After being stuck on one book for the entirety of February (more on that below), I didn’t have high hopes for getting much more reading done this month; however, I was pleasantly surprised at all the books I managed to read and like/love.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – 3 stars
Man oh man, I’m not even really sure what to say about this book – it honestly took a lot of restraint not to give this book two stars. This is a monster of a book – nearly 800 pages – and while that normally doesn’t bother me, it was like reading 800 pages of the phone book. It. was. so. boring. It took me a month to finish the book because I could hardly keep my eyes open through an entire chapter – I constantly was going back to reread pages that I missed when my eyes started to glaze over. I also hated the main character; he was dealt a difficult hand in life at a very young age, but he had more than ample opportunity to overcome that and not be influenced by the negative people in his life. I know that this novel is loved by so many, and I absolutely respect that, but the story just wasn’t for me.
You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane – 4 stars
Thank goodness this was my follow-up book to the one above – a light-hearted British rom-com was exactly what I needed to erase my horrible previous book experience. I was surprised at the amount of character development there was in this book – I wasn’t expecting much, but I was really invested in all the people by the time the book came to an end. The story also was very relate-able, in my opinion – whether it be a friend or ex that you screwed things up with or lost touch, I think we’ve all been there, done that and wish we could fix the situation. Plus, if you like British humor and slang, you’ll love this book as much as I did just for that reason.
Maid for Love (The McCarthy’s of Gansett Island #1) by Marie Force – 4 stars
When Kristen sang the praises of this book, I thought it was worth checking out. It certainly didn’t disappoint! It’s horribly unrealistic and corny, but hey, I see nothing wrong with it. You learn a heck of a lot about the characters pretty quick, so there’s no time wasted getting right to the heart of the book. This would make for a great quick, beach/vacation read, especially since everything takes place on an island off the East Coast. If you’re in the mood for some cheesy romance, then this definitely is the book for you (and, it’s free for Kindle readers!).
Fool for Love (The McCarthy’s of Gansett Island #2) by Marie Force – 3 stars
Since I enjoyed the first book so much, I thought I would jump right into the second story. Eh, this definitely was not as good as the first. I had high hopes since I already knew I liked the characters going into this one based on their appearances in the first book, but there was way more focus on the love and sex aspect of things opposed to the character’s back stories. The only saving grace was that the main couple from the first book still played a significant role in this story, so I enjoyed getting to read about how their relationship progressed. The new main people? Not so much.
Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld – 3 stars
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review. Opinions are 100% my own.
If you’re going to read this book, you have to try and completely erase the original from your mind. They are two completely different time periods and stories. That being said, I thought the author did a good job preserving the overall thematic elements of the original with this story, but I just wasn’t sold. There were parts that I found hilarious – Kitty and Lydia as CrossFit junkies was my personal favorite – and there were other parts that I put the book down and thought, what? (Spoiler alert: Liz and Darcy become “buddies” … use your imagination as to why I have buddies in quotation marks). The epilogue also was a huge letdown – it ends from Mary’s point of view, the odd-sister-out, which seemed like a weird choice to make since you never really became invested in her throughout this story. If you’re a huge Jane Austen and/or Pride & Prejudice fan like me, then this is worth reading and you’ll probably enjoy it for what it’s worth.
On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves – 4 stars
This was another recommendation from Kristen, and I am so glad that I took a chance on it. The premise initially deterred me – a 30-something teacher and her 17-year-old student get stranded on an island for nearly four years? Hm, I wonder what happens there. BUT, the elephant in the room actually is addressed very well, and both characters deal with it in what I imagine would be a realistic way. I mean, hello – given their situation, I would’ve found it weird if they didn’t end up together or at least tried things out with each other. Again, there are some parts of this book that made me laugh just because they were so absurd (the woman’s suitcase with all her belongings conveniently washes ashore, a pack of dolphins shows up just in time to save the guy from a shark attack? Yeah, right), but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
What have you read lately? I’m always looking for new recommendations!
In case you missed it …
Recent Reads | January 2016