Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
jesseastin

jesseastin

Joined January 2017

Trying to make a dent in my ever-growing "books I want to read" list.
review
jesseastin
The It Girl | Ruth Ware
post image
Pickpick

I enjoyed the academic mystery that takes place at a college in Oxford and I liked how the story alternated between “Before” and “After”, but the protagonist got on my nerves, at least during the majority of the book. I kind of wanted to yell at her to get her act together and report the creepy porter activity. There was so much avoidance on her part. I like my heroines a little more badass, but overall, I enjoyed the read and author.

review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

Two sisters, intense helicopter parenting and one horrific lapse in judgment that has reverberating consequences for the extended families. I loved this book, probably because of the sister connection. I‘m super close with my sisters. Even though I can‘t relate to the lifestyles, I get the urge to want to give your child advantages. I really enjoyed this book.

review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

Engaging story about a writer whose optimistic world of “happily ever after” comes crashing down when she learns some harsh truths about her father. I especially enjoyed the entertaining banter between the protagonist and her neighbor. It‘s an enjoyable read with more depth than a usual romance novel.

review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

This was a thought-provoking book about regrets in life and second chances. It‘s about parallel life lines and how choices, both big and small can change a life‘s trajectory. One of the women in my mom‘s book club decided to move to Chicago, partly because she was inspired after the group read this book. She didn‘t want to regret not living in a city again. I enjoyed this read.

blurb
jesseastin
Uglies | Scott Westerfeld
post image

It‘s the second trip to Powell‘s bookstore this week during a visit with family in Portland, Oregon. My niece loves dystopian fiction and I remember reading this series years ago. Bought her a combo copy with both Uglies and Pretties (books 1&2) together in one book. I hope she likes it.

BookishMarginalia 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 1y
17 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
jesseastin
Any Way the Wind Blows | Rainbow Rowell
post image
Pickpick

Just finished this absolutely satisfying last book in the trilogy. Simon and Baz‘s story progresses exactly as I‘d hoped. I could have cared less about the side story with Agatha. That character has bored me silly since the start of the books.Penelope and her Normal boyfriend‘s adventures to get him out of his accidental engagement to a demon is pure gold, absolutely hilariously entertaining.I finished this series with a happy sigh of contentment

review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

Charming YA told from two alternating viewpoints of teenagers from a recently blended family. Smart,socially awkward Stewart and mean girl Ashley are forced to adapt to new family and school situations. It deals with family, loss, bullying, and sexual assault, but the overall tone is very amusing. The two narrators are very funny, usually unintentionally, and even though the mean girl is really unlikeable, she shows the most emotional growth.

LiteraryinLawrence I really liked this one! This author was new to me and I went on to read a few more of her books. 2y
13 likes1 comment
review
jesseastin
Midnight Sun | Stephenie Meyer
post image
Mehso-so

Is it a guilty pleasure reading this book? I suppose I‘m impressed by the mileage the author has gotten from retellings of the sparkly vampire trope. I enjoyed the background of the original story through Edward‘s eyes, although I found his angst and guilt feelings repetitive. I enjoyed the book enough to finish it.

review
jesseastin
Switch | Beth O'Leary
post image
Pickpick

An absolutely charming book—I liked it as much as her previous book, The Flat Share. Grandma in rural Yorkshire trades lives with Londoner granddaughter. It‘s told in alternating points of view and both protagonists are absolutely marvelous. It‘s about dealing with grief, family, change, and being brave. There are wonderful ancillary characters, too. A little romance, but not the main focus at all.

review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

It‘s rare that I enjoy a book so much when I can‘t stand any of the characters. They are truly appalling. Told from two points of view, with present and past events, interspersed with court transcripts, it follows a family dealing with a serious white collar crime jail sentence for misleading off-label pharmaceutical marketing. It‘s greed, selfishness, blind love of family. There is a lot of brand name dropping. A fun read, for sure.

blurb
jesseastin
post image

One of my sisters confessed that she was secretly enjoying the new Midnight Sun book but couldn‘t bring it to work because she had an intellectual rep to maintain. I got this one from the library, since there was a long wait for the other. The author really beat the proverbially dead sparkly vampire horse here. It‘s made me question my pandemic reading choices. Nothing that takes too much brain power, escape reads. Have your book choices changed?

