50 Book Challenge (part 9)

All The Summer Girls by Meg Donohue (5/10) – I downloaded this book a LONG time ago, but never got around to listening to it because ‘Under The Dome’ was taking me forever to work through (I’m still not finished), and put me off listening to audiobooks for a while. When I was back in the swing of listening, I decided to give this ago and was pleasantly surprised. This is the kind of book I’d classify as a ‘beach read’. It’s easy. Nothing too hard to digest, and exactly what I was in the mood for. Having said that, it did make me long for a summer holiday in a beach house, which I won’t be experiencing anytime soon. Sigh.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (8/10) – I’m not big on chick lit. I’ve never been a fan of rom-coms, so guess what? I’ve never seen the Notebook, and I’m ok with that. For some reason a little while ago I watched ‘Safe Haven’ (lets blame Zac Efron’s biceps), and it wasn’t that bad. Because of that, when I was browsing my local library recently I decided to pick up the first Nicholas Sparks book that I’ve ever read. And I did not hate it. In fact, I really enjoyed it. I looked forward to the moment every day where I would pick this book up and read it. I was pleasantly surprised, and I’ll definitely be checking out more of his work in the future.

The Returned by Jason Mott (4/10) – Sebastian and I started watching Resurrection when it first aired, but lost interest after the first couple of episodes. Nevertheless, I’d had the book that the show was based on sitting on my shelf for far too long and I was determined to finally read it. I suggested it at book club, because I felt like there would be many themes and issues that we’d be able to discuss after reading the book. There were. However, did any of us actually like the book? No. I won’t go into too much detail about what happens at the end of the story, but I will say that none of us were left satisfied by the ending of this book.

The Shining by Stephen King (4/10) – I struggled with this one. For some reason I was really in the mood to read it, but once I started I just couldn’t be bothered with it. I persevered though, and managed to finish it off over the course of a few months. I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to get into the story, as Stephen King books are usually real page-turners for me. This has been my least favourite of King’s works that I’ve read so far, and it differs so much from the movie which surprised me. I sort of wish I’d read the book prior to seeing the film, but I watched it for the first time many years ago so OH WELL.

The 50 Book Challenge (part 7)

Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis (6/10) – This book popped up on Goodreads a few months ago and it seemed like something I’d like so I ordered a copy when I placed my Autumn/Winter haul. I ended up enjoying this book a lot more than I thought I would (granted it did seem like the kind of book I’d like, but I’ve been let down so often with YA books lately that I didn’t have high hopes). Knowing that this book is targeted at a Young Adult audience, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the female protagonist was strong, capable, and didn’t annoy me in the slightest. There was also a twist at the end that was atypical of standard young adult stories, so that was an unexpected surprise.

We Were Liars by E Lockhart (5/10) – This book was getting so much hype that I couldn’t resist picking up a copy for myself, and as soon as it arrived it jumped to the top of my to-read pile. This is one of those books that it’s best you go into knowing little to nothing about, so I won’t go into too much detail here. I will say that I enjoyed it a lot and I managed to shoot through it in a couple of days (mostly because I was so eager to figure out what was going on, and I couldn’t wait to get to the end). This would make a good little beach read this summer.

Black River by Dean Koontz (1/10) – I noticed I was 4 books behind in my 50 book challenge so I decided to download a short audio book to listen to and bump my tally a bit. I hadn’t read anything by Dean Koontz before ‘Intensity’ earlier this year (which coincidentally, is one of my favourite books) and this seemed interesting enough so I decided to give it a go. Yes this book was short, so that was good. It was terrible though, so I struggled to get through even the short amount of time it took to listen to it.

In The Blood by Lisa Unger (8/10) – This was another book that I purchased up after seeing it on a friends Goodreads ‘to-read’ list (noticing a trend here?) and it was the last of my autumn/winter haul that I picked up to read. I didn’t guess the surprise element to this story until the very end, which is somewhat rare for me. There were a lot of twists and turns along the way to keep me guessing, which I really enjoyed. This is another easy read that I managed to power through in a few days because I was so eager to reach the conclusion. If you like mystery/thriller books, this is definitely worth checking out.

50 Book Challenge (part 6)

Monster Love by Carol Topolski (7/10) – I was intrigued by the blurb of this book so I picked it up when I did a little autumn/winter book haul earlier this year. This was quite a disturbing read, and not something that I’d recommend to everyone. The subject matter is made clear within the blurb (the murder of a child), and is obviously a sensitive subject so if that is the kind of thing you cannot imagine reading about I wouldn’t pick this up. If you’re interested in the psychological elements behind an incomprehensible act like that, this is a very interesting read.

