Happy Friday! Good news: this month, I got to spend a lot more time reading. I ended up reading six books overall, all of which I enjoyed. I read the first two books within one day if that tells you anything about how engaging they were.
Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur
This book was both crazy yet totally not surprising somehow! Katy Tur was NBC's lead reporter on the Trump campaign and this is the story of what she experienced. She was personally berated and lauded by Trump while on the campaign to an extent that was just incredibly weird. If you're into politics (if you liked Alyssa Mastromonaco's book or David Litt's), this will be super interesting to you.
Something practical I took away from this book was that even people who are successful in their careers feel anxiety about their job and their career's future sometimes.
Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
I stayed up late to finish this one because it was so impossible to put down. It follows two cousins, Liz and Nora, who take their families on a cruise for the holidays. During their vacation, their kids disappear and the rest of the book follows the events that ensue. I mentioned earlier in the month that this would be a great book for an airplane but it's also good for a long train ride or just a rainy day when you're stuck at home.
Based on the jacket description, I thought the story would dive further into the topics of privilege and race. While it does cover those topics, it's less of an actual deep dive. I'd say this is more of your typical thriller with a little bit of those topics peppered in, rather than an actual examination of them.
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
I initially got this book to read on my flight, but ended up reading it all in one sitting the night before I left. It's about a mom and son who are trapped in a zoo during an active shooter situation and how the mom has to protect them. It's obviously a rather timely story and it was definitely difficult to put down (hence the fact I read it all in one night). I liked that the author left the conclusion very open-ended so that it can be interpreted different ways depending on how optimistic you are.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
I had heard about this book from so many people and finally got around to it this month. The story is about Dimple, an independent and focused, Stanford-bound, Indian teenager who gets accepted to a summer web development program. Little does she know, Rishi is also going to the program and he's the boy that her parents have arranged for her to marry. Things start out rough but they eventually come around to each other. This was a really easy, cute read! I think it'd be perfect for spring or summer break.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This was definitely my favorite book that I read this month. Actually, it's my favorite book I've read in a pretty long time. I've had it on my shelf for years now but finally got around to actually reading it and I am obsessed! This is such a good book for anyone remotely interested in video games, fantasy movies, or 80s pop culture. This is one of the few books I wish I could give more than five stars. NOTE: I saw the film today and was really disappointed. I much prefer the book!
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
This was definitely a dark one and had a lot of graphic violence so if that's triggering to you, I'll say now that I recommend you avoid. All-in-all, it was a good mystery with quite a few twists that kept me engaged throughout. I really liked the main character Claire and thought that she was a compelling, unique lead especially for a genre novel.