Book Reviews, Contemporary, Memoir, Romance

Mini Book Reviews: June 2020 – Part 2


*Books included in this batch of mini book reviews: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, Becoming by Michelle Obama, Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman, and The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck


» The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren



5-Star Rating SystemWhatILiked» I really enjoyed the enemies to lovers trope here.  Olive and Ethan had great chemistry, and I enjoyed the progression of their relationship.  Their witty banter was everything!

» I was delightfully surprised with how funny this book was.  I found myself laughing out loud to myself a few different times while reading.  Between the awkward situations and the snark, I found this book very amusing.

» The Unhoneymooners makes for perfect beach or summer vacation read.  The Hawaii setting was the perfect backdrop for this story.

» I think this story would translate well to film.  Someone call NetFlix and have them adapt this into a delightful rom-com!WhatIDidntLike» The plot was pretty predictable.  I’ve found that books that include the enemies to lovers trope almost always follow a similar structure: the characters hate each other, the characters realize the other isn’t as bad as they first thought, the characters fall in love, the characters break up – usually after some type of misunderstanding, then the characters get back together.  The Unhoneymooners was no different.  There were definitely some cliche elements.

» Switching perspectives for the last chapter felt off.  I would have preferred to end things with Olive’s point of view since the rest of the book was told from her perspective.

› Recommended to ⇒ Rom-com fans

› Trigger/content warnings ⇒ cheating

» Becoming by Michelle Obama



5-Star Rating System

In Becoming, Michelle Obama chronicles her life from her early years to life after serving as First Lady of the United States.WhatILiked» My absolute favorite aspect about this book was how real and down-to-earth Michelle is.  She does not put on airs, but rather gives us a honest look into her life thus far.  From her her humble beginnings, to her infertility journey, to her struggles balancing a career and motherhood, Michelle lays it all out there.

 » While I always have loved Michelle Obama, reading her memoir opened my eyes to just how impressive she is.  I appreciate how intelligent, driven, passionate, kind, and empathetic she is.  I’m ashamed to admit that I had no idea that she was a lawyer in her younger years.  Not only was she a lawyer, but a successful one at that.  The fact that Michelle left her high paying job as a lawyer to pursue something more meaningful, thus cutting her salary in half, just made me love her even more.

» In case you didn’t know, Michelle narrates the audiobook herself, which she does beautifully.  I cannot recommend reading this book via audiobook enough.  Listening to Michelle’s life story in her own voice made it that much more authentic.

» Despite the fact that this is a hefty tome – the audiobook came in at just over 19 hours – I was engaged from start to finish.

› Recommended to ⇒ fans of “celebrity” memoirs; fans of inspirational memoirs

» Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman



5-Star Rating SystemWhatILiked» One of the things that I appreciated about Separation Anxiety was how relatable some of Judy’s feelings were.  Judy is in a rut for many reasons: career & financial stress, marital struggles, her best friend has cancer, and her son is growing up.  All of these are very valid reasons to feel anxiety, and many of us have experienced many of these very same stressors.WhatIDidntLike»  I think the author was attempting to write a book that would charm readers with eccentric characters & a humorous plot line, but don’t think it delivered.  Instead of being funny, the story felt odd & forced.

» Judy doesn’t grow over the course of the book, nor does she ever seek help for her anxiety… Gary, her husband, actually goes through more character development than Judy does.

» Judy’s terminally ill best friend felt like a plot device.

› Recommended to ⇒  Fans of eccentric characters

› Trigger/content warnings ⇒ anxiety; depression; cancer

› If you liked this book, try ⇒ Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman


» The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck


5-Star Rating System

*2.75 Stars*WhatILiked» I thought the characters were likable & I was invested in their separate stories.  I loved that the heart of this story is five people coming together and forming lasting friendships.

» I was particularly invested in Lexa & Cora’s perspectives.   I felt their journey both together as new friends and individually, was the most interesting of the bunch.

» I loved the New York setting here.  Bonus points for the inclusion of a historic library.WhatIDidntLike» I feel like we were following too many different characters in this book.  I think this story would have worked better as a dual perspective story, where we see some of the other society members through the eyes of the main characters.

» I didn’t realize this was “Christian fiction” when this was picked for one of my book clubs.  I don’t typically read “Christian fiction,” as I feel they can too preachy with the religious aspects.  The majority of the book was fine, but the religious tones came out of nowhere at the end and were extremely heavy handed.

» Parts of the book were slow moving and a bit dull.

» The plot was cliche & everything wrapped up too nicely at the end.  I would have preferred for things NOT to have worked out perfectly for EVERYONE, or if things had been left up to interpretation.

» I did not believe Chuck & Coral’s romance.  It felt very underdeveloped and out of left field.

› Recommended to ⇒ cozier types of reads

› Trigger/content warnings ⇒ domestic violence; drug addiction; suicide

› If you liked this book, try ⇒ The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton




Have you read any of these books?  If so, what did you think?

Comment below & let me know 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Mini Book Reviews: June 2020 – Part 2”

  1. I feel the same way about Unhoneymooners. I was looking for a hate to love romance because they are usually predictable and I wanted something light and cute. But yeah having the last part deviate from Olive’s perspective was unnecessary and out of place.


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