Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Picture Perfect

Surprisingly, this whole staying at home thing is putting a hitch in my reading challenge. I usually spend 2-2.5 hours reading per day riding the train and before bed, the bulk of that being on the train. So without the train time, I’m quickly falling behind schedule to reach my 50 books for the year. When I’m at home, I gravitate towards tv or doing a puzzle. So I’ll have to come up with some self-motivation to get more home reading time in!

I recently finished Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult. I generally like Picoult’s book – some I love – but this one just fell into the ‘like’ category. The book begins with a woman, waking up in a church cemetery, with amnesia. She doesn’t even remember her name. A cop, who was starting his new job with the LAPD the next day found her. It’s definitely unexpected when she turns out to be an anthropologist, Cassie, who is married to a big shot movie star. That alone is pretty far-fetched. I like my fictional love stories to at least have a bit of plausibility! 🙂 And this movie star, Alex, also has some dark secrets that I guess she slowly remembers.

At the beginning of the book, Cassie has small, momentary flashbacks, which were plausible to me. But then the whole middle of the book is her entire past leading up to the current day – I think it was maybe a week after she woke up in the cemetery. I am not neurology expert, but it seems a little unlikely that a women has amnesia to the point of not remembering her name or any of the decades that happened before she woke up, then miraculously within a week remembers everything from her childhood to how she ended up in the cemetery.

It didn’t help either that there weren’t any characters that I really loved. Cassie was the most likeable, but she also had her moments. Ultimately, the story is a fairy tale gone wrong, which is more realistic, and of a woman who takes back control of her life. Good overall message but the details didn’t do it for me. Let me know what you think if you read it!


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The Storyteller

New year, new reading challenge! I exceeded my 2019 reading goal, so I set my bar high this year with 50 books. You can follow my progress and books on Goodreads!

My first book of the year was a good one. I’ve read numerous Jodi Picoult books over the years. They are usually pretty heavy topics so I never read more than one of hers in a row. And this one was right up my alley for historical fiction and WWII. The Storyteller is fiction, history, mystery, and deception – all used to tell the stories of numerous people who are related in different ways.

Sage is a baker whose past scars haunts her daily. She attends a grief support group where she befriends an elderly man, Josef who is beloved in their community. Josef confides a huge secret that could have legal and moral implications for him, but also emotional implications for Sage. As she navigates what to do with the information he gives her, she connects deeper with her grandmother and meets someone new who sees past her scars to her true person. I don’t want to give too much away, but the information Josef confesses has to do with the Holocaust and the story goes back to that time for a good bit of the book, with lots of details. So if you are easily affected by tough facts from that time, this may not be the best book for you. But it is truly fascinating and appalling all at the same time.

I feel like I picked a good one to start the year, so here’s to another year of good books!


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A Spark of Light

Many years ago I went on a Jodi Picoult reading binge. I didn’t dislike any of them I just needed a change of pace eventually. Her books would still always come up as recommended so I decided to give one her new a shot. I honestly had no idea what A Spark of Light was about when I started reading it. I don’t always read synopses of books, especially if I know friends have read it or it’s been on certain lists. That’s not to say I would not have read it, but everyone should be prepared for a heavy story line.

A group of women sit one morning at a women’s clinic in Mississippi when a man comes in and starts shooting. You find this out early so I’m really not spoiling anything. What’s also unique about this book is that the timeline goes backwards by the hour and during each hour you learn about what’s happening from each character’s perspective. There’s the doctor, a nurse, a girl and her aunt, the shooter, the hostage negotiator, the shooter’s daughter, a pro-life protester, and a patient who just had an abortion. There it is. The heavy topic of the book is abortion. The clinic is the only one in the state that does abortions – along with general women’s health.

I’m not going to get into a political debate or talk about my views but the book was very interesting. Each character has a very different opinion about abortion. Many see it as a black or white issue while others have varying degrees of agreement or opposition. Picoult obviously did her research and I think it took a lot of guts to write a story like this, especially with social media and public access to writers, celebrities, etc.

It’s a good read but don’t start it looking for a lighthearted beach read. You have been warned!