“Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng

★★★★☆

Everything I Never Told YouEverything I Never Told You is a book that by all accounts, I shouldn’t have liked. I don’t typically like the full family history, the set in the past, or the racial tension type books. But whoa. This book was beautifully sad. I felt so bad for all of the characters. They were all so unhappy with their lives. The parents had so many issues and a lot of them were due to their own choices.

Marilyn and James tried so hard to have happy, successful lives, but something always got in the way of their happiness. They both had challenging childhoods that were very influential on who they became as adults.

The children had hard lives, always trying to get praise or a smile from their parents. Nath was largely neglected by his father, the only one he wanted approval from. Lydia couldn’t be what her mom wanted her to be, and she felt misunderstood by her father. And little Hannah, poor Hannah – always underestimated for her level of comprehension of situations (much like many youngest children).

When Lydia goes missing, her family must try to stick together to figure out what happened to her. Then, Lydia is found dead in the lake. Her family is shocked – this is the catalyst for their falling apart. Everything I Never Told You follows their stories, before the children were born, after they were born, and after Lydia’s death. It spans a wide timeline, but it is beautifully woven and was really a sad, profound book.

I listened to this book on Audible. The narrator was engaging and easy to listen to, with her soft voice saying all of the sad things in the book.

Purchase the book here.

“Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling

★★★★★

New release Tuesday!
Why Not Me?Why Not Me? is a funny collection of essays that has the perfect balance of wit, humor, and candor that Kaling is known for. In the book, you will find great tidbits from her work on The Office and The Mindy Project, stories about her relationships with various celebs (being soupsnakes with BJ Novak, offending unnamed pop stars, etc.), and her tips for looking like a movie star and various dieting mishaps. In addition, there are some great inspirational pieces that (of course) manage to stay hilarious, such as her tips on confidence and her commencement speech to Harvard.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?This book won’t change your life (and if this is what you’re expecting, you don’t know Mindy), but Mindy Kaling shows incredible growth from Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? and passion for what she does and what she stands for.

The unabridged audio version of Why Not Me? is highly entertaining as Kaling reads it herself. However, it should also be noted that there are pictures in the physical book that are not made available to the listener.

Purchase the book here.

“The Wicked Girls” by Alex Marwood

★★★★☆

I listened to this book on Audible. Recommended.

The Wicked GirlsJade and Belle are 11 year olds from different worlds. When they meet, they immediately hit it off. But things go wrong when they end up killing 4-year-old Chloe. Flash forward to the present — both girls have been given new identities to protect them from the angry mobs that want them killed. Amber Gordon works at a water park in a tourist town, and Kirsty Lindsay is a well-known freelance journalist. Their worlds collide when a serial killer strikes in Amber’s town and Kirsty is sent to report on it.

The Wicked Girls is a fast-paced thriller that tells not only the present-day story of Amber and Kirsty, but also flashes back to see what really happened that fateful day with poor, innocent Chloe. Sometimes, circumstances aren’t what they seem — but sometimes, everything isn’t what it seems. A twisted look at murder, justice, and journalism.

Purchase the book here.