Looking for a good book? I can’t promise I read one this year you’ll be interested in reading, but below are short reviews of what I’ve read so far this year. If you’re still looking, check out what I read in:
I am a sucker for these YA three book series where a bunch of kids have to find a way to solve this horrible post apocalyptic world they find themselves living in. No matter how author’s change up the characters, the world the kids find themselves in, or the mission they’re aiming to solve, I can’t get enough.
With The Maze Runner I actually saw the movie first, and I was shocked as I read how many things they changed in the movie, right down to how the kids solve the maze. I will be interested as I read the next two books to see how drastically they change the entire structure of the books to the movie. Divergent and Hunger Games make small adjustments, but didn’t completely change the way in which the world’s exist between the book and the movies.
The first thing I was warned about was the writing style. And I agree, the lack of punctuation, especially the lack of quotation marks would become an issue for me sometimes if I was trying to read really fast, find out what was happening next, and dialogue would run together, thoughts of a character vs words of a character sometimes running together. Basically, slow and steady wins this book.
Beyond the style, I loved this book. It’s almost impossible not to leak spoilers with this book… basically I fell into this little world. I cried, I smiled, I wished the best for them always, and I gasped when I thought the worst was happening. I will admit I was shocked with the ending. Which is all I can saw without giving it all away. When/if you’ve read it, let me know, is that the world you expected in the end? Were you holding your breath for a big twist?
If you find yourself drawn to apocalyptic narratives, you’ll want to add this one to your “to-read” shelf.
WHY?!?!?!?!?!?! I mean, I get that he’s trying to make some critique on the nuances of daily life, kinda, but with animals? I fear Sedaris may have said all he has to say, and this is him scraping the bottom of the barrel to keep his name out there.
I wanted to like this book as I’ve read other ocean crossing books and loved the danger and the sense of isolation that a crew encounters on their journey. Sadly this book just didn’t have as much of that as I’d hoped for. Although Patterson wanted to give the reader background information into his life and what brought him to his cross ocean journey, each time he left the boat and dove into the past I found myself extremely uninterested. As well, the large stretches of ocean voyage history felt so disconnected and dry I found myself skipping over them completely towards the end of the book. For a book that featured so many days and weeks on the sea, there was such a small proportion of the crossings in the book to make it even interesting. Needless to say I was happy when it was over.
I want to be a book snob, I really do. I want to say I didn’t love House Rules but you know what, I did. I loved it. I devoured it. I easily sat for hours at a time as hundreds of pages flew by and I just really really enjoyed it. The style, the mystery, the ending. An interesting read.
What a change from The Maze. It was impossible to predict where things were headed next, or which items were planned or variables or who knows what. The book is another quick read, and my only issue was the ending of book two felt a little too formulaic. I definitely couldn’t predict what in the world will happen in book three, but I’m hoping the mold is broken a little as we move into the third phase and we learn a little more about life before The Maze.
I have never watched The Bachelor, but after hearing Courtney Robertson interviewed on a podcast talking about her book and how she was trying to show the other side of being the reality star villain, I was intrigued. After a few chapters I decided I wanted to watch the show first and read the book to get the behind the scene details. After binging on her season I tore through the book. The book lacks substance as you’d imagine, the show is loveable reality trash, and in the end it was interesting to hear some behind the scenes details about what it’s like to be on one of the weirdest reality shows of all time.
This book is fascinating. It has the perfect combination of watching someone’s life fall apart, murder, intrigue, twists and turns, and the can’t look away feeling you get as you watch someone destroy their own life. It’s a super fast read and you can’t help but settle in to try to get to the bottom of this twisted story. Definitely a great read.
This is a lovely and super fast read that one can’t help but hear Mindy Kaling narrate through the whole story. As a fan of The Mindy Show it felt a little like sitting down for a drink with a favorite character. It’s a shame it was written before she went on to create The Mindy Show or even before The Office finished because I feel like there would be some great essays of the end of one show, and the steps it took to move on to creating her own show. The book isn’t necessarily deep, but I didn’t expect it to have the same sort of preaching in it as Tina Fey’s book. The book is pretty free of name dropping which is refreshing, and you can’t help but think that the closest people to Mindy are still her friends who knew her before she was famous. She still seems like the kind of person who you’d want to come over to her house and watch The Real Housewives with. A super fun quick read for Mindy fans.
Looking back, I think I liked The Death Cure more than The Scorch Trials because it felt like we were finally getting to the meat of the issue. That being said, there’s something about the third book in these series that always just leaves you feeling empty. I felt the same about the final book in the Hunger Games as well as the Divergent series. You sort of finish the book and go, “That’s it?” All things aside it was a fun ride, and after a break from the series I’ll probably read the prequel just to learn a little more about the weirdness that is WICKED. Will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next movie in the meantime.
I’ve had this book on my list to-read for years and was happy to finally check this ‘classic’ off my list. I enjoyed the magic and storytelling style of the book. How one could imagine this tale told by a Grandmother over the course of a lifetime. A lovely read.
In typical Barbara Kingsolver fashion Flight Behavior is as perfect as you’d imagine. This book is about global warming and how what we’ve done to the planet is wrecking the planet and causing irreparable changes for species. But how the book reads is a story of a simple woman, living on a farm where she feels trapped in her life, in her marriage, in her world. As much as this book is about the way global warming is going to eventually lead to the extinction of the monarch butterfly, it’s also a beautiful character piece about a woman who feels stuck in her life. The two messages and stories weave together and you find yourself rooting for both. The butterflies, and Dellarobia, our heroine. An absolutely beautiful book and a must read.
