Reading Recap: February 2024

No Reservations by Sheryl Lister – No Reservations was the January book club pick of the month, and as always, it was a great and enjoyable read. No Reservations is the story of a group of four friends, Joy, Yvette, Diane, and Rochelle, who have become like sisters in the years of their friendship. The ladies unfortunately have to grieve the loss of Yvette, who on her deathbed, makes the group promise to take that vacation to Jamaica together like they always planned to renew their bond of sisterhood. All three promise to make the trip, and the story follows each of the women’s individual story prior to the trip. They all are going through their own issues with relationships, family, career, all of which Yvette had parting words of wisdom for to guide them. I loved the book! There’s just something about reading about a group of successful, Black women who get a happy ending. Though each of their challenges was unique to their own situations, they stuck together through it all and were there for each other no questions asked. It made me wish I had a friend group like that. The women and their bond was the best part of the story, with the men (except for Warren and Yvette’s husband) being the worst part.

The Stand-Up Groomsman by Jackie Lau – The Stand-Up Groomsman is the story of a stand-up comedian, Melvin Lee, whose actor best friend is getting married. His best friend’s fiance, Lindsay, asks her roommate Vivian to be one of her bridesmaids. Vivian is actually a big fan of Melvin and is quietly starstruck when she meets him. Except he ends up being a jerk to her on their first meeting, which soured her opinion of him and firmly put him in the asshole category vowing to minimize any interaction with him for the wedding. Except that Melvin is the best man and Vivian is a bridesmaid so they will have no choice but to interact more than Vivian would like for the sake of their friends. Despite thinking the dude is a jerk, she becomes attracted to him and debates whether to pursue those feelings. Vivian lives life on the straight and narrow and could be considered boring and quite frigid, whereas Melvin is the complete opposite. As she grapples with her attraction to Melvin, they become friends and in getting to know each other, her issues with family bubble to the surface where Vivian becomes conflicted about her decisions and potentially her future. I did enjoy the story, despite the fact that I felt that Vivian was too frigid for her own good; though I understand why she had her guard permanently up. While I’m not an eldest daughter with siblings to look after, I still related to her issue with her parents and their expectations of her as one of their children. Setting boundaries with immigrant parents is easier said than done. The book is a bit long and makes you wonder what’s going to happen with Vivian and Melvin, considering Lindsay and Ryan’s wedding happens towards the middle of the book.

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams – read my full review here!

The Sweetest Revenge by Lizzy Dent – The Sweetest Revenge is supposed to be a story about a woman taking back her career after a mishap that involved her then boyfriend. To me, this story was about a grown ass woman, Amy, running away from her problems, self inflicted, who tries to start over in London and refuses to take accountability for her actions until it’s almost too late. After breaking up with her boyfriend, who happened to be her boss, in a spectacular fashion that ended up going viral, she runs away to London in an attempt to start over, refusing to go back to see her family in New York out of sheer embarrassment. All is well and Amy considers jump starting her career with a new role at her current job, until it’s revealed that her ex would be her new boss. Again, she plans to run, until her bestie Maggie (and the only redeeming character in this book), talks her down the ledge in an attempt to get Amy to own up to her indiscretions and move her life forward. In short, Amy is a coward and didn’t turn things around until the last several pages of the story. Also wasn’t fond of Amy’s voice in the story. She’s supposed to be American but the author isn’t and it shows in how Amy’s voice is portrayed. It was confusing to read dialogue with someone who’s supposed to be American with someone British and it sounding exactly the same. A minor thing but it bothered me as I read.

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