50 Book Challenge (part 4)

I feel like my love of reading has returned, and it’s wonderful. It’s entirely possible that starting up my book blog helped with the return of reading motivation, but who knows. I’m just glad this feeling is back and I hope it’s here to stay! Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Scholl – 9/10 – This is my favourite book of the year so far. Actually, I’d say it’s probably tied with The Kind Worth Killing (see below) for that coveted number one spot, so needless to say it’s been a good few months of reading for me. I loved this, and it was an unusual love for me because I disliked all of the characters. I guess that’s a true testament to good writing. Go into this book knowing very little about it. Read it ASAP.

Never Never by Colleen Hoover 7/10 – This is part one in a trilogy (which, for once, I knew going into the book), and it was good enough for me to want to read the next two books. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that means a lot because I very rarely read more than one book in a series. This book was part mystery, part thriller, part romance (ugh), and it ended on a really great cliffhanger. I can’t wait to get stuck into book two.

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight 6/10 – This was a decent thriller, but unfortunately I picked it up between reading Luckiest Girl Alive and The Kind Worth Killing, and it had too much to live up to. It was still enjoyable though, and worth picking up for an easy rainy weekend read.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson 9/10 – As I mentioned earlier in the post, this is tied for first position for best book I’ve read in 2015 so far. I’m going to be annoying and say that this is another book that you need to go into knowing very little about. If you’re not afraid of something a little bit twisted, check this out. I’ve already reserved Peter Swanson’s first book at the library and I can’t wait to read it.

Survive The Night by Danielle Vega 3/10 – This book had so much potential, and I was really enjoying it until it got ridiculous about halfway through. Such a shame.

50 Book Challenge (part 3)

I am way behind on my 50 Book Challenge for the year. This happens nearly every year, where I hit a bit of a road bump with one particular book and lost my mojo for reading altogether. I’m making a conscious effort to read more as of this week, and can hopefully get my total back up to speed ASAP! I have a week off at the end of July, and my long service leave at the end of the year coming up and I’m planning on getting a lot of reading done then! In the meantime, here’s what I’ve read lately –

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray 6/10 – I was after a bit of lightheated fun when I picked this book up, which is exactly what I got. I saw the cover of this book pop up on goodreads a couple of years ago and found it quite intriguing. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but we all do it. Let’s admit it. This was a bit of a silly book, but had a good heart at the base of it all. If you’re a fan of reality tv (like me), then you’ll probably get a kick out of this.

The Visitors by Simon Sylvester 7/10 – This was one of those books that I get stuck halfway through and it took me ages to finally pick it up and finish it off. The story had a paranormal twist to it, and I had no idea it was going to go in that direction. To be honest, if I’d known this was a paranormal book I probably wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place. One thing I did really like about it was the setting. A cold and blustery Scottish island is exactly where I wanted to be transported to when I was curled up in bed reading this on a winter’s night. I’m glad I made the effort to pick it up and finish it off, because I ended up enjoying it in the end.

This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers 4/10 – I added this book to my to-read list back at the height of my zombie obsession, which has apparently fizzled out. This book was alright I guess, nothing too exciting and nothing good enough to push me to read the follow up books in the series. I didn’t feel anything for any of the characters, which makes it difficult to care in a life or death situation. I think this book was written very much knowing it would be the first in a series, because there is a lot of build up and very little pay off.

Seed by Lisa Heathfield 8/10 – I was really excited to read this, because it seemed so different from all other YA books I’d read in the past. The story revolves around a group of people living together in a “community” (read: cult), run by Papa S. When outsiders infiltrate the group, things fall to pieces. This was a quick and easy read, and one that I was happy to pick up and not quick to put down.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver 6/10 – This was one of the books I featured in my ‘5 YA Books I Want To Read’ post, and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I picked the ‘twist’ about halfway through but I won’t say too much about it, as this is a book that’s better off reading without knowing too much about the story.

50 Book Challenge (part 2)

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (10/10) – As soon as I finished reading this book I ordered two more books by the author, and after I finished reading Big Little Lies (see below), Liane Moriarty officially cemented her status as one of my favourite authors. This book had been sitting on my shelf gathering dust, purely because I had read one not-so-favourable review on Goodreads. I then saw two rave reviews from people who’s opinion I hold in high regard, and decided to pick it up. I’m so glad I did, because I loved this book.

The Martian by Andy Weir (5/10) – I saw this pop up on a friend’s Goodreads list earlier in the year and was instantly captivated by the cover art. I listened to this in audiobook format on my Audible app on my phone, and it really helped bring the story to life. As soon as I finished the book I told Sebastian that I thought it would make for a great movie. Guess what? Someone agreed with me.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (7/10) – This book was popping up all over the place, and the blurb was enough to intrigue me so I decided to pick it up. This was an easy read, and a decent mystery that had me captivated from the get go. It’s getting compared a lot to Gone Girl, but I feel like this book had a whole different vibe. But still, intriguing in it’s own right. Worth picking up if you’re in the mood for a page-turning mystery.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (10/10) – I liked this book more than I liked The Husband’s Secret, although they’re both brilliant in their own way. Liane Moriarty has a way of twisting a story over and over again, but bringing it all together in the end so that it makes perfect sense. This book went down a totally different path than I expected to, and it was wonderful. Read this book.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (6/10) – This was another book that I saw popping up all over the place (and one who’s cover art was enough to pique my interest), and this line from the blurb made it a must-read for me: “I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don’t know the colour of her eyes or what they look like when shes scared. But I will.” This book was nothing like what I expected it to be, but I enjoyed it all the same. I suggested it as the March/April bookclub read, and I’m looking forward to discussing it with my girlfriends at our next meeting.

50 Book Challenge 2014 (recap/final reviews)

Although I didn’t quite reach my goal of 50 books read this year, I don’t think I did too badly. I managed to finish 40 books in 2014, and I still have a couple that I’m making my way through that I’ll be moving to my 2015 reading list. I didn’t get around to posting reviews for a couple of the books I read later in the year, so here they are –

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (6/10) – A friend of mine mentioned this book earlier in the year, and I made a mental note to pick it up when I had the chance. I managed to grab this from my local library (great for books you know will be one-off reads), and churned through it in a week or so. It was a very easy read, and the storyline was interesting enough to keep me turning the page. This is very much a YA book though. Not a whole lot of substance to it, but definitely a bit of fun.

Tampa by Alissa Nutting (3/10) – This was the second book club book that my friends and I read for the year, and it was my choice. I thought it would be an interesting book to read with the aim of discussing it at the end because I knew it would be quite controversial. The book itself had some potential, the plot was unique enough that if it was executed well it would have made for an interesting story. Unfortunately it just wasn’t as good as it could have been. In fact, it was pretty awful to read. Only one out of the six women in my book club liked this.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub (5/10) – I’d heard a few people raving about this book, so I ordered it in my Spring/Summer book haul earlier in the year. To be honest, it wasn’t as good as I was expecting it to be. It was a nice, easy ready. I’d recommend this as a beach read, or a book to pick up if you’re going on holiday somewhere sunny.

We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt (6/10) – Marcus Zusak mentioned this book in a tweet, and if Marcus Zusak recommends a book you can bet that I’ll be picking it up ASAP. I won’t give too much of this book away, but I will say that I think fans of ‘We Were Liars’ will probably enjoy this. Another easy read, and I finished it off in one weekend.

I’m going to be doing my annual giveaway of the four best (in my opinion) books that I read this year, so stay tuned for that later in the week!

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.