Book Reviews

Read With Us: Brooke Davis

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 

★★★★★ 5/5

Thought-provoking, Hopeful, Funny

This story is so ordinary yet, at the same time, so extraordinary. Eleanor Oliphant keeps to herself, lives in the same routine day to day and week to week, and doesn’t really seek excitement or variety. As she narrates her life, we slowly learn more about her and realize that she is dealing with the weight of her past in more ways than one. To quote my favorite sit-com, New Girl, this novel will make you feel a “Taylor Swift-like range of emotions,” from humor to empathy to self-reflection. Eleanor’s thoughts are so relatable they are often funny, and her growth from beginning to end and newfound ability to stand up for herself and for what she wants will leave you immensely happy. I’m definitely not speaking from experience on this or anything… but you may even close the book with tears in your eyes.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley 

★★★★★ 5/5

Exciting, Creepy, Explosive

If I have ever talked with you about books, I’ve likely urged you to read this one. This novel is what got me into the thriller and suspense genre, and now I’m never going back. Taking place on an island off the coast of Ireland, Foley’s NYT Bestseller follows the festivities of a celebrity wedding, both the typical stresses and some unexpected murdery ones. Buckle up and prepare to do nothing but read until you reach the end of this one; it’s that good.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini 

★★★★★ 5/5

Heartbreaking, Beautiful, Human

If you are at all familiar with Khaled Hosseini, you know that this book is bound to squeeze your heart and change your life. I tell the truth when I say that this book got me into reading for enjoyment when I first read it in my senior year of high school. A Thousand Splendid Suns takes place in Afghanistan during a period of war and political conflict. The story follows the lives of two women, one born a generation after the other, who are brought together by unjust circumstances and forced to overcome their differences for the sake of their children’s and their own safety. Without giving too much away, this book smashes the all-too-human tendency to hold a grudge or place selfish desires over empathy and unity. It is a masterpiece, as are each of Hosseini’s other three novels.

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

★★★★★ 5/5

Poignant, Timeless, Chilling

A follow-up to Heather Morris’ The Tattooist of Auschwitz and based on a true story, this novel sheds light on one woman’s time in a Siberian prison camp directly after being liberated from Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Soviet Union. This story is extremely heartbreaking and often difficult to get through, but Cilka’s endurance and never-ceasing care for others over herself are more than inspiring. Whether you pick up this novel or “Tattooist” first, prepare for a beautiful story of love, hard truth, and the struggle to survive in the most unthinkable of circumstances.

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