The best books of September list has a wide variety of genres! Two deal with people that have health concerns, one features a woman that meets the result of an egg she once donated, and one is the latest from Stephen King.
And, of course, I am including the book I was most disappointed in for this month.
I read about 8 more books during this month, but I am featuring only the best of them (and that one stinky one)!
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The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
Fern and Rose are twins. Twins that look nothing alike. Both of the women have some issues.
You will determine right from the start that Fern is autistic or has Aspergers. Rose, on the other hand, is in therapy for childhood trauma.
The chapters alternate between Fern’s current work-related or life experiences. Rose’s chapters are her journal entries. It is in those journal passages that you’ll discover the childhood events that shaped both girls.
Soon, into the book you find Fern’s mental gymnastics to be fascinating. She is totally a literal person. She weighs every sentence with what it implies to her and what it might actually mean. Fern has sensory overload issues and coping mechanisms for some of them. I love that she wears swim goggles to places she knows will be too bright and too loud. Thankfully her job is working as a librarian- which is a quiet and peaceful place with little drama.
It is in the library that Fern meets “Wally”. And a relationship with another human, other than her sister, begins to build.
Wally becomes more than just an acquaintance and they spend time together. He is very considerate of her specialness and it works well.
And then there is an issue with Rose and her husband and her desperation to have a baby. Fern discovers Rose is taking pregnancy vitamins and she hatches a plan.
Now, this book took a turn somewhere that was completely unexpected. And, while it was somewhat improbable, it was still entertaining and kept me turning the pages. I give this one 4 stars and can definitely recommend it to you.
Billy Summers by Stephen King
If you read my reviews often you know that I devour every book this man writes. This one is way different from his usual genre. It’s a relationship story with a little bit of a crime spree thrown in.
Billy Summers is a hit-man for hire and takes one last job before he retires. The job is promising to be quite lucrative so he takes it. The job involves relocating and waiting. Billy must wait for a certain man to appear at his location so that he can do the job.
In the meantime, he is given a new identity and an office where he will pretend to write a book. This is his cover for being there. Billy has some interesting ideas about this cover story and just might add a second disguise to the mix.
And, then, of course, Billy not only pretends to write a book he actually begins his life story. It is in this writing that we learn about his childhood background, abuse, and the death of his sister. We also learn about his time serving in the Armed Forces and what happened to him in Iraq. This book written by Bill will factor into the entire novel.
The story develops in typical Stephen King style with wonderful descriptions and a fast pace. I cannot reveal any more to this review without spoiling the story. But GRAB THIS ONE! It is fabulous and I say it’s worth 5 stars.
Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie
This book turned out to be a fabulous read! It was a touching, feel-good story and it was hilarious.
I laughed out loud throughout the book.
The main character is Skye, a 38-year-old black woman who is also gay and has a best friend named Viva who is a trans-woman. Skye also has a secret that comes right into her life very unexpectedly.
First, of all, Skye is a world traveler. She operates a tour guide business and accompanies her groups on every trip. When she is back home in Philadelphia, she stays at Viva’s bed and breakfast. Skye is carefree and quite forthright in her beliefs and actions. She is just a tad unlikeable, but also very funny. Her asides in the middle of passages, especially conversations, are the exact things we all want to say, but we don’t.
Okay, so one day Skye is visited by a 12-year-old that announces that she is Skye’s egg. It seems that many years ago Skye’s friend could not get pregnant due to a failure of her own eggs and Skye donated some. These were used and the result is Vicki. Just imagine how this news hits the devil-may-care woman that is Skye.
Vicki’s mother has died and she lives with her aunt Faye. Her dad is in the picture, but they have a strained relationship. How will Skye fit into this new world? Give this one a try. It is full of “slang” but it is not difficult to understand at all. I enjoyed it and give it 4 stars!
How Lucky by Will Leitch
Daniel is a young man, living in Athens, Georgia, working as a social media representative for a small airline company. He also has SMA- Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
This debilitating, progressive disease has led to Daniel traveling by wheelchair and only being able to use his left hand. Caretakers work with him daily. Marjani arrives each morning to clean and take care of his breakfast. She leaves in the afternoons, often replaced by Daniel’s childhood friend, Travis. Travis spends a lot of time with Daniel playing video games or taking him places.
During the night there are several caretakers that come into Daniel’s home to turn him over while he sleeps. Daniel seems content and tells his story with a humorous side that will make you love him.
Then, one day, Daniel is on his front porch and sees a woman walking by. Later, he finds out her name is Ai-Chin. She is a student at the local university and he has seen her before. This time, however, he becomes alarmed. Ai-Chin is approached by a car and after some hesitation, she gets into the car. Has Daniel just witnessed a kidnapping? Should he call the police?
There is just one problem. Daniel cannot speak. He uses a computerized typing-voice program. His caretakers can all communicate with him. But, how will he explain what happened to the police? Did something happen?
“I have power. I have strength. I have the security of knowing that even though I needed to use this chair, even though I could not just reach out and grab this world by the collar, I have changed this world. I have found my place. The world is different because I was in it. This is what we should all want.”
This is a must-read- 5 stars for this amazing book!
And, now for the most disappointing book of the month…
The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman
I read a previous book by this author and I remember it being a thriller full of twists. I also vaguely remember it having some unbelievable parts, but I tried this one anyway.
I listened to this book and that is, sadly, the only thing I really liked about it. It is read by the author and I love her voice.
The book is about Mia, a British actress, who travels to California for a series of auditions. At one of these auditions, she meets Emily. Through a series of mishaps, it turns out that Emily needs to allow Mia to skip ahead of her for the audition. Emily needs to quickly take care of something before auditioning. Mia is reluctant and offers to run an errand for Emily instead.
And then, Emily disappears. But, Mia has Emily’s car keys and wallet. Now, I don’t know what you would do, but Mia decides to pursue investigating why Emily has disappeared.
Questions I had (and this is never good to have questions- you expect the author to take care of these things):
- Mia believed everything anyone told her. Like, moments after Emily disappears, Mia is flirting with a man on the street and becoming quite attracted to him.
- At what point does anyone start planning ways to investigate a crime when no obvious crime has occurred. Why not just take the wallet and keys to the police and forget about it?
- A lot of the book focused on the giant ‘Hollywood’ sign and I really just wished the author would stop talking about it.
- Except there is a bizarre scene at some point involving the sign. But it is TOTALLY not believable.
- And I will not tell you anything about it, but the Ending. Was. Stupid.
Keep in mind, that this is my opinion and you might completely love this thriller of a book! 2 stars- it was a quick read.
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My rating system: 5 stars means perfection- the book was written well, held my attention, and I did not want it to end. 4 stars- the book was really good, but I had questions or concerns about parts of it. This might include the way it ended. 3 stars- the book was okay, but I just didn’t like it much. 2 stars- I skimmed most of it. 1 star- I could not finish it.