I couldn’t get into this book. I wanted to love our little chemist heroine, but I simply couldn’t. I know this book is a series, and I think I’ll be passing for the remainder.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Girlbomb was a really interesting and fast read about a young girl who’s life quickly spirals out of control first because of her mother’s choices, and then her own.|
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another very “Craig Johnson/Longmire” book. All the things you have come to expect now. Longmire being a douche and not putting his family first (if I was his daughter I’d disown him), finding himself in death defying situations (being a sherif in WY can’t possibly be this dangerous) and a little helping of Indian spirits. I have gotten to a place where I both love, and roll my eyes at these books. But, because I’ve made it this far, I’ll keep reading them as they come out and wondering what stupid shit Walt will get himself into next time.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have read quite a few blogger’s books and Brittany’s has by far been my favorite. Unlike some of the blogger’s books Brittany’s book doesn’t just read like a replay of all her past posts. Her book is quirky, self deprecating, honest, uplifting, and as a body advocate, manages to be uplifting without feeling self-helpy and cheesy.
A great read even if you’ve never read Brittanyherself.com, a great read if you’re super skinny, curvy or care less, and great if you’re just looking for a chuckle.
Such a beautiful book. In the beginning I was intrigued by the story, but once I got to Part II where Tom McNeal moved the entire plot line back to the beginning of their love story did I become hooked. A book that brings you in and holds you as it looks at the pain of the real world, complex relationships and how the small decisions we make shape the rest of our lives. Great read.
|Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating:3 of 5 stars
I don’t think I realized when I grabbed book one from a used bookstore that I had grabbed the first book in a series. Ransom Riggs weaves an interesting world together based on the premise of a larger world hidden behind the freak show pictures from the 1920’s, 30’s etc. Such an interesting jumping off point, and the cast of characters and world he wove is definitely a fascinating one. It was a light but fun read to get lost in. Not sure I loved it enough to see what happens in book two, but I enjoyed the time I spent with Miss Peregrine’s Children and wish them the best.
|The Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I found this book so fun and exciting to read. Watney is lovable, sarcastic, endearing, and you can’t help but root endlessly for him to survive being left of Mars. The back and forth between his diary on Mars, command back on Earth and his fellow crew mates on their return ship is the perfect story builder. There are times when Watney would go into various chemistry chat as he was trying to solve his way out of another issue which I found myself sort of skim reading, but overall the chemistry jargon was few enough not to make the book feel like a science lesson. The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to see how they do this in the movie.” Hoping the movie does the book justice.
|Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’m a sucker for a good apocalyptic story. I liked how Station Eleven took the end of the world vein in a little different direction. It definitely was slow to begin (as some people said they’d heard), weaving together stories of people’s lives pre-flu, and post-flu, and I probably could have done with about half as much information about Arthur. I know he was a central connecting piece for a variety of characters in the book, but I found myself a little bored with their continual replay of the night he died. I think if there had been half as much focus on Arthur pre-flu I would have found myself more connected to the story. Overall though an interesting take on the apocalypse.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I downloaded this book on my Kindle before I took a trip because it was listed on Amazon’s Kindle First list. Most of the other books they were offering were really terrible looking, and this book looked like it would make for a fast read, especially on a flight.
In the end though it was basically fluff reading. It was extremely fast reading, which did make for good flight reading, but it definitely lacked substance. Very Eat, Pay, Love, without the author being as good of a writer. It didn’t bore me, and it didn’t suck per-say, but it definitely wasn’t good. It was just a book I read because it was free and there. So if you have a choice between this, and another title, choose the other title.
|Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I definitely recommend this book to any pregnant woman who is interested in hearing the DATA behind all the crazy things you’re told the moment you find yourself peeing on a stick and seeing two lines. I’ve always thought the various things you’re told you can’t do are a little crazy sounding, and I welcomed the chance to hear if there was actual data to back things like, “Don’t eat deli meat/sushi/soft cheese/over-easy eggs/drink ANY wine/drink coffee” etc. I know what “they” say you should and shouldn’t do as a pregnant person, but I wanted to know WHY. Why shouldn’t I have coffee? Or if I can have coffee, how much can I have, and what are the actual risks behind drinking coffee, not just the carpet coverage of DON’T pregnant women hear all day long.
Emily Oster was the perfect guide in telling you everything from the real data behind drinking while pregnant (did you know the American studies everyone quotes they found that 40% of the participants included drank 5-6 drinks a night AND used cocaine?!?!?! So, is it the drinking, or the drug use we should have issue with here?), the facts behind various genetic testing, risks and demystifying of what really happens to your body when you get an epidural, and on and on and on. Especially when I was in my scary first trimester I found her book to be extremely calming as she broke down miscarriage risks, explained the lack of danger in having a little coffee, and on and on.
So if you’re newly pregnant and weirded out by the seemingly random list of things you’re now told you CANNOT EVER DO AGAIN OR THE BABY WILL DIE and would like some data to go with that crazy, read this book. It’s a little sanity in all the pregnancy crazy.
It’s amazing how much people either LOVE this book, or want to light it on fire. I found it to live perfectly in the middle. I think the key with What to Expect is that you don’t take it too serious. It shouldn’t be used as a bible for your pregnancy, but I did find it sort of interesting each month to read through the section I was in. The funniest part is how contradictory the information has been. At the end of the day it’s all about taking it with a grain of salt.
Want to know EVEN MORE about the books I’ve read, am reading, and even maybe the ones on my to-read shelf? Then hop over to my goodreads account and lets be book nerd friends!
Dying for even more Accidental Olympian book nonsense? Well, would you like to hear a funny story about how goodreads made me look like an idiot? You do? Great. I hope you enjoy every minute of my humiliation.