The Best Books for Spring Break
I love to read, and there’s nothing like relaxing on the beach with a good book. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of my top five picks for the best books for spring break in case you are in search of recommendations for some oceanside reading. Check out my reviews and see what sounds good to you. Additional information on each book is available by clicking on the pictures or following the links. Happy Reading!
You’ve probably already heard me sing Liane Moriarty’s praises – I’ve pretty much loved everything she’s written, and What Alice Forgot doesn’t disappoint. It’s a thought-provoking story told with humor that basically asks the question “if the you from 10 years ago woke up today, would you be surprised with how things turned out?” The main character, Alice, wakes up in the hospital after an accident at the gym, and the last thing she remembers is being 29, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine her surprise when she is told that she is actually 39, about to get a divorce, has three kids, and has stopped talking to her sister. The amnesia lingers after she is released from the hospital, and Alice fumbles to fit in to her new life (often with hilarious consequences) while trying to piece together how she became a person so completely unrecognizable to herself. This is one of those books that draws you in from the very beginning and keeps you turning the pages to find out if Alice will get a second chance at the life she thought she was going to have. (I just found out that What Alice Forgot is going to be made into a movie, so read it now before it comes out in theaters!)
Before Jen Lancaster was a bestselling author, she wrote a laugh-out-loud funny blog that chronicled all of the daily adventures and mishaps in her life with a snarkiness that let you know she’s the kind of person who isn’t afraid to say what we are all thinking. She was given the opportunity to channel her humor into writing a memoir, and then wrote six more (covering everything from her life in Chicago to her attempts at living like Martha Stewart for a year). I was actually lucky enough to attend two of her book signings back when we were living outside of DC, and she’s just as hilarious in person as she is in writing – definitely someone who would be fun to sit down and have a glass (or two) of wine with. She eventually segued into writing fiction, and Here I Go Again has been my favorite so far. It uses a bit of magical realism to give the main character, Lissy, a chance to get karma on her side by going back in time to her high school days and attempting to right all of the wrongs she inflicted while abusing her queen-bee status. This one is especially entertaining for anyone who went to high school in the 80’s!
Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner is different from many love stories I’ve read in the past. In this novel, the main characters, Rachel and Andy, meet when they are just 8 years old in an ER waiting room. They are there under very different circumstances – Rachel was born with a congenital heart defect, and Andy is all alone with a broken arm. After talking to each other briefly, they assume they will never see each other again. Over the years, though, they have chance meetings, and as teenagers they develop a romantic connection. The book spans 30 years, so we get to know the characters as kids, teenagers, and eventually adults. It’s told from the point of view of both Rachel and Andy in alternating chapters – I’m always impressed when an author can change perspectives like this and keep me feeling connected to both characters, and Jennifer Weiner does a fabulous job of bringing you into their world.
Elisabeth Egan is a first time novelist (she is also the Books Editor at Glamour magazine, so she knows her stuff), and after reading A Window Opens I’m really hoping she has another book coming out soon. It’s full of funny, nod-your-head-yes moments that we’ve all been through, while diving into deeper issues like trying to balance work and family, and the struggle of watching your parents age. The main character, Alice Pearse, starts out as a happy wife and mother of three who has a part-time job she loves and is fairly confident that she has found a way to “have it all”. But then her husband makes an unexpected career change, and Alice decides she needs to find a full-time job to keep the family afloat. As all of this is happening, her father gets seriously ill, and Alice tries hard to be there to support him and her mother, while still being an attentive wife and mom. For me I felt like this was a fast read – the plot moves quickly and throws in a few unexpected twists, and Alice is easy to relate to as she tries to define what truly “having it all” means to her.
Wedding Girl by Stacey Ballis tells the story of a trendy pastry chef named Sophie Bernstein who has her sights set on marrying the man of her dreams and fulfilling her professional goal of opening a high-concept restaurant, but instead unexpectedly ends up living with her Grandmother (a feisty lady Sophie calls “Bubbles” who you’ll love) and working at the old-fashioned neighborhood bakery. She’s pushed further out of her comfort zone when she becomes good friends with a frazzled customer in need of a wedding cake. Sophie calms down the nervous bride-to-be with her no-nonsense advice, and eventually gets talked into taking on the job of an anonymous online consultant for wedding-related predicaments. Through this role, she develops a flirty online banter with one of her clients – a man seeking advice on throwing his friend’s bachelor party. Even though life is not turning out as Sophie had planned, she starts to redefine what it is that she really wants, and I definitely found myself rooting for her to find her happily ever after. If you’re a fan of You’ve Got Mail you will love this one.
Check out more great books at the Carpool Book Club link-up party!
What are some of your must-read books right now? Comment below and let me know what I should read next!