Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Finally remembered its book day! & have a lot to catch up on!

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.

best books:

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.

3 star books:

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.

3 star books:

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. 

1 star books:

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.

Life According to Steph


  1. So glad I skipped theBillionaire book.

    I loved All the Bright Places so much. Lots of crying. Same with Me Begore You, but most of that crying was at the end. Lol

  2. i can't say enough amazing things about The Cartel (the book i'm reading now); it's kept my nose in its pages all the time. i read at work, at home, whenever i can.

  3. Such great reviews! I'm now trying to finish the book I started about 3-4 years ago. I only have a couple of chapters left...yay me!

  4. This is exactly what happens to me. I saw this link-up last month, I was all YEAH, IMMA DO DAT! & then I totally forgot. So, it's going on the calendar so I don't forget for next month.

    I'll probably add To the Boys I've Loved Before to my library hold queue. :)

  5. When I find a series of books I like, I read them all, then I get to the 3rd or 4th book and get bored an forget about it. I do read more when I travel, so maybe I need to go somewhere and finish the half-read books on my Kindle App. Hmmm...

  6. Yeah, I was pretty disappointed by We Were Liars, too. I liked the end, but overall it was kind of meh.

  7. I hated we were liars! Definitely going to add all the bright places to my list after your review!

  8. I LOVE "After You"!!!! I would read a million books about that family!

  9. I'm laughing so hard at "I wanted to punch my own self in the face for finishing it." Hahahaha- ain't that the truth!
    I think I added three of our reads to my GoodReads list! Yay! Thanks for the recommendations!!

  10. all the bright places is on my list.. i keep hearing it described that way (fault in our stars/eleanor and park) so i am waiting hahaha. but yes i agree about landline, it was okay but not as good as e&p or attachments. i couldn't get behind the phone thing, even though i love fantasy or sci fi books, i just don't like when it's sprinkled into real life books, if that makes sense. one plus one was one of my faves. i love me some moyes! i quite liked after you, but not as a sequel to me before you. it was odd, but i liked it on its own.

  11. I am glad I did not join in the Millionaire book. Seems like everyone hated it. I was interested in We Were Liars, but I've heard similar reviews.

  12. I used to read all the time, but now I feel like I'm too busy to read...which I know I need to make time for myself! You just inspired me to buy a new book!

  13. I never received the Billionaire book and from all the bad reviews, I didn't miss anything. All the Bright Places is already on my list and I'm adding One Plus One to my TBR.

  14. I think I gave After You 3 stars and Me Before You 5 (because duh, it was the best). Added All the Bright Places to my list! Also, I feel like I'm super good at figuring out twists and I'm pretty sure I didn't figure out We Were Liars hahaha #dumb.

  15. Oh my goodness, you have read SO many books!! I finished Me Before You and loved it. I think I have After You on my Kindle. Am reading The Secret Life of Violet Grant right now. Enjoying it very much. Thanks for the reviews! I think we like the same kind of books....

  16. You definitely need to check out Attachments by Rainbow Rowell...I think that one was probably my favourite of hers. Landline was okay but it just didn't do it for me...I couldn't invest in the characters enough. I too loved One Plus One, I just read it this year! It was so quirky and sweet.

  17. Wow, what a great review. I think I would like the book about all the old boyfriends. I am a huge fan of sophie kinsella. Have you read "Can you keep a Secret"? I love that one.

  18. I didn't even finish the Billionaire book. I got a couple of chapters in.
    Landline was good, but Attachments was better. Fangirl was my favorite.

    We Were Liars was indeed awful.

    Finding Audrey was good for what it is because I'll read anything by Kinsella (even the last Shopaholic book lol).

    One Plus One was a favorite of mine!

  19. For all the books that we've both read, I am pretty sure we rated the books the exact same! Whoa...we are on some kind of reading wavelength.
    I've only read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, but I definitely want to read more of her. I enjoy seeing other bloggers give opinions about her other books. I've decided that I'll read the ones that interest me and come to my own opinion.

  20. You are a rock star!!! I am impressed by all of your reading. That is something I definitely don't make time for :(

  21. Well ... haven't read any of those (except the Billionaire one, and I'm trying to forget that one) but now I have BUNCHES more to add to my Goodreads list! :)


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