- The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesay
I spent the majority of this book (which was provided to me by the publishers) convinced I'd never be able to decide which way to round from 3.5. The ending, however, didn't fit with my preferences and I ended at 3 stars. I do like that Gemma isn't made into a paragon of perfection, she has and acknowledges faults. I just don't tend to be a fan of too much literary magic. But, I know that sometimes fits with the type of novels that inspired this story so others might feel differently. I'd also have liked to see some of the characters more fully fleshed out. It was a nice read, but just not one I see myself passing on or revisiting in the future.
- First You Try Everything by Jane McCafferty
I wasn't quite sure how I'd feel about this novel as I progressed. There's a key story element that I won't reveal but that I just didn't enjoy at all. Despite that, I am giving this novel (provided to me by Harper) a solid four stars for the deep psychological study of a woman shaken to the core. The author shows that the roots of Evvie's disturbance went deep (vs. having her just crack one moment) and I think both partners are well explored. I'd very much like to remove the one storyline that felt like too much of an add-in (I can see how the author got caught by the concept, just think it'd be a better novel without it) but it is a worthwhile read as it stands. Good for folks who like compelling character-driven studies of personality and psychology.
- Ali in Wonderland and Other Tall Tales by Ali Wentworth
Unfortunately, this just didn't fire right for me. I was amused but never in a laugh-out-loud fashion and I never felt like I could really relate to Ali. I'd go with 2.5 stars given the option. I'll round up to fit the full-star needs of the review sites and because I certainly never debated abandoning ship. It just never quite spoke to me and it lacked the "girlfriend gab" aura I had hoped to find.