2016 has been my year of reading.
I've been going non stop.
I give it credit to discovering how to download Kindle books free from my library... & having that 2 week time limit on the book. Give me a deadline & I'll make it every time - even if it means reading on over drive to make sure I dont get stuck at the end of a book & it disappears from my Kindle.
BUTTTTTTT... this is actually my first book blog post of 2016. Whwhwhat?
Slacking. That is what you call it. Slacking.
I just always miss joining in on other's blog posts & then think, I'll wait till next month
... except this month? I actually wrote it on my calendar so I can join in with all the other readers.
So this may seem like an overload of books - but its a few months worth
... but I like to keep it simple too so it won't be irritatingly long. Promise.
One Plus One - 5 stars
One Single Mom. One chaotic family. One stranger enters.
We have a single mom with a son & daughter who are 'strange' in their own quirky fun way, with the daughter being a savant in math. When the mom is trying to make sure her daughter has a better life ahead of her & tries to get her to a championship where she can win scholarship money to go to a school, she has to rely on a stranger whose paths she's already crossed before. They are on a road trip that will bring them closer together, all of them.
I just really loved this book. I was so wrapped up in the story & rooting for the characters.
I honestly liked this one just as much as Me Before You.
All the Bright Places - 4 stars
Theodore Finch & Violet Markey. Two opposites in high school meet at the bell tower when it becomes unclear who saves whom. They soon become friends & set out to discover Indiana together & discovering more than they expected.
This is going to become a movie & I totally have to see it.
I loved how these 2 opposites came together & loved the boldness & quirky of Theodore. I also love how Violet was open to his friendship even when she tried to resist.
It was such a sweet innocent read... until it's not.
Not giving any spoilers away but I heard this was labeled as "The Fault in our Stars" mixed with "Eleanor & Park" & that is a good way to look at it.
Looking for Lovely - 5 stars
Annie F. Downs shares personal stories, biblical truth & examples of what it is to find God in the every day - whether that be nature, friends or the face they see in the mirror.
I just really loved this book. Each chapter, Annie would break down the hardest year of her life where she really felt like things were falling apart & she had to pull herself together, finding the lovely things in the world to hold onto.
I especially love at the end of every chapter, she gives a challenge on how you can find lovely yourself. I really want to challenge myself with this list.
Who doesn't need more lovely?
I just really like Annie F. Down's other books too - plus knowing she's a Nashville girl? Bonus.
To all the Boys I've Loved Before - 3.5 stars
A girl writes letters to the boys she loves as a way to 'get over them' - & then one day the letters get sent out to the guys.
I first started reading this thinking it was going to be TOO pre-teen - TOO YA ... but I ended up getting wrapped up in the teenage drama & remembering what it felt like to have a crush on the cute popular guy in school & was rooting for Lara Jean.
I have been waiting for the follow up to become available at the library now - I want to see how the story goes on.
The Last Time we say Goodbye - 3 stars
A young high school girl's brother kills himself & she & her family have to deal with his suicide.
This one was heavy. Like really real & deep.
It's really moving to see how families feel the guilt of someone they love giving up on life.
I only gave this one 3 stars not because the story isn't good but because it just made me have to take a break from reading for a few days because I was just sad.
That should probably mean the book deserves more stars now that I think about it.
After You - 3 stars
Where is Louisa after Will Traynor has left her world?
... yep, the follow up to Me After You.
I so loved being back with Louisa, but I've said it over & over, I hate a world without Will Traynor.
& I really hate a world where Louisa's family is front & center of a book.
Man, her family irritates me.
So I loved being back in this world & the goofy life of Louisa & seeing where she has ended up in life's journey, but was also thinking the story was sort of out of left field & not really something that could happen... & again, her family. UGH - she just needs to move far away from these needy people.
Finding Audrey - 3 stars
Audrey has social anxiety & hides behind sunglasses since the eyes tell what's behind the soul
... unfortunately, we never get to see into Audrey's eyes apparently because we don't know what happens to her to cause her anxiety. Apparently some school incident - but that's all we get. That's my only quip about the book. Other than that, I did really enjoy it. I loved Audrey's brother & her relationship with his friend Linus who helps push her to her limits. It was a unique view of what anxiety can do to people & how it effects families.
Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe - 3.5 stars
A daughter takes over her mom's cafe in a local town after her football player well known husband cheats on her & she's starting over again... with the help of her guardian angel.
This was a really cute read. Very predictable. Very short.
& its Max Lucado so it has a very straight forward point of Jesus in it & also about the spiritual battle around us (which I love books on that).
As a friend said, "its a great filler" - something to read in between books when you dont know what to get invested in next.
Landline - 3 stars
Would you do the same thing again if you had the chance to do it over again? Georgie has a chance to do just that when she finds a old yellow landline phone that connects to her husband... before they were married.
This was another good read. Nothing earth shattering. Entertaining is more like it.
I felt like there was so much more that was missing from the story, little bits or pieces that could fill in lots of gaps or give it more of a hearty read - or better yet, the story between Georgie & her work partner Seth whom they have been friends since before Georgie met her husband.
I loved this author in Eleanor & Park & was expecting more but it was just OK.
We were Liars - 2 stars
A group of kids/family gets together every year & calls themselves The Liars. Something weird happens one summer & the mystery is to figure it out.
Thing is - I totally figured it out & I'm not smart in these things.
& the end? Just dumb. Like I sat giving my book stupid looks because it was dumb.
Expose to a Billionaire - 1 star (no bother)
A personal assistant to a billionaire takes you around the world on the rich side of life.
I actually wanted to write the description as "the stupid most non-realistic look at the rich life that a 13 year old possibly wrote" - but that may come off too harsh.
I can handle most any book & find some redeeming qualities. Even the book above, I gave 2 stars. This one? I wanted to punch my own self in the face for finishing it. & I only did because it was part of a blog reading link up. Otherwise, I would have honestly stopped 25% in.
So what are you reading now?
Have you read any of these? Do you agree/disagree with me?
& sorry, this did kinda of become irritatingly long after all.