I have officially declared July as the month for me to tackle my Book of the Month Club (referal link) books. I have somewhere around 25 unread BOTM selections, and truly, these books were some of my most anticipated reads. They’ve gotten lost in the shuffle and if I don’t make some sort of strong declaration, they may continue to sit on my shelf for a long time!
I’m looking forward to reading many of these books and the first week of my BOTM reading kicked off really well!
What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster
On the surface, this book has all the makings of a 5-star read for me: multi-generational, multiple POVs, complicated and twisted stories, heavy themes and topics, and a Read With Jenna pick! The writing was fantastic, and I was absolutely interested from the first page. But the story that started off with a really strong and promising start, fizzled out bit by bit for me. The switching timelines and the multitude of characters made it hard for me to really sink into the story, and the momentum in the first few chapters failed to carry through until the end. Coster shows real promise as an author and I’ll pick up her next book, but unfortunately, this was more a miss than a hit for me.
This Close To Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith
As I continue to focus on my Book of the Month Club books, I felt like it was finally time to pick this one up. I saw that it had a lot of mixed reviews so I’m glad it’s been off my radar long enough to have forgotten what the criticisms were. Had they been more fresh, this book may not have worked for me; instead, I found myself deeply connected to Tallie and Emmett’s story. I did have to suspend some belief, but there were vibes of Eleanor Oliphant for me (weirdly, a book that didn’t work for me, though this one did…) I’m totally in the mood for lighter (but still heavy themes) right now so that probably helped with my overall experience. I didn’t love the ending, but it was realistic.
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Based loosly on the author’s own mother, this story was deeply moving and incredibly emotional. Ana, a fifteen-year-old, immigrates to the US and is forced to grow up very quickly. It’s almost more like an arranged marriage – there’s certainly benefits to each party to getting married. Ana finds herself very alone in this new country with a very detached husband, but as she gains her footing in New York, she finds strength and independence to help her navigate. I rooted for Ana from the beginning and wanted to see her succeed!