Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey (1/17/23)

Hey y’all! IT HAS BEEN A WHILE. I fell off doing Fast Forward Friday titles last summer-ish when there was a span of time where there genuinely weren’t many new releases I was looking forward to. Those that I was looking forward to were usually ones I had already received ARCs of and didn’t think it made sense to put it as a FFF feature. Anyway, I’ve got lots of books I’m excited for once again so I wanted to start this series back up1 😊

In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey!
Expected Release: January 17, 2023

Why wait on this one?

  • The title and cover made me think this would be a bit of a funny read, and the blurb only backed that up. Situational humor of “a surprisingly young divorcee” will provide plenty of fodder for laughs, I’m sure! Even if they are a bit of the pained or awkward variety. I think this book will have a character who doesn’t take herself too seriously.

  • Oh come on, I’m a fan of basically any book with a plot that is essentially a woman redefining or reclaiming her life in a way that suits her goals and happiness. So for Maggie to be plowing on through it all to get things done? I can’t wait to cheer her on!

  • And of course, I do think this will have a lot of emotional and tender moments besides the humor. Because those life-redefining journeys aren’t usually easy, and require some (tough) introspection. As Maggie considers what she wants and needs, I’ll reflect as well!

Summary

Maggie is fine. She’s doing really good, actually. Sure, she’s broke, her graduate thesis on something obscure is going nowhere, and her marriage only lasted 608 days, but at the ripe old age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new life as a Surprisingly Young Divorcée™.

Now she has time to take up nine hobbies, eat hamburgers at 4 am, and “get back out there” sex-wise. With the support of her tough-loving academic advisor, Merris; her newly divorced friend, Amy; and her group chat (naturally), Maggie barrels through her first year of single life, intermittently dating, occasionally waking up on the floor and asking herself tough questions along the way.

Posted in Reviews

Review: How to be Married by Jo Piazza (nonfiction!)

How to Be Married: What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents about Building a Happy Marriage by Jo Piazza

Recommended: absolutely
for people who do or do not want to get married, for people who are already married, for people who are interested in people, for good advice on creating healthy and loving long term relationships of any kind, for a really lovely read about love around the world and from different people

Summary

At age thirty-four, Jo Piazza got her romantic-comedy ending when she met the man of her dreams on a boat in the Galapagos Islands and was engaged three months later. But before long, Jo found herself riddled with questions. How do you make a marriage work in a world where you no longer need to be married? How does an independent, strong-willed feminist become someone’s partner–all the time?

In the tradition of writers such as Nora Ephron and Elizabeth Gilbert, award-winning journalist and nationally bestselling author Jo Piazza writes a provocative memoir of a real first year of marriage that will forever change the way we look at matrimony.

A travel editor constantly on the move, Jo journeys to twenty countries on five continents to figure out what modern marriage means. Throughout this stunning, funny, warm, and wise personal narrative, she gleans wisdom from matrilineal tribeswomen, French ladies who lunch, Orthodox Jewish moms, Swedish stay-at-home dads, polygamous warriors, and Dutch prostitutes.

Written with refreshing candor, elegant prose, astute reporting, and hilarious insight into the human psyche, How to Be Married offers an honest portrait of an utterly charming couple. When life throws more at them than they ever expected–a terrifying health diagnosis, sick parents to care for, unemployment–they ultimately create a fresh understanding of what it means to be equal partners during the good and bad times.

Thoughts

For perspective, I don’t want to get married. I’m in a long term relationship and plan to stay with this person, but as for marriage? I’m not interested, and I’d say I’m even somewhat against it (for myself). One of the biggest reasons for that was always a bit hard for me to express properly, but this book put it into simple concise words for me:

There was something appealing about actively choosing your partner again and again.

