The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
This book is a short story. It can be read within a couple of hours (or 1). It was…different. Flynn also wrote Gone Girl which was a pretty big hit. All of Flynn’s novels are dark mysteries. The main character in this story, lives a fraudulent life as a palm reader/spiritual healer and meets a woman who asks her to come cleanse her home of evil spirits. She goes to the home and comes in contact with the son of the home owner who seems to be possessed. It gets weird and has an interesting and unexpected twist at the end. I can’t decide if it’s worth your time, but it’s a short enough book that if you’re looking for something quick and easy, it’s not the worst choice.
You guys, I seriously loved this book. It’s a young adult novel and probably reads like such, but I loved getting wrapped up in it. I needed something lighthearted, easy and upbeat and this was perfect. It took me back to high school and made me want to be more like Lara Jean, who for a teenager, has such a great head on her shoulders. I loved the relationships she had with her family. Lara Jean has written letters to all of the boys she has ever loved and they “accidentally” get mailed out. The story doesn’t really focus on this but it’s the catalyst for everything else. Great, easy read. I’m excited to read the next in the series.
It took me nearly half of the book to really feel invested. I have a hard time starting and then stopping a book, although it’s not beneath me. I felt like this book made me just curious enough to keep reading. However, I figured out the plot twists pretty early in the book and I wasn’t surprised by the ending. I am not sure if it was obvious in the book or if it’s because I read a lot. The story is a mystery that jumps between present day and the past, focusing on one event, the day baby Theo went missing, a crime that has never been solved. The mystery catches the eye of a detective who is on leave from her job. I can’t decide if I should recommend this book or not, I think maybe it is better than I felt and it just didn’t capture me as much as it should have. Maybe I’ve read too many similar books to love this one.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
It took me next to no time to read this. It’s a YA novel, that has the same kind of lure that The Hunger Games or Divergent did for me. The story follows Mare, a Red girl (her blood is red) living in a world where the Silver (silver blood) rule. The Silver have different powers (super strength, mind reading, etc) while the Red do not. However, Mare is about to discover something about herself that changes everything. I’m excited to continue her story, full of adventure, mystery and betrayal. Trust no one.
Steel Scars by Victoria Aveyard
This is book 0.2 of the Red Queen series. It follows a secondary character-Farley and provides information for her backstory and how she fits into the story. It also follows Mare’s older brother as well, which gives you a lot of insight you didn’t have in Red Queen. It’s short and really just a supplemental. (I wish JK Rowling did short supplemental stories like this for Harry Potter!)
Queen Song by Victoria Aveyard
This is considered book 0.1 of the Red Queen series, however it doesn’t matter if you read Steel Scars before or after it. It’s the backstory of the Queen (Coriane, mother of Prince Cal) that reigned before the current one (the wretched Queen Elara). It’s short and simple and sad. I don’t feel like it was as important as Steel Scars but it was still interesting to read what took place and how Queen Elara came to reign. I was slightly confused by the ending and I’m not sure I entirely understood what took place. Was everything in Queen Coriane’s head or was it Elara? (I technically finished this book on 3/1/16, but most was read on 2/29)
Note: Read Red Queen before you read either supplemental.
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
I have been meaning to read this book for so long and finally did (thanks for the loan Kayleigh!). This is one of those stories that will be so great to read aloud to the kids as they get older. It’s full of allegory (some that may have went over my head) and makes you look at the world/life through a child’s eyes again. A little boy has left his little planet to travel through the universe and he meets an array of characters. The one that really stuck out to me was the man who was just so “busy”, so busy he didn’t even know what he was busy with. How often do we get caught up in things that make us busy but aren’t important? Many of the stories focus on adult behaviors, that when you really look at them, are such time wasters. It’s a good reminder to live life with the heart and spirit of a child.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
This is the first book of The Lunar Chronicles, recommend to me by my friend Sheryl. I didn’t even realize that it’s a retelling of sorts of the classic Cinderella (thanks for pointing that out to me Jason!). It follows a cyborg named Cinder, who lives life basically as a slave to her ward/step-mother, as a mechanic. She meets Prince Kai and slowly falls in love. However, there is a deadly virus that has spread every where, there is no cure and once you have it, you are sent away to die, slowly and alone (alone with other dying people). Cinder learns a lot about herself in this book, much of which completely changes her life and could change the fate for all of humanity/cyborgs/lunars. I realize how sci-fi and geeky it sounds, but it’s great.
The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
This book was hard for me to read, having just lost a friend to suicide. I put a request in for it in January, before the death happened. Even though I wasn’t sure I should read it right now I’m glad I did. I think it has a lot of great insights on suicide, depression and mental illness in general. All of which aren’t something you just get over, something that can just be ignored. The story’s main character, Vicky wakes up in the hospital after just nearly dying of an overdose. Vicky truly wanted to die, her attempt wasn’t a cry for help, it was a miracle she was found in time. The story follows her recovery and 3 other teenagers who are also at the hospital for different illnesses/problems (anger management, manic depressive and possible schizophrenia). I felt like this book did a great job of showing that even thought you have a mental illness (which is nothing to be ashamed about), that you can overcome it, by therapy, making plans for what your life can look like, etc. There is always hope.
I plan on diving into some longer reads in March!