He Said/She Said (January 2021)

I’m pulling this series from the 2016 vault and reintroducing one of my very favorite things…

The book review.

I got out of the habit of reading the past few years (blaming Creighton for that one—he came into my life and suddenly doing anything with him was more fun than reading), but thanks to 2020 I had a lot of extra downtime and went back to my bookwormy ways.

So without further ado, my January reads…

“Yesterday I knew I had no future, and that it was impossible for me to accept my life as it is now. And yet today, that same messy life seems full of hope. Potential. The impossible, I suppose, happens via living.”

-“The Midnight Library”

“The Midnight Library” was the number one fiction book on Goodreads last year, so naturally I had to give it a shot. I’d label this book a mix of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, and I did love the heart behind the primary message of the novel. That being said, it was pretty obvious what was going to happen about 50 pages in. Though I did enjoy it, I wish there had been more depth to the protagonist’s story…or even a few final chapters that showed progression after her trip to the library. All in all, though, a nice story.

“You mistake love. You think it has to have a future in order to matter, but it doesn’t. It’s the only thing that does not need to become at all. It matters only insofar as it exists. Here. Now. Love doesn’t require a future.” 

-“IN five years”

I read somewhere that this book “tried really hard to be better than it was,” and I agree with that sentiment. The first half of “In Five Years” felt nearly identical to “One Day in December” by Josie Silver, but then it takes a deep dive into grief that leaves the reader confused and frankly, just plain ol’ sad. In the end, I didn’t like any of the characters and was angry at how the plot unfolded…but I did also cry at one point, so there’s that.

“Why was I crying so much? Because I think it finally dawned on me that I have a child who will never know her grandmother, the person who was the closest to me in the world. And I was about to start this journey with my daughter by myself without the help of my mother. …Then, I realized the one thing that would bridge all three of our lives was our faith, this intangible thing that had been passed on to me and that I would now pass on to my daughter. Somehow, through this ritual, I had transcended the impossible distance between me and my mom.”

-“Nothing like I imagined”

I am a huge fan of Mindy Kaling’s writing. It is her best professional talent, in my opinion, so I was thrilled when she released this series of essays. And though I did enjoy her other books better, these were still as charming as ever. The essay, “Help Is On The Way” where she described her on-going friendship with her daughter’s nurse was definitely my favorite!

KAT
Currently listening to “Sunday best” by Surfaces

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