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Lost In Pages: Book Reflections, April 2024 – The Heroine’s Journey

April Reads 2024

Hey beautiful, welcome to my new book reflections blog series Lost In Pages which is entirely focused on books and the world of fiction. This is gonna be so exciting.
But first…

…Let me introduce myself

Book Reflections

Hi, my name is Nadine, I’m German, and I love books. I lovely call myself a book nerd, bookworm, book fanatic…I also love writing, a lot! And I thought to myself why not bring those two hobbies or in my case: healthy addictions 🙊 together into one fun project. And that’s how Lost In Pages was born. It naturally happened while I was jotting down my April Review 2024, discussing the books I read that month.

My book reflections got quite lengthy this time and honestly grew out of proportion, so much so that it was even longer than my actual April review without the book review part. So, I needed a solution for that.
Well, sometimes you miss the forest for the trees, don’t you?! And then it hit me, I was like: “Of course, a monthly book reflection series!” And I got really excited, you know the kind that makes you want to jump for joy.

And what could be more fulfilling than sharing your passion with others, don’t you agree?! 😃

For a long time I stopped reading novels, for I was mainly into self-improvement, self-help, psychology and science books, but then in 2023 that slowly changed. And now I cannot stop. It’s as if I turned a part of myself back on again that I have put aside for years.

Here’s the full story about my journey back to reading novels. I wrote about it in my March review 2024 which was the first time that I actually included my monthly reads. It was just an impulse to do that. I followed that impulse and then it took a life on its own.

I honestly never thought I would write about books on my blog or ever. It never crossed my mind. Although I studied German Literature at university I never envisioned myself reviewing literature beyond that realm. Yet, here I am, reviewing, reflecting on, and writing about books. And I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoy it.

Rom-Coms & Co.

I adore rom-coms, so most of what I’ll share will revolve around romance and rom-coms.
However, I also have a soft spot for other contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and even science fiction. Let’s not overlook the classics either. 😉 But yes, my main focus will be on romance and rom-coms in my book reflections.

I’m not such a fan of Thrillers, Action, and Crime, and similar stuff, so you won’t find that here, but who knows…I might change my mind.

My love for African writers

I have a particular interest in British-Nigerian, Nigerian, British-Ghanaian, and many other African writers or writers with African background. These remarkable female authors bring such a unique and important perspective to literature, blending their cultural heritage with contemporary issues in a way that resonates with readers worldwide.
I love their captivating narratives, word-smithing so brilliantly stories that confront themes of identity, belonging, and the complexities of race with so much insight and sensitivity, I’m truly amazed. And I think we all could benefit from reading more of their books.

And oh man, can I just say once again that they are freaking brilliant writers?!
I love how the reader gets absorbed into the intricacies of racism in a way that is so understandable, that provokes thought and inspires very important conversations that challenge societal norms and promote understanding and empathy. It’s very healing.

Their voices enrich the literary landscape and offer a powerful platform for marginalized communities to be heard and valued, and of course I’ll be featuring and promoting them here.

The Power of Reading & The Mystery of Books

I truly believe that reading has the power to heal us, uplift our spirits, and instill self-belief. Reading is like embarking on an imaginary journey filled with infinite possibilities and diverse worlds we can learn from.
It is a teacher, a comforting companion that immerses us in the depths of our imagination and inner selves. It’s an escape from the mundane world, an escape into parts of ourselves that may have been laying dormant and want to be reignited.

I cannot wait to dive into all the goodies: I wish I could read them all – and all at once!

DISCLAIMER I:

I won’t put any author down, I also won’t give negative feedback. Writing is a form of art. And who am I to judge art. Everyone’s different. What I like is not necessarily what you like, and that’s fine. I think we should all agree on that. That’s why diversity is so important.
So, there’s no bashing someone here on this platform. That’s just not who I am. There’s Goodreads for that. I’m here to hype great authors and their work of art. If I happen to not like a book, then I just won’t mention it here. Simple as that. Respect for all authors. Here on this blog we speak the language of kindness, respect, and celebration.

