This book took a little longer for me to read than usual because I just wasn’t that into it. I feel bad giving less-than-stellar reviews because I know how hard authors work to complete a book, and I do love this author, but I didn’t connect to this particular novel. Read my review for More Than Words below and let me know what you thought if you joined me this month!
Discussion of More Than Words
I loved Jill Santopolo’s first book, The Light We Lost. Like a lot. Like to the point where it really got under my skin for months. I was hoping to get that feeling again with More Than Words but I just didn’t. I enjoyed reading it but in more of a detached way. I wanted to feel a deep connection with the characters and their stories, but both the characters and their decisions felt predictable to me.
What I liked about it: I thought that the book did a really good job of showing many forms of grief and how the best people to turn to when you’re grieving are others that have been through the same thing or something similar. I have yet to lose a parent (knock on wood) but I could personally relate to it when I think back to my miscarriages. I had a much easier time talking about them with my friends who had experienced one too. Nina’s emotions after the loss of her father were the most authentic and raw part of the book. It was really the only time that I felt connected to her as a character.
I also loved reading about Nina’s complicated relationship with her dad. They had some really sweet traditions like betting candy at their weekly Jeopardy! nights. But he was also really hard on her and, as she found out posthumously, hid a lot from her as well. The relationship was complex like most relationships are with our parents as we become adults.
Lastly, I think that Jill Santopolo is a really great writer, and despite the miss with this book for me personally, I still love her style of writing and would for sure read her next book if she writes one.
What I didn’t like about it: I didn’t have an emotional connection to the characters at all which was the biggest disappointment in reading this book. I wasn’t all that excited to pick it up before bed each night. I suppose that if you’ve lost a parent you might connect more with Nina, the main character, and what she went through. Jill Santopolo, I’m so sorry! I feel bad even writing this because I was obsessed with The Light We Lost and might even read it again.
On top of that, the storyline felt very obvious and contrived, and each and every big plotline ended exactly as I thought it would. That got a little boring to be honest. In order for a book to be great, in my opinion, I have to have a deep connection to the characters and/or the story has to keep me wanting more day after day.
June Book Club: Daring Greatly
I realize that it’s beach season so the next two books for June and July are going to be lighter beach reads, but I’m so drawn to Brené Brown right now and have heard the best things about Daring Greatly. I fell in love with Brené after watching her Netflix special last month and nodding along with everything she said. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it.
The full title of the book is actually Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead and that title alone sold me. I mean I want to be a courageous and vulnerable parent and leader, don’t you?
I really hope you guys will join me this month because I think it’s going to be a really special book and we will all get a lot out of it. Who’s in?
And let me know your recs for fantastic beach reads below to help me with picks for July and August. Thanks!
Photos by Julia Dags.