50 Book Challenge (part 2)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary-Anne Shaffer & Annie Barrows 8/10 – I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I’d anticipated, and I’ve been recommending it to anyone who asks me for reading recommendations. It was charming, sweet, and the characters were all vivid and delightful. The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the fact that it’s written in correspondence form, which meant the story jumped back and forth between characters. I’m not sure if it’s because I read it in kindle format and the pages weren’t formatted properly, but I found it quite difficult to keep up with who was writing to who.

Beauty by Lauren Conrad (5/10) – I probably shouldn’t have purchased both this and Lauren’s book ‘Style’, because both contain a lot of the same information. I love Lauren, but if you already own Style, don’t bother picking this up too. Unless of course you’re in the market for a very pretty little coffee table book.

Intensity by Dean Koontz (9/10) – This book was way better than I expected it to be. It was one of the most thrilling books I’ve ever read, and I had a really hard time putting it down every time I needed to stop and do something else. The female protagonist is one STRONG ASS character. No foolin’. If you’re in the mood for a book that will get your heart racing, pick this up ASAP.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (6/10) – I picked up this book because I was about to embark own my own road trip, and I felt like reading something to get me in the mood. This was a really sweet little read and although I didn’t actually read any of it on my trip as planned, I did love reading it afterwards and remembering cute little things about my own trip.

50 Book Challenge (part 1)

A Tap On The Window by Linwood Barclay (3/10) – The first book I read this year was a bit of a flop. I had high hopes for this, the plot sounded promising and I was in the mood for a good thriller, but this book just didn’t deliver. The story seemed to drag on for a long time without anything interesting happening, I found it hard to follow the characters, and I didn’t care enough about the main character to get involved in his back story.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (8/10) – With this book, Jeffrey Eugenides has officially cemented his place on my list of all-time favourite authors. This book was not my favourite of his, (fyi my personal ranking of Mr Eugenides books is as follows: 1. Middlesex, 2. The Virgin Suicides, & 3. this one), but still, I loved it. The characters in this book were so vivid that I felt like they were jumping off the page at me.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (8/10) – I loved this book. This is my favourite book by Gillian Flynn so far, I just couldn’t seem to put it down. I It was a real page turner, and I raced through it because I was desperate to find out what happened at the end. A great mystery/thriller and a very easy read.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (2/10) – Ugh, this book. Firstly, I may have read Flowers In The Attic at least 25 times when I was a teenager, but that doesn’t mean I’m down with pointless incest popping up in books. Especially when there is no character or relationship development whatsoever. You’re just supposed to roll with it? No. Also, I really did not like the way this book was written. I’m not a big fan of stream of consciousness writing, and I found it hard to pull anything from the story. Thankfully this book was super short and I zipped through it in two days.

Books 2013 (overview, final reviews + giveaway)

Goat Mountain by David Vann (6/10) – I saw this book sitting on the shelf at a book store and couldn’t resist the beautiful cover art. The blurb compared David Vann’s writing style to Cormac McCarthy, so of course I was sold. The writing in this book is beautiful, but I couldn’t stomach the subject matter. I’m not sure what it was but I was not in the right frame of mind to read this book. At one point I had to stop reading it while I was eating my lunch at work because it made me feel physically ill. Despite this little hiccup, the book was so beautifully written that I’d still recommend it.

White Horse by Alex Adams (5/10) – This book had so much promise: a strong female protagonist, a post-apocalyptic plot, beautiful cover art (heh), but it still fell short of my expectations. I wasn’t a fan of the overly wordy style of writing, and I’m still I’m still tossing up whether I’m going to read the other books in the series.

I usually do my book giveaway at the end of the year, but as I was on a hiatus throughout most of December it was pushed forward to January. So here we go! I have selected my four favourite books for the year, and will be giving away one copy of each. The books are: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, Columbine by Dave Cullen, and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post telling me which of the books you’d like to win. Be sure to include your email address so that I can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. The giveaway is open internationally, and will be drawn on February 4th. Good luck!

Summer Reading List (+ Spring Reviews)

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides 9/10 – I loved this book. Jeffrey Eugenides has officially cemented his place as one of my favourite authors (one of his other books, Middlesex, is one of my all-time favourites). I remember watching the film quite a while ago, but it didn’t affect me as much as the book did. The story of the Lisbon sisters is sad and beautiful and it lingered with me for quite a while after I’d finished reading the book.

Along Came A Spider by James Patterson 4/10 – I was in the mood for an easy read so I scanned through my list of Kindle books and selected this. It was basically just another run-of-the-mill crime novel, but it was exactly what I wanted at the time and I enjoyed it.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach 8/10 – For some reason it took me a really long time to read this book. It wasn’t because I didn’t like it or that I wasn’t enjoying the story, it just took a while for me to pick it up and get stuck into it. I was glad once I did because this was one of the best books I’ve read all year.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 7/10 – I was craving something quick and easy after my struggle to get going with The Art Of Fielding, so I picked this up. The subject matter is disturbing, but the story is good and Gillian Flynn’s style of writing is a breeze to read.

Winter Reading List (+ Autumn Reviews)

(note: I will be reading book 2 of 1Q84)

Ten by Gretchen McNeil 4/10 – This was an easy read, I think I managed to get through it over the course of one weekend. Not an amazing book, but good for what it was – a fairly basic young adult thriller.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell 5/10 – I had high hopes for this book, and enjoyed how it started out but wasn’t that impressed with where it ended up. Another fairly easy read although I slowed down a little bit towards the end because I just wasn’t that interested in picking it up.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 8/10 – I read this because I wanted to have it fresh in my mind before seeing the film when it came out this year. I love this story, and it’s nice and short so it was easy to devour in a few sittings. I found that while I was reading it I was imagining the characters as the actors playing them in the new film, which was interesting.

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris 7/10 – I’m in love with the new Hannibal TV series that started up recently, and I’m now inspired to read the books that the show is based on. I started at the beginning of the series with Red Dragon. I enjoyed this, it was another easy read and I devoured it (lol) pretty quickly.