It’s time for Part 3 of my Buzz Books analysis! If you aren’t familiar with Buzz Books, it’s a free e-book download full of chapter samplers of books that are coming out this spring and summer. Publishers select their favorite new releases for inclusion in the Buzz Books, and the sample pack is available from Amazon, Netgalley, and Publishers Lunch.
I’ve already reviewed the first 10 samples in Buzz Books. Links to those reviews are at the bottom of this post. Today, I’m giving my thoughts about the next five titles. I’m happy to say that I liked today’s samples better than I liked the titles in Part 2!
Similarly, If the Shoe Fits is a Cinderella story about an overweight young woman who becomes a contestant on a reality dating show like The Bachelor.
This could be the book I wanted One to Watch to be. Author Julie Murphy is already well-loved in the YA world, and this is her first book for adults. I was not disappointed! Once again, I was so into the story that I forgot that I was just reading a sample.
Protagonist Cindy (get it–Cinderella?) is funny, interesting, and real. I love her voice, and of course, her love for shoes. The male love interest (who Cindy nicknames “Prince Charming” but whose name is actually Henry) seems fun-loving and genuine. There’s also a stepmother and stepsisters. Most definitely on the TBR!
- GENRE(s): romance, fairy tale retelling
- PUB DATE: August 3, 2021
- PROTAGONIST: young woman, mid-20s, post-university, white, overweight
- CONTINUE READING?: YES
This is the sequel to 2016 Pulitzer winner Sympathizer, which I have not read. That’s unfortunate because I didn’t understand the characters well enough in the sampler. The story opens with two friends trying to get through airport security in France. There’s some history with someone called “Man,” a former friend who betrayed the narrator.
Ultimately, I skipped this title. I didn’t understand what was going on well enough to continue. But I am now interested in reading The Sympathizer!
- GENRE(s): action, thriller
- PUB DATE: March 2, 2021
- PROTAGONIST: Vietnamese man who is some kind of spy maybe?
- CONTINUE READING? NO, but I am interested in The Sympathizer
Another great read! This is about a woman whose 13-year old son does not know who his real father is. The mom–Elisabetta–has decided to tell him the story about his real father. From there, the story takes us back in time to the woman’s first kiss with one of her two best friends (both boys). That part is set 20 years earlier than the Prologue, in Italy in 1937. I’m guessing one of the two young teenage boys in the past is her son’s father.
I really enjoyed the sample and might continue this book. It’s not as compelling as some of the other samples, but I did enjoy it and am interested in continuing.
- GENRE(s): romance, historical fiction
- PUB DATE: March 23, 2021
- PROTAGONIST: Italian woman
- CONTINUE READING? YES, but it won’t be the first one on my list
It’s such a boring cover, but I loved this one, too! I’m really on a roll with this set of five! This is about a French woman who marries a Moroccan soldier in France during World War II. After the war ends, she moves with her new husband to Morocco to live with his family while they search for a home for themselves. The Moroccan landscape is harsh for her, but she does seem to be trying.
This book is set over a ten-year period, which includes Morocco’s independence from France in 1956. I love the flawed protagonist (named Mathilde) and the book’s feminist undertones. Life in Morocco isn’t easy for a woman in the 1950s, particularly an outsider whose only form of communication is in French, the language of the oppressor.
What I liked best about this title is that it was a surprise. The blurb didn’t really catch my attention, nor did the boring cover. But I still got into the story quickly and easily. If this one doesn’t sound so great to you, I encourage you to read the Buzz Books sample–it’s better than it might sound!
- GENRE(s): historical fiction
- PUB DATE: August 10, 2021
- PROTAGONIST: white French woman living in Morocco in 1950s
- CONTINUE READING? YES
This book cover is different from the one in the sampler, but neither cover grabs me or makes me want to read. This is told from the perspective of an empty-nester woman who lives in a nice house, has a nice relationship with her husband, and has a nice job. It’s all very nice and boring…until the very last part of the sampler.
While reading, I was only halfway paying attention. Yeah, yeah, she’s got a perfect life, I get it. But with one line, I sat straight up and paid attention. Hooked!
- GENRE(s): contemporary fiction, women’s fiction
- PUB DATE: April 6, 2021
- PROTAGONIST: upper-class white woman living in California, married with an 18-year old daughter
- CONTINUE READING? YES
Every title on this list is a big YES on my ever-growing TBR! What will Part 4 bring? Well…I’ll finish off the fiction section of the sampler and start the “Debut” authors samples! Can’t wait!