Book Reviews: The Measure, The Dead Romantics & The Guncle

The Measure by Nikki Erlick

Goodreads blurb: Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice. It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live. From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise? As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge? The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything.

My take: 4 out of 5. I really liked this book, whilst being a great character and human story, it manages to ask really tough questions of our society. Questions of how we live our lives , how to measure, enjoy and value it. What is really a well lived life and is length that or is it about impact made? I have to confess Seasons of Love was in my head for the majority of this read (how do you measure ,measure a year, in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights in cups of coffee) My only qualm is that I just wanted the end to be a bit more profound. I love the interrelatedness of the characters, and how they when their relationships were exposed they were great surprises. The only problem is that it was a a tad too coincidental. Additionally, I just wanted more answers at the end.

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Goodreads blurb: Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is honestly a bit out of his league. So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting—even if temporary—isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5. This is a cute read, not life changing but a good character redemption story. This gave me a bit of House in the Cerulean Sea vibes, and that is never a bad thing, with the whole gay man finds life purpose by engaging with kids. It is also a quick read, I did the audiobook and the narration was excellent.

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Goodreads blurb: Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead. When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it. Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is. Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.

My Take: 4.75 out of 5. This is a wonderful book! I don’t even know what genre this is, but we can just call it fabulous. A romance within a ghost story with tinges of gothic it hit all the right notes for me. I could not put it down, i was involved. Every twist and turn was unexpected and as unpredictable and unbelievable as the story could be I bought every word.

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