Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Challenge Update - June

I'm updating my book challenge again for the month! You can find the rules for the challenge here. I didn't sign up over at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life (mostly because who knows how much I will actually show up to blog about it) but I am having fun playing along all the same!

Here are the books I read this month:

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner - A fictional book about a middle class blogger mom who is an addict. The positive of this book is that it kept my attention, I am pretty sure the only reason is because I was waiting for it to get better. I did not like Allison, the main character, and it was fitting because she doesn’t seem to like anyone either – not her daughter, not her husband, not her mom. It just seemed overly poor me, my life is so sad, it is not my fault I am an addict. Books about addiction probably are probably something I just should leave on the shelf.

Scandal and Vanished by Kate Brian – Books #11 and #12 in the Private series. These books are not realistic have lots of teenage drama and are overall just pretty ridiculous. BUT, they are a guilty pleasure so I don’t even care, and Kate Brian does a good job of creating suspense that makes me want to keep reading! Having said all of that Vanished took a turn for the worst the story was just not good it didn’t go with the previous 11 books and the ending did not have me wanting to pick up the next book immediately so I decided I needed a little bit of a break from the Billings girls.

The Bean Trees  by Barbara Kingslove – This was a story about a girl who wants to run away from her small town Kentucky life without falling into the traps of getting pregnant and living a life of poverty. Instead she ends up with a stranger’s child living a life of poverty in Arizona. There were some inconsistencies with the description of Oklahoma (which bothered me more than it should have) and some random “facts” thrown in that I don’t think were accurate, but if you remember to keep in mind that it is a fictional story it is a good read.  I will pick up the sequel to see what happens with Taylor and Turtle Next. 

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica – Mia decides to go home with a random guy from a bar when her boyfriend cancels on her…again, which turns out to be a huge mistake. I’ve seen this book compared to Gone Girl quite a few times I guess because they both have several alternating points of view and a “surprising” twist? I liked The Good Girl the beginning is the best part, the twist takes too long to develop, having said that I would recommend It if you’ve already read Gone Girl and Still Missing and you’re looking for something in that same family. On second thought maybe read this one first and then follow up with the better two! I will read Mary Kubica’s next book for sure.

The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski – This was the book I randomly picked off the shelf for the reading challenge, it was a pretty typical chick lit book. June is driving Marissa (a girls she only knows from a Weight Watchers meeting) home when an accident leaves Marissa dead and June feeling guilty. June discovers a list that Marissa made of 20 things to do before she turns 25 and on a whim decides to finish the list for Marissa. I think we all make these lists or have at least seen them all over the blog world so I think that makes it is to relate to. The book is a good fast beach read.

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkuaf – I really enjoyed this book and the twists that went along with it. It seems like it has mixed reviews on Goodreads, a lot of people didn’t like the character development or found the characters to be un- relatable but honestly most of the time when I read I’m looking for a good story, and this book delivered. It kept me turning the page. I am hesitant to give too much away but this book is told by four different women; Allison who was just released from prison, Brynn the sister who wants nothing to do with Allison, Charm who struggles with giving up a baby she couldn’t care for, and Claire the adoptive mom who went through hell before finally getting her forever son.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider This story started out with the title Severed Heads, Broken Hearts – I imagine I wouldn’t have read that book, because ew (!) but it’s a pretty good description all the same. I really like Ezra and his fall from popular jock to debate team member was more of a transformation of who Ezra was instead of an author with a vendetta against the popular kids from high school. If you like John Green and Rainbow Rowell I’d read this one for sure.

Don’t Even Think about It by Sarah Mlynowski I decided after I read this one I needed a break from high school books all together, and it probably wasn’t this books fault I just needed to get out of teenage minds for a bit. In this one a class of high school kids has a reaction to the flu shot that gives them the ability to read minds, obviously it’s a pretty big struggle there are so many secrets to hide in high school, plus who wants to know what their parents are really thinking?? I will read the sequel when it comes out but I can’t imagine I would admit that I read this book to anyone in the real world unless they brought it up first. If you’re looking for a fast fun read that takes absolutely zero brain power you might want to try this one. 

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green - I guess I didn’t even make it one book on my ban on high school books, oh well I really like reading John Green books. Two Will Graysons happen to meet in a random porn shop in Chicago.  After they meet their lives become intertwined thanks to Tiny Cooper (who in my opinion is the real star of the book, what can I say I have a soft spot for football players). The real core of this book is about friendship, and I don’t know if it’s Green’s writing style or that this friendship book is all about guys instead of the usual girl friendship but I really liked it. There was no exciting plot twist and no big exciting plot but it was still good read and I laughed more than I ever expected to.  

In The Blood by Lisa Unger – Even though I read a lot of high school drama books, my real true book love is psychological thrillers. There was so much crazy in this book! Lane Granger is trying to hide from her past; her mother was murdered by her father. She is finishing up her last year of college when she gets a job helping out with a young troubled boy, Luke. Luke is terrible and smart and manipulative and Lane can’t decide if she is empathetic to him or if he is just plain awful.  As if dealing with Luke wasn’t enough Lane’s friend/roommate/wanna be lover Rebecca has gone missing.  There were a few twists that I figured out pretty early on but then there were so many more that I just didn’t see coming! (I always tell Garrett what I think is going to happen so that I can get credit for it, and it’s not just me saying I knew that was going to happen…of course he never has any idea what I’m really talking about!)

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – This book is Mean Girls meets Groundhog Day (there is a chance that’s not an original thought and I read it on Goodreads but it is the perfect description). Samantha Kingston a popular high school senior dies on her way home from a party, dying is nothing like she thought it was going to be. When her life flashed before her eyes it wasn’t anything she thought it would be, they weren’t happy memories they were insignificant things that shouldn’t have mattered in her last seconds. The morning after her death she wakes up and has to live the day all over again, she goes through the whole day seven times and learns that the smallest changes make more difference than she ever thought they would. There was something about this book that I loved, deep in my soul loved. Maybe it was the timing or the girl who read it (because I listened to this one) or maybe it was because I have a little sister that reminds me of Izzy, or maybe it was because of sweet Kent who is so willing to put himself out there to get hurt, or because I have to constantly remind myself to be nice to everyone because we don’t know what battles they are facing. This is one of those books if you don’t like it I don’t want to know why; I just want to go on blissfully thinking it was amazing. "Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around in it, let it slide like coins through your fingers. So much time you can waste it. But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know."

Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer - Maggie and Emily (GR says Piper...) meet as children on Nantucket Maggie is from a poor single mom family and Emily’s family is rich. Emily falls in love with Maggie’s brother but they (he) can’t get on the same page with the money so it ends, even though they both still love each other. Both M and E get pregnant by the same guy but E doesn’t know it. The whole story is pretty boring and none of the characters are very likeable. I really just wanted it to end.

Here are my reading challenge stats:

The Bean Trees -  Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules 5 Points

The Next Thing on My List - Read a book you have never heard of before. 10 Points

These Things Hidden - Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. (I added TTH to my TBR list on 11/1/12) 10 Points

The Good Girl - Read a book by an author who is completely new to you. 15 Points 

Nantucket Sisters - Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title.  20 Points 

June Points: 60 Points

Challenge Total :  145/200

*I don't think I'm going to do reviews next month...they are just so boring and I am not very good at them. 

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