Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Books Lately

After January aka the month of basically no reading, I had to step it up in February, otherwise my goal of 150 books wasn't going to be very realistic.. I am technically 'behind' schedule right now, but whatever. I'll catch up. I haven't been listening to any books lately because I've been relearning French in the car, and listening to Serial when I run, so these are all 'real' books. Anyway, blah blah here they are:


The Storyteller - Jodi Picoult - 5 Stars

I mean, would you expect any less? This is only my 3rd Picoult, and I'll need a while before I can pick up another of her books. She just hits you straight in the heart and the gut with all the feels. I enjoyed this book. Parts were hard to read, as I imagine they would be hard for anyone who had family affected by the war.. or anyone with a soul, I don't know. But, good book. I liked the characters. I cried, I laughed. I was super confused by the other story being told at the same time, but when it was explained, I understood but then they repeated it and I was like why did you even put that in there if you were just going to put it in there again?? I guessed / hoped the twist and I was right but the way it ended made me sad but not in a sobbing way, just in a .. 'aw man, that's sad and unfair' kind of way, but it's one of those situations I wouldn't know how I would react in real life, so I can't really judge. Definitely recommend.

Pride, Prejudice & Cheese Grits - Mary Jane Hathaway - 3 Stars

This book had potential but it fell pretty flat. It was a light, easy read. Despite the title, it doesn't talk about Austen or P&P that much. I'm not gonna lie- if an author does a certain something in a book, I hold it against them for the rest of the book. I just can't look past it and it loses a star. I should have expected it, and I should be able to ignore it and move on but I can't. This book has a lot of the shit I don't like. I can't really explain it. Overall, the plot was a bit messy and the characters weren't very fleshed out. Despite that, I enjoyed it enough - would even be 4 stars if not for the annoying thing I hate - and I will most likely read the others but I probably wouldn't recommend them. I'm sure that doesn't make any sense, but when do I ever?

Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World - Vicki Myron - 4 Stars

I am a sucker for stories about pets. I try not to read them because I bawl at the drop of a hat. It doesn't even need to be sad, I just love how much people love their pets. I think I started crying in this book on like page 10 and didn't stop till the last page. But I am a baby, it's not a terribly sad book (until the end, that's not a spoiler it's just real life). I enjoyed this book, I love cats and libraries so how could I not. There were some parts I didn't like and my eyes glazed over the ridiculously long chapters about small town America or certain aspects of the author's life. I do think that those things were pertinent to the story, but they didn't have to be so long. If you love animals, even if you're not a cat person, you might enjoy this.

Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson - 5 Stars

This book is absolutely adorable. It's a regency romance but Donaldson wrote it to appeal to a more modern audience and I think she did a great job. It's adorable. I loved the characters. It's not just a romance, it touches on other things too - family, grief, guilt, finding yourself. Sometimes when you read a book, you know more than the main character - you think, 'oh stay away from that guy, he's bad' or 'he didn't mean that, he's really in love with you!' but in this book, I felt like I was feeling everything the main character was and discovering everything at the same time. I hoped for some things, but I was upset about the same things she was.. can't explain otherwise spoilers. It's not a literary masterpiece, but I enjoyed it very much. If you are looking for a light, easy, clean, sweet book with a little bit of romance book - this is it. 


Ugly Love - Colleen Hoover - 4 Stars

I never read 50 Shades. I tried to, but I had to put it down after one page because the writing wasn't my jam. I am not against, er, adult scenes in books but I don't like them to be the only thing in the book. I like some semblance of a plot, and I like connecting with the characters. I enjoyed this book. You won't like it if you don't like reading about sex, so there's that. This might have even gotten 5 stars if not for the absolutely ridiculously annoying style of writing in some parts. Also, some things a certain character did went too far, and could not be blamed on the thing he was upset about - thus unforgivable in my opinion. Oh and apparently the guy to my left is playing the guy in the movie - which I actually don't like. He is not what I pictured at all. Hollywood, why for you do this to me? His beard is way too pretty. Read for book club.
Lizzy & Jane - Katherine Reay - 3 Stars

