Mini-Reviews: September and October 2021

Sometimes I just get a little behind on my reviews so why not put a few of my favorites into a quick wrap-up! Throughout the fall, I have picked up some great books and many (I am proud to say) were from my own shelf. I have been making reading books off my shelf a priority since not only am I moving, but I am also just trying to read all the books I hoarded in quarantine.


Here are a few of my top 5-star reviewed books in recent weeks, and maybe one or two will pique your interest.


Book 1: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry


Poppy and Alex have known each other for ages. They have seen each other’s ups, downs, and everything in between. They are best friends, and they even travel all over the world together for one week every summer. But the great question remains…are they actually in love with one another?


People We Meet on Vacation is the perfect sum-up of a friends-to-lovers romance. I adored Alex’s character. He was somewhat broody, but also very nerdy and I love a male character who has a little bit of a nerdy side. Poppy was a go-getter, passionate travel writer, and also so much an enneagram type 7 it was fun to read about her character. All in all, such a fun romance novel to read and Emily Henry is a gold mine for romances with book references tied into it.


Book 2: In the Woods by Tana French

1984, a mother calls her children home, but only one survives. 20 years later, that found young boy, Rob Ryan, is now a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and he has to return to the scene of the crime for another child murder. As this case unfolds, not only does he have the chance to solve this one, but also the one of his past.


Tana French is seriously my new favorite mystery writer. This story was compelling, intense, perfectly timed, and also unpredictable. Most times, I can easily predict the ending of a mystery, but this one kept me guessing. Ryan‘s character was SO complex. It made me need to reread sections at times to fully grasp what was going on. A solid mystery series that everyone should pick up.


Book 3: The Likeness by Tana French


And of course, I need to talk about the second in this series of 5. Cassie Maddox has never been the same following what happened with the “In the Woods” case. As another detective on the case, she decided to transfer out of the murder squad until her old undercover name comes back on the surface…except the person using the name is dead. Cassie undergoes another undercover mission for the murder squad one last time in order to discover who was the girl that stole her old undercover identity’s name.


Need I say more about Tana French? I am about to start book 3 because I loved this second book even more than the first. I related more to Cassie’s character and thought she was just clever in her detective work. The ending really threw me for a loop, and yet again, French’s writing flew off the page.


Book 4: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain


It’s 1920 and Hadley Richardson is a quiet 28-year-old who doesn’t believe she has a chance at love until she meets the great Ernest Hemingway. Swept away by his looks, charm, and connection, they have a whirlwind courtship and wedding before jetting off to Paris to be with other writing greats of the “Lost Generation”. They are a golden couple until things start going south and their lives are changed forever.


This was a gorgeous account of the relationship between Hadley and Ernest. The one thing I don’t understand is why the first wives of the great 1920s writers are always the ones that got away! I enjoyed reading about this couple, and I think other historical fiction lovers will enjoy this book, too.