July 2017 Wrap-Up

July was a big month for reading for me, and I finished 11 books in total. I checked off several books that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while, as well as discovered some brand new ones that had not been on my TBR.  Despite this, I still have an ever growing stack on my nightstand that I fear I will never see the bottom of. It really is true that the more you read, the more you realize you haven’t read.

Some of my favorites this month were….

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As Ginny Moon would say, “well dang!” I loved this book SO. MUCH! This one is told from the perspective of Ginny, an autistic 14 year old growing up in the foster care system. She’s brave, stubborn, funny, smart, and fiercely loyal. I’m recommending this one to everyone I see.

 

 

 

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I was expecting this to be another run of the mill YA romance. Not to say that there is anything wrong with those, because if you look at my reading list, I clearly LOVE THEM. But I was pleasantly surprised to find some very creative ideas presented that really set it apart. I listened on audio, and the two narrators they cast do a lovely job. This is sweet and the ending had me wiping my eyes and blaming allergies.

 

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My Lady Jane was so much fun to read. It’s a very funny and creative retelling of history that frequently breaks the fourth wall. I laughed out loud on more than one occasion and found the romance to be very sweet. I’m excited to see what these ladies come up with next.

 

 

 

Honorable mention to Jennifer Niven’s All The Bright Places. This was such an exceptionally beautiful story, made even more touching by listening to the author’s note at the end of the book. I’m really glad I read this one.

Because I enjoyed The Sun is Also a Star so much, I fully expected to love Everything Everything. I was really underwhelmed by that one, which is a bummer because I was really excited to watch the movie. Also, What Light by Jay Asher got really good reviews, and was the only thing I could find available on Overdrive that I wanted to listen to. I went in with high hopes, as it takes place during Christmas on a Christmas tree farm. As an extreme Christmas lover, I figured this would be pretty hard to screw up. Unfortunately, while the story was sweet, I spent most of it bored out of my mind. A lot of the plot was unbelievable and the dialogue was pretty cheesy.

Also, I organized my shelves today and I think they look lovely sorted by color. It will be an absolute nightmare to find anything, but THEY’RE SO PRETTY.

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The whole line up…..

 

 

The Hate U Give – 5 crowns

This Savage Song – 4 crowns

Geekerella – 5 crowns

My Lady Jane – 4 crowns

The Sun is Also a Star – 5 crowns

All the Bright Places – 5 crowns

Ginny Moon – 5 crowns

The Girl Before – 2 crowns

Everything Everything – 3 crowns

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – 5 crowns

What Light – 3 crowns

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Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

61OLegHQzvL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Publisher: Riverhead Books

Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017

Page Count: 400 (Hardcover)

From the Jacket:

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

Like every other literate human on the planet Earth, I had my first taste of Paula Hawkins reading The Girl on the Train. I told myself I wouldn’t compare the two, but I found myself unable to help it. Where the former takes the reader on a psychological thrill ride, the latter finds the reader watching the characters take one. After experiencing both, I think I have more fun being taken on the ride, however, Hawkins is truly masterful from both perspectives.

Into the Water, starts slow, building up the history of the river from the multiple points of view of the women who make up its story. I saw several critiques before I began reading, lamenting this fact. The other readers were confused and frustrated, and had a hard time keeping track of all of the characters being introduced. I did not find this to be a problem, but perhaps that can be attributed to the fact that I went in expecting to be, and thus paid extra attention to detail. Also helpful, was the fact that the version I read had the name of the narrating character printed at the top of every other page.

The first half was slow but engaging, making it a more relaxing reading experience than most of the thrillers I have read. This changed rather abruptly for me about halfway through, and I found myself unable to put it down. I brought it with me everywhere I went in the hopes that I could squeeze a few pages in. Library due dates are also a very powerful motivator when even a great plot cannot combat the sleep deprivation that only having a tiny newborn at home can bring.

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Final Thoughts: I went into this one with high expectations, and I think it lived up to the hype. This was a different kind of thriller; one full of unique and memorable personalities, deep history, an atmospheric setting, and a slow burn leading up to a fast paced ending that was (at least for me) truly a surprise.

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Favorite Characters: Lena

Memorable Quotes:

No one liked to think about the fact that the water in that river was infected with the blood and bile of persecuted women, unhappy women; they drank it every day

Beckford is not a suicide spot. Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women.

January 2017 Wrap-Up

January was my best month of reading in a long time. I read a total of 15 books, 10 print and 5 audio. My favorites in print were Scythe and The Woman in Cabin 10. For audio, Shadowshaper and the first two books of the Firebird series were really great. I had really high hopes for both Blankets and Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday, but both were underwhelming.

 

 

Sand – 4 crowns

Bad Feminist – 4 crowns

Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday – 3 crowns

Eleven Hours – 4 crowns

Blankets – 3 crowns

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line – 5 crowns

Shadowshaper – 4 crowns

Mr. Kiss and Tell – 5 crowns

What She Knew – 5 crowns

Scythe – 5 crowns

The Diabolic – 4 crowns

The Woman in Cabin 10 – 5 crowns

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird Book 1)- 4 crowns

Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird Book 2) – 5 crowns

The Hypnotists Love Story – 5 crowns

 

I’m currently reading The Nix by Nathan Hill and listening to The Raven Boys on audio, and absolutely LOVING them both!! What is everyone reading?