review
jesseastin
Conventionally Yours | Annabeth Albert
post image
Pickpick

Cute, sweetly predictable happily ever after road trip leads to romance sort of book. Two rivals travel cross country to play some sort of card game tournament, which can have big implications for their futures. I think I enjoyed the travel aspect of it the most ( I really miss travel these days) and as a Midwesterner, I felt a lot of recognition as they traveled across Missouri. It‘s a cute, light read.

review
jesseastin
One to Watch: A Novel | Kate Stayman-London
post image
Pickpick

This was a cute, breezy book about a plus-sized fashion blogger who becomes the star of a Bachelorette-type reality show. It deals with body acceptance and fat shaming amid the ridiculousness of “reality” tv. What really makes this read enjoyable, is the story is interspersed with transcripts of texts, podcasts, blogs, and chat rooms. It adds a lot to the humor. I enjoyed this one. It was a fun read with enjoyable characters.

keys_on_fire Can‘t wait to get this from the library! 2y
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
jesseastin
The Flatshare: A Novel | Beth O'Leary
post image
Pickpick

This is a charming book, with a “Love Actually” sort of feel. Two Londoners share a flat and bed, without ever meeting each other. They correspond by funny notes. The book alternates between point of view and the writing style reflects their personalities. There is a brother, wrongly imprisoned and an emotionally abusive ex. I rather adored Tiffy and her DIY personality and job as editor of crafting books—I get the knitting urge 😄 Fun read.

review
jesseastin
Happy and You Know It | Laura Hankin
post image
Pickpick

This was a fun read, with a good twist I wasn‘t expecting. It‘s a group of wealthy NYC moms, who have a playgroup with a singer they‘ve hired. It‘s all the insecurities of new motherhood, plus a fun “wellness” twist. I enjoyed the reality tv-over the top feel to it.

blurb
jesseastin
Happy and You Know It | Laura Hankin
post image

I‘m a bit more than halfway through this light read one of my sisters recommended and had a really relatable memory when one of the new moms is shamed in an upscale coffee shop when her baby wails. Mine was years ago, on a plane with my baby (now 24) and the judgmental side eye and looks of disgust (diaper blowout) and the utter kindness of a stranger who didn‘t act like it was my faulty parenting.

Bklover What a beautiful mug! 2y
17 likes1 comment
review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

Fun adventure novel of mishaps during a Grand Tour. I‘m not sure how historically accurate any of it is, but I‘m up for any book that entertains and uses “Zounds!” In dialogue. There are highwayman, killer Dukes, alchemy, pirates,streaking through Versailles and an entitled, self-centered protagonist who says and does some really stupid things, yet you can‘t help cheering for. It‘s just a fun, entertaining read.

review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

The drama! The bullying! This book centers on two women, one an excellent teacher, trying to make her very entitled students become socially aware, and a snowplow mother at the same school, who becomes publicly humiliated by a viral video. The book is told from multiple points of view, which can be hard to keep straight because of all the “white bread” names. (Probably intentional.) I often found myself thinking, “what is wrong with these people?”

Megabooks This is such a fun book! 2y
jesseastin @Megabooks it was! I enjoyed it. One of my sisters is an educator at a private school, with “very involved” parents. I‘d be curious to know if there was any validity to the parental bullying and lack of administrator support that there was in that book. 2y
12 likes2 comments
review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

This was a wonderful read. It‘s a completely character driven book, which I enjoy, with strangers who become interconnected by revealing their secrets to a notebook. It‘s wonderfully positive how one confession leads to interactions with others in the community.It deals with loneliness, grief, addiction, but it‘s uplifting, too.The characters are all lovable, even with their flaws.This was the book I needed while feeling isolated during a pandemic

LiteraryinLawrence Well said! I loved it too! 2y
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
jesseastin
The Doughnut King | Jessie Janowitz
post image
Pickpick

This is the sequel to the middle reader book I just finished. Granted, I‘m not the target audience, but it was cute. I enjoyed the tv cooking competition storyline.