DISCLAIMER II:

It’s likely that I will make mistakes in grammar, semantics, and spelling. English is my second language, so errors may will occur. Please bear with me. Thank you. 😃

DISCLAIMER III:

There will be spoilers. While I aim to avoid revealing too much, discussing key plot points is essential for a thorough book reflection. If spoilers are included, I will make sure to give a spoiler alert in advance.

So here are my book picks and book reflections for April 2024. My aim is to read at least one book per week if time allows.

Let’s dive into the world of fiction, shall we?

MAAME by Jessica George

(originally published: January 31, 2023; Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks, 400 pages [Paperback];
Audie Award for Fiction 2024; ALA Alex Award 2024; Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction and for Debut Novel 2023; Book of the Month Book of the Year Award 2023)

A Today Show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick!
And not a rom-com for sure. lol
Didn’t I just declare very loudly that I’ll be focussing on romance and rom-coms mainly? And here I am starting with this absolute masterpiece of contemporary fiction. You always gotta break your own rules, I’d say. 😉

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Book with yellow cover, showing an African Woman in a yellow blazer, with sunglasses and a beautiful afro. The book title is called "My Name is Maame" by Jessica George

What a great debut!

When I found myself yet again in my favorite book store, Dussmann, in Berlin, I came across this hidden gem that instantly captivated me. I mean look at the cover! I love it. Eye-catching and it makes you simply want to read it, doesn’t it?! A week later, I walked in there again (it’s my favorite store, you can tell lol) and left with a copy of that book. Couldn’t help it. It was haunting me a little bit, so I had to get a copy. I started reading it right away, and couldn’t put it down. A real page tuner!

Are you a recovering people-pleaser? Then this is a must read!

The author, Jessica George, skillfully portrays the various layers and facets of a people-pleasing young woman. The reader dives into the world of twenty-five-year-old British-Ghanaian Madeleine “Maddie” Wright, also called Maame by her mother. She works a low-paying, not fulfilling job in expensive London and lives at home, taking care of her father who has Parkinson’s disease.

Although her older brother could should lend a hand, he always finds excuses not to be there. Maddie’s mother could should assist her, but since Maddie was a young teen, her mother has been in and out of her life, residing far away in Ghana, managing a hostel she inherited, and returning to London only once a year or whenever it suits her.

Who is Jessica George

“Jessica George was born and raised in London to Ghanaian parents and studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield. After working at a literary agency and a theatre, she landed a job in the editorial department of Bloomsbury UK. Maame is her first novel.”

In an interview I saw, Jessica George mentioned how the character Maame originated from her reflections in her journal after her father’s passing from Parkinson’s disease. Maame is loosely based on George’s own experiences. And I love when you can sense that the writer’s been through these struggles and emotions firsthand. It’s a different kind of depth when a writer weaves in autobiographical elements in their work.

In the interview she also said that she’s written 5 books, so that sounds very promising to me.

When the protagonist is being challenged to change…

I love this about every hero’s/heroine’s journey: at some point they are being pulled out of their ordinary life and thrust into an unfamiliar, unknown, sometimes frightening adventure, where they must navigate challenges and conquer obstacles along the way.

The Heroine’s Journey

It is in these moments of uncertainty and growth that heroes/heroines truly shine. As they face their fears and push beyond their limits, they discover inner strength and resilience they never knew they possessed.
The journey transforms them, molding them into the courageous individuals capable of achieving greatness and inspiring others to do the same.
And that’s why reading is so important. It enriches our imagination, our capability to explore different perspectives, and our understanding of the world around us. Through books, we can travel to far-off lands, meet fascinating characters, and experience diverse cultures without ever leaving the comfort of our own home.

