Happy Wednesday everyone!
We’ve made it to June! We are officially half way through 2018. Wow time flies when you working full-time *heavy sigh*
Summer is only weeks away and I need a vacation! I daydream about laying on an island, sun’s out buns out all day long. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH but back to business.
As you all may know, reading is one of my favorite pastimes and I challenged myself to read 40 books this year. I just finished my 18th book. So this week’s blog will be another book review!! *crowd cheers*
A few months ago a friend from high school informed me that her mother wrote a book. The book was set to be re-launched March 2018. My friend and her mom sent me a signed copy of the book for me to read and post a book review. The author, Camille Moore (my friend’s mom), has been featured on radio interviews and book signing events to promote her book. So I am forever grateful that my little blog was even considered. 💓
I will always be amazed and humbled by the love shown within my community. I most definitely appreciate and reciprocate the support shared by my fellow dream chasers.
Now let’s dive into this book review…
“What Was I Thinking?” is a fictional book that takes place in the 90’s. The main character is a young college educated black woman named Anya Dennings. Anya is a successful interior designer but her personal life is all over the place. I was immediately intrigued once I read the synopsis on the back cover.
Growing up is hard and living with the choices we make along the way even harder, Anya Denning, a young, successful, interior designer continually finds herself asking the famous question, “What was I thinking?” Finishing college and making a name for herself in the world of interior design was her goal. Done. Now for once, maybe even twice, she hopes to make a relationship do more than just last. In Anya’s experience she finds that her long-time relationships are just that, time. In most cases, time wasted. She wants the American dream: marriage to a fine, not to mention, successful man, a career of her own, children, a beautiful home, luxury cars and fabulous vacations. Why doesn’t it ever feel as good as it sounds? Continually finding herself in dramatic messes with men seems to be the one constant of her relationships. What can possibly fill her when everything she’s worked so hard to make her happy leaves her empty, broken-hearted and lonely?
Told in her own words, Anya takes you on a journey of smiles, tears, heartache, laughter, pain and joy in her honest account of the men she’s loved, the life she’s lived and the process of learning to love herself.
The books starts off juicy and full of drama. The opening scene is Anya’s wedding being interrupted by her ex. Right away I knew this book would be a wild love story. Most of the book is Anya flashing back and telling us about her dating life up until the chaos on her wedding day. Let’s just say she’s been through ALOT.
Throughout the book Anya is living life in her “20 somethings” a.k.a where I currently reside. Dating in your 20’s can be rough so I could relate to this book on so many different levels. Anya actually reminded me of ‘Issa’ on her HBO series Insecure or ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ from Sex and The City. Bad decision after bad decision. Most times we know better but we just have to learn the hard way.
There were some serious topics brought up like abortion, miscarriage, mental illness, interracial dating, infertility, religion, celibacy and domestic violence. Anya was pretty problematic throughout the entire book and so were majority of the men she dated.
It seems like only after Anya made big mistakes she would remember how her grandma raised her better or how God wouldn’t be happy with her decisions. Anya loved bringing up God or her grandmother when it was convenient.
Because the book took place in the 1990’s, I recognized things were handled alot differently than they would have been today. Therapy and healing, looks alot different today than it did before. In the book, I wish Anya would have went to therapy to heal from her childhood and the traumas she suffered due to her father’s accident. There were times she spoke down on talking to a therapist but I actually believe Anya would have benefited greatly from therapy especially because of her mother’s mental illness. Anya unsuccessfully tried to figure things out on her own or pray them away. Her childhood definitely played a big role in why she had so many issues letting go and committing to one man. But again, also very relatable.
There were times Anya would be judgmental or turn her nose up on other people’s behaviors when she was stuck in her own mess. For example, she felt women cursing was unladylike meanwhile she hand a hard time being faithful to one man. lol
I have a love/hate relationship with Anya but the more I read the more I realized, Anya and I are actually alot alike. Once she did find a great guy, she let her self doubt and insecurities get in her way of her happiness. She had a short period in the book where she took time to herself to focus on “learning to be happy with me” but in that time no real issues in her life were solved. Outside of being celibate and not dating she really didn’t break any bad habits or heal her pain during the time she spent focusing on herself.
Some religions think fasting, being celibate, and praying is supposed to help solve problems but without identifying toxic behavior, healing from the past and working to deal with that hurt we’re really just prolonging our process. This would have been a perfect time for Anya to start reading, going to therapy and really unraveling her hurt from her childhood, her father’s death, and her mother’s mental illness. Instead she meet a new guy and restart all her unhealthy patterns.
“I don’t know why, but I felt really comfortable around him, like I didn’t have to be the glamour girl I always try to be.” -pg 78
The new guy she met was actually pretty close to perfect. Unfortunately, Anya could not let go of her past heartbreaks. She came off cold, unemotionally available, and doubtful once a guy worth being with start showing interest in her. Surprisingly he was patient and willing to put up with Anya.
But…. Anya’s lack of confidence had her questioning a good thing. She continued to run and hide her feelings from a man who genuinely went out of his way to show her he cared. This is where I realized I was more like Anya than I thought. After everything she went through she was scared to let another man in. She constantly talked herself out of letting go and she let the opinion of others lead her to second guess everything. She was very indecisive and did not stick with most of her initial decisions. At one point in the book she asked, “Why did I always question myself?” The funny thing is I know so many women including myself who has been down this same road. I felt like I was looking in the mirror when Anya describes all the times she ran away from love. Been there done that! I still find myself having trouble with just relaxing and being happy without overthinking.
“Everything just felt too right and it scared me”
There were definitely times I threw the book across the room because Anya was messing up BIG time! I mean it’s one thing to lead a person on but what you don’t do is lead their family on as well! Do not come smile in my family’s face on the holidays knowing you are going to break my heart. Lol just don’t.
This was a very well written and thought provoking book. I was highly entertained and engaged. In between chapters I would call my friends, my mom, or my boyfriend to talk to them about what was going on in the book so far. I even spent time reevaluating and identifying mistakes I have made in relationships.
The ending almost gave me a heart attack. One moment I was in awe and happy for Anya finally allowing herself to love fully and the next minute she was being rushed to the hospital. 😳
Camille Moore did a fantastic job. For anyone who loves reading romance and drama novels, I highly recommend this book.
To learn more about the author visit her website: www.camillenmoore.com
&& you can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon!
Before I go I’d like to say Rest In Peace to Kate Spade ♥️
Thanks guys for reading & we will talk more next week!