Book Reviews

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I've Got Your Number

Synopsis from Goodreads:

I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!
 
Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!
 
Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.
 
What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

 

I’d always been a fan of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series so when I saw she had a book that I hadn’t read I snagged it up from the library (ebook). This was EXACTLY the book I needed at the moment – something light, romantic and with a great ending. Yes, I pretty much knew who would end up with who before even beginning the book, but I really enjoyed reading this story. Although it ended how I expected, it definitely had a surprise here and there and really kept my attention – I finished in less than two days! I just couldn’t put it down. I loved it. It was sweet, romantic and brought a smile to my face. You’ve got to love a book that makes you laugh out loud every once in a while.

 

The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley

The Dead Key

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s 1998, and for years the old First Bank of Cleveland has sat abandoned, perfectly preserved, its secrets only speculated on by the outside world.

Twenty years before, amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors sold Cleveland’s largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers and employees, and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion that followed, the keys to the vault’s safe-deposit boxes were lost.

In the years since, Cleveland’s wealthy businessmen kept the truth buried in the abandoned high-rise. The ransacked offices and forgotten safe-deposit boxes remain locked in time, until young engineer Iris Latch stumbles upon them during a renovation survey. What begins as a welcome break from her cubicle becomes an obsession as Iris unravels the bank’s sordid past. With each haunting revelation, Iris follows the looming shadow of the past deeper into the vault—and soon realizes that the key to the mystery comes at an astonishing price.

 

Oh. My. Gosh. This book kept me RIVETED. I absolutely love history and historical buildings so a book about a mystery that’s been sealed up in an old 15-story bank for 20 years was right down my alley. It definitely moved a little too slowly at certain points for me (I just WANTED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!) but I was kept hooked on the story throughout the book. I also loved how the author told the story from two points of view, and yet the two women were incredibly similar. There were a few times when I thought “really? would that reaaaalllly happen?” but I just pushed those thoughts to the side and got back into the story. If you love old, unsolved mysteries, this one is for you.

 

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

 

I picked this book because it was $1.99 and it is the new Book Club read on Lauren Conrad’s blog. Although the main character was a high schooler, I still found the book cute and somewhat relatable. I pretty much had an idea of where it was going to go, but nevertheless I enjoyed reading the story. This was another book I finished in one weekend and definitely recommend it as a fun, light read.

 

Book Reviews

The Goldfinch by Donna Tart

The Goldfinch

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

 

Ahhh this book! This book was a pain in my butt but I thought it was amazing. When I got it from the library I didn’t realize it was almost 800 pages long, but honestly when I was reading it never felt long. The story follows a boy from a tragic event in his childhood all the way to his adult life. He has so many different homes and ways of living it’s really amazing to see how he bounced from place to place, adjusting quickly but never truly knowing who he is until the end of the story. I guess you could say it’s a coming of age type novel. I also loved the author’s writing style – it was descriptive, not in an overdone boring way, but in a way that makes you feel like you’re really there and you understand how he feels. Her writing was practically poetic and once I finished I understood why it took her 800 pages to write this story. I definitely recommend this book for anyone looking to push themselves a little out of their “reading comfort zone.”

 

The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble

The Mermaid's Sister

Synopsis from Goodreads:

There is no cure for being who you truly are…

In a cottage high atop Llanfair Mountain, sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian Auntie. By day, they gather herbs for Auntie’s healing potions. By night, Auntie spins tales of faraway lands and wicked fairies. Clara’s favorite story tells of three orphan infants—Clara, who was brought to Auntie by a stork; Maren, who arrived in a seashell; and their best friend, O’Neill, who was found beneath an apple tree.

One day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister’s skin. She realizes that Maren is becoming a mermaid—and knows that no mermaid can survive on land. Desperate to save her, Clara and O’Neill place the mermaid-girl in their gypsy wagon and set out for the sea. But no road is straight, and the trio encounters trouble around every bend. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill must find a way to save themselves and the ever-weakening mermaid.

And always, in the back of her mind, Clara wonders, if my sister is a mermaid, then what am I?