I read Reay's other book recently which I enjoyed but didn't absolutely love. I still wanted to read this one and then Sarah told me it was on sale for 99 cents, I mean... how can you not, right? I will say that I enjoyed this book way more than Reay's first - the writing was better, the characters were better, the plot was stronger - there were still some bits that annoyed me because they seemed a bit forced, but they wouldn't annoy the average reader. Overall, this book is an easy, light read - the Austen references were less than her first book, but I still think maybe a bit too much for the reader who doesn't know Austen that well. There were other references - Hemingway and such. I am a crier, and for a story with lots of cancer, I didn't cry (it's saying a lot, I promise, see above) so it really isn't a deep, moving book but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Yeah Maybe - Joey Hodges - 5 Stars


I was hooked as soon as I started. It's definitely a light, easy read that deals with so much more than you'd think at first glance. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure we have all dealt with the things that the main character does! It's easy to identify with Annie, and you're pulling for her every step of the way. Sure, she did some annoying, silly things, as did every character.. But they are teenagers, and that's what teenagers are like. I sometimes struggle with books about teenagers because I feel like I can't relate anymore, but this wasn't a problem with this book, I could probably relate a little too much! highly recommend.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman - 5 Stars

I loved this book. I read a review that said 'it made me happy. it made me feel less alone' and I love that. It was odd, scary, strange, real, lovely, innocent and wonderful. It's the kind of book that when you read the last word, you close the book and look around at your world .. with a kind of disappointment that it's not the same world as the one you just left. Like, this strange feeling that you didn't appreciate the beauty of it until it was over, and you want to go back to before knowing the end and appreciate it properly. Or is that just me?







Linking up with Rebecca for her winter reading challenge, and StephJana, for their monthly link up.


Life According to Steph

Skimmers, I would recommend The Storyteller, Edenbrooke, The Ocean at the End of the Lane... ok, basically everything except Pride, Prejudice & Cheese Grits.

Read anything decent lately?

55 comments:

  1. So many good reads! I usually do most of my reading during the summer (weird huh?) so I'm definitely going to be checking these out soon! I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies forever ago, have you read that one? The Cheese Grits kinda reminded me of that but I feel like the Zombies version has more Austen in it.

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. I loved Yeah, Maybe! I read it in like a day and it totally took me back to high school.

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  3. You are so putting me to shame. I still haven't completed a book this year! I seriously need to have a word with myself! I might give a couple of these ago to ease me back into it!

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  4. You really liked the Neil Gaiman book? I tried his Newbery winner a few years ago and I hated it. Maybe I should try this one. I'm reading my first Picoult right now. I could see how people gobble up her books.

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  5. I'm a total Picoult fangirl so this one is shooting to the top of my reading list! Thanks for the recs!

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  6. great reviews! i really want to read the last one. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  7. " It's the kind of book that when you read the last word, you close the book and look around at your world .. with a kind of disappointment that it's not the same world as the one you just left. " Yes, yes, YES! The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the only book on this list that I've read, but I'm so glad you liked it! I definitely felt empty inside after it was over. I see Picoult's name everywhere...I'll have to give her a shot one of these days.

    --Gianni

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  8. i'm only on book #2 this year!!! this list puts me to shame. i checked for ocean at the end of the lane and for once, there's no line up!! putting this on hold asap :)

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  9. Ugly love sounds really good and of course I totally agree with Joey's book - it was the best!! I could not put it down!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  10. I'm so glad you do this every month. I am keeping up with my one book a month goal this year (even getting crazy and reading TWO books last month and this month!) so I appreciate the recommendations and reviews! I finished Yeah, Maybe on my trip last weekend and had that feeling that you didn't have...I can't relate to teenagers anymore! I wanted to talk some sense into them the whole time. LOL.

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  11. Oh I can't wait to read some of these! I've been in need of some new book ideas. I just read a book called "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake" and it was amazing. Highly recommend.

