It’s been busy so I’m grouping together Spring and Summer for this reading wrap-up. All in all, I read some great books but it doesn’t look like I’ll be making it to 52 books this year. I cannot wait for my favorite season – Fall!!
Made This Way | 5 stars
This was a great book that discusses moral issues that commonly come up today and gives examples of how to discuss them with children. It gives options for both younger and older kids which I thought was an amazing idea. There are many things that are difficult to explain to children and this book makes it seem manageable.
I think this book would also be great for anyone trying to discuss hard topics with people in their day-to-day life and arm them with simple ways to articulate what they believe and why they believe it. I think the why part of this book is what makes it so exceptional. I would recommend this book to anyone and know that at the very least it will start a conversation even if the person reading it might not agree.
The Allure of Julian Lefray | 4 stars
This was such a fun book. It’s exactly what the cover says it is, a romantic comedy. I loved this book as a contemporary romance because it had multiple subplots beautifully woven into the overall story. This gave more to care about than just the guy and the girl. Overall this was an extremely quick, fun and easy read. I can’t wait to read more of R.S. Grey’s work.
Grey is a self-published author with thousands if not millions of readers. Her Instagram account is amazing and I highly recommend checking it out if you are a writer.
The Great Alone | 5 stars
This is a book it felt like absolutely everyone was reading. As you know, I loved Hannah’s previous book, The Nightingale. I knew this was one I needed to get around to soon and I was right. Thanks to my mom who loaned me this book and then didn’t stop texting me asking if I’d read it until I did. It was worth it.
This is a book that sticks with you. You finish it and then just keep thinking about. The writing is beautiful and the story plays out perfectly. It is a read that feels cozy and slow-moving but in the best way. There is no lack of adventure and excitement here but it feels like real life. This book follows the story of a family that moves to Alaska and has to change their way of life by learning to survive in the wilderness. This is one you can give your younger brother who enjoyed Hatchet in elementary school and also a book you can give to your friends or read in book club. I can’t wait to read my next Kristin Hannah novel.
Surprise Me | 3 stars
This book was okay. I don’t think it was Kinsella’s best by any means but it was still an entertaining read. Going into this book I knew I probably wouldn’t like it as much as her previous novels. The struggling marriage is always a plot point I have trouble getting behind. It was still a Kinsella novel, I just think there are better contemporaries out there including her own.
Daisy Jones & The Six | 5 stars
I doubt this will come as a surprise to anyone but this was an amazing book. I don’t think I’ve read a book this quickly in a long time. This book is formatted as an interview which I thought was going to mean the atmosphere was lacking, but Reid artfully described the scene through the characters words. With a leave-you-hanging ending and rapid pace, I don’t think anyone will be able to put this book down.
I’ve heard the audiobook is amazing and I’m hoping I can check it out using the Libby app soon. Many people say they prefer to reading the actual book which I find hard to believe since I enjoyed it so much.
Last of Her Name | 2 stars
It would be hard to follow Daisy Jones anyway, but this was definitely not the book for it. While this should be a fast-paced read due to the level of writing, I dragged when reading this book. I think this book had great potential and definitely hit the market at the right time as a retelling of Anastasia Romanov’s story; however, this book needed some major editing It read like a first or second draft of a story.
This would be great for a young YA reader, unfortunately it just wasn’t for me.
A Reaper at the Gates | 5 stars
I’m finally caught up in this series! It seems to get a very love it or hate it reaction but let me tell you, I loved it. This series has been so unique and interesting while also feeling like coming home. It has all the aspects of a sure to be famous YA series and that’s exactly what it is. I love how complex each and every one of the characters is and I cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out.
If you’re looking for something to fill a Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Sarah J. Maas or similarly shaped reading hole in your life then look no further.
Rules of Civility | 5 stars
I heard a lot about Amor Towles from his other book, A Gentleman in Moscow. Listening to other heavy readers I heard that Rules of Civility may be a better book of his to start with and they were right. This is a book about complex relationships and life as well. It highlights the changes and decisions we make because of relationships and how those affect our entire lives. This is a very compelling read that I highly recommend.
My hold on A Gentleman in Moscow came through while I was writing this post and I can’t wait to dive in.
The Unhoneymooners | 3 stars
You absolutely know the ending going into this but it’s still a fun read. I don’t think I’m as big of a Christina Lauren fan as everyone else seems to be. The writing was fine, similar to other contemporaries, and there were other plots going on but I just didn’t care about them as much. I’m not sure exactly what it is but there was just something missing for me here. This is one that I can remember pretty clearly though, which says something itself!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo | 3 stars
This book came before Daisy Jones & The Six but had just as much hype around it. I was excited to jump into it after how much enjoyed her other book and while it was very well written with another extremely interesting premise, I just don’t think it was as amazing as everyone thought it was. I think the “twist” in this one wasn’t as natural or unexpected as in her other book. I also just didn’t care about the characters as much. They were interesting and well-developed and I think many people would still enjoy reading this. Something about it just wasn’t as for me as her other work.
Station Eleven | 5 stars
I knew I was going to absolutely love this book but it still took me forever to read it. I read this extremely quickly and was looking for any opportunity to keep reading it. Dystopian by definition but extremely realistic in causation, this book took a normal occurrence and extrapolated it to a what-if. It went back and forth in time in a way that wasn’t confusing at all but did greatly enhance the story. The writing was wonderful, the plot was engaging and I can’t stop thinking about this book. It may be my favorite this year. Please, go read it.
One Day in December | 4 stars
While I liked this book, I did give it four stars, I really expected to give it five. Maybe because I read it in the summer and not in the winter like everyone else did when it was receiving so much influencer attention I lost some aspect of it. I do think this was a good book about taking chances and running into that person you saw that one time and should’ve said hi to in unexpected ways. I recommend reading this in the winter – not the middle of summer like me – on a day where you want to relax with a light, quick read.
1984 | 5 stars
I finally read this book! Granted, I should have read it in junior high or something but it was never part of my assigned reading. I wanted to challenge myself to get to a classic or two this year and with all of the changes in digital privacy and restrictions as well as the state of politics, I knew this was absolutely at the top of the list.
It took me a while to read this one because of the style of writing and the mini book-within-a-book section but it was well worth it. This book hits home and makes you think. While slightly scary I think it makes me more aware of the world around me. I understand why it’s required reading and I am now requiring you to read it.
10% Happier | 2 stars
I felt tricked by this book. For a book by a guy that claimed to be skeptical and not promoting Buddhism it certainly did. I finished this book so that I could write a review about and at least let other people know that this is thinly veiled advocation for the Buddhism. It does not promote “westernized” meditation but goes into the different aspects of Buddhism. If you are going to write a nonfiction book about religion it shouldn’t be hidden.
The Thousandth Floor | 3 stars
Don’t expect anything deep from this book, but it was a good, fluffy YA book. It was reminiscent of Gossip Girl like Becca and Grace from Bad on Paper podcast pointed out. Go listen to their podcast episode on this book for a full review and breakdown. Other than that, if you’re looking for something similar to Gossip Girl style books you’ll find it here.
The Wicked King | 4 stars
A great follow up to the first book! I didn’t like it as much but it was still good. It’s definitely YA in writing style but I love the story and characters in this book. I’m excited to see where the rest of this series takes us.
This takes me to 22 books for the year so far! 23 to go but I’m not pushing it too hard. We’ll see where we get to.
Let me know what you thought of these books! Also, feel free to take a look at my Goodreads “Want to Read” list and tell me what you think I should read next.