I’m still super behind on remembering everything I’ve read, but there were some great ones in this batch… just you wait!
- If I Stay (Amazon) / Where She Went (Amazon) (Gayle Forman) – I’ve been hearing about Gayle Forman’s writing for a long time but finally delved in with these two — the first is ethereal and tragic (big car accident) and is mostly her (not quite dead) thinking about the implications of “staying” or “leaving”… it’s pretty sad. And “Where She Went” addresses the aftermath of her decision. Didn’t love book 2, but like that it resolves a lot of really realistic issues.
- Just One Day (Amazon) (Gayle Forman) – This book took the beautiful, thoughtful prose I liked in IF I STAY but took away some of the paranormal/tragedy and set the story in Paris. Love. Love. Love. Am DYING to read book two (JUST ONE YEAR) which comes out in early October. I really liked how she didn’t end the book in the place you might expect a similar book to do so.
- The Heiresses (Amazon) (Allison Rushby) – Had low expectations for this one, but reminded me that I really enjoy historical fiction and I love the (broken but beautiful) relationships between sisters. I also think I’ve always had some kind of fascination with twins/triplets (Sweet Valley High, anyone?) and the protagonists are triplets 🙂
- Uglies (Amazon) / Pretties (Amazon) / Extras (Amazon) / Specials (Amazon) (Scott Westerfeld) – The UGLIES series is one of the most famous and “foundational” (i.e. early) paranormal/sci-fi/dystopian YA series from a few years back. Finally picked them up and while I wasn’t blown away (I think the novelty has worn off and newer, better authors have emerged), they were still fun and I read them up.
- 45 Pounds (Amazon) (K.A. Barson) – This was a WONDERFUL book. I think because I grew up chubby (until about middle school), I’ve always been a little preoccupied by my weight, what I eat, and the emotional turmoil that comes with it. I love the juxtaposition of the protagonist and her mom, the inner struggles she faces as well as what she learns about her family… and the motivation for her changes, ahhhh I love. So good.
- Me Before You (Amazon) (Jojo Moyes) – Can I just tell you? SUCH. A. GOOD. BOOK. SO. GOOD. I had never heard of Jojo Moyes before this book started getting really amazing press, but I also ado-red the cover typography/design (the power of a good cover!). I started it late in the night and never intended to finish it, but literally couldn’t stop reading it until like 4 or 5am and I was bawling… straight up pile of tissues next to me (and growing). SO GOOD. Please read!
- The Last Letter From Your Lover (Amazon) (Jojo Moyes) – Instantly requested more books from Jojo Moyes from the library and this was the most recent one that they had — I think most of her previous works were more like this, where there are two love stories set in different historical settings (one contemporary, one historical) and somehow they connect. Very entertaining reads that tug at the heart strings… though (SPOILER ALERT) it breaks. my. heart. when the love stories aren’t wrapped up “happily ever after” in the “older” context. UGH. HEARTBREAK.
- Still Star-Crossed (Amazon) (Melinda Taub) – Another GREAT book! (Was on a roll that week!) I haven’t read a ton of Shakespeare spin-off type stories, but this was one that really worked for me. It’s a spin off of ROMEO & JULIET and gives life (with a made up backstory) to two side characters in the original series. So fun. Reminded me a little bit of THE RED TENT just in the way it took a smaller character and gave it a LOT of life, taking advantage of the framework in the original. Fun.
- My Life Next Door (Amazon) (Huntley Fitzpatrick) – Simple, predictable story, but sweet.
- Heads in Beds (Amazon) (Jacob Tomsky) – This is actually a totally different type of book — HEADS IN BEDS is an “expose” type nonfiction around the hotel industry, in the same way that KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL exposed some of the secrets of what it’s like to work in the restaurant industry. Especially as B & I have been traveling more in the past year, I was ashamed to read about tipping and how I should have been tipping a lot more than I was… and immediately applied some of the things from this book when I went to Portland in August and was happy to make the bell-person unexpectedly surprised 🙂 READ THIS if you travel!
- Fifteenth Summer (Amazon) / Sixteenth Summer (Amazon) (Michelle Dalton) – I’m kind of embarrassed to talk about these books and why I picked them up… but… basically, I was at my aunt’s and saw them on my cousin’s shelf… and read them. Sigh. My cousin is 12 years younger than me. EEEEE. hahahaha, but the books were fun and breezy and easy. Still so weird to acknowledge I’m reading the same books as her!
- The Summer I Turned Pretty (Amazon) / It’s Not Summer Without You (Amazon) / We’ll Always Have Summer (Amazon) (Jenny Han) – A friend had read the PRETTY trilogy and I was in the mood for an easy-breezy fun read, which these were. All 3 books together = 1 Korean drama. And the main character’s nickname is Belly. Yes, like our dog. HA! Still fun.
- Invisibility (Amazon) (Andrea Cremer) – A strange premise (invisible boy, only one girl can see him) and the implications. Expected more of an EVERY DAY type story, but then it went more fantasy/sci-fi, which picked up the pace.
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Amazon) (Maria Semple) – This one got a LOT of attention in the press, and understandably so. Pokes a lot of fun at a certain type of parent (set in Seattle) but I didn’t love, love, love it. Fun, though.
- Throne of Glass (Amazon) (Sarah J Maas) – YA fantasy fiction with a strong heroine… in fact, an assassin. Graceling-esque, but stronger and a little scarier. Enjoyed and looking forward to book 2 (which *just* came out).