Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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The Center of Everything

My second Goodreads free book giveaway! We were able to get to the beach this week and are lucky to have family who lives on a beautiful, noncrowded beach within driving distance. One day we were literally the only people on the beach. But I had plenty of time to fly through this book on the beach and on the drive back.

The Center of Everything by Jamie Harrison is definitely a slower pace, which was different since I am used to reading thriller/suspense and historical fiction that have a lot of action. So although it’s good to switch it up something, it still felt slow and boring at times. Polly, the main character, had a recent head trauma in an accident and has a big week. It’s a holiday week in July during which she is also hosting a huge family party. Her head injury makes it difficult to focus but also brings about memories from childhood in much more vivid detail than usual. And those memories bring about a lot of questions leading up to the family party and seeing so many family members. There is also a bit of a mystery as a secondary story since in the same week, a local girl, who babysits for Polly, goes missing on the river.

Overall the story was fine, but definitely not my usual read. It rambled on at times and jumped from one thought to another, which was maybe on purpose to reflect the main character’s current state of mind. I think my giveaway copy was an early release, so check it out when it’s released! Also not sure how the title fits in – she mentions ‘the center of everything’ once in the book but I can’t remember what it was in reference to…maybe her mother? Her family? If I don’t know after reading the whole book, perhaps a different title would have been better.


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If You Tell

Another book from Kindle Unlimited did not do it for me. It’s definitely hit or miss. If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood by Gregg Olsen was interesting, especially having a child development background and working in child maltreatment prevention, but could have been about half as long. I understand Olsen wanted to really drive the point home of how evil and messed up this mother was, but some exact information was repeated over and over. And the timeline was not always clear or in a logical order. It felt a little all over the place.

Three sisters survived a horrible and traumatic upbringing at the hands of their mother and father. It is incredible to me how she got away with everything she did to her children and others she “took in” to help. But at the same time it’s not that surprising. And this also shows the psychological effects of physical and mental abuse. One of the sisters still felt guilty for getting their mother in trouble and still helped her while she was in prison. It is baffling but impossible to understand unless you have experienced something like this.

It is an interesting read, especially if you are interested in psychology and child abuse prevention/intervention. But you can probably skim quickly through the book and still get the same out of it.


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After I Do

I have now read 3 books (one was a short story) by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I love her. They have all been different but have some similarities. They have all been about relationships in some way, shape, or form.

After I Do was obviously about a married couple who met young and got married after college. It was a little boring to me and probably my least favorite of the 3 I’ve read by Reid, but it was interesting to read being a [semi] newlywed. A year and a half isn’t truly still newlywed, right?

Lauren and Ryan hit a big rut in their marriage and are not communicating, not interacting, and resenting each other. So they decide to take a year off. He moves out, she stays in the house and keeps the dog. It is understandably tortuous, but they hold out. Life continues. Lauren’s life – which the book focuses on – has it’s own challenges apart from her marriage problems. Now, I don’t how realistic or common this is – to take a year off with no communication and no counseling. It seems a little far-fetched to me but it also takes place in Los Angles, so maybe it’s a thing there. I can’t imagine doing something like this, even if things are rocky in your marriage.

I won’t give away the end because that’s the whole story – do they get back together and work things out?! But overall the story has a great message about the importance of communication in a relationship and the importance of working for your marriage. It was also a very quick read and was free through Kindle unlimited (thanks 3 month trial)!