I’m back with another round of recent reads. Although I haven’t gotten as much reading accomplished so far this summer as I originally hoped, I’ve had a good mix of books the past couple months.
I want to give a quick (not sponsored!) shout out to BookBub. If you’re not familiar with BookBub, when you sign up you get a daily email with deals on ebooks from around the Web. Since my last recent reads roundup, BookBub has been killing it with their selection of books – while I may not have loved every single one that I purchased (most for free), it always is fun to be exposed to new authors and stories that I might otherwise not have known about. So, long story short, if you haven’t signed up for BookBub emails, you should.
Anyways, onto the books!
Exposure to a Billionaire by Ann Menke – 2 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
I was still in the midst of reading this when I published my last recent reads roundup in May, so I didn’t have a chance to chime in when it was time to link up with the Literary Ladies. Several of you already have read this, so I don’t think I need to spend a lot of time on it, but sheesh. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to write a book, and I admire anybody that has accomplished that. But, I really question if the publisher of this book really read this and proofread it. The whole book was written like a run-on sentence in someone’s personal diary. It couldn’t been a more interesting story considering all the places that the narrator had traveled and experienced, but the writing was just so bad.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 5 stars
Just like The Book Thief, this is a book and story that has stayed with me long after I finished reading it. This might possibly be the best book that I’ve read all year, if not in recent years. The courage, strength and determination of both sisters (the main characters) was awe-inspiring. While they were completely different people and fought the war in their own way, each displayed an immeasurable amount bravery. Kristin Hannah is a beautiful writer, and I wouldn’t mind checking out her other stories now that I know what all the fuss is about with this particular one. If you haven’t read this, do yourself a favor and do read it. And soon.
Confess by Colleen Hoover – 4 stars
I loved this book. Probably more than I should have, but I really did enjoy it. Does anybody remember the song Dirty Little Secret by The All-American Rejects and the music video? That is one of my all-time favorite music videos – so random, I know – and that’s what this book kept reminding me of. I enjoyed the character development and how bits and pieces of stories and the characters’ pasts came to light as the book progressed. The only thing that I would have liked to know more about was the evil older brother – why and when did he become obsessed with his dead-brother’s girlfriend? Was it because their was a child involved? Was it because she was young and relatively innocent and naive? Just some food for thought.
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen – 4 stars
I hadn’t read a Sarah Dessen book since my teenage years, but after Carly’s review of this book, I knew it was right up my alley. And, I loved it! It was a perfect young adult summer read. I actually was pretty surprised at the amount of character development in this story – sure, it was fairly predictable, but I enjoyed reading the inner-workings of the main girl’s thoughts and how her perceptions changed on things she once deemed kind of below her. It’s a sweet story and will make you feel good by the time you finish it.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – 4 stars
I fully admit that I’m not sure I should even be writing an actual review on this book. I started this when we were so preoccupied with the kitchen renovation that I don’t even really remember half the book – I would be asleep after only a few pages. But, from what I recall, it was an interesting story and premise. I kind of wanted to punch the oldest kid at first – what a brat! – but then again, so was her mother. I’m always one for stories about rediscovery and putting your life and priorities back together. This is the first Liane Moriarty book that I’ve read, and while I’m not sure I understand all the hype about her, I’m willing to give another one of her books a chance.
A Beautiful Kind of Love by Ellie Wade – 3 stars
Meh, this was an okay book, but I have no desire to read the sequel. It’s your typical story of boy and girl grow up together and are best friends until they reach high school and their hormones take over, and then they realize that they are soul mates. Blah, blah, blah. Actually, the story had a lot of promise until the halfway point. The girl is so stupid – like, ridiculously naive, and I wanted to throw my Kindle across the room at every idiotic, immature move that she made. There were quite a few parts of the book that I enjoyed, such as her friendship with her college roommate, that still kept the book fun and from being completely repetitive.
Before You Go by Clare James – 3 stars
Again, this book had promise to be interesting and really dive into the characters, but it fell short. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two main characters – he obviously had some issues in his past, and she had to transfer to a whole different college and state to escape hers. But, that also was part of the problem. Beyond brief explanations by both about what happened to them, we never got any further into the issues. She has drunken, topless photos of her floating around everywhere, and it’s never discussed as to how exactly it occurred? Was she raped? Since these topics are so relevant in the news today, I think the author could have taken a risk and went just a tad further. But nonetheless, the story was decent enough to hold my attention.
Cry of the Peacock by V.R. Christensen – 4 stars
If you’re a fan of English literature and/or Jane Austen-type stories, then I think you would love this book. It was so refreshing to read a period novel – the chivalry and expectations of manners is a place that I love to be transported to! The story was a little repetitive at times, but that’s partly because the plot/scandal had to be explained anytime a new player came into the picture. The slow-burning romance between two sets of main characters had me swooning the whole way through, and I admit that I was in tears at the end when it finally all came together. There’s nothing better than a happy ending set in the late 18th century.
My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White – 3 stars
For obvious reasons, I’m sure you can figure out why I chose to read this book – just look at the title! But, come to find out, the premise was kind of dumb. It wasn’t the literary Mr. Darcy that the main girl was in love with – it was the Matthew MacFayden movie version. No joke – she refuses to even date a guy unless he looks like MacFayden in the Pride & Prejudice movie adaptation with Keira Knightly. It made me laugh at some parts because it was so ridiculous, and I always was pulling for the underdog suitor – the one that doesn’t look like Mr. Darcy at all. If you love P&P, you’ll probably enjoy this simply because it’s yet another P&P reference to have in our lives.
Final recommendations: The Nightingale and Confess are must-reads. Cry of the Peacock, if you like English literature, and Along for the Ride deserve honorable mentions. Skip Exposure to a Billionaire.
What books have you read so far this summer? Anything worth adding to my reading list?