Last year I had my goal of reading 100 books, but I definitely didn’t review that many on my blog! If you want to see the ratings I gave books, be sure to check out my Goodreads. But, lucky you, I put together some reviews, the first two are books I read in 2015, and a series that I read earlier this year.
Out of Sorts by Aurélie Valognes
Ferdinand Brun hasn’t always been a grumpy old man. Many years ago, he was a grumpy young man. Now he’d much rather spend time with his canine companion, Daisy, than any of his nosy neighbors. But as his behavior becomes increasingly peculiar, his daughter grows concerned and begins to consider moving him into a retirement home.
In order to maintain his freedom, Ferdinand must submit to an apartment inspection by his longtime enemy, the iron-fisted concierge, Mrs. Suarez. Unfortunately, he’s never tidied up a day in his life. His neighbors, precocious ten-year-old Juliette and vivacious ninety-two-year-old Beatrice, come to the rescue. And once he lets these two into his life, things will never be the same. After an eighty-three-year reign of grouchiness, Ferdinand may finally learn that it’s never too late to start living.
I’m not going to lie, this book was a little weird at first. It took me a while to get into the narrator’s head and really understand his voice. I felt like the beginning of the story could have been a little clearer on our narrator and his current situation. The author started in the future and then went back to show how Ferdinand got there, but it was a little hard to follow. I also thought it was a little odd that this girl just shows up in an old man’s apartment to hang out with him. I get that it’s cute the author was trying to create a dynamic relationship between the two- but it was just hard to believe she would disappear from her apartment (or school!) to invite herself over without knowing anything about him.
Once I got into the story, however, I really enjoyed our main character, as well as the many other characters living in his building. One thing that I loved is how the author captured apartment living and how people tend to show their crazy side when it comes to dealing with building management and neighbors.
The Family by Marissa Kennerson
Just like any average seventeen year old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers are sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity…
All one hundred and eighty three of them.
Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. The Family members coexist with the values of complete openness and honesty, and a shared fear of contagious infection in the outside world.
So when Adam, their Father, prophet, and savior, announces that Twig will be his new bride, she is overjoyed and honored. But when an injury forces her to leave the grounds, Twig finds that the world outside is not necessarily as toxic as she was made to believe. When she meets Leo, an American boy with a killer smile, she begins to question everything about her life within the Family, and the cult to which she belongs.
But when it comes to your Family, you don’t always get a choice.
Of course, I picked up this book because I find the mindset and nature of cults fascinating; it’s the part of me that wanted to switch to being a psychology major in college. I really appreciated the culture that the author created within their compound and how he demonstrated how people would end up joining a cult and then not be able to leave. I also loved the relationship that our main character, Twig, develops with Leo.
My only hesitations, however, were that the circumstances surrounding Twig’s initial connection to an outsider with her mother (don’t want to give anything away!) and then the conclusion of the story felt a little too far-fetched. Twig’s circumstances and story just ended a little too perfectly- but I can’t say more without spoiling the story!
The Immortal Circus by A.R. Kahler
Murdered contortionists aren’t exactly what Vivienne signed up for when she ran away to join the circus. But like most things under the big top, nothing is what it seems. With a past she can’t quite remember, Vivienne finds that running away forever might not be as appealing as it once sounded—especially not when she realizes the devilishly attractive ringleader, Mab, is the Faerie Queen of legend—and that she and the rest of the troupe are locked in an age-old rivalry between the otherworldly Courts.
Aided by her friends Kingston—a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart—and his smart-ass assistant, Melody, Vivienne finds herself racing against the clock to discover the culprit behind a series of deaths that should be impossible. However, the answer she seeks might reveal more about her own bloody past—and future—than she bargained for.
The show’s just beginning. Step right up…
This series has been showing up in my “recommended reading” for the entire past year, and probably much longer. For some reason, I was just not interested in reading it, but when I saw that it was in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited I decided to just give it a go. Guess what? I ended up really liking the story!
I can’t say I looooved it, but I definitely enjoyed reading the series and I think that was mostly because of the author’s writing style. The conversations were effortless and I really believed the characters and the relationships. The author also did a great job of including twists in the plot that I really didn’t expect. I do have to say, however, that by the third novel the twists started to feel like too much, but they did all make sense in the end.
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What are you reading right now?