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  12. Jodi Picoult books are my favorite but I totally agree - they pull at the heart strings! My Sisters Keeper is my favorite book ever and every single time I read it, I'm crying my eyes out at the end!

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  13. Ohh Edenbrooke sounds like a good one, definitely want to check that out! I put the Neil Gaiman one on hold just now, hopefully I will get it soon!

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  14. Great selection, from this list I read yeah maybe only but I need to catch up!

    http://deadlyinlove.com/

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  15. You had such a good reading month with so many 4 and 5 star books! That's always the best. I added Edenbrooke to my list!

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  16. YES to Dewey (which I read years ago and probably should reread because it was that good) and The Storyteller. Jodi Picoult nailed it with that one.

    Glad you had a great reading month! What are you using to relearn French? I've been using Duolingo but I feel I need something else to help me along.

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  17. Aw sad pride and prejudice and cheese grits fell flat, especially bc I love cheese grits hahaha! Yeah maybe sounds super cute! I love teen books haha!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  18. So many fun reviews! I had the last book on my kindle but didn't have time to start it. now i'm on a a wait list!

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  19. I'll put the last 2 books on my to read list! And I MUST read at least one of Jodi's books.

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  20. I cry like a baby anytime I read a Jodi Picoult. All out Claire Danes ugly girl cry, usually. It's ok. I think anyone with a soul does.

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  21. I'm reading Yeah Maybe! I was in a local store in Tulsa over the weekend and saw a bunch of Pride & Prejudice stuff... guess who I thought of? ;)

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  22. Excellent- you know I love your book posts! I haven't read that one by Jodi but her writing style is what I go for. Thanks for sharing!

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  23. OH MY GOSH... so many books I need to add to my list now!!!

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  24. I like to have a book to read when I'm on the treadmill or stationary bike and I'm almost done with the one I'm reading now. Yeah Maybe sounds like something I should start reading next.

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  25. I'm going to try out Ugly Love.

    I felt the same way with The Ocean at the End of the Lane!

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  26. I have a few of these on my Goodreads right now! lol! So glad to hear that you like them too! I have actually never read any books by Jodi Picoult (i know, what rock have I been living under) but everyone has been suggesting her to me so I picked up a couple at a library sale. I found Salem Falls, Nineteen Minutes, and The Tenth Circle. what one do you think I should start with??

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  27. I love to read. I really miss it! I just read Wild and that was the first book I've read in quite some time. I really need to just make time to read each night...and add some of these to my reading list =)

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  28. I've been torn on whether or not to read Neil Gaiman's book for a while now. You just swayed me to do so!

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  29. Dewey looks like a good one, anything with pets gets me too. Ugly Love has been on my list for awhile I need to get on it! The last one sounds really good too, checking it out.

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  30. The Storyteller almost destroyed me. I've read pretty much every Jodi Picoult book (when you're ready for another let me know, I have recommendations!) and this one completely took me by surprise. I think I actually sat up in my bed and gasped when I got to the twist. No matter how much I read her I can never pinpoint where she's going to take the turn at the end. But yeah, this one was so hugely emotional for me, ugh. But probably one of my favorites from her so far!

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  31. I love Neil Gaiman! The Ocean At The End Of The Lane was really good, but not my favorite of his. I love Neverwhere and Anansi Boys of his books.

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  32. I'm the same way about Jodi Piccoult - I can't read 2 in a row of her books.
    I want to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane - it sounds good!

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  33. Every time I see a Pride and Prejudice book, I think of you :)

    Missed you! Now I am back!

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  34. Nooo I cannot even handle a sad story about a cat right now (and I'd totally bawl by page 10 I'm sure hah). Love reading your recommendations so thank you for helping me add a few more books to my to-read list ;) PS Did you ever read The Art of Racing in the Rain? #adog #cancer #ohmygod

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  35. I feel the same about Picoult actually. Love that you loved Ugly Love - I know exactly what you are saying. There are parts of that character that was so unforgivable. But I thought for what it was ... it was well written. Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits?? I think if I read it I may have the same reaction. lol

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  36. Nice!! I wish I had the time, and motivation to read a book that wasn't by John Green;can't wait to see you reach your goal!!

