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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Without Merit | Colleen Hoover

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.”

Genre: Young Adult.
Number of Pages: 384.
Perspective: First.
Location: Texas.

This book follows the dysfunctional Voss family told from 17-year-old Merit’s perspective. She is holding on to a lot of secrets for members of her family, but she may not be seeing the full picture. For a complete summary, you can go here.

First of all, any book that I can read in one day (and practically one sitting) has to be pretty good. The way Hoover writes just flows so well. All of her books suck you in and are quick reads because you just want to devour the book. They usually have some twists, but you never feel like you have to think too hard or slow down to piece everything together. I even gave it my Best Book Award (I am on a roll with good books this week!).

My favorite part about this book is that it discusses perception and that we make a lot of assumptions about people. I also like how it makes us aware that no one is perfect. Some reviewers complained that most of the main characters are unlikeable, but I actually appreciated that they were flawed. It made them feel more real. I also like how it addressed a lot of hot topic issues, such as mental health. My only complaint is that it kind of made light of and easily brushed over some controversial topics. 

This book was very different from any other Colleen Hoover book that I have read. It still had a romance storyline, but it was much more about the family than the romance. It is also more for the older teen rather than adults (but I definitely still have a lot of love for young adult books!). I highly recommend this book (as with most Colleen Hoover books, it is probably more geared towards women). If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 





“You don’t get to decide what your life means to anyone else.”




Friday, October 27, 2017

All The Missing Girls | Megan Miranda

There is nothing more dangerous, nothing more powerful, nothing more necessary and essential for survival than the lies we tell ourselves.”

Genre: Mystery Thriller.
Number of Pages: 384.
Perspective: First.
Location: Cooley Ridge, North Carolina.

This book follows Nic, a woman who returns to her hometown to help her aging dad with dementia. Going back opens old wounds and mysteries, especially once a second girl goes missing, ten years after the first mysterious disappearance. Everyone has their secrets, but which ones are hiding murder(s)? For a complete summary, you can go here.

Wow! Probably my favorite thriller of the year! I even gave it my Best Book Award! The format was unique (it took place primarily over fifteen days and was told in reverse chronological order). Now I want to read it all over again to catch all the clues I missed! It was a little frustrating at first, and it does take some brainpower to piece everything together -- but doesn't that add to the excitement of solving the mystery?! I think so!

At first, I was afraid that this book would be another unreliable narrator cliche, but it wasn’t quite like that. I do have to say I loved this book a lot more than Miranda’s other book The Perfect Stranger. I enjoyed that one, but this one definitely lived up to the hype more. I have seen people poking at some of the holes, but really, most thrillers have some red herrings to make you think you have guessed the ending. I’m choosing to not to overthink it at this point, and I’ll just enjoy it for the unique story it was! If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!





“People were like Russian nesting dolls - versions stacked inside the latest edition. But they all still lived inside, unchanged, just out of sight”



5/5 Stars

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*


Check out the other winners of my Best Book Award!



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas

Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

Genre: Young Adult.
Number of Pages: 464.
Perspective: First.

This book is about Starr, a sixteen-year-old that lives in a poor neighborhood, but attends a fancy suburban private school. One night, her childhood best friend gets shot by a cop while she’s in the car. She is forced to decide if she wants to stand up and be the voice of a movement. For a complete summary, you can go here.

I cannot think of one negative thing to say about this book. I even gave it my Best Book Award! It is very relevant to a lot of racial issues going on in America right now. It is not an anti-white or anti-police book. Instead, it focuses on the challenges of growing up in a poor, predominantly black neighborhood. It does discuss shootings and police brutality, but, again, it is not a book bashing the police. 

I think it is rare to find a book that can clearly explain to a young adult what racism looks and feels like without being wrapped up in metaphors. I think this would be a great book to read in high schools or for parents to buddy-read with their teen. Also, for being such a complex and heavy topic, there were lighter moments that helped to make the book not feel too dense. It was also a touching story about family, friendship, and love.

I had never heard of this book until it was picked for my book club. The title made me think it would be a cheesy millennial textspeak book, but I was so wrong. The title actually comes from Tupac and the term THUG LIFE. I won’t give it away, but it ties into the story nicely. It was also great to read a book with a black main character that was also written by a black author.

I think this book can be very eye-opening to a lot of people. I recommend it to everyone thirteen and above. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 





“At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Lily and the Octopus | Steven Rowley

A heart is judged not by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”

Genre: Animal Fiction.
Number of Pages: 307.
Perspective: First.
Location: Los Angeles, California.

This book is about a man's beloved dachshund with a cancerous tumor on his head. The owner, Ted, personifies this tumor as an octopus who is killing his best friend. He will do whatever it takes to fight off the octopus. For a complete summary, you can go here.

At first, my thoughts were: wow, this is a strange book…this guy must be on drugs since he is hallucinating. Then I thought: this book is really sweet and I can understand the deep connection between a person and a dog. Near the end of the book I thought: ok, this guy lost me again…this book got super weird and way over the top. My final thoughts: this book was based on the author’s relationship with his own dog, so I can see how this is cathartic and part of his healing process.

It honestly took me awhile to piece together my feelings about this book. I would say that I really enjoyed about 70% of it. The climax of the novel, which should have been the most interesting, completely lost me. It went way too far with the central metaphor and personification going on the book. I honestly started skimming the rest of the book after that. 

This book made me feel a lot of emotions and hug my fur babies tight. It is a sad topic, but I wouldn’t say that the whole book is sad. As with any book about loss, it can’t really have a “happy” ending, however, it is a story about moving forward. I didn’t know what to expect when starting this novel, so it took me awhile to get over the initial magical realism component. I do recommend it for pet lovers (anyone without a pet will probably just think that this guy is crazy). If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 





“It's natural, as our loved ones age, to start grieving their loss even before we lose them.”



3/5 Stars 

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

All Grown Up | Jami Attenberg

At some point, you just pull off the Band-Aid, and it hurts, but then it's over and you're relieved.”

Genre: Contemporary Fiction.
Number of Pages: 197.
Perspective: First.
Location: New York City.

This book follows Andrea through a series of short stories. As she reaches her forties, it seems like everyone in her life is growing up and moving on. She is focused on partying, art, and being alone. For a complete summary, you can go here.

All I can think to say is: thank goodness this was a short book. It was an incredibly depressing look at adulthood. I really think the author (or at least the narrative she was trying to push) is that life sucks. I seriously hope that teenagers don’t get ahold of this book and let it taint their view on growing up. Sheesh…

I read this book for my book club, and I expected it to be a witty and funny book about growing up. Instead, it was a series of vignettes that provided an incomplete and snarky view of this selfish woman. It was not funny at all, in fact it was rather dark. I blame the misrepresentation on the marketing and cover design. 

The only redeeming quality is that it talks about the negative perception of middle-aged woman who choose to be unmarried and without children. But this lady doesn’t need to be nasty to anyone that does want to get married and have kids. It's like she resented everyone for growing up while she wanted to keep doing drugs and acting like she was twenty. I have no problem with people who don't want to be married or have children. But she shouldn't resent the people who do want those things. OK, rant over.

If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 





“But a funny thing happens when you tell a man that you don't want to get married: they don't believe you. They think you're lying to yourself or to them or you're trying to trick them in some way and you end up being made to feel worse for just telling the truth.”



2/5 Stars