Madeleine’s heroine’s journey starts when Maddie’s mother returns to London, forcing her daughter to move out, simultaneously she just got fired. They say all things come in three… Something else happens that shakes Maddie’s world. I don’t want to give too much away, because I want you to read it. But I can say that: it’s a journey through grief, heartbreak and loss, and the strength and resilience one finds in the thick of it all.

Maame means mother or woman

In Twi Maame means ‘woman’ and ‘mother’. “Being a mother or woman before her time.”
I love the following passage from the book. I saved it as it perfectly encapsulates Maddie’s situation. It’s sad to read, yet powerful. And it’s also very relatable to some of us.

“It made me grow up when I should have had more time. It made my dad overlook me when I was a child, my mum leave me behind, and my brother get away with doing the bare minimum. It made me lonely and it made me sad. It made me responsible and guilty. It made me someone, if given the choice, I wouldn’t want to be.”

A true healing story – not just that of the main character…

…but that of the reader as well. Jessica George has a remarkable talent for portraying human emotions as both valid and beautiful. From humor to sadness, grief to hope, she captures a range of feelings, sometimes all at once, which I find absolutely ingenious. She can make readers laugh in one paragraph and then evoke tears in the next moment. I mean, wow!

Oh, I so rooted for Maddie when I was reading the book. I had to chuckle when Maddie decided to grow up and made a grow-up-Maddie-list. It was also quite poignant because she believed she had to act and do things a certain way to feel grown up and accepted, even if some of it would seem quite immature and naive to the reader.

I particularly admire how the author captures Maddie’s innocence throughout the entire story, showing that despite her journey and some missteps (for instance following some of the questionable things on the grow-up-Maddie-list), she never loses her essence, her innocence.

That reminds me of that regardless of how far we progress in life, no matter how much we distance ourselves from our true selves, despite others projecting their narratives, opinions, and expectations onto us, even when we feel disconnected from our core, our essence, our innocence, remains untouched and unbreakable.

‘Maame’ is the healing story of a young woman, finding herself and shedding the various perceptions others have imposed on her. Don’t we all know how that feels in one way or another? Haven’t most of us been there ourselves?
We can learn a lot from Maddie, her actions, her choices, her relationships, and how she reclaims herself.

We can learn from the other characters, too. The diverse cast of characters in this story provides a rich tapestry of lessons and insights. Each character brings a unique perspective and set of experiences to the narrative, allowing us to learn and grow alongside them.

We delve into their emotions, motivations, struggles, and triumphs. I love that about “Maame”: each character comes alive and even though there were characters not to be liked at first I could feel understanding and compassion for them (especially for her mother) through the brilliant storylines Jessica George manages to evoke.
It’s so relatable, it transforms you while reading it. When a novel achieves that then it’s a masterpiece. And this one is a masterpiece.

I can’t wait for Jessica George’s next book to be released.

Get yourself a copy of Maame – fast, fast, fast!

LOVE, THEORETICALLY by Ali Hazelwood

(originally published: June 13, 2023; Publisher: Sphere, 400 pages [Paperback];
Second place with with 96,439 votes in the Goodreads Choice Awards in the category Best Romance 2023)

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A female hand holding a book titled "Love, Theoretically" by the author Ali Hazelwood.

After The Love Hypothesis and Love On the Brain we got another rom-com masterpiece by the one and only – and my new favorite author (hands down!) – Ali Hazelwood.
In comparison to her other novels, ‘Love, Theoretically’ contains a significantly larger amount of scientific vocabulary.

I had to look up quite a lot of words because I don’t speak the language of a physicist 😄. But I don’t mind learning new things and vocabularies.
Hazelwood never ceases to amaze me: I said it before and I say it again: I wish I had her brain. She’s a genius with words and great storylines. She makes her characters come alive, and so relatable. And she’s funny, brilliantly funny, fresh and light! Simply love it!

This book is dedicated to all those who are recovering people pleasers. Can you spot the red thread? There is a common theme running through the book selections for this month.