 

This book takes place in basically a different world. It’s our world, but shows it from the side of magical beings (kind of like Harry Potter). I really loved some of the characters and felt the author was pretty creative with parts of her storyline. However, she didn’t do a very good job of setting up the story and the world they lived in. You just had to jump in and try to figure it out as she went along. I finished the book still a little confused and unsure about the setting and how these characters fit into that, however it was an intriguing read.

 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

 

I’ve been hearing about this book for AGES so I was really happy when it finally became available at my library. It was not at all what I expected (granted I didn’t even read the synopsis before I started so I had no idea what to expect) but the story was so real and believable, it’s something that I imagine happening in one way or another to teenagers across the country. I think the only thing I didn’t like was that I had a really hard time visualizing one of the main characters, Eleanor, in my mind, which became somewhat distracting. I realize now, while writing this, that the author wasn’t very visually descriptive in general, so maybe that’s what I felt was missing. Either way, I thought it was a good story and would definitely recommend the book!

 

What are you reading right now?

What is your LEAST favorite book you read semi-recently? 

Book Reviews

MORE BOOKREVIEWS!!!! Woooo!!!! I know, you’re excited! Here are four books I’ve read recently:

Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

This book turned out a little differently than I expected, but I ended up really loving the story and the writing. I felt like all the characters were very dynamic, especially when the main character, June, slowly finds out more and more about her family members that she was shielded from as a child. It almost feels like those coming of ages stories we read in high school, but set in the late 80s.

From Goodreads:

1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

 

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles

Now this book was REALLY not what I expected. Haha. The way the book is written makes the reader feel somewhat disconnected and yet in the narrator’s mind at the same time. It sounds weird, but if you think about it, the narrator feels incredibly disconnected from her world as well while things are slowly but surely changing around her. It was a somewhat odd book (ha – says the person who loves YA Dystopian novels), but really interesting and creative at the same time. Haha part of me wants to start analyzing it like I’m in English class, but I’ll spare you.

From Goodreads:

“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”

Luminous, haunting, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles is a stunning fiction debut by a superb new writer, a story about coming of age during extraordinary times, about people going on with their lives in an era of profound uncertainty.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 11-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life–the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

With spare, graceful prose and the emotional wisdom of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker has created a singular narrator in Julia, a resilient and insightful young girl, and a moving portrait of family life set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

 

Not a Penny More Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less

I read this book because it was suggested by my grandfather and I never would have picked it up on my own, nor would I have made it past the first 25%. But I’m glad I stuck with it. The book started out pretty slow for me, it was interesting but I didn’t see where it was going. I’m really glad I pulled it back out and decided to finish it because after that I could barely put it down. I loved how the author hinted at their plans, but you never really found out what they were up to until it happened. It was amusing and nerve wracking all at the same time and I really enjoyed it.

From Goodreads:

The conned: an Oxford don, a revered society physician, a chic French art dealer, and a charming English lord. They have one thing in common. Overnight, each novice investor lost his life’s fortune to one man. The con: Harvey Metcalfe!!

A brilliant, self-made guru of deceit. A very dangerous individual. And now, a hunted man.

With nothing left to lose four strangers are about to come together-each expert in their own field. Their plan: find Harvey, shadow him, trap him, and penny-for-penny, destroy him. From the luxurious casinos of Monte Carlo to the high-stakes windows at Ascot to the bustling streets of Wall Street to fashionable London galleries, their own ingenious game has begun. It’s called revenge-and they were taught by a master.

 

All The Life We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

Oh this book. I loved it. It wasn’t a quick read or a happy go lucky story, but I loved it all the same. The novel switches back and forth between two characters and between two different points in their life, both coinciding. I love how the author connects them in so many subtle ways – it makes you feel like they knew each other so well without knowing each other at all. I found the story to be romantic in a somewhat sad and wistful way, showing the reader how the beauty of what once was can be destroyed by society and human nature, leaving us in a world we never imagined, yet still with the hope of what’s to come. There I go – into English class mode! Haha, anyway, clearly I recommend reading this book!

From Goodreads:

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

 

What are you reading right now? 

Did you like English class in school? 

Book Reviews Galore!

Okay, so last week I promised some speedy book reviews – just a few quick thoughts of my own plus the synopsis from Goodreads – so here we go!

