Book Reviews: Mika in Real Life, Every Summer After & Atomic Habits

Mika in Real Life by Emiko Jean

Goodreads blurb: One phone call changes everything. At thirty-five, Mika Suzuki’s life is a mess. Her last relationship ended in flames. Her roommate-slash-best friend might be a hoarder. She’s a perpetual disappointment to her traditional Japanese parents. And, most recently, she’s been fired from her latest dead-end job. Mika is at her lowest point when she receives a phone call from Penny—the daughter she placed for adoption sixteen years ago. Penny is determined to forge a relationship with her birth mother, and in turn, Mika longs to be someone Penny is proud of. Faced with her own inadequacies, Mika embellishes a fact about her life. What starts as a tiny white lie slowly snowballs into a fully-fledged fake life, one where Mika is mature, put-together, successful in love and her career. The details of Mika’s life might be an illusion, but everything she shares with curious, headstrong Penny is real: her hopes, dreams, flaws, and Japanese heritage. The harder-won heart belongs to Thomas Calvin, Penny’s adoptive widower father. What starts as a rocky, contentious relationship slowly blossoms into a friendship and, over time, something more. But can Mika really have it all—love, her daughter, the life she’s always wanted? Or will Mika’s deceptions ultimately catch up to her? In the end, Mika must face the truth—about herself, her family, and her past—and answer the question, just who is Mika in real life? Perfect for fans of Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age, Gayle Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years, Mika in Real Life is at once a heart-wrenching and uplifting novel that explores the weight of silence, the secrets we keep, and what it means to be a mother. In this brilliant new novel by from Emiko Jean, the author of the New York Times bestselling young adult novel Tokyo Ever After, comes a whip-smart, laugh-out-loud funny, and utterly heartwarming novel about motherhood, daughterhood, and love—how we find it, keep it, and how it always returns.

my take: 4 out of 5. I was a bit hesitant at the start of this book, but it absolutely won me over. Such a sweet story on overcoming obstacles and the aftermath of very hard decisions. All the characters are beautifully written in all their flaws and charms and its a fast emotional read. Highly recommend.

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Goodreads blurb: They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart. Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without. For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart. When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past. Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic look at love and the people and choices that mark us forever.

Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.

my take: 4.5 out of 5 This book is awesome. This is an improved version of The Summer I turned Pretty. Two boys, a girl and some summer, but this was even more engaging because we got them when they were older as well. The dual timelines were excellent and even though you could sort of predict what the fallout had been somewhere in mod book, the emotional fallout and how it happened was still an interesting twist. I really enjoyed it, I devoured this book in one sitting. This is a perfect meaty beach read, it has the lightness but with strong emotional content.

. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Goodreads blurb: No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving—every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.

Learn how to:
– Make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy);
– Overcome a lack of motivation and willpower;
– Design your environment to make success easier;
– Get back on track when you fall off course;
…and much more.

Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits–whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal.

my take: 4.75 out of 5. A great and super productive read. Its really pretty basic stuff what he is telling us but i think the way its put out its quite novel and also, its never a bad idea to revisit our habits and try to do better one tiny atom at a time. Only caveat, as much as I prefer a lot of the self help/ educational books on audiobook, this one I kind of wish i had done it in Physical form. There are so many good worksheet and things that even though they give you the link to them its not the same (also if you are driving you cant really write it down!)

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