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What I’ve Been Reading

Book Reviews November 2015 • Little Gold Pixel

This is an occasional series that chronicles my quest to read 80 books in 2015. This is the eighth roundup so far this year. Check out past reviews here. Let’s see how it went, shall we?

I read a few books this month that I’d heard a lot about: Dear Mr. Knightley and Luckiest Girl Alive. Everybody seems to looooove Dear Mr. Knightley, and I’ve heard so much trash-talking about Luckiest Girl Alive.

Well, call me crazy — I loved Luckiest Girl Alive and was disappointed with Dear Mr. Knightley. Hey, I never said I was predictable!

I only have TWO books to go before I hit my goal of 80 books for the year. I can’t believe it.

(Do you follow me on Goodreads? You should!)

Book Reviews November 2015: 78/80

Dear Mr. Knightley / Katherine Reay
File under: Jane Austen, romance, chick lit
Plot: Foster-system graduate Samantha lives off the kind scholarship of a stranger while going to graduate school, incessantly quoting books and in general being annoying.
Review: I know absolutely no one who randomly quotes passages from books. Movie quotes = yes. Book quotes = give me a f*&^ing break.



The Cranes Dance / Meg Howrey
File under: Ballet, mental illness, literature, suspense
Plot: A ballerina slowly unravels after her more-talented sister is injured.
Review: Guys, my plot line isn’t doing this book justice. This novel grabbed me tight and never let go. I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen with Kate next as we peeled away the layers of her life. The author did an amazing job with the voice and vibe of the book.



The Night Sister / Jennifer McMahon
File under: Suspense, things that go bump in the night, ZOMG
Plot: Woman returns to her hometown after getting news that her childhood friend is being accused of a horrific crime.
Review: Jennifer McMahon can do no wrong. Her latest book is un-put-downable, absolutely stay-up-with-your-flashlight fare.



A Window Opens / Elisabeth Egan
File under: Thirtysomething, career crisis, motherhood, chick lit
Plot: Alice returns to the work force when her husband quits the law firm to start his own practice. Life happens.
Review: This book speaks to my experiences: mid-30s, job that negatively divides time with family, finding myself in the middle of a dying career field. The protagonist’s observations and experiences line up with reality in a witty and truthful way that most books of this canon do not.



The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs / Matthew Dicks
File under: Wobbly revenge of the bullied, chick lit
Plot: Woman, teenage daughter in tow, drives back to her hometown so she can confront her high school bully but she realizes she is still fighting her own demons.
Review: This one was so random, the plot so meandering that I was left scratching my head at the end. What starts as an anti-bully story ends with something completely different. Also, the author asks you to jump gaps in logic. I wasn’t willing.



Modern Romance / Aziz Ansari
File under: Nonfiction, dating scene, Tinder culture
Plot: Comedian does a lot of research to get to the bottom of dating in the 2010s.
Review: I enjoyed listening to Aziz talk about his findings. Lots of laughs, but a lot of substance, too. I caught myself talking about this book in lots of conversations, which is always a sign of a good read.



Luckiest Girl Alive / Jessica Knoll
File under: Mean Girls, Cruel Intentions, literature
Plot: A twentysomething social climber is forced to face her high school traumas.
Review: Without giving anything away, I thought this book was amazing. The protagonist is understandably unlikeable, and yet I’m rooting for her. No subject is too taboo here. The complexity of human emotion is rendered expertly in a smart, well-drawn manner.

In a Nutshell

Three to read: A Window Opens, Luckiest Girl Alive, The Cranes Dance

One to pass: The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs

So there you have it. 78 down! 2 to go!

What have you been reading lately? I’m always on the lookout for a good book … do share recommendations in the comments. Have you read any of these books? Do you agree/disagree with my assessment? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

P.S. A running list of my fave must-read books. Soooo much good stuff here.

Linking up with, a great place to find good reads. Check it out.

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