Great Reads

The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

Publish Date:
Elin Hilderbrand

Goodreads Summary:
From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, a summertime story about identical twins who couldn’t be any less alike.

Nantucket is only two and a half hours away from Martha’s Vineyard by ferry. But the two islands might as well be worlds apart for a set of identical twin sisters who have been at odds for years. When a family crisis forces them to band together — or at least appear to — the twins slowly come to realize that the special bond that they share is more important than the sibling rivalry that’s driven them apart for the better part of their lives. A touching depiction of all the pleasures and annoyances of the sibling relationship, Elin Hilderbrand’s next New York Times bestseller, THE IDENTICALS proves once and for all that just because twins look exactly the same doesn’t mean they’re anything alike.

My Review:
I tried reading a Hilderbrand novel some point last year. I was not a fan and although so many people always reccommend her books, I’ve steered clear of reading anything else from her. I decided to read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and I was having a hard time getting into it. Because of this, I decided to start what I would consider a lighter read to enjoy in the car. Looking through available reads in my Libby app from the library, I came across The Identicals. I decided, why not?

With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised. I got into the book quicker than I expected and also quite enjoyed it. I believe that Hilderbrand is good to pick up when you’re looking for a lighter read. The Identicals had some pretty heavy topics but the way Hilderbrand writes, the topics seem much lighter than they actually are. This is good and I believe it is a perfect beach read. This isn’t a bad thing! Sometimes, beach reads are just what I want and these types of reads have their own following!

I wouldn’t pick up The Identicals if you’re looking for a heavy, page-turning, shocking text. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it and found myself opening it whenever I had a chance. I laughed a bunch, felt connected to the text (even though I’m not from Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket), and really felt like Hilderbrand left me wanting more.

Great Reads

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Hello and Happy New Year!!! For those of you wondering if I’m alive, I am! I’ve been super busy with my new job but in a really good way. I enjoy it a ton but I never have a second to myself during the day. BUT before we went on Christmas break, I went overboard and did a bunch of work early so today I actually have a free second. With resolutions flying around, I don’t like making them because I never truly stick to them; however, this year I’d like to get back to more regularly posting because it truly did make me happy. Being off this last week allowed me to emerge myself in some reading again and it felt great. With that being said, I finished 91 books for the 2019 year! I would be happy to reach even half of that goal with my busy schedule for 2020 but we’ll see! So, here’s a review for a book I DID actually finish recently!






Publish Date: 10/8/19
Kim Liggett

Goodreads Summary:

A speculative thriller in the vein of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Power. Optioned by Universal and Elizabeth Banks to be a major motion picture!


No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

My Review:
MAJOR UNPOPULAR OPINION HERE: I DISLIKED The Handsmaid’s Tale. I went into this a little weary because it’s been compared to it. BUT I have recently found more of a love for Dystopian and Fantasy reads. They’re not usually what I go for but recently I’ve been craving them so with The Grace Year popping up EVERYWHERE, I figured why the hell not?! So onto what I thought… QUESTIONS! THIS BOOK HAS LEFT ME WITH SO MANY QUESTIONS! Why is The Grace Year an actual thing? What has happened to make this world so primitive? What started these horrific traditions? ANSWERS…NONE. The book works and you don’t actually need any of these clarifying questions to understand it but it’d be nice to understand what occurs in this world to lead to The Grace Year.

I’ve seen a ton of wonderful reviews for the book and I’m not knocking them. I enjoyed the story but I felt a little underwhelmed. Tierney and Ryker’s relationship felt like it needed more clarification and was underdeveloped for what it turned into. I also felt like with such a wrenching premise, that more could have been added to keep me at the edge of my seat. The first 150 pages or so for me was a roller coaster. I would get interested, something would happen, and then I would be bored again. This happened again and again but the interesting parts were just enough for me to keep flipping those pages.

More questions that I felt could have been answered without adding more layers to the story…  What made Kiersten so evil? I want to know more other than the obvious reasoning. And why did the girls so blindly follow her as a leader? These questions took a bit away for me. Because of this, I felt like character development was underwhelming. And Hans! His character development was lacking as well. His entire character was underused in my opinion which left me wanting more from him as well.

I really teeter tottered with what to actually rate the book because I wasn’t blown away for a five star read and I wasn’t underwhelmed enough for a three star read. For me I felt like there could have been so much more. The last 125 or so pages really redeemed the book for me. It got super interesting and crazy in my opinion but again, I feel like the book could have been this good in its entirety.

Overall, I recommend the read for the insight.