Year 13, Book 90

90. If, Then by Kate Hope Day

In a small Oregon town the lives of four neighbors are changed forever when they begin glimpsing other versions of themselves living in parallel universes. I’m not sure the actual multiverse plot and whatever was the cause of it really got explained well or made much sense, but I found the characters and their reactions to what was happening interesting. I give it a 7 out of 10.

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Year 13, Book 89

89. If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

Somehow I had never read any James Baldwin prior to this book. I decided to pick this one up because the movie adaptation will be coming out soon. Tish and Fonny are a young couple in love planning to get married. Tish has also recently discovered that she is pregnant, but all of this is bittersweet as Fonny has been falsely imprisoned. The book told from Tish’s perspective follows the couple’s history and how Fonny wound up in jail as well as the present as their two families work to try and free him. Written in the mid-70s this book is sadly still very relevant to today. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Year 13, Book 88

88. Dr. Small’s Guide to Anxiety by Gary Small

A little book looking at all the various kinds of anxiety and anxiety disorders and the treatments that have been found to be effective for each specific disorder. It was a good little primer for anyone who wants to know more about anxiety. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Year 13, Book 87

87. Sorry for Your Loss by Jessie Ann Foley

This is a young adult novel centered around a teenager named Pup who is barely squeaking by in his life and is just trying to hide from everyone after the death of his popular older brother. In order to not fail is photography class he is forced to work with someone who helps him see his world in a whole new way. There is a lot of really good stuff about grief, loss, and family in this book with some teenage romance as well. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Year 13, Book 86

86. Calendar Girl by Georgia Beers

Addison is a workaholic who is making herself sick with the amount of stress she has put herself under trying to win her mother’s approval to take over the family company when she retires. Her mother insists on hiring her a personal assistant who Addison fights against at every turn. Even worse she finds herself falling for Katie given the hard stance she has taken with her employees about office romances.

This was an okay book. Addison was a bit ridiculous with her work obsession. It made no sense that someone in her position wouldn’t already have had an assistant and it didn’t make sense that even with her mother telling her she needed to slow down that she would keep pushing herself and think she had to to win her mother’s favor. I give it a 6 out of 10.

Year 13, Book 85

85. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Alex is the twenty-something first son of the United States’ first female president and finds himself having to do some fake PR with his new “best friend” Prince Henry, second in line to the British throne after they almost start an international incident after a fight at a royal wedding. But it turns out neither is exactly who the other thought he was and now they are fighting an entirely different kind of international incident as they find themselves falling in love.

I adored this book. It’s definitely one of my favorite reads of 2018 (sorry for most of you that it doesn’t actually come out until mid-2019). It was smart, funny, and romantic. The characters were fantastic. My only complaint is that it gave me a kind of PTSD over the 2016 election because it was very obviously modeled as if Hillary had won the election. In the afterward the author indicates that she almost abandoned the book, which she had started writing previously, after Trump won. Reading it felt a little like rubbing salt in the wound of what should have been, but really that’s a minor quibble. The book is great. I highly recommend it, especially if you are a fan of the book The Royal We. I give it a 9 out of 10.

Year 13, Book 84

84. Everything’s Trash, but It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson

A second book of humorous essays by Phoebe Robinson some on important topics like race and feminism and others on things like pop culture and her personal life. It was an enjoyable read. I like her writing style. I give it a 7 out of 10.