When I think of vacation, especially a vacation that involves a beach, I envision me sitting in the sun and reading for endless hours. The book sucks me in and I lose all track of time…happy as a clam (pun intended ;). As much as I love this vision, it’s not my reality. It’s hard for me to engage in books with so much activity going on, and just when it seems like I’m about to get totally sucked in, my attention is called away.
For those reasons alone, I’m sure these books would have been bigger hits for me had I NOT read them on vacation…please keep that in mind as you read the following reviews.
*** Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann
I enoyed this book on a surface level, but I’m sure there was so much more to gain from it if I had more knowledge of the Greek mythology that is referenced throughout the book. If I cared more, I might even Google it and research it, but honestly, the story worked fine for me without this knowledge. (If you think there’s things I need to know, please feel free to tell me!!!)
The Briscoe family is a mess – lying, cheating, and unapolegetic bad behavior is their norm. All of it comes to the surface over the course of this novel and I can still see the fireworks from here! If you enjoy narcissistic behavior and extremely disfunctional families, be sure to keep your eye out for this one out on May 4, 2021.
*** The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
I started with Cleeton’s novel, Next Year in Havana, and have not looked back since. I love how she writes historical fiction and I will continue to read everything she writes. She packs the book with a lot of interesting information but also an engaging storyline.
Cleeton’s latest addition to the Perez family story takes place during the end of the nineteeth century, during the Gilded Age. Cuba is fighting Spain for their independence and newspapers have gained popularity as a main news source. In Cuba, Evangelina Cisneros is an eighteen-year-old revolutionary stuck in a prison. William Randolph Hearst hears about her and decides to help rescue her from prison and exile her to the United States. The Cubans hope her notoriety will entice the US to help them fight Spain and give them their independence.
Once again, Cleeton nails this one out of the park and I am still such a fan of her work. It was incredibly interesting to read about Cuba in a time that wasn’t about Fidel Castro and its communist origins. I also enjoyed reading about the intense competition between Pulitzer and Hearst as they fought to be the best newspaper in New York City. This novel is packed with interesting facts and I can’t wait for it to be out in the world on May 4th!
(#partner #freebooks: All books noted by asterisks (***) indicate I received the book for free from the publisher, the author, or another promotional company to review. All opinions are my own.)