Reading Lately

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So I read a lot this month … and as usual, this month my reading was all over the place genre wise. As I’ve been writing again, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I love to read and how it plays into the books I’ve been reading lately.

My two favourite genres will always be thrillers/dramas and adult romance. Thrillers/dramas can always put me in a good reading mood, but, they can’t get me out of a reading slump and I cant read them if I’m in a bad mood. If I feel not to read, romance can always get me out of a slump and reading again – they also almost always lift my spirits (lets over look the fact that two of my favourite romance authors let me down majorly this month – look at you Hoover and Grey). Then there are the travel novels and those very cultural novels that my brain needs ever so often – I love to learn about different places and spaces and need to have those in my life as well – you know those books ordinary people run from, but my English major (before law) brain still craves, those books not set in the typical US or UK … Yeah, I need and love those too. Balance. I guess.

Anyway enough rambling. These are the books I’ve been reading lately:

 

Loved it:

The Alchemist ~ Paulo Coelho

I could use one of my favourite quotes from this short book to sum it up: “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve. The fear of failure.” Its the story of a boy on a journey to find a treasure in the Pyramids of Egypt, the many obstacles that he faces along the way and the journey to him finding his purpose. This story is timeless and versatile and could be read by virtually any age and have meaning.

It was a beautiful short(ish) story and I loved the evolution of the main character. I probably would re-read this everytime I need a lift in spirits and a motivational pep talk in the form of good prose.

4/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

 

 

Jane Doe ~ Victoria Helen Stone

Quick easy psychological thriller where you were aware the entire way of exactly what was happening.

I really enjoyed reading this. As someone who loves a good psychological thriller, I was able to appreciate how different this one was to so many of the thrillers that have come out since Gone Girl. There was no unreliable narrator (I love unreliable narrators but its kinda played out and predictable now) and we knew the main characters motives from page one. It was brilliant. At one point I wasn’t sure I was going to like the ending but I sure did. I sure did.

4/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

 

 

 

Love and other words ~ Christina Lauren

This is a solid 4.5 but I was/am conflicted about the end. Such a complex book disguised as an easy read. At a first glance its about childhood sweethearts finding each other again. But a closer look reveals a very strong underlying theme of loss. Loss of parents, loss of friendships, loss of relationships. I usually don’t like back and forth – past and present prose, but I really enjoyed how CL did it with this book, with the big secret from the past being revealed at the end at the same time when the main present story was coming to a head.

Speaking of the secret…  for most of the book I was all “omg just let it out already” but by the end, I realized why – and the enormity of the secret. I mentioned that I was conflicted by the end and the truth is, the secret was so grave that a part of me thinks the ending was too easily wrapped up. Anyway, great read. I licked it up in under a day and would 100% recommend.

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

Walking on the ceiling ~ Aysegul Savas

A shorter story about a Turkish woman living in Paris and her very unique friendship with an author named M whose books were all set in turkey. We see the main characters struggle with her history and roots, and her reinvention of her past and it’s secrets. Brilliant book but hard to explain without spoilers. Also, really really strange.  Give it a read.

4/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Oleander ~ Janet Fitch

Wow. This was dark, twisted, sad, and somewhat redemptive. It’s the story of Astrid, who we meet as a pre-teen, a young girl who was thrust into a series of unfortunate foster care situations after her mother committed murder. Man I went into this not expecting to get so involved in the story.

I felt myself rooting for Astrid. Man I hoped that there was some sort of “happy” ending for her, and Im glad that in some respects there was. I’d totally recommend. Lived up to the “Oprah’s Book club” hype.

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

 

 

 

 

Liked it:

The Last Mrs. Parrish ~ Liv Constantine

I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t love it. I liked that Amber, the villain of the story, had the tables turned on her. I liked the different perspectives and I loved that Daphne wasn’t as weak as I initially thought. I also didn’t mind the writing and the fact that it was a quick read (the story was slow but the book was a quick read). That’s where the buck stops because I really didn’t like everything else and its hard to specify why without spoiling everything. I hated Amber and Jackson – they were insufferable, I also hated that the “revenge” involved making another woman (even as insufferable as she was and man she was awful for no apparent reason other than she was bored with her life) endure abuse, especially the particularly vile kind of abuse dished out by Jackson. Parts just didn’t sit well with me though I didn’t hate it.

