Recent Reads | 3

recent reads march 2016

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.
recent reads march 2016

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!).

recent reads march 2016

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

Leave a Comment


  1. 4.5.16

    Kristen always has some great recommendations! I was intrigued when she mentioned On The Island too, so hopefully I’ll have the chance to pick that up soon! And I’m glad that you liked You Had Me At Hello! The slang is so awesome in that book!

  2. 3.30.16
    Diana said:

    Thanks for the book tips! I think On the Island will be my next read. My new years resolution is to read more in 2016! I loved Ugly Love and November 9 by Colleen Hoover

  3. 3.30.16
    Jessica said:

    I’ve been reading a book a week since I turned 30 and you gave me an entire list of new books! I love series and just started Mennonite in a Black Dress series! So far it’s super good and I should do a post like this πŸ™‚ Such a great idea!
    xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries

  4. 3.30.16

    i can’t believe you gave the goldfinch 3 stars when it was that boring lol. i agree about the second ‘for love’ book. eh. i didn’t love it as much and i don’t really have a desire to read the 3rd. i did like that other characters were in it, and i kinda want to keep reading to see if they pop back up again. lol. i’m sad you didn’t love eligible as much as i did lol. i seriously hated the epilogue and basically banished it from my mind so it no longer exists. i honestly think it should be removed, it was horrible. and omg yes to on the island.. i squealed at the dolphins showing up and then laughed and was like yeah as if.

    • 3.30.16

      Haha – I honestly only gave it 3 stars because I can understand why some people really love it, so I was trying to be nice. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you agree about the second For Love book. I basically think there should just be an entire series about Mac and Maddie (are those their names? I’m blanking) and call it a day. I really tried with Eligible – I didn’t completely dislike it, I just thought some of it was so ridiculous. And, the epilogue really pissed me off lol. On the Island was so good – I’m glad you recommended it!

      • 3.31.16

        yeah i had forgotten their names until you said it as well. i might keep reading just to see if they come back, but the next 2 characters sound really boring! and yeah eligible was definitely a bit ridiculous in parts and just thinking about that epilogue gets me cranky all over again. so bad. but i enjoyed it for the most part.

  5. 3.30.16

    All these books sound like great picks! Thanks for the list!

  6. 3.30.16

    I’m so sad you didn’t love The Goldfinch, but am impressed you even finished it because it is SO long and would be hard to get through if you weren’t loving it. I have a different Marie Force book (I think) on my kindle that I haven’t reached for yet for some reason, but now I want to check out those other two too! I really liked Eligible, but hated the Lizzie/Darcy romance even though it did fit in with this version of the story. I was waiting for this epic buildup and then was like WHAAAT? haha

    • 3.30.16

      I know, I was thinking of you the entire time I was reading The Goldfinch! I really do see why some people love it – I just don’t think I was in the right state of mind to read it or something. But, I do give myself props for sticking with it, lol. Eligible just cracked me up most of the time.

  7. 3.30.16

    Awesome picks! I need to add You had me at Hello and On the Island to my list for our upcoming vacay <3

    Green Fashionista

  8. 3.30.16
    Christina Sotherden said:

    Definitely remembering these – I just wrote down to get Maid for Love on my iPad – I’m all about the corny easy reads, ha!

  9. 3.30.16
    Debra Stachelski said:

    A lot of good reading recommendations here and bravo for finishing The Goldfinch!

  10. 3.30.16

    A British rom-com book? Yes, please! Definitely want to check out that one and I’ll probably be staying away from The Goldfinch, too πŸ˜‰

    • 3.30.16

      You Had Me at Hello is so darn cute, I was surprised at how much I loved it. And, yeah – I can’t say I’d recommend The Goldfinch to anybody lol. But, there are so many people that love it!

  11. 3.30.16
    Pinky said:

    I’ll have to try some of your rom com recommendations, those are the best for traveling.

    Will not be reading the goldfinch. I can’t deal with people in real life that are able to change their situations but choose not to, there is no way I could handle it in a book too.

  12. 3.30.16
    Darcy from A Memory of Us said:

    Oo these look good! I am just about to start What Alice Forgot!

  13. 3.30.16

    Your comments about the main character in the first book made me laugh. That is how I felt about the main character in Gone Girl. Its like you want to jump into the book or the movie and tell that person to go away… Anyways.. You Had Me At Hello sounds good. Thank you for sharing your reviews on each book and I hope that you have a great day! πŸ™‚

    • 3.30.16

      Don’t even get me started on Gone Girl. Or the Silent Wife. Or the Luckiest Girl Alive. They all have the same main character, and I hate them all lol.

  14. 3.30.16
    Ashley said:

    You Had Me at Hello sounds so cute! Saving that rec!

  15. 3.30.16
    makeupHER said:

    I’ve been trying to read more so I’ll have to add You Had Me At Hello, it sounds right up my alley. I just finished Me Before You and loved it, now I’m on The Royal We! Have a great Wednesday!

    • 3.30.16

      It’s such a cute book and an easy read, I think you’d enjoy it. I have Me Before You on hold at the library, I can’t wait to read it because I’m anxious for the movie release in June! The Royal We is one of my favorites, enjoy!

  16. 3.30.16

    I’ve really enjoyed Curtis Sittenfeld’s previous novels and had no idea she had a new one out! Also need to check out You Had Me at Hello, it sounds super cute πŸ™‚

    • 3.30.16

      It is SO cute. And, I think Eligible is out for release sometime in April – I got it through NetGalley, so I was able to read it in advance.

  17. 3.30.16

    i have been struggling reading the donna tarrt book since i got it. i’m afraid it’s one of those i might have to give up on. glad to hear you felt the same! good for you for finishing it! thanks for the reciews on the others. i haven’t read them either!

    • 3.30.16

      Well, I give you way more credit if you walk away from it – I kept waiting for some major turnaround that would all of a sudden make me love the book, but it sadly never came. Glad I’m not the only one, though that had/is having trouble getting into it!

  18. 3.30.16
    Biana Perez said:

    Downloading You had me at hello – I love books like that and rom coms are of course my favorite! xo, Biana BlovedBoston