Continue reading “Review: How to be Married by Jo Piazza (nonfiction!)”
Posted in Reviews

Review: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Summary

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him-at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl-she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

Thoughts

This is an unusual book because it’s a romance that is painful and difficult and maybe a little toxic. Despite being love, it forces the characters to take a hard look at how they feel and what they have and recognize that it’s not always good, to be in love the way they are. It’s a love that hurts as much as it elevates. One where the highs feel so good, but the lows are nigh unbearable. The expectations they put on each other and the way they struggle under the weight of them frankly just hurt to read about. This was one where it felt like there was never going to be an easy answer.

Continue reading “Review: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland”
Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Dear Dana by Amy Weinland Daughters!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Dear Dana by Amy Weinland Daughters published today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own!

Recommended: sure
For people who like to see the good in others, for a real story about human connection, for a story that makes you feel inspired and motivated

Summary

When Amy Daughters reconnected with her old pal Dana on Facebook, she had no idea how it would change her life. Though the two women hadn’t had any contact in thirty years, it didn’t take them long to catch up—and when Amy learned that Dana’s son Parker was doing a second stint at St. Jude battling cancer, she was suddenly inspired to begin writing the pair weekly letters.

When Parker died, Amy—not knowing what else to do—continued to write Dana. Eventually, Dana wrote back, and the two became pen pals, sharing things through the mail that they had never shared before. The richness of the experience left Amy wondering something: If my life could be so changed by someone I considered “just a Facebook friend,” what would happen if I wrote all my Facebook friends a letter?

A whopping 580 handwritten letters later Amy’s life, and most of all her heart, would never, ever, be the same again. As it turned out, there were actual individuals living very real lives behind each social media profile, and she was beautifully connected to each of those extraordinary, flawed people for a specific reason. They loved her, and she loved them. And nothing—not politics, beliefs, or lifestyle—could separate them.

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: In Love & Pajamas by Catana Chetwynd!

Just a reminder that In Love & Pajamas: A Collection of Comics about Being Yourself Together by Catana Chetwynd released today! Check out the full review here or grab your own copy.

Recommended: uh, YES! 🙂
For people who like slice-of-life comics, for a trusty source of smiles, for more of Catana’s established comic style, for anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship and is familiar with the feeling of settling in and having routines

Summary

When you’ve reached that sweatpants-wearing cozy place in your relationship, it’s all In Love & Pajamas!  This brand-new collection of Catana Comics presents some fan favorites and half of the book features never-before-seen comics that delight and amuse readers of all ages.  Wholesome, sweet, feel-good humor!

Posted in Reviews

Review: In Love & Pajamas by Catana Chetwynd

In Love & Pajamas: A Collection of Comics about Being Yourself Together by Catana Chetwynd
Verdict: Catana continues her signature style with plenty new comics that made me smile. (PLUS THIS RHYMED!)
Expected Release: February 2, 2021

Recommended: uh, YES! 🙂
For people who like slice-of-life comics, for a trusty source of smiles, for more of Catana’s established comic style, for anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship and is familiar with the feeling of settling in and having routines

Summary

When you’ve reached that sweatpants-wearing cozy place in your relationship, it’s all In Love & Pajamas!  This brand-new collection of Catana Comics presents some fan favorites and half of the book features never-before-seen comics that delight and amuse readers of all ages.  Wholesome, sweet, feel-good humor!

Thoughts

Catana Chetwynd is a master at creating comics that feel like a slice of your own life. Not to speak for you, of course, but that certainly is the feeling for myself and many others. For example: the very first comic in this book is something that happens so frequently in my relationship that I just had to laugh when I read it. And then settled in happily for the rest.

Continue reading “Review: In Love & Pajamas by Catana Chetwynd”
Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Spine poetry: days after a breakup (but not my own!!)

This session of spine poetry stems from my last 5 completed books, but as of a few days ago because I wrote these and then finished some books before finishing this post. 😅 At the time of writing my five most recently finished books were:

Continue reading “Spine poetry: days after a breakup (but not my own!!)”