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  37. I read Dewey years ago. It was a sweet true story.

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  38. Will for sure be checking out the Neil Gaiman book!! I also loved Dewey. I am a sucker for pet books as well. A Dog's Purpose was an amazing one if you like that sort of book!

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  39. Yay for Edenbrooke! Now you have to read Blackmoore :) I have Lizzie and Jane to read as well that I got when it was on sale too :)

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  40. I've never read a Neil Gaiman or a Jodi Picoult. I know. I keep meaning to, and I will. So, I appreciate your recommendations.

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  41. I am THE SAME WAY about pet books! I've wanted to read that Dewy book, but feared I'd sob through it. Thank you SO SO much for sharing your opinion of Yeah, Maybe love!!!

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  42. Yeah!!!! I read a book in your list!!!!! I am so excited! I loved Joey's book could not put it down!!!

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  43. Oh Edenbrooke sounds so good!
    My boyfriend got The Ocean at the End of the Lane for Christmas, but we always read Gaiman books together so I have to wait until we've finished our current book to read that one.

    I haven't been by here for a while because a) I've been INCREDIBLY busy but also b) your blog hasn't been showing up on my bloglovin'!

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  44. I've read all of Jodi Picoult's books. I like them because they are thought provoking and hit you with a moral dilemma.

    Have you read any Alice Hoffman? While her plots aren't like Picoult's, her writing is similar in the way she describes things and gives inanimate objects magic.

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  45. sounds like you found some really good books this month! I need to read more picoult and Yeah, Maybe as well!

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  46. I thought I commented on this and was sad when I realized I didn't. Yay, so glad you read Edenbrooke! Have you read Blackmoore yet? It's on my Kindle, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Ugly Love (and several others by Colleen Hoover) have also been chilling out on my Kindle, so I am glad to hear you liked it!

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  47. I've heard really good things about Neil Gaiman books but the first one I picked up, "American Gods" was SOOOO weird. I'll have to check that one out though. Also the Story Teller is such a great book! I've already read it twice.

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  48. My mom gave me that Dewey cat book and I still haven't read it! Glad you enjoyed it. I've heard a lot of good things about The Pact, maybe I should read that after I finish my current (not so amazing) book.

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    1. Oops, meant The Storyteller. The Pact is on my TBR list too, haha!

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  49. You have a lot of good reads here! I am going to have to add a few to my list and start hopping on them! I only have 100 pages left of my series :)

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  50. I have The Storyteller on hold at the library (the audio version). I think I'm in line for it, but I have another book or two of her's "in transit." Shhhh I still haven't read any of her novels! I was supposed to have one for my trip (to use the term loosely), but there was a snag in getting a copy, plus I already had a lot to read, so I didn't think it was worth purchasing yet another book! But now I'm really looking forward to it!

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  51. I haven't read in a while, makes me sad haha. I need to pick up a book but it's hard when I know I can't just spend like 4 hours straight just reading... anyways these books look good! The Picoult one has been on my list for a while! I added the Neil Gaiman one too. The only book that I read in the last 5 weeks is another one by Colleen Hoover and I actually really liked it (Someday maybe) so I think I'll check this one out too. :)

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  52. Actually it's called Maybe Someday (oops, my bad).......

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  53. ooh I want to read them! Except I can't read the cat one I just know I can't. I'm such a cry baby when it comes to animals and old people. Let's be real I feel bad for inanimate objects. #sensitivepersonprobs I have read 1.25 books. Not great, but I'm working toward another big goal for the end of April. Perhaps after that I'll do #allthereading Pinning this list! XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  54. I loved Joey's book...couldn't put it down!! Basically any writer that has a good plot, but ruins it with their writing aggravates me and I can't read it!! Which is probably how I'd feel with Ugly Love!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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