I am a huge reader, and since I just recently signed up for Scribd, I thought it would be fun to review the books I read each month. I mostly read fiction, but want to read more nonfiction/self-help type books this year, so it should be a solid mix. You’ll definitely see some authors pop up more than once, and I will warn you – I reread books all the time. Anyway, January was a slow reading month for me, but here’s what I read.
This is a five book YA series that I’d heard a lot about, but hadn’t read, so I thought I’d read the first one to see if I liked it. It’s about a dystopian society with various class levels that holds a reality show for the prince to choose a wife. Think Divergent meets The Bachelor. There was some insight into life in a new country that still suffers under risk of civil war that I found interesting, and I certainly appreciated how the new society wasn’t necessarily all good or all bad (which is why I compare it to Divergent, not Hunger Games). However, at the heart of it, this series is a romance. The series covers the main character, America, for the first three books, and the last two books focus on her daughter, eighteen years later. With that in mind, the author wrapped up the initial storyline in a way that simply felt too tidy, and then the last two books were sorely missing the spark. I’m not saying this is a bad series, but it’s not the best. I elected not to read the spinoff novels about some of the other characters. Read it if you want, but I think there are other books that play with these topics better.
This book was a bit dry but did a good job of pointing out the insular concerns of American students as opposed to the international awareness of students in other countries. It also highlighted the stress and competitiveness that is so prevalent among students and parents. The author touched on extreme techniques parents engage to get special treatment for their kids, such as having them falsely diagnosed with learning disorders. For a fiction novel, this book did a great job showing the dangers of helicopter parenting, but it’s not super-engaging. Still, if you have kids, or are a teenager, I would recommend reading this, because it may help you keep an eye on your own actions, and it gives perspective on what’s really important.
This book was really good. It took the picture-perfect “Stepford” lives and went behind the scenes, questioning ethics and morality. It touches on issues from divorce to murder, poop to politics, but retains enough humor to avoid being morbidly depressing. I enjoyed it greatly, and was on the edge of my seat for some of the storylines. All of the characters are likeable but none of them are perfect. Definitely read this!
This book was pretty funny. It took a little while to get into it, but then the protaganist grew on me. The main character is much more of an anti-hero, but she’s hilarious, and will suck you in. This would be a great beach read – it’s light and fun.
I thought this book was going to be really good. It’s kind of confusing during, because it jumps forward and backward through time, but the general storyline – Jenny’s daughter goes missing after school theatre rehearsal and is never heard from again – is solid. It’s a dark mystery with an intriguing plot, and the author revealed new clues gradually keeping you engaged – I was ready to say this was a must-read. Then I hit the end. The bulk of the book wasn’t perfect but was good, but the ending is terrible. It feels almost like the author got bored writing it and just slapped something together. Skip this book!
This book was riveting. The entire thing takes place over one day, and I read it in one morning. It can be a bit hard to keep up with, because it switches viewpoints pretty regularly, and sometimes I was too engaged in the story to pay attention to who was narrating. It was dark with numerous plot twists, so that by the end, I had missed the major clues and was surprised. The author didn’t close the book with a perfectly tidy, happy ending, and I’m glad. I feel like her ending was true, both to the story and to life, and it was a perfect fit. While this may not be a fun book to read when you’re looking for a laugh, it’s definitely worth reading.
This book is so well-written. I could picture all the characters, the scenes, it was like watching a movie in my head. It was a rollercoaster from start to finish, with twists and turns everywhere. I didn’t fully guess the story before it was all revealed at the end. You definitely need to pay attention to this book, because it’s not chronological, and it’s very easy to get lost. However, it’s well worth it. Read this when you have a large block of time free.
I’m a huge fan of lists so I was hoping this would have some great, innovative ways to use lists in everyday life. It didn’t. This book is basically for people who have never written a list. Seriously. For my foray into self-help books, this was a complete bust.
What books have you been reading lately? Anything you recommend?