Tuscany with Howard, a man who Lina is told is her father. Lina is reluctant to go to Italy, all she really wants to do is spend time with her best friend back home.

When she arrives in Italy, Lina is given a journal in which her mother chronicled her own journeys from Tuscany. Soon, Lina is making friends with other Americans, including the charming Ren, exploring Italy to learn her mother’s secrets, and learning for herself the “two reasons people stay in Italy: love and gelato.”

My favorite quote from the book is from one of Lina’s mother’s journal entries: “This is a new chapter. My life. And I’m going to run at it with arms outstretched. Anything else would be a waste.”

Overall this was a charming read that truly inspired me to go back to Italy, mainly for their gelato!

Goodreads stars: 4/5 (AKA I truly enjoyed reading it and I highly recommend you add it to your TBR list!)

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman // I LOVE Fredrik Backman’s books. Granted I’ve only read this book and A Man Called Ove, but he’s up towards the top of my list of favorite authors.

This story follows Elsa, a seven-year-old whose best and only friend is her grandmother, a seventy-seven-year-old woman who is more than a little eccentric. Elsa is bullied badly at school because she is different from her classmates, and her grandmother helps Elsa forget about the bullying by telling her stories about magical lands and princes, princesses, dragons, and more. Elsa’s grandmother passes away from cancer and sends Elsa on her biggest adventure yet.

Elsa must deliver letters her grandmother wrote to those she has wronged over the years. Elsa’s journey to deliver these letters leads her to a lively and intriguing cast of ordinary monsters, drunks running from tragedy, attack dogs who really like cookies, and elderly neighbors who would rather not spill their deepest, darkest secrets to Elsa. She soon discovers that her neighbors do all have their own secrets that Elsa’s grandmother helped them cope with, and also that it’s about who you surround yourself with in life that is the most important.

My favorite quote from the book: “That’s damned well how you stand up to bastards who tell you what you can and can’t do. You bloody do those things all the bloody same.”

This was such a touching book, and I think all of us can relate to Elsa on some level, especially her love for her family and those closest to her.

Goodreads stars: 5/5 (AKA I hope you’re already on your way to your local library/Barnes & Noble/used bookstore/ account to rent/reserve/purchase it!)

The Futures by Anna Pitoniak // The Futures follows Julia and Evan, two people who fell in love during their time spent at Yale University and move to New York City together after graduation prior to the financial meltdown of 2008. The novel tells us the evolution of their relationship in flashbacks as well as present day.

Evan grew up in a small town in Canada and made it to Yale on an ice hockey scholarship, while Julia is from a rich family in Boston, so they are two very different people who manage to hit it off and fall in love. When the two and their friends are in their senior year, we begin to see that while Julia is floundering in finding a path for herself after graduation, Evan is lured in by a well-known and successful hedge fund company, further propelling him toward the successful future he dreams of for himself.

Julia lands a job as an assistant at a nonprofit run by friends of her parents, and she struggles with how much time Evan is spending at his own job; not so much the time he is spending at his company, but the fact that he seems to be moving light years faster towards success than she is. As they begin to drift apart, Julia reconnects with someone from her past who she believes will give her an escape from the misery she feels with Evan. Meanwhile, Evan gets caught up in a deal at work that’s secret, risky, and too good to be true, but he turns a blind eye and keeps his head down as he continues to work harder. Soon, Julia and Evan both have to face the choices they’ve made, the good and the bad, that brought them to a pivotal point in their lives and their relationship.

Julia and Evan learn that life is messy and you don’t always know which path you’re headed down until it’s too late. Anna Pitoniak does a good job at expressing the hopes, fears, and uncertainty of what the future holds, especially after graduation and with someone who you’ve grown to love.

My favorite quote from the book: “It’s not easy, figuring out what you want. It’s really hard. And I mean what you want, not what your friends want, not what someone else wants.”

Goodreads stars: 4/5 (AKA I truly enjoyed reading it and I highly recommend you add it to your TBR list!)

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