March 2022 Reads

This month, I read three books. First is the book they are hyping about on TikTok, The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. Second, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which Miel recommended. And lastly, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah was the book club picked for April.

Disclaimer: This post might contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding… six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

Rating: ★★★

Characters I love:
❇︎ Holden & MalcolmThese two characters stand out in this story. I mean, I would love to have best friends like them. I was thrilled that they got together.

Characters I want to love but…:
❇︎ Anh – She is a good friend to Olive, and I can see that. But I don’t like how she pushed Olive to Adam, you know. I know that she probably wants to help Olive out, but her actions made me feel like she was still concerned about her relationship with Jeremy. I don’t know how to explain this feeling, but I just can’t love her.

Characters I can’t/don’t/won’t love – period.:
❇︎ Tom – I don’t even want to talk about him.

Favorite Scene/Quotes:
My favorite scene was when Anh and Malcolm heard or found out about Tom’s a j*rk. Olive told Anh about her fake dating Adam, and her reaction was like, “Geez, I know that kiss was weird.” I like that there’s no more drama there. This scene proved the depth of friendship between these three.

Least Favorite Scene:
The spicy scene! I skimmed through the whole thing.

Overall Thoughts:
I think the story is cute, funny, and fluffy! I like it. I also believe that the spicy scenes were unnecessary for me to love this book. I would say that they could remove those scenes, and this book would still be good.

Additionally, the bonus chapter was also not necessary. I thought I would read about Adam’s feelings since the first time he met Olive, but no. The whole bonus chapter was his POV during the smut scene.

Burning Questions:
Does the author plan to write Holden and Malcolm’s story? I think it will be cute – minus the smut, of course.

Reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unkonown magazine reporter Monique Grant to write her story, no one is more astounded than Monique herslelf.

Determined to use this opportunity to jump-start her career, Monique listens in fascination. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to leaving show business in the ’80s– and, of course the seven husbands along the way— Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. But as Evelyn’s story nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own tragic and irreversible ways.

Rating: ★★★★★

Characters I love:
❇︎ Harry Cameron – You probably already know why I love Harry if you read the book. He’s a great friend, partner, husband to Evelyn, and father to Connor. 

Characters I want to love but…:
❇︎ Celia St. James – I think I love Celia at first. But when she started acting weird about Harry and Harry, I decided I couldn’t love her anymore. I understand her feelings and where she’s coming from – at least, I thought I did.

Favorite Scene/Quotes:
My favorite scene would be that one morning when Harry was spooning Evelyn, and I think Connor was also in bed with them. Evelyn and Harry are just perfect for each other, you know. I envy their genuine friendship, mutual love, and respect for each other.

Life Lessons (if there’s any):
Anyone is capable of doing anything and everything for money, power, fame, and love.

Overall Thoughts:
I love this book. I definitely did not see the ending coming. I was so heartbroken by what happened to Harry and Connor. But overall, this book is excellent.

The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion, and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France.




Rating: ★★★★★

Characters I love:
❇︎ IsabelleWho wouldn’t love the stubborn, vocal, opinionated, brave, and courageous Isabelle? I mean, she is a living example of an empowered woman.
❇︎ Gaetan – At first, I thought he was a total j*rk. Why wouldn’t he tell Isabelle he loved her? He loved her as much as she loved him. But he would not say it. I was starting to think that he was playing with her feelings. I was so frustrated! In the end, though, I fell in love with him!

Characters I want to love but…:
❇︎ Vienne – I understand her completely. But for most of the story, I was so disappointed with her. She’s pretty dumb. Not the dumb you think of, for God’s sake, she’s smart enough to be a teacher. But, I felt like she could not grasp their current situation, and she was still living in an illusion that everything would be alright if they sat back, did nothing, and followed the rules. I was annoyed. But I admire what she did for the children later on. That was brave of her. But I can’t love her still.

Favorite Scene/Quotes:
The time Julien told Isabelle, “I love you.”
The time Isabelle heard Gaetan say he loved her.
When Gaetan introduced his daughter to Vienne.

Life Lessons (if there’s any)

It’s tough for me to pick out a great life lesson without it conflicting with the other one.

First, let’s focus on Julien telling Isabelle he loved her. Julien is Vienne and Isabelle’s father. The only thing that Isabelle craves throughout the story is to be loved. However, when her father finally said it, he was about to get executed in place of Isabelle. Please read the book to find out why. I was heartbroken. Isabelle has been waiting for that moment, the moment her father would say he loved her. But after that, there’s no future for the two of them to make up for the lost times. Julien could not make up for the times he made his children feel like he did not love them. At the same time, Vienne and Isabelle were not allowed to bask in their father’s love.

The lesson here is that if you love someone, say it and show it before it’s too late.

However, there’s Gaetan.

Isabelle has been waiting for him to say it. Isabelle can feel his love. She’s aware of it, but Gaetan would not say it. So Isabelle hung on for her dear life and waited for Gaetan. Finally, she died in his arms when he said he loved her -literally died (passed away). She was waiting for him. I sobbed in this scene. It was heartbreakingly beautiful, you know.

The lesson here is a little conflicting with the first one. But, first, let’s not forget that the story took place during World War II. So, I understand why Gaetan would not confirm or tell Isabelle he loved her. Because in war, love would only cause people to hurt the very ones they want to protect most.

It’s complicated.

Overall Thoughts:
This is a heartbreakingly beautifully written story. It’s one of my top ten favorite books – meaning the 10th on my list had just become the 11th. This book kept me on edge while reading. I was there when the plane roared, and the bombs dropped. I was there when the fires were shot. I was there when they crossed the Pyrenees mountain. I was there in the concentration camp trying to survive. I was there in every heartbreaking moment of these characters. The author was so good at pulling you into the story, not giving you a way to get out. I was so into this story that it gave me nightmares. It still haunts me.

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