Ali Hazelwood – Who’s that genius of a writer?

Ali Hazelwood is a scientist and holds a PhD in Neuroscience, which is brilliant in an of itself. She’s also a professor, but then she also writes romance novels. Like what?!

I admire the way she blends academia and STEM with romance. And there’s also a touch of healthy feminism included which I appreciate a lot.
Hazelwood once mentioned that academia was an ideal backdrop for romance. I could’ve never thought that this would actually work, but it works, perfectly so. She makes science a lot sexier and appealing. And maybe even more approachable(?).
What’s fascinating is her ability to delve into various scientific disciplines such as neuroscience, physics, and biology, given her own Ph.D. in neuroscience.

I love her brain, I admire her intellect and I am genuinely curious about how she juggles writing and publishing novels at such a rapid pace, alongside her roles as a professor and maintaining a personal life. I hope she’ll write about her energy and time management one day. I want to learn from her. I need to know her secret.

Many versions of one Elsie – ‘Which one would you like me to be?’

“Have I been doing it all wrong? Maybe instead of getting people to think that I’m worth their time, I should stop giving a shit about them?”

By day, Elsie is an adjunct professor striving for tenure, teaching thermodynamics and grading labs. In her other life, she moonlights as a fake girlfriend, tailoring her persona to suit her clients’ needs with finesse.

She’s always been the responsible one, the honest one, the one who takes care of everyone. Her mother doesn’t seem to be interested in her life, her father is so out of the game, ‘does she even have a father?’ one must think; and her younger twin brothers are simply a pain in the butt.

And that is why I love my April reads: they all have something in common. They all tell the stories of young women who don’t feel worthy enough to live their own lives, who don’t feel seen and appreciated, whose care and help are being taken for granted and who bend and flex their lives in order to accommodate other people’s expectations and needs.

“It’s easier like that, isn’t it? […] Never showing anyone who you really are. […] That way if something goes wrong, if someone rejects you, then it’s not about you, is it? When you’re yourself, that’s when you’re exposed. Vulnerable.”

Once more, the heroine’s world is being thrown into the unknown.

Elsie’s world is upended when she encounters Jack Smith, the alluring yet conceited older brother of a client who happens to be the physicist responsible for her mentor’s downfall. Jack, who oversees MIT’s physics department, stands in the way of Elsie’s career aspirations; well, at least this is what she thinks, and what makes her despite him even more.

Elsie gears up for an academic showdown with Jack, but unexpected emotions start to surface. Could Jack’s presence lead her to explore her guarded beliefs about love in a practical way?

There beautiful twists and turns in the storyline: some of them are obvious, others not so much.

And I honestly so appreciated the cameo of Olive and Adam from The Love Hypothesis. It was so cute and it warmed my heart; also getting a peak at their future plans together. Loved it. Thank you, Ali Hazelwood. Insiders will know what I mean by it. No spoilers! lol

Some of my favorite lines

(spoilers – skip this part if you can’t handle it 😄)

“Have you considered that maybe you’re already the way I want you to be? That maybe there are no signals because nothing needs to be changed”

“You could be my entire world,” he whispers in my ear before moving to my collarbone. “If you let me.”

“There is no universe in which I’m going to let you go. I want to be with you, on you, every second of every day.”

“I like to see you. When you’re not trying to be someone else.” – Jack

CHECK & MATE by Ali Hazelwood

(originally published: November 7, 2023; Publisher: Sphere, 368 pages [Paperback]
Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction 2023; She Reads Best of Award for Young Adult 2023)

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.5)

Romance novel by Ali Hazelwood, titled Check & Mate.

