Book Reviews: Just Haven’t Met You Yet, The Singles Table and Bewilderment

Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens

Goodreads blurb: Laura’s business trip to the Channel Islands isn’t exactly off to a great start. After unceremoniously dumping everything in her bag in front of the most attractive man she’s ever seen in real life, she arrives at her hotel only to realize she’s grabbed the wrong suitcase from the airport. Her only consolation? The irresistibly appealing contents of the case: a copy of her favorite book; piano music; and a rugged, heavy knit fisherman sweater only a Ryan Gosling lookalike could pull off. The owner of this suitcase is Laura’s dream man–she’s sure of it. Now, all she has to do is find him.

The mix-up seems written in the stars. After all, what are the odds that she’d find The One on the same remote island where her mom and dad had first fallen in love, especially as she sets out to write an article about their epic romance? Commissioning surly cab driver Ted to ferry her around seems like her best bet in both tracking down the mystery suitcase owner and retracing her parents’ footsteps. And if beneath Ted’s gruffness lies a wit that makes their cab rides strangely entertaining, so much the better. But as Laura’s long-lost luggage soulmate proves difficult to find–and as she realizes that the love story she’s held on a pedestal all her life might not have been that perfect–she’ll have to rethink her whole outlook on love to discover what she really wants.

My take 4.25 out of 5. I really enjoyed this book. Sophie Cousens first book, This Time Next Year, was spectacular and this is a very solid follow up. This is the epitome of a perfect meet cute if there was one and I really enjoyed how it turned it on its head. Not to spoil anything for you, but things are not what they seem, and I love the premise of finding things in the most unexpected of places. Also I would have never thought to go to Jersey in my life, but after reading this book I might! I have to say I had the same situation happen, lost bag that i tracked the person to exchange, and it was definitely not a meet cute, oh the lost possibilities that could have inspired a story.

The book asks two great questions/premises:

  • Do you think its possible to be a romantic and also a feminist? I definitely think it is but what o you think?
  • There is no such this as a happily ever after, maybe a happy for now – love this!

I read this book in a buddy read with @chicklitbookclub and the char with Sophie was amazing — she was so fun, here are some pictures. Btw, she lives in Jersey hence why the descriptions are so wonderful!

The Singles Table by Sara Desai

Book Cover

Goodreads blurb: Opposites attract in this romantic comedy about a free-spirited lawyer who is determined to find the perfect match for the grumpy bachelor at her friend’s wedding. After a devastating break-up, celebrity-obsessed lawyer Zara Patel is determined never to open her heart again. She puts her energy into building her career and helping her friends find romance through the wedding season. She’s never faced a guest at the singles table she couldn’t match, until she crosses paths with the sinfully sexy Jay Donovan. Former military security specialist Jay has no time for love. His life is about working hard, staying focused, and winning at all costs. When charismatic Zara crashes into his life, he’s thrown into close contact with exactly the kind of chaos he wants to avoid. Worse, they’re stuck together for the entire wedding season. So they make a deal. She’ll find his special someone if he introduces her to his celebrity clients. But when their arrangement brings them together in ways they never expected, they realize that the perfect match might just be their own.

My take: 3.75 out of 5. I really enjoyed this book. I even enjoyed it more than her previous book, the Dating Plan. If you meet characters like Jay, one might have to rethink the negative connotations of the singles table. It is a cute enemies to lovers trope that is engaging and with really cool characters. A little opposites attract as well. I loved how clumsy Zara is throughout the book, it made me totally relate. However I do want to pose a question that I have a hard time understanding – what is the appeal of paintball? I don’t understand it in general and less in a romantic setting but I’ve had quite a few paintball scenes recently, here and in the Hating game, and the most classic of all, 10 Thing I Hate About You. Please someone decipher the meaning here for me.

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Book Cover

Goodreads blurb: The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He’s also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin’s emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother’s brain…. With its soaring descriptions of the natural world, its tantalizing vision of life beyond, and its account of a father and son’s ferocious love, Bewilderment marks Richard Powers’s most intimate and moving novel. At its heart lies the question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet?

My take: 3.5 out of 5. This is objectively a very good book. It is also objectively a very sad and depressing book, so be forewarned, you might need a lot of sugar and happy hallmark movies to uplift your mood after this. The writing however is superb and a very interesting exploration of human mental issues as well as our society as it stands today. My only two things – the new planet descriptions that they go into become a bit tedious and i just kept wanting to get to the actual story. Also using fake names for real things was annoying as I knew what they were referencing too and it just made it a bit bizarre.

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