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National Siblings Day: What to Read

Without Merit | Colleen Hoover

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

5/5 Stars

Fangirl | Rainbow Rowell

This story is about Cath in her first year of college but she feels alone when her very opposite twin sister refused to share a dorm room. Cath is forced out of her comfort zone since she would much rather write fan fiction and get lost in a fantasy world than party with her sister or roommate. For a complete summary, you can go here.

So, this book is very interesting because the story within this story (the fan fiction Cath is writing) was later turned into its own novel, Carry On, which I actually read before this. I am very glad that I read it in that order because Fangirl gives away some important twists in Carry On that I appreciated being surprised by. 

Compared to the other Rainbow Rowell books that I have read, this is better than Carry On, but not as good as Eleanor and Park. But I loved this book and couldn’t do anything else until I finished reading the entire thing [Which is why I gave it my Best Book Award]. Rowell is very talented at spending a lot of time with characters and really making you feel connected to them. I also love that all of her characters are quirky and imperfect. This book does deal with some tough subjects, such as overdosing, mental health, and parental abandonment. I appreciate that Rowell isn't afraid to talk about those things. I do think that in this book, those tough subjects didn't feel as heavy as they did in Eleanor and Park.

I think that younger women or teens would like this book best, but I also think that any huge Harry Potter fan would get a kick out of it too. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here
5/5 Stars

The Nest | Cynthia C'Aprix Sweeney

The Nest is the story of the Plumb family. The adult siblings have been waiting for their portion of the family nest egg for their whole lives. Now it is finally time for the payout and all the money has to go to fix the eldest brother’s drunken mistake. Now the family fights to get the money they think it rightfully theirs. For a complete summary, you can go here.

Like many New York Times Best Sellers, this book fails to meet its hype. It was an intriguing story but didn’t offer me anything new to chew on. Every piece of this story has been told at some point. But I do love stories about dysfunctional families, especially when it includes some realistic problems (even if they may be slightly exaggerated). 

Overall, it was an interesting story and I liked how the characters all tied together. However, I could have done without some of the side stories. The number of characters prevented me from truly caring about any members of the Plumb family [Not to mention the fact that I had to keep reminding myself who all the characters were. And why would you name two of the main characters Walter and Walker?!]. I think cutting out some subplots would have allowed for more character development. The biggest changes happen between the end of the story and the epilogue, so we don’t even get to see a lot of the transformations. 

The prologue was very intriguing, and caught my interest immediately, but rest of the story didn’t follow suit. The ending was also kind of lackluster. With that said, I did enjoy it and it was a quick read. I would still recommend this book, especially to people who like books with a lot of drama. This book reminded me of a soap opera—pregnancies, affairs, car accidents, fights over money, and strange coincidences. The writing was well done and kept me engaged, so I can’t really complain. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here

4/5 Stars 

Sometimes I Lie | Alice Feeney

We know three things about Amber. She is in a coma, her husband doesn’t love her, and sometimes she lies. For a complete summary, you can go here.

I had a hard time coming up with a numerical rating of this book, so pay more attention to my review than my rating. The first half of this book dragged on. I didn’t feel connected to the main character because everything was very vague and filtered out through language, so the character felt far away. There was also a lot of set-up. I realize now that those things were intentional, but it still made it hard to keep going. I didn’t give up because the title told me that the main character would be lying, so I was waiting for the twist. 

Well, I got a twist. Several of them, in fact. There were so many twists that it felt overdone. After the first twist, I was excited and finally felt interested in the story. It redefined everything I thought was happening. And then there was another twist, and another twist. Then by the ending, I was so confused about what actually happened. 

I like when I’m blown away by twists and when I feel the need reread a book to catch the things I missed. With this story, I think it would be beneficial to reread it, but I just don’t have to desire to. Mainly because the dream/hallucination sequences and scenes when she was in a coma; they were too purple prose for me. 

I think the point of psychological thrillers is that they get into your head so you question everything. This book did that, so I should have gotten everything out of it I could want. But I still feel unresolved. The ending leaves it open for a sequel (see this post to understand why I hate sequels and series). I am rating this book as a four because it was a different take on the unreliable narrator. I will probably recommend this book to everyone because I want to be able to talk to people about what happened! I will definitely be thinking about this one for a while.  If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here
4/5 Stars

Others to read:

I'll Give You the Sun | Jandy Nelson

Sisters of Shiloh | Kathy and Becky Hepinstall

Everything I Never Told You | Celeste Ng

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