Book Reviews: It Starts with Us, Mad About You & The Vibrant Years

It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover

Goodreads blurb: Before It Ends with Us, it started with Atlas. Colleen Hoover tells fan favorite Atlas’s side of the story and shares what comes next in this long-anticipated sequel to the “glorious and touching” (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestseller It Ends with Us. Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil coparenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date. But her excitement is quickly hampered by the knowledge that, though they are no longer married, Ryle is still very much a part of her life—and Atlas Corrigan is the one man he will hate being in his ex-wife and daughter’s life.

Switching between the perspectives of Lily and Atlas, It Starts with Us picks up right where the epilogue for the “gripping, pulse-pounding” (Sarah Pekkanen, author of Perfect Neighbors) bestselling phenomenon It Ends with Us left off. Revealing more about Atlas’s past and following Lily as she embraces a second chance at true love while navigating a jealous ex-husband, it proves that “no one delivers an emotional read like Colleen Hoover” (Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author).

my take: 3 out of 5. I loved It Ends with Us, and this felt like a story that needed to be made to capitalize on its great popularity. And Even though it is great to know what happened to Atlas and Lily after It ends with us ends (yei for redundancy) it felt a little bit like a non complete book. Like it really was an extended epilogue for the fans, but as a stand alone it does not bode very well. I did love their ending and much more satisfying that the ending of IEWU. Read both together if you haven’t started with IEWU, and look at it as a longer book and you will be very satisfied.

Mad about You by Mhairi McFarlane

Goodreads Blurb: International bestseller Mhairi McFarlane delivers a sharp, emotional new novel about a woman who calls off her engagement to “the perfect man” and moves in with a charming stranger who makes her question everything about her life, her past, and the secrets she’s kept for far too long… Harriet Hatley is the most in-demand wedding photographer in town, but she doesn’t believe in romance, loathes the idea of marriage, and thinks chocolate fountains are an abomination. Which is why, when her long-time partner proposes, she panics. Suddenly Harriet is single… and living down the hall from her ex. She needs a new apartment, like, yesterday. Enter Cal Clarke, a hopeless romantic who just experienced his own wedding-related disaster. Harriet and Cal are like chalk and cheese, but as they go from strangers to roommates to friends, it becomes clear they’re both running from something. When Harriet’s most heavily guarded secret comes to light, her world implodes. And Cal, with his witty humor and gentle advice, is a surprising source of calm at the center of the storm. With her career, friendships, and reputation on the line, Harriet must finally face her past in order to take control of her future. Because if she’s willing to stop playing it safe and risk everything to share her truth, real love and happiness may be waiting on the other side…

my take: 3.75 out of 5. I had no expectations for this book (i was in the middle of a road trip, my audiobook ended, my hold on libby was not available yet and i checked what looked interesting in hoopla on a whim, and landed here), however it really brought a smile to my face by the end. A traditional semi enemies to lovers trope, but wonderfully executed. Also Cal is a fabulous character – book crush! A quick fun read

The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev

Goodreads blurb: When sixty-five-year-old Bindu Desai inherits a million dollars, she’s astounded―and horrified. The windfall threatens to expose a shameful mistake from her youth. On an impulse, Bindu quickly spends it on something unexpected: a condo in a posh retirement community in Florida. The impulsive decision blindsides Bindu’s daughter-in-law, Aly. At forty-seven, Aly still shares a home with Bindu even after her divorce from Bindu’s son. But maybe this change is just the push Aly needs to fight for her own dreams. As Bindu and Aly navigate their new dynamic, Aly’s daughter, Cullie, is faced with losing the business that made her a tech-world star. The only way to save it is to deliver a new idea to her investors―and they want the dating app she pitched them in a panic. Problem is, Cullie has never been on a real date. Naturally, enlisting her single mother and grandmother to help her with the research is the answer. From USA Today bestselling author Sonali Dev comes a heartfelt novel about three generations of hilarious, unconventional, ambitious women who embark on a shared journey of self-discovery. Join the Desai women as they come together to embrace the hijinks and heartbreak of facing their greatest fears to finally live their most vibrant lives

My take: 4.25 out of 5. I love Sonali Dev, as you have seen in the blog and Sonali Dev + Mindy Kaling seemed like a fabulous idea. It is! I loved the story, the intergenerational relationship and especially the bollywood story linked in the background. The characters were beautifully written an developed and I Wanted to sit around their dining room table eating food with them. A quick comfort read for the soul.

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