review
jesseastin
The Doughnut Fix | Jessie Janowitz
post image
Pickpick

Middle school reader about a family who suddenly moves to a very rural area of upstate NY after the dad loses his job in NYC.The kids are funny, but definitely have some unloveable traits, much like most families. The parenting drove me crazy (maybe because I‘m a mom) as they aren‘t honest with the kids about the move and seem to ignore the issues the kids suffer from post-move. But it‘s a funny story with a secret donut recipe and business plan.

review
jesseastin
Clap When You Land | Elizabeth Acevedo
post image
Pickpick

I didn‘t realize this book was in verse until I started reading it. I‘m not sure how it would be as audiobook, since each verse is perfectly arranged on the page.A man, with two separate families, in two countries,dies in an airplane crash and two sisters learn of each other‘s existence. It‘s about grief,loss, family, love. It‘s a beautiful book.

DimeryRene Oh! It is so good on audio!!! I‘ve never read anything by her in print, but I‘ve listened to them all. 💕💕💕💕 2y
jesseastin @DimeryRene That‘s so good to know! I really wondered how it would translate to audio. Thanks! 2y
11 likes2 comments
review
jesseastin
We Contain Multitudes | Sarah Henstra
post image
Pickpick

Once you suspend disbelief that high school boys can write letters like this, you can really enjoy the prose of this book. Two school pen pals fall in love, but there are many dark issues in this book besides the love story: homophobia, drug use, abuse, hate crimes. I was frustrated that many of these issues aren‘t reconciled or consequences dealt to the abusers, but the book will give you all the feels and emotions. I truly enjoyed it.

JillsBookshelf I just added this to my TBR on Goodreads. It sounds amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this book! 😆 2y
12 likes1 comment
blurb
jesseastin
We Contain Multitudes | Sarah Henstra
post image

I‘m about halfway through this YA romance. It‘s entirely told through letters between a repeating high school senior and his sophomore school pen pal. Once you get over the “there‘s no way these kids would write like this” impossibility of the story, you can just go with it and enjoy the beautiful prose. So far, I‘m enjoying it. It makes me want to read Walt Whitman‘s poetry.

bookishkai I loved this! 2y
9 likes1 comment
review
jesseastin
The Book of Three | Lloyd Alexander
post image
Pickpick

This series makes me nostalgic. I loved them as a child and when I noticed that Audible had the first two books as a collection for one credit, I decided to listen to the adventures of my favorite assistant pig keeper again. The audio version is wonderful. I love hearing all the Welsh sounding names. This collection contains the Book of Three and the Black Cauldron. A wonderful listen.

Bradleygirl I never thought of getting these via audio to get the Welsh sounds right! that's genius. 2y
10 likes1 comment
review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

This was a cute read, a bit Hallmark Channel-y. I think I‘d find it especially appealing if I was a teenager. Ice skating at Olympic hopeful competitive levels and what you sacrifice for those goals, plus a bit of “let‘s save the family skating rink” gee whiz hokiness. I liked that the protagonists were biracial. Cute,quick read.

review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

I just loved this book—it‘s like a modern day Nancy Drew book, but with murder. It‘s entertaining and fun and I wish I was half as brave and clever as the protagonist.

review
jesseastin
A Single Thread | Tracy Chevalier
post image
Pickpick

This is a lovely historical fiction book that takes place in England in 1932-34. It‘s slower paced, contemplative, with lots of details about embroidery, bell ringing, and cathedrals. It‘s very character driven, which I really enjoyed. I was amazed at how gossipy and judgmental village life was in that era, especially for unmarried women. This was a good read.

review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

So, when you race through a 500+ page book in less than two days, it‘s a given that it‘s a wonderful read. Charming, whimsical, poignant, funny—it speaks of home, family, prejudice, treatment of the marginalized, all with magical unusual (and hilarious) children. The protagonist Linus has my heart. A perfect read for these scary times. The cynic in me might roll my eyes a smidge at the happy/sappy ending, but the emotional me absolutely loved it.