In the end the good parts of it got this book 3 stars.

3/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

Radio Silence ~ Alice Oseman

So this book was a recommendation and I didn’t know anything about it before including the fact that it was YA (not my fave genre at all. Like, at all). I liked that it had a lot of representation (LGBTQ, mix of races etc) and I liked that it dealt heavily with topics not normally ventured into in YA (sexuality, mental health issues etc).

It follows a girl named Frances and her friendship with Aled who ran a popular podcast. The book didn’t have the depth that I expected (it did have typical YA melodrama though) and some characters were almost caricatures (like Aled’s mother – so not even a little bit realistic), the “twist” was also quite obvious and man oh man was there ever a social media overload (which I guess is integral to the story but wow). All in all, liked it, didn’t love it.

3/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

 

Lie to me ~ J.T. Ellison

Well this was a wild ride wasn’t it.

I love a good suspense thriller. Especially one with actual suspense. I truly couldn’t put this one down. I figured out who the villain of the story was pretty early on, but some of the twists did surprise me.

Speaking of twists, Ill be honest, you had to suspend a lot of disbelief in the end in order to get past some of the more wacky twists (and there were a lot of twists at the end), and if you looked too closely, some of the story is easily unraveled, but in general a great crime / suspense / family thriller. Would recommend.

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

 

 

The Fortunate Ones ~ R.S. Grey

So i really love RS Grey but I didn’t love this book. It kinda really was a let down actually.

Ok, so it was enjoyable enough, but the romance fell flat and seemed way too forced (like so much time passed between their meetings and they honestly didn’t see each other all that much throughout the book – it was odd). On top of that both the guy and the girl were really annoying at times.

Mediocre. Still love Grey.

3/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

 

 

 

 

Genealogy ~ Mae Wood

(received from Netgalley for an honest review)

I loved this story, although I wouldn’t say I couldn’t put it down, because I did. It wasn’t a hard read by any means but it also wasn’t the smoothest. It was set in more than one country (Phillipines and US – more than one city in the US too), more than one time period in each country, the stories jumped back and forth and its partly told in letters and partly in prose – so yeah not always the smoothest. That said, I absolutely love the actual story and I particularly loved that it was based on the authors own history.

It’s about Ali, who finds love letters written by a man to her great grandmother before the first world war, and ultimately how those letters led her to unravel her family’s history and in some respects, settle her own future. Brilliant concept. Would totally recommend.

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

 

Not my vibe:

All your Perfects ~ Colleen Hoover

Ok Ill preface this by saying this wasn’t a bad book – it just wasn’t for me. Halfway through, I almost gave up on it and if I didn’t have my stupid no DNF rule, I would have. Actually, not even halfway – maybe 5 chapters in. It was a tough read for several reasons and just had a really melancholy tone for most of it, which I really wasn’t in the mood for. When I was about 10 chapters form the end I said to Danny “there’s not a bow pretty enough to wrap this story up and make me like it.” But, I read it all, and the ending created a bow just pretty enough to make me not completely hate it. It just wasn’t for me.

While I like that Hoover had the guts to ‘go there’ and represent infertility, if you have recently had a miscarriage / suffered the loss of pregnancy / loss of a child and are easily or even moderately triggered by these topics… do yourself a huge favour and skip this one. I have tough ass skin and I was like … Woof. So many thoughts. So many descriptions. Yeah.

2.5/5 stars

Goodreads link here

Up Next:

Although I began Genealogy since my last post, I only finished it last night (all the other books were picked up in between me reading that (I said I was able to put it down). Anyway, at the time of my finishing up this post, I haven’t chosen a next read yet so check me out on Goodreads to see what Im reading now.

Linking up with Steph and Jana for Show us your books

Have a great one guys!!

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