Book of The Month Book Reviews

Monthly Book Reviews: October 2019

This month’s books are both from Book of the Month, but neither are one of the actual October choices. I just wasn’t into any of this month’s selections (no thrillers for October? 😭) so they let me chose a member favorite which is how I ended up with Well Met!

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

My mom has been begging me to read The Devil in the White City since she loved it and I expressed interest in it (its been on my to read list for awhile). I will say I was a little hesitant at first since it does have some mixed reviews and is a bit long, and is also a nonfiction which isn’t really a genre I read much of. The novel follows 2 real events that take place concurrently in Chicago during the late 19th century (which is honestly my favorite time period to read about – I got a lot of vibes from The Alienist in this one). The one story-line follows the Chicago World’s Fair – its inception, construction, and execution – and the many challenges that were met along the way in getting it off the ground and ensuring its success. There are a number of people that are detailed in these parts of the story (too many?) but Daniel Burnham, the fair’s main architect, is the most heavily featured. The second (and much more engrossing) story-line follows serial killer H. H. Holmes’s time in Chicago during the fair and how he was able to pull off his crimes. He uses the fair’s status to lure in and later murder a number of people, mostly young women. Its definitely horrifying to read about how he got away with doing this for such a long time without arousing suspicion. Both plots alternate chapters, but I was much more into the Holmes plot than the Fair’s for most of the book. About halfway through, the Fair plot picked up quite a bit, but it was a bit of a slough early on. For most of my time spent reading it, I was ready to give it 3 starts, but ended up giving it a 4 once I made it though. I think this would be a fantastic adaptation (and it will be!…I can totally see Leo playing Holmes) and maybe something I’d enjoy a bit more than the book itself.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Well…compared to my previous book, this was almost as big of a downgrade on the intellectual level as you can get…but it was exactly what I needed. Short and sweet! This is the second romance book I’ve read this year (who am I??) and I will say I much preferred this to The Kiss Quotient. This cute little rom-com follows Emily as she moves to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland to help her older sister rebuild her life after getting into a car accident. While in Willow Creek, she joins her teenage niece, Caitlin, in volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire playing a “tavern wench”. The Faire’s main organizer, Simon, a stuffy and serious English teacher, gets on her nerves immediately, but when he transforms into Captain Blacktorn the Pirate, she starts to feel differently. I loved the whole feel of this book, and it really made me want to go to the PA Renaissance Fair! While I’ve never been in a theater/ren faire type of group, the characters reminded me a lot of the fun people I knew in marching band, and the author was able to capture that sense of community really well. Despite this being a bit of a fluff novel (which is what I wanted/expected), I did really find myself relating a lot to Emily’s character and her past relationship. This is also a lot less racy than The Kiss Quotient for sure haha. If you’re looking for a nice, light palette cleanser between heavier reads, definitely pick this one up!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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