blurb
jesseastin
A Single Thread | Tracy Chevalier
post image

I find myself reading two books at the same time. This one takes place in England 1932. Everyone has tried to adjust, with varying success, to the loss of brothers, beloveds, and sons from the Great War, while you, as the reader, knows what lies ahead. There is great detail of embroidery.The pace is slow, meditative,like creating handicrafts.(This treasure was stitched by my mom as a teenager. The nerdy subject makes my heart melt.)

squirrelbrain I loved this book! I think it‘s slow contemplative pace makes it perfect for now.... 3y
12 likes1 comment
blurb
jesseastin
post image

My librarian friend was raving about this one, so I put it on hold,super long wait, must be popular, but it suddenly popped in my library feed as available. I was dubious, as I‘m not much for fantasy, although I did just read and adore a book about a vodka swilling dragon, so maybe I should revise this. And look at this cover?Is it not the most gorgeous thing? So I started reading, even though I‘m midway through another book,and,oh my, it‘s divine

review
jesseastin
Highfire | Eoin Colfer
post image
Pickpick

I loved this book. I‘m not much of a fantasy fan, so I rolled my eyes a bit at the idea of a dragon protagonist. But a vodka swilling, Flashdance shirt wearing dragon? Yes, please. The relationship between this bayou dragon and his scrappy Cajun teenage friend, who loves his mama, but just can‘t quite be good, is wonderful. Warning: this is not a kids book. It is very violent and there‘s a psychotic bad guy. Violence aside, I loved this one.

blurb
jesseastin
post image

Audible has loads of free children‘s/YA books available right now in their Stories, so I‘ve been taking advantage of listening to the British version read by Stephen Fry for the first time. I‘ve listened to the whole series read by Jim Dale multiple times. It‘s fun to hear the British terms in for the Americanized version I‘ve been exposed to. Dale is a master at all the voices, but Fry‘s warm voice is like a big hug. ❤️I do love both versions.

review
jesseastin
Well Met | Jen DeLuca
post image
Pickpick

This is pretty typical reading material for me lately. Mindless,cute romances that don‘t take much brain power or emotional depth or concentration while I‘m freaked out about the state of the world. I really should up my reading game, but for now, this fits the bill. The romance centers around a Ren Faire, not my thing personally, but cute for the story. Likeable, slightly bland characters and dialogue, but I enjoyed it.

12 likes1 stack add
review
jesseastin
Tweet Cute | Emma Lord
post image
Pickpick

Cute YA romance that‘s basically a “You‘ve Got Mail” storyline with Generation Z high school students.I enjoyed it, but I was especially struck by how much pressure these kids put on themselves for grades, extracurriculars, and getting into the right college.I was competitive in high school, but this level almost made me feel anxious. But, the book itself is a sweet and cute story.

review
jesseastin
Fangirl: A Novel | Rainbow Rowell
post image
Pickpick

I enjoyed this YA book that follows a socially awkward girl as she adjusts to her freshman year of college. She‘s an avid fan fiction writer, which I found interesting, because I really don‘t know much about fan fiction.I was glad that I had previously read both Carry On and Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell (BTW, both terrific and funny) before this book, as it made the Simon Snow back story clearer. Some tough subjects covered here.

review
jesseastin
Roomies | Christina Lauren
post image
Pickpick

This is a quick, enjoyable read, that doesn‘t take much brain power or emotional investment, which is quite perfect while sheltering at home and being unable to concentrate on much of anything these days. It‘s a fun little romance, fake marriage for a green card in NYC familiar trope. A nice, escape type read. (Photo is NOT NYC, but the view from my backyard.)

Centique That‘s a gorgeous view 😍 3y
10 likes1 comment
review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

I just finished this one and immediately texted my sisters, mother, and librarian friend to read this charming book. One sister promptly bought it as a birthday gift to herself. It‘s full of the endearingly quirky characters that I love in a book and family relations. Plus, it‘s got some really funny parts. Definitely a happy book escape while sheltering at home.

lynneamch You nailed it! Almost finished with the audio. 3y
17 likes1 comment
blurb
jesseastin
The Martian | Weir, Andy
post image

Ooh, I‘ve been wanting to read this. Audible has it for their deal of the day and it‘s read by Will Wheaton. I like his narrations. Just bought it. Hey, and I was just informed that it‘s my 3 year litsyversary. Who knew?

