Books I Finished The Past Two Months
October 14 - December 1, 2018
I know, I suck. My excuse for such a delayed post is that work got crazy and I was not prioritizing writing reviews. I’ve still been reading a lot, so I’m splitting this into 2 posts so as not to overwhelm you all, and the fact I need more time to finish the rest of the reviews!
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
I was skeptical about this sequel as Vicious was so perfect, even with the semi-cliff hanger ending that I was unsure how V.E. Schwab was going to further develop these characters and their story. I shouldn't have worried because Schwab delivered yet another amazingly written book.
Synopsis: The sequel to Vicious, V.E. Schwab's first adult novel.
Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there's Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn't know about his most recent act of vengeance. Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic novels, but especially when they are creative and thought provoking. Station Eleven was just that and Emily St. John Mandel wrote a more subtle darkness in this post-apocalyptic world that captivated me. Click the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
I was not one of the students assigned this book in school. I know many people my age were and I wish I had been as I believe A Wrinkle in Time teaches some very important lessons for a middle schooler to hear. Even as an adult, I found the messages heart-warming and relevant along with an entertaining sci-fi quick read. Click the book cover for my full review.
Synopsis: It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
I’m so glad I decided to give the Brontë sisters another chance this year as I was captivated by not just one, but all three of the sisters’ writing and novels. They were all able to create characters that were pretty terrible but also so enjoyable to discover. Click the book cover to read my full review.
Synopsis: This is the story of a woman's struggle for independence. Helen “Graham" has returned to Wildfell Hall in flight from a disastrous marriage. Exiled to the desolate moorland mansion, she adopts an assumed name and earns her living as a painter.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
It's difficult for me to enjoy books where the majority is based on reality but then certain situations or characters' actions are so ridiculous and ring so false. When this happens, it alters my entire perception on the story. This happened in Little Fires Everywhere and made it too far-fetched and frustrating for me to fully enjoy the rest of the book. Click the book cover to see my full review.
Synopsis: Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
I hate to say this, but I'm starting to lose my love for Nicholas Sparks. The Wedding is one of my favorite romances, and book in general, and I've always thoroughly enjoyed reading a Sparks novel. However, the last two books I read: Every Breath and See Me seemed to be half-assed. Sure, Sparks has a following, but that's not a reason to get lazy in your writing.
Synopsis: Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she's been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family's cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.
Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother's early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty against personal happiness in devastating ways.
Books I’m Currently Reading
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Eeeek, still reading! I had 2 more library books arrive that I had to finish and a book club book so I’ve been reading chapters here and there. I’m still loving this book and am 70% done now, so I’ll definitely finish it by the end of December.
Synopsis: "It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured." So begins this epic, mesmerizing novel set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
This is my first Agatha Christie book and I am thoroughly entertained already. I’m listening to an audiobook of this novel read by Dan Stevens, and he is seriously impressive since he gives a distinctly different voice for each character.
Synopsis: Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a lonely mansion on Soldier Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die....
Books I Was Reading Last Year - 2017
Ghost Bird Academy Series by C.L. Stone
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I was reading these books last year, but I’m going to be honest. This series is part of the reverse harem phenomenon that has gained a lot of traction the past couple years. And yes, I hopped on the bandwagon. This series is not that great, the writing leaves something to be desired and it’s a bit unrealistic since the characters are only 15 years old and yet they’ve somehow had more adult experiences than a 25 year old, however I still read the entire series so far. Not sure what that says about me, but i’m accepting it. There’s a huge following for this series as well.
Synopsis: With an agoraphobic mother and a barely-there father, Sang abhors the isolation keeping her in the shadows. The only thing Sang craves is a fresh start and to be accepted as ordinary by her peers, because for her being different meant being cast out alone. When her family moves to a new school district, Sang infiltrates a group of boys nearly perfect in every way and quickly bonds with them. Only the boys have secrets of their own and they’ll do anything to keep her safe from the knowledge of the mysterious Academy that they've sworn allegiance to. Bit by bit, Sang discovers that her friends are far from the normalcy she expected. Will her loyalty change when she's forced to remain in the dark, or will she accept that she's traded one house of secrets for another?
Books I Was Reading Two Years Ago - 2016
Relentless Series by Karen Lynch
If you’re looking for an entertaining young adult trilogy set in a paranormal world with some action and romance, this is a pretty good bet. It’s the typical story you’d expect from that type of book, but I enjoyed the writing and the first two books of the series. The last one, as in many trilogies lagged behind a bit but overall an entertaining trilogy I’d recommend for fans of YA and paranormal.
Synopsis: Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift.
In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down and is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants. Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own and reels from the truth about her own ancestry.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
I remember having mixed feelings about this book. It was heartwarming at times and funny at times, but I also thought the book was a bit too predictable. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorites or one I’d necessarily recommend unless someone really wanted to read it.
Synopsis: In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
I was surprised by how dark this book was. Not in the creepy psychological thriller way but rather this gut wrenching make you feel sick and your heart hurt kind of way. Click the book cover for my full review and links to buy the book.
Synopsis: After four harrowing years on the western front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
The concept of this book was creative and the author did a great job of writing the characters reactions to things in this world that they had never truly experienced. You almost experience some of things along with them. So the first half of the book was really great and kept me entertained. Click the book cover for my full review and links to buy the book.
Synopsis: There are some things you can’t leave behind…
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys. Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.