I’m not sure that I’ve read any books this year. It’s possible that I’m just totally forgetting one or two, but I honestly can’t remember a single book I’ve read this year. I’ve even had a stack of books on my nightstand, and Kristin let me borrow a few others so I took a handful to the beach.
Granted, reading at the beach with two little ones doesn’t really happen, I managed to tag team a little with Allen and squeeze in some reading time. I also read a ton in the room at night when everyone else was sleeping, and snuck out on the balcony in the early mornings for a little quiet reading time.
(affiliate links for the books appear below)
The book: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
The stars: 4/5
From the back of the book: My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
The good: Admittedly, I can be a bit cynical when it comes to YA books. This wasn’t near as cheesy or far-fetched as some I’ve read in the past. It’s a quick and easy read (I read nearly all of it on our drive home from the beach). The love story is cute and mostly believable. Overall, it’s a perfect summer read, fun and quirky and the ending has a twist so it gets extra points for that!
The bad: The book has notes and doodles throughout, I found myself skipping over most of those. The relationship between Maddy and her mother just isn’t quite believable for me, sheltered or not, I think you would be hard pressed to find a mother/daughter relationship so seemingly perfect and nearly argument free.
Quotable: “Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything.”
The book: The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
The stars: 3.5/5
From the back of the book: In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…
The good: It’s the perfect middle of June, sitting by the pool, read. I could break in the middle of the page when a little one needed me and pick right up where I left off, no critical thinking skills required. The plot twist will throw you for a bit of a loop, I honestly didn’t see it coming at all, and I had a number of other theories in my head (non of which were correct).
The bad: As soon as I posted a picture on Instagram Stories of this book, I had several friends message me about this book being a let-down. It’s not a waste of time, if you love to read and love a page turner, this is a great book for a lazy day of reading. On the other hand, the ending feels rushed. For me, the main issue is the main character, Lo. I wanted her to be smarter and stop talking so much (you’ll see when you read, I promise).
Quotable:“My friend Erin says we all have demons inside us, voices that whisper we’re no good, that if we don’t make this promotion or ace that exam we’ll reveal to the world exactly what kind of worthless sacks of skin and sinew we really are Maybe that’s true. Maybe mine just have louder voices.”
The book: Good As Gone by Amy Gentry
The stars: 4/5
From the back of the book: Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts. She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.
The good: The suspense in this book is so, so good. I found myself trying to piece together hypotheticals and wondering if I was getting it right throughout the whole book. I know some people didn’t love this, but I actually really liked the alternating chapters. The stories were both intriguing and held my attention. I didn’t want to put this book down because I couldn’t wait to read what was happening on the next page.
The bad: You’ll need to play close attention, the stories move quickly and the details are important. It’s not an easy read with distractions, find some quiet time.
Quotable:“If there is something missing—if I am afraid to love her quite as much as before—it is only because the potential for love feels so big and so intense that I fear I will disappear in the expression of it, that it will blow my skin away like clouds and I will be nothing.”
The book: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
The stars: 4/5
From the back of the book:Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.
The good: I love this authors writing and style, I feel like the characters intertwine perfect. The story line is great and I think it’s easy to invest in every character of the book. The book is full of valuable lessons on perspective and understanding and forgiveness and I honestly can’t wait to read more of her books.
The bad: I need a book to grab my attention from the very start, if so many people hadn’t raved about this book, I would have never continued reading. It took me the longest of all the books I read this month, but it was totally worth it in the end.
Quotable: “None of us ever know all the possible courses our lives could have and maybe should have taken. It’s probably just as well. Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. Just ask Pandora.”
Now, let’s talk about this Book of the Month thing that Kristin has been raving about! First things first, how in the world have I not signed up for this before? The concept is simple, a monthly subscription service that sends a book (you select) to your door, shipping is free and you can get your first 3 months for $10 per month (plus a free bag with the code TOTALLY). My affiliate link does appear above, but this isn’t sponsored by BOTM, I’m happy to pay $10 a month for hardcover book to show up on my doorstep. There’s just something about turning the pages of a fresh new book. You can even add on books for $9.99. If you’re purchasing books at all, this is really a no-brainer.