I had to check to see the last time I posted about the books I’ve read. It’s been a while!
When I last left off I was reading I Am Charlotte Simmons, with The Book Thief on deck. Well… I never finished either of them. I got through more than half of I Am Charlotte Simmons before giving up, and only read a few chapters of The Book Thief before switching to another book. This is highly unlike me, but for both books I was reading a page or two and then falling asleep. I might try to read The Book Thief again – I’ve heard it’s worth it once I finally get into it!
In full confession mode, I also started reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and dropped that as well. Has anyone read that one? Is it worth it to keep going? I’m about 120 pages in (it’s only 225 pages long).
As for books I’ve actually finished — here are my reviews…
Terra by Gretchen Powell
A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl struggling to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.
A discovery that will change everything.
In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra’s world is turned upside down.
Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own. With him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything–a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.
Written by a fellow blogger, I knew I had to read this book. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed! It was a really good dystopian young adult book that I easily read in a 2-3 days. I enjoyed the setup of the plot and the characters were fully fleshed out so there was a good connection. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, Divergent, and/or The Maze Runner – this book it for you. I’m looking forward to reading the 2nd book. No pressure or anything Gretchen! (Hurry up and write it!!)
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
On an ordinary Saturday, Julia awakes to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the earth. The days and nights are growing longer and longer, gravity is affected, the birds, the tides, human behavior and cosmic rhythms are thrown into disarray. In a world of danger and loss, Julia faces surprising developments in herself, and her personal world—divisions widening between her parents, strange behavior by Hannah and other friends, the vulnerability of first love, a sense of isolation, and a rebellious new strength. With crystalline prose and the indelible magic of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker gives us a breathtaking story of people finding ways to go on, in an ever-evolving world.
I could NOT put this book down. In fact, I read it in a day (it helps that it was less than 300 pages long – and it was a day I was traveling). At the same time, this book still haunts me. It was disturbing in a “wow, this could really happen” kind of way that made me think a lot about how much our environment impacts our lifestyle and behavior. I really liked that the protagonist was an 11-year old girl. I felt like you really felt that shift from naive innocence to cautious and anxious young adult. The only thing about this book that disappointed me was the ending — not that I disliked HOW it ended, but that it ended. I really want to know more about everything that happened!
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.
In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying Grace and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize has exceeded capacity. For any to live, some must die.
As the castaways battle the elements and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and the new life of privilege she thought she’d found. Will she pay any price to keep it?
I read this for my March book club selection and Zzzz… I really struggled to make it through this book. The setup and premise of it was great – but in the end I was really, really disappointed in the story. My book club agreed (including Jackie Jovi). I think this would have been a better book if a few things were different:
1) Grace was likeable. I just didn’t like her and didn’t really care what happened to her.
2) The author tied up loose ends. There were a lot of random tangents in the book which seemed important at the time, but never came to fruition.
3) We actually learned about the other characters on the lifeboat. We were on the lifeboat for the majority of the book and I feel like the only person we learned about was Grace. That would be like watching Lost and only learning about Jack.
4) The ending wasn’t so rushed. Like I said, we were on the lifeboat for a REALLY REALLY long time and then it came to the ending it was like the author just lost interest.
So, bottom line – I didn’t like it and I definitely don’t recommend it, unless you are having problems sleeping. Even then…
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Meet Pat Peoples. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending—the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.)
The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being haunted by Kenny G!
This was April’s book club book (which we are discussing tonight) and I’m looking forward to hearing what the others think. I still haven’t seen the movie, but this is obviously the book it is based on. I will say that even though I haven’t seen it – it was rather difficult to NOT think of Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro when reading it. I guess that’s what happens when it’s up for the big awards!That said, it was a great (and quick) read. I liked that the book is told through Pat’s eyes – so like him, you have no idea what the hell is going on most of the time. This serves as a great plot device AND you get know the characters based on his opinions. The one thing I could have done without is all the football (I’m sure Jackie enjoyed all of the Philadelphia Eagles chanting), but at least the author balanced it out with dancing! I have heard from a few others that they actually enjoyed the movie more and I can see why some scenes may just play out better on screen (I’ve also heard they’ve altered some of the story/characters — I can’t wait to compare!).
and finally — I’m now reading this book, which has been highly recommended…
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.
Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can — will she?
I’m only a few chapters in and very confused – but I’m going to keep going!
Have you read anything good lately?? What do I need to add to my “must read” list? I have a feeling I’m going to have a little couch time in the next few weeks…