I was hesitant when I first held this book in my hands. It was actually the one Ali Hazelwood book that I wanted to read first because of the title, and I loved the cover a lot as well. – Yea, book covers are important, so much so that it determines whether the book is a make or break. And may I add at this point that I’m very pleased with the book covers for romance. Fortunately, they have transformed from odd, bare-chested male models to stunning pieces of artwork. This had to be said. –

Then at the bookstore, when I held in my hands, I read that it was a YA novel (but also amazing for OA), and I must admit that put me off a little. So I decided to read it another time, ‘I’ll surely read it, just not today.’ And I intuitively went for The Love Hypothesis (which was Hazelwood’s debut novel).
But here I am now with this beautiful novel in my hand and I loved it.

Chess can be sexy

After watching the Queen’s Gambit I was truly intrigued about the world of chess. And when I read Check & Mate, I felt a similar sensation. Not that I understood much of it but that was not the point – even though I think that knowing about chess makes you read this book in a different way. But I liked my way, and it was enough for me. Maybe, someday.
I might even start playing chess, because I’m honestly that intrigued. I once tried my luck many, many years ago, but it was too boring, probably because I haven’t had the right teacher.

So, thank you, Ali Hazelwood, for bringing chess to so many women, thank you for making it sexy.

Important topic for Women’s Rights

Speaking about women in chess: a huge and important topic that deserves to be discussed more openly, since women in chess continue to face significant misogyny, sexism, and unfair treatment.
The sport remains predominantly male-dominated, making it disheartening to witness women having to exert three times more effort than men to demonstrate their skills. In reality, if women have to work three times as hard as men, it signifies that they are three times better than men, doesn’t it?
I’m glad that Hazelwood raises more awareness about this topic.

Mallory – Adulting too soon

Mallory began her chess journey at the age of 5 and developed a deep passion for it. Chess consumed her life, it was her life, leading her to excel and become one of the best players. However, a series of traumatic events prompted her to walk away from chess at 14. The game reminded her too much of her father, causing immense pain and sadness, evoking memories she wished to avoid. At that age, she made a vow to never play chess again.

Nevertheless, at 18, after four years of abstinence, she is unexpectedly compelled to play once more. This rekindles all the suppressed emotions and memories she had long tried to escape.

She’s being offered to play chess for good money, money that she desperately needs in order to pay all the bills that have been piling up, and so she’s gotta take it even though she swore that she’d never play again.
And there she is: facing one of the most important games of her life.

The Self-Sacrificer

She cares for her 2 younger sisters and her sick mother, working as a mechanic, and trying to make ends meet. It’s hard. She’s exhausted, and now she has even lost her job. But the mortgage is due, this one and the one from the previous month. How can she get out of this disaster?
The reader might ask how she’s the only one being responsible for taking care of her family. And that is a valid question, and it will be answered throughout the story.

She has sacrificed her young adult life in order to take care of her family, maybe as being part of the escape from her former life, the one which she loved and in which everything was good, or maybe because she was not yet ready to face her grief and the loss she experienced, or maybe all of it.

“In my experience, commitment leads to expectations, and expectations lead to lies, and hurt, and disappointment-stuff I’d rather not experience, or force others to experience.

Her heart is guarded but she cannot escape her feelings when Nolan, her strongest competitor, appears in her life. Her little world of walls and self-protection starts to crumble.

Spoiler Alert: A young love story

Since it’s a rom-com there must be a love story hidden somewhere, right? So it’s obvious that there’s something unfolding between Mallory and Nolan. But how, that I leave up to you to explore. I want you to read this book – yes, YA novel but still so relatable. You won’t regret it!

Some of my favorite lines:

“He told me once that sometimes, with some people, it’s not about winning or losing, That with some people, it’s just about playing. Though for the longest time, I didn’t really believe him.”

“I look at him looking at me, and overflow with something I cannot put a name to. “Because when I’m with you, Mallory, everything is different. When I’m with you, I want to play more than I want to win.”

