Remember back in the day when I used to do book reviews? Yea, that feels like a long time ago. I’ve read a LOT of books this year (91 to be exact…) so I thought it was about time I shared my thoughts on some of them! Let’s not pretend all 91 were New York Times Best Sellers list novels or anything, haha, there are definitely some fun, quick reads on that list and I thought I’d try to share a bit of a selection.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
I finally started this series after it had been recommended to me a few times and I have to say I’m intrigued. The first book left off very open-endedly, so these are definitely one story broken up into different books, but I am enjoying the story so far and I like that the author went in more of a sci-fi direction, which makes it different from a lot of the YA dystopian novels I’ve read in the past.
In the Land of the Long White Cloud by Sarah Lark
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Helen Davenport, governess for a wealthy London household, longs for a family of her own—but nearing her late twenties and with no dowry, her prospects are dim. Responding to an advertisement seeking young women to marry New Zealand’s honorable bachelors, she corresponds with a gentleman farmer. When her church offers to pay her travels under an unusual arrangement, she jumps at the opportunity.
Meanwhile, not far away in Wales, beautiful and daring Gwyneira Silkham, daughter of a wealthy sheep breeder, is bored with high society. But when a mysterious New Zealand baron deals her father an unlucky blackjack hand, Gwyn’s hand in marriage is suddenly on the table. Her family is outraged, but Gwyn is thrilled to escape the life laid out for her.
The two women meet on the ship to Christchurch—Helen traveling in steerage, Gwyn first class—and become unlikely friends. When their new husbands turn out to be very different than expected, the women help one another in ways they never anticipated.
Set against the backdrop of colonial nineteenth-century New Zealand, In the Land of the Long White Cloud is a soaring saga of friendship, romance, marriage and adventure.
Since I read so much, I use Kindle Unlimited ($9.99/month) rather than buying each individual book that I read. One of the books recommended to me on Kindle Unlimited was The Land of the Long White Cloud and I have to say, I was first drawn in by the cover and after reading the description, I thought, “this could be interesting?” It turns out I had no idea what I was in for. About 12% in (kindle talk for pages) after spending a couple hourse reading, I realized the book was 650 pages long… Fortunately, the only frustrating part about that was that it took so much longer to find out what happened to everyone!
This novel exceedd my expectations. From the very beginning, I was hooked on not only the two main characters’ stories, but eventually the story of every single person they came in contact with. The author had me dying to know what happened to each of them, and as a multi-generational story, by the end I finally got my answers for how each of their lives turned out. The length may make this book intimidating, but I highly recommend giving it a try!
Shelter by Harlan Coben
My rating: ⭐️⭐️
Mickey Bolitar’s year can’t get much worse. After witnessing his father’s death and sending his mom to rehab, he’s forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools.
A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For a while, it seems like Mickey’s train-wreck of a life is finally improving – until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley’s trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that this seemingly sweet, shy girl isn’t who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey’s father. Soon, Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem like a luxury – and leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.
First introduced to readers in Harlan Coben’s latest adult novel, Live Wire, Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, and eager to go to any length to save the people he cares about. With this new series, Coben introduces an entirely new generation of fans to the masterful plotting and wry humor that have made him an award-winning, internationally bestselling, and beloved author.
In case you were curious, Kindle Unlimited doesn’t include very many new or overly popular books, so to find those I use the Kansas City online library. The downside of this is having to wait so long to get some books! The upside: I’ve saved myself hundreds of dollars (that I don’t have… 😉 ).
This book was another that came up on a list of books recommended for me and, like Cinder, it was unconclusive as a stand alone novel. It was a little odd, mostly because the story felt underdeveloped. New concepts or characters would pop out of nowhere and it took a lot of suspension of belief to just accept them into the story.This first one felt more like an introduction than a story in itself. I have the next book in the series on hold at the library, so I’m going to give it another chance.
Broken Grace by E.C. Diskin
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
On an icy winter’s day in southwest Michigan, Grace Abbot wakes up as the survivor of a car crash. But she’s left with a traumatic brain injury and a terrifying reality: she can’t remember anything.
Left in the care of her sister, Grace returns to the family’s secluded old farmhouse to recover—but within an hour of her return, the police arrive. Grace’s boyfriend has been murdered. Without any memory, Grace has no alibi.
With suspicion weighing heavily on her and flashes of memory returning, Grace searches for clues to her past. But with every glimpse, her anxiety grows. There is something about the house, her family, her childhood…perhaps the accident isn’t the only reason she can’t remember. Are the dark recesses of her mind hiding something even more sinister and terrifying than she could ever imagine?
And someone is watching. Someone willing to kill again to protect a secret.
OH MY GOSH. This book was crazy and so suspensful! If you like mysteries where you’re trying to figure out who did it before the book tells you, then this is for you! And no, this is nothing like the older mystery books your parents read, it’s written in a very fresh and young tone and you quickly fall in love with Grace, the main character. I highly recommend this one!
The Other Side of Someday by T.K. Leigh
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
You know how you always say “Someday I will”?
Well, I’ve hit my someday.
Someday begins today.
Baylee Morgan is at a crossroads of her life. Leaving her marriage of ten years and the only life she’s ever known, she starts over in a penthouse ocean-front condo in Santa Monica, California. She soon finds herself immersed, albeit reluctantly, in the daunting and perilous world of dating as an almost thirty-something in Los Angeles, unsure of how to act, what to do, or whether that hot guy she meets in yoga class is straight.
Sebby Powers’ dream has always been to work in the film industry. At the age of thirty-five, he’s one of the youngest up-and-coming producers in Hollywood. His life is perfect. Perfect apartment. Perfect girlfriend. Perfect dog. Until a friendship with a beautiful new woman with vibrant red hair and a similar taste in cheesy movies throws his perfect life into a tailspin.
The Other Side Of Someday is a fun, sexy story of looking for Mr. Right in a world full of Mr. Wrongs, when Mr. Right could be just next door.
Another Kindle Unlimited read, The Other Side of Someday, was definitely a cute, fun novel, perfect for when you just want to dive into a good book to get away from the real world. I wouldn’t call it a page turner, but it was a very cute story and a fun to read.
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Andie had it all planned out.
When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
Important internship? Check.
Amazing friends? Check.
Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.
Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.
And where’s the fun in that?
This is a HIGHLY RECOMMEND in my book! Another cute read, and about an almost High School senior, it may not be for everyone, but I certainly didn’t feel like the author was writing for a high school audience. I actually came across this book when it was one month’s selection for Lauren Conrad’s blog’s book club and I’ve been waiting for it at the library for months! It was a very cute story and I really got into it and fell in love with all of the characters. It’s only partially a romance, but so much more about both friends and figuring out who we are as people both with and without the relationships around us. Such a fun book!
What are you reading right now?
What’s one of your favorite books you’ve EVER read?