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge (6/10) – This was an audiobook that I downloaded from Audible a little while ago to listen to during slow periods at work or when I’m on the train and I can’t focus enough to actually read a book. I didn’t like the narrator very much, but the story itself was good enough that I was able to get past it. The book was about a serial killer who locks two people up together, and one of them has to kill the other in order to be released and stay alive. Verrrry interesting.

The Vanishing by Wendy Webb (6/10) – I love the cover of this book, I think it’s so beautiful. If you like the idea of reading about a haunted old mansion set in the dead of winter in the middle of the woods, with a protagonist who spends her days reading books in an old library and drinking tea – this could be a book for you. It was an easy read, and I got through the bulk of it over the course of one weekend.

Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant (5/10) – I picked this book up after seeing it on a friend’s ‘to read’ list on Goodreads. I’ve read more ‘murder mystery’ books this year than I have in my 29 years of life, and I’m surprised at how much I like them. I won’t go into too much detail about this one, because there is a bit of a twist at the end that caught me off guard. This was another easy read, and I managed to churn through it in a couple of days.

50 Book Challenge (part 5)

On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves (3/10) – I can’t remember what inspired me to purchase this, I think I might have been browsing Goodreads for island themed books before my holiday last month and this looked interesting. It was a typical ‘beach’ read – fluffy and easy to get through. It’s not really something that I’d recommend to other people to read. Unless you’re drawn in based on the premise of two people getting stuck on a desert island (Yes, I am a sucker for that). #wilson #neverforget

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (9/10) – This book had been sitting on my bookshelf for over a year, and I’m so glad I finally decided to pick it up. I knew that this was a firm favourite of many of my friends, so I had high expectations that thankfully weren’t let down. This is one of those books with a firm start-middle-finish, and although it is reasonably long, it was never a chore to read. I love books that have strong character development, and this book had wonderfully vivid characters throughout.

Cell by Stephen King (7/10) – I’ve read this before, but when I heard that it was being made into a film I decided to download the audiobook and have a listen. I spent the whole time imagining the actors cast in the film playing the characters in the book, and I am so happy that John Cusak is set to play Clay. He is perfect for the role. Samuel L Jackson as Tom is a bit questionable though. If you’re not already aware, ‘Cell’ is the story of the aftermath of a mysterious signal broadcast over the global cell phone network that turns the majority humans into mindless vicious animals. It will make an awesome movie.

The Three by Sarah Lotz (5/10) – I had such high hopes for this book. You probably know my taste by now, and this is definitely it: “Lost meets The Passage in this incredible new thriller, for all fans of The Shining Girls and Stephen King. They’re here …The boy. The boy watch the boy watch the dead people oh Lordy there’s so many …They’re coming for me now. We’re all going soon. All of us. Pastor Len warn them that the boy he’s not to—- The last words of Pamela May Donald (1961 – 2012) Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe. There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged. And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone. A message that will change the world. The message is a warning.” I enjoyed this book for the most part, and raced through it in a couple of days. The ending, however, left me slightly baffled. I’d love for someone else to read it, just so we can discuss the ending!

50 Book Challenge (part 4)

John Dies At The End by David Wong (4/10) – You know that feeling when it seems like you’ve been reading a kindle book for YEARS and you look at the percentage read at the bottom of the page and it’s only 2%? No? Well that’s how I felt for the most part while reading this book. This was a real struggle for me to get through, for some reason. The story was interesting enough, but it was overly wordy and just not my style of book.

Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews (8/10) – This book holds a nostalgic place in my heart, and I’ve loved it (and re-read it quite a few times) ever since I was a teenager. Most people probably find this book creepy and disgusting, which is exactly why I love it. I’ve read the entire Dollanganger series, and I have the urge to do a full re-read of the books this year.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling (8/10) – I love Mindy Kaling. I find her hilarious, and The Mindy Project is one of my favourite shows. I put off picking this book up for quite a while because I’d read mixed reviews, but I’m glad that I finally got around to it because I loved it. If you’re a fan of Mindy I highly recommend checking this out, as there are many laugh-out-loud moments to be had.

Vitro by Jessica Khoury (4/10) – This was one of my holiday reads (I wanted island-themed books that seemed easy to read), and it was OK but nothing special. I think I really need to stop reaching for young adult books, even when their storyline captures my attention. I know all books are for all ages but I just find teenage protagonists so darn annoying.