HAPPY PLACE by Emily Henry

(originally published April 25, 2023; Publisher: Penguin Book UK; 385 pages [Paperback];
First place with with 157,687 votes in the Goodreads Choice Awards in the category Best Romance 2023; She Reads Best of Award for Romance 2023)

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Book by Emily Henry titled "Happy Place"

Oh, Emily Henry, I knew it would become a lovestory when I first encountered your books at the bookstore. But I approached you with lots of consideration and even some hesitation. Probably because I felt it in my heart and bones that once I started reading your books, I can’t stop reading. I knew I would be forever in love. lol

You know, when you read a book and you are already grieving the moment it will end, even though you’re only half way through? But you can’t wait to get to the end fast enough because you are rooting for the protagonist so much, and you need to know how this all ends? Yes, that’s how I was feeling while reading Happy Place.
This book was my happy place. I didn’t know how much I needed to read this novel until I was reading it. I devoured it, voraciously. I was enveloped in a warm embrace; throughout the entire time, I was completely absorbed in its story. And I cannot recommend it enough when you love romance.

More than just a romance!

But don’t be fooled: this is not just a novel about romantic love, this is a story about so much more: It explores friendships, the deep bonds we form with each other; it’s about healthy and fractured families, about loss and grief, about mental health and healing, about discovering one’s purpose, following your heart, and embracing life’s challenges.
This book will resonate with all my ladies who understand the struggle of people-pleasing. Do you notice the recurring theme here – yet again?

“I don’t think she’s never totally understood why I find it easier to fulfill other people’s expectations than to set my own.”

There were moments I had to put down the book, not because it got boring or I had other important things to do (even though I had to, trust me, but we’re talking about book passion here: when you’re in it, like truly in it with your every fiber and every inch of your being, you cannot just stop. Do you feel me on this one? ;)) but because I suddenly was overcome by a wave of all sorts of emotions that is hard to even describe. Oh, and I cried!

It was as if I was feeling every character’s emotions and my own simultaneously, and I was somehow in my own little universe of memories: the what-ifs, the could’ve-beens, the should’ve-beens, the what-was’, all the many past possibilities, the regrets and yearnings; feeling and reminiscing all of my former versions who were trying to do and figure out life, trying to belong, trying to find their place, and most of all searching for home.

Gosh, this novel!!!

The Plot

Harriet and Wyn used to be a couple. Like the couple. They dated for over 8 years until one horrible night when Wyn broke up with Harriet in a four-minute phone call. All of a sudden. Out of the blue. Everything changed in a split second.
Shock.
Denial.
The love of her life gone.
Totally heartbroken Harriet tries to get over Wyn. But how can you unlove someone your heart truly loves?

Five months later they both find each other at the cottage of their best friend’s Sabrina. They all get together once again, as they would always do every year for the past decade: Harriet, Wyn, Sabrina, Parth, Cleo, and Kimmy. The unbreakable pack.
But Harriet has no clue that Wyn would be there, too. And the rest of the group has no clue that Wyn and Harriet broke up. They didn’t want to break the hearts of their friends.

The reason why Sabrina asked all of them to come to the cottage at this particular time is because she breaks the news that her father who owns the cottage has sold it, and that this would be the last time at their Happy Place together. She and Parth, they’ve been together for years, also have other important news to tell everybody. Consequently, Harriet and Wyn, who parted ways five months ago, must pretend to be together to keep their recent breakup a secret.

And of course over the period of their stay they have to share a room together, like couples do. Not hard at all, right?! Especially when you’re heartbroken and have not talked to the person who have caused it for five months. Easy-peasy!

But everything takes a turn, and things are being revealed over time, and maybe nothing was as it seemed five months ago, and maybe there’s hope. Because LOVE.

Harriet and Wyn – A Love Story unlike any other …

…that pulls the strings of your heart. If you’re not ready for this kind of romance, soul-mate romance, then don’t read it, although you will miss out.

I don’t want to spoil the story for you, that is why I’m holding back strong, and that is also why I cannot go into further detail, unless I change my mind some day and I will edit this chapter. But for now I want to keep it a beautiful world to explore for you.
This novel will take you on a journey to your heart, stirring up many feelings and emotions. I love when a story does that. Then you know it’s good one.

