Thursday, October 13, 2016

Reading Lately

Happy Thursday everyone!  I was inspired by my blogging buddy Kristen to share some of my recent reads today.  While I am no where close to reading as much as her, I made it a goal to read more this year and have been doing great so far!  Some books I've absolutely loved, some were not so good, and others were life-changing.

Today I'm going to go through a few memorable books that I've read.  I'll give you the summary from Amazon, a few of my thoughts, a rating, and say if I would recommend it or not.  Hope you enjoy!  (p.s. links to the book are all affiliate links)



Summary : Libby Miller has always been an unwavering optimist—but when her husband drops a bomb on their marriage the same day a doctor delivers devastating news, she realizes her rose-colored glasses have actually been blinding her.

With nothing left to lose, she abandons her life in Chicago for the clear waters and bright beaches of the Caribbean for what might be her last hurrah. Despite her new sunny locale, her plans go awry when she finds that she can’t quite outrun the past or bring herself to face an unknowable future. Every day of tropical bliss may be an invitation to disaster, but with her twin brother on her trail and a new relationship on the horizon, Libby is determined to forget about fate. Will she risk it all to live—and love—a little longer?



My Thoughts : Easy read that's at some times depressing, some times aggravating, but always hilarious
Rating : 7/10

Read If... : You love reading about exotic locations and exotic men
 



Summary : The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is “quite intelligent for a barmaid”). But Don is intrigued by Rosie’s own quest to identify her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie―and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you. 



My Thoughts : Cute story with a quirky main character that gave the book a different feel from most love stories
Rating : 8/10
Read If... : Your favorite genre is romantic comedy and you're looking for something fresh



Summary : At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?  In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?



My Thoughts : Interesting concept to think about how different your life can be depending on the choices you make, and luckily easy to follow the two story lines
Rating : 9/10
Read If... : You love the concept of the "butterfly effect" or multiple dimensions




Summary : Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.


My Thoughts : So many twists and turns up until the very last word- definitely a page turner
Rating : 9.5/10
Read If... : Creepy stories and characters are your thing and you liked Gone Girl



Summary : Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept. Expertly plotted and reminiscent of Gone Girl and These Things Hidden, The Silent Wife ensnares the reader from page one and does not let go.


My Thoughts : Interesting concept with a poor execution that never really lived up to its promise
Rating : 2/10
Read If... : There's nothing else available..seriously, avoid this book



Summary : Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life - boating, swimming , and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies -- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?



My Thoughts : Sweet love story with a controversial start and a heart-breaking choice that made me think- what would I do if I was in the same position?!
Rating : 8/10
Read If... : You love Nicholas Sparks's love stories



Summary : To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.  Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating--a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.



My Thoughts : I'm not sure if it was the writing style or hype surrounding it, but I could not get into this book and didn't enjoy it at all.
Rating : 3/10
Read If... : You want to see what the hype is all about (I would recommend the movie over the book)



Summary : A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the "psychic" visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

“The Grownup,” which originally appeared as “What Do You Do?” in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology, proves once again that Gillian Flynn is one of the world’s most original and skilled voices in fiction.


My Thoughts : I don't know how Flynn packed so much drama and suspense in such a short story, but this was fascinating, thrilling, scary, and surprising
Rating : 10/10
Read If... : You only have 30 minutes to read a book (or you're looking for anything to read!)



Summary : A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria's lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves. As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria's past begin to surface.

Rich in emotion and fueled with suspense, SEE ME reminds us that love is sometimes forged in the crises that threaten to shatter us . . . and that those who see us for who we truly are may not always be the ones easiest to recognize.



My Thoughts : Slightly creepy take on a love story with some build-up and a small twist, but overall a little too slow-paced for my liking
Rating : 6/10
Read If... : You like Nicholas Sparks but want a slightly darker love story



Summary : Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.


My Thoughts : Very interesting look at a fictional depiction of Charles Manson but a bit too explicit
Rating : 8.5/10
Read If... : You aren't easily turned away by violence and sex



Summary : Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.


My Thoughts : SUCH an incredible story, but took a lot of time to read because of the intricate writing style and the use of multiple points of view and timelines
Rating : 9.5/10
Read If... : You don't mind spending a lot of time on a book and want a fresh, new story


Your turn- what are you reading?
What should I read next?
Worst book you've read lately?

linking up with Amanda

11 comments:

  1. I definitely enjoyed Fates & Furies, and The Girls...and now I'm looking forward to trying a few more books from your list!

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  2. I loved Room!! I read most of it in one sitting, I just couldn't sleep until I knew what was happening!!

    I also loved Fates and Furies, could not put it down!

    Thanks for sharing your books!

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  3. Wow, you read a LOT. I wish I could read that much. Well, I probably could if I didn't run so much! I love all the reviews. Super helpful if I ever want to pick up any of these books. I don't like Sparks though. I know that for sure. I'm still slowly making my way through the Outlander series.

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  4. I just read The Girls as well and enjoyed it! Nick and I are reading Fates and Furies aloud to each other and IT'S SO HARD. I totally agree on the intricate writing - this is a book it's definitely easier to read silently, but sometimes if we both want to read something, we read it to each other to kill two birds with one stone. The writing is so tricky and we're majorly struggling, haha.

    I definitely want to check out some of the others you listed!

    Sarah
    www.thesurznickcommonroom.com

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  5. I have Life and other Near Death Experiences on my kindle and I honestly had forgotten what is was about. Thanks for helping me pare down/up my reading list!

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  6. I have read a lot of these books! I read last month What Alice Forgot and The Nightingale and they were both really great!

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  7. Room is definitely a different book - I read it when it first came out and really liked it, but was surprised I liked it because it was so different!

    I need to read Sharp Objects!

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  8. yayyyyyy books! i loved the rosie project and maybe in another life :) i think i have read sharp objects... sounds familiar. i can't remember what of hers i've read and what i haven't. she definitely knows how to write a messed up book! that sucks you didn't like Room, i remember loving it, but i'd been warned about the writing style so it didn't annoy me too much. it's been years since i have read a nicholas sparks book, but that 'the choice' made into a movie recently, right? the movies based on his books are a guilty pleasure lol. i've heard mixed things about fates and furies, glad you liked it!

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  9. Thanks for the recommendation. I always love to hear what others loved to read :)

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