DebinHawaii Happy Litsyversary! 🎉📚🎉 3y
18 likes1 comment
blurb
jesseastin
post image

Do you know it? That gluttonous moment when you realize how many ebooks you‘ve borrowed from the library, plus the three physical “turn the paper pages yourself” books that are checked out, plus the book you just bought...and you‘re wondering which to read first and how many you can read at the same time and how these all ended up on your bookshelf.

blurb
jesseastin
post image

I am so NOT having lunch in Paris at this moment, but instead waiting for jury duty. I couldn‘t bring my knitting, so maybe I‘ll have some reading time.

Emilymdxn Jury service is... an experience. Sorry you‘re stuck doing it, I had to do it when I was 19 and I wasn‘t a fan 3y
7 likes1 comment
review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

Follow-up book to Class Mom about midwestern stay at home mom who leads the crossing guard volunteers and writes humorous emails to the other parents. I enjoyed the book for the most part, although I find the main character very shallow and self-absorbed.I found myself rolling my eyes a lot at some of her behaviors. One of my favorite parts is the book takes place in Kansas City, where I live, so the restaurants mentioned are all familiar.

5 likes1 stack add
review
jesseastin
Other Half of Me | Emily Franklin
post image
Pickpick

I enjoyed the concept of this YA book—teenage girl feels isolated and different from her siblings, so she searches for other people who have the same sperm donor used by her mom. It‘s angsty, artsy teenage girl stuff, but it reminded me of an interesting documentary I saw at a film festival years ago (maybe called “Donor Unknown”?) about a sperm donor who has prolifically produced at least 150 offspring.

review
jesseastin
post image
Mehso-so

I did enjoy some things about this book: the Greece travels, the chapters from different character‘s points of view. The book title is amusing. But, the characters aren‘t very likeable and I think the author needs more descriptive work on his female characters.

blurb
jesseastin
post image

Rainy afternoon in Portland. Happily ensconced In Powell‘s (again), checking out a few possibilities.

blurb
jesseastin
The Bookshop | Penelope Fitzgerald
post image

I‘m in Portland, Oregon visiting family. Is there a more wonderful spot than Powell‘s bookstore on a drizzly morning?

review
jesseastin
post image
Pickpick

I watched this movie for the first time this week when I learned it was leaving Netflix soon and then I decided to read the book. (Usually I‘m a book before movie type of person.) It‘s a quick YA read. I enjoyed the close friendship of the four girls. I found the rapidly changing viewpoint without obvious separations confusing. There were numerous times I didn‘t realize the narration had changed from one girl to another, but overall, a nice read.

9 likes1 stack add
review
jesseastin
This Is How It Always Is | Laurie Frankel
post image
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and I loved the characters and the crazy, chaotic, loving family dealing with the challenges of a transgender child. This was one of the best books I‘ve read this year.

blurb
jesseastin
This Is How It Always Is | Laurie Frankel
post image

I‘m about a fourth of the way through this book and I love it so far. It‘s a large, chaotic, loving family dealing with their fifth son who may have body dysmorphia. Dresses and barrettes are fine at home, but what about kindergarten? (Ironically, I‘m reading this right after “George”, a middle reader about a transgender child, but I tend to read things as they drop into my library cart after being on a massive hold list.)Can‘t wait to read on.

review
jesseastin
Heart of Eden | Caroline Fyffe
post image
Mehso-so

I needed an “easy on my mind” sort of read and I enjoy historical fiction, so I picked this up. Five sisters (who actually like each other, which was a refreshing change from a recent read) in Colorado in the late 1800‘s. Is it historically accurate?Not especially. Is the dialogue of the era? Doubtful. Did I request two more of the books in the series from my library for more potato chip reading? No comment.

Quirkybookworm Why does this photo look familiar?? The landmark... 3y
jesseastin @Quirkybookworm It‘s a photo I snapped in Estes Park, Colorado. It‘s in Rocky Mountain National Park. Since the book takes place in Colorado, I thought I‘d use it. 3y
Quirkybookworm 👍🏻 3y
10 likes3 comments