Some of my favorite lines

I would like to take a moment to celebrate the love between Harriet and Wyn, as well as the strong bond among the six friends and the personal growth they have experienced. Among the many highlighted passages, I would like to share the following with you:

In this one I love how Harriet loves Wyn so truly, so passionately, so deeply with all of her heart:

“Every time he offers me more of him, it gets harder not to have it all.”

And it that one where it shows the love Wyn has for Harriet.

“‘No’, he says quietly, ‘in every universe it’s you for me, even if it’s not me for you.'”

And then that moment when she goes down the memory lane; the time when she met his family for the first time many years ago, feeling nervous they might not like her, but then being in the safety of Wyn who comforted her all the way through. Yea, this kind of love:

“My face goes beet red, but everyone is laughing, talking over one another, and Wyn is kissing the side of my head again, squeezing me against him on the couch, and I feel like I’m finally there, that place I’ve always wanted to be, the other side of the lit kitchen windows I could see from my childhood street, where rooms are filled with love and noise and squabbling.”

And the moment that reveals how strong she still feels for him. Whoever has once truly loved in their life can deeply feel this one, how hard it is to let them go:

“I need space. I need air. I need hours of hypnotherapy to erase him from my nerve endings.”

When Harriet is at the pottery store, doing pottery:

“At first, I mistake the sting for sweat catching in my lashes. Only when I feel the warm trails cutting down my cheeks do I realize I’m crying.
A different kind of crying from the wide variety of it I’ve done this week.
Not sobs. Not tears quaking out of me. A slow, quiet overflow of feeling.
I give a sniffy laugh but keep my hands where they are, shaping this beautiful, delicate thing for no reason other than my own joy.”

And the when Wyn finds Harriet at the pottery store, and she explains to him what making pottery has taught her (what a great metaphor!):

“‘I think what’s hard about it’, I say, ‘is that you need to do less than you realize. And overthinking and trying so hard to control it messes it up. At least in my experience.'”

After Cleo and Harriet find Sabrina at the chapel where her mother and father got married many years ago, and all of them experience a healing and a new beginning of their friendship.

“Like even when something beautiful breaks, the making of it still matters.”

The moment when Harriet finally stands up for herself to her mother (in the most loving but honest way)

“‘I don’t want to live my life like it’s a triathlon and all that matters is getting to some imaginary ribbon. I want my life to be like––like making pottery. I want to enjoy it while it’s happening, not just for where it might get me eventually.'”

Who is that Queen of Romance called Emily Henry?

Emily Henry is the #1 New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of Happy Place, Book Lovers, People We Meet On Vacation, Beach Read, and her latest novel Funny Story. “She lives and writes in the American Midwest.”
Short, precise, and sums it all up.
I think she’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
And I cannot wait to read more of her books. I’ve already picked my next read. Which you can find below in my Book Picks for May 2024
I think she’s becoming my new, favorite author of rom-coms.

Some more Book Recommendations for you

  • The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder
    I read this book 17 years ago, when I was 22 years young, and I only remember how wonderful it was. I will read it again soon, and see how it maybe lands differently after all of those years. I’ll review it for sure.
  • Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho
    Paulo Coelho, the renowned novelist and one of my favorites, has truly mastered his craft! I am considering writing additional book reviews for all his works, especially after being captivated by “Eleven Minutes” which I couldn’t put down when I first read it in my twenties. I am definitely planning to revisit that one, too.

Book Picks for May 2024

The random book generator has decided – woohoo! Here are the books that I’ll be reading in May 2024 (subject to change):

  • Beach Read by Emily Henry
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez
  • surprise reveal(s)

Gentle Reminder: If you purchase books, please remember to support your local book stores! 😃

Tell me your favorite reads

What books did you read in April? Please comment below and let me know. Let’s inspire each other. And who knows maybe I pick one of your book choices for June. 😃

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