17838538

Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond

I really enjoyed reading this book! Although it’s a little “teen romance” it’s surrounded by a very intriguing mystery and plenty of suspense. I loved the fact that it was an inside look at working at a circus, and although set in current times, to me it felt like it could have easily been 50-100 years ago.

“A ballerina, twirling on a wire high above the crowd. Horses, prancing like salsa dancers. Trapeze artists, flying like somersaulting falcons. And magic crackling through the air. Welcome to the Cirque American!

Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies.

Jules ignores the drama and focuses on the wire, skyrocketing to fame as the girl in a red tutu who dances across the wire at death-defying heights. But when she discovers a peacock feather—an infamous object of bad luck—planted on her costume, Jules nearly loses her footing. She has no choice but to seek help from the unlikeliest of people: Remy Garcia, son of the Garcia clan matriarch and the best trapeze artist in the Cirque.

As more mysterious talismans believed to possess unlucky magic appear, Jules and Remy unite to find the culprit. And if they don’t figure out what’s going on soon, Jules may be the first Maroni to do the unthinkable: fall.”

Perfected

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

This book was definitely similar to others like The Selection and many of the teen dystopic novels involving enslaving young women for marriage or reproductive purposes. It probably wasn’t my favorite of them all, but overall it was a fun read and definitely something to pick up if you like this genre and want a quick and easy read to relax with.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Kiera Cass’ Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.

Panic

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Another teen narrated book, although this one is not a dystopian novel. Set in a poor town, it follows a small group of teenagers who are participating in a senior class-wide game called Panic – all very mysterious and often dangerous, but the winner walks away with enough money to get them out of the small town: up to $60,000. I found this book actually really interesting and I finished it quickly because I just couldn’t put it down. Nothing profound going on here, but it was a good read.

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

 

The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)

The Glass Magician by Charlie M Holmberg

This is the sequel to the Paper Magician, which I read a few months ago and enjoyed. Although the writing and the storyline isn’t exactly complex, I do appreciate the creativity the author uses when it comes to the magic the magicians can do. Definitely need to read the books in order though or this would be very confusing!

Three months after returning Magician Emery Thane’s heart to his body, Ceony Twill is well on her way to becoming a Folder. Unfortunately, not all of Ceony’s thoughts have been focused on paper magic. Though she was promised romance by a fortuity box, Ceony still hasn’t broken the teacher-student barrier with Emery, despite their growing closeness.

When a magician with a penchant for revenge believes that Ceony possesses a secret, he vows to discover it…even if it tears apart the very fabric of their magical world. After a series of attacks target Ceony and catch those she holds most dear in the crossfire, Ceony knows she must find the true limits of her powers…and keep her knowledge from falling into wayward hands.

The delightful sequel to Charlie N. Holmberg’s The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician will charm readers young and old alike.

 

The Moonlight Palace

 

The Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg

I think I ended up reading this book because it was that month’s free Kindle download, but I’m glad I branched out a bit. Although the beginning was hard to push though (a chapter on the history of the palace), once you got into the story I really appreciated how the author wove the political and cultural problems of the time in with a girl’s narrative and what was important to her at that time in her life. Really interesting book.

Agnes Hussein, descendant of the last sultan of Singapore and the last surviving member of her immediate family, has grown up among her eccentric relatives in the crumbling Kampong Glam palace, a once-opulent relic given to her family in exchange for handing over Singapore to the British.

Now Agnes is seventeen and her family has fallen into genteel poverty, surviving on her grandfather’s pension and the meager income they receive from a varied cast of boarders. As outside forces conspire to steal the palace out from under them, Agnes struggles to save her family and finds bravery, love, and loyalty in the most unexpected places. The Moonlight Palace is a coming-of-age tale rich with historical detail and unforgettable characters set against the backdrop of dazzling 1920s Singapore.

 

Be sure to friend me on Goodreads where you can see what I’m reading now, what I want to read and all the books I’ve finished!

 

What is your favorite genre?

What are you reading right now? 

Books Read 2014

If you’ve read this blog for a while then you probably know that I’m a liiiittle bit of a reader. I’ve always been a serious bookworm, ever since I was little (Boxcar Children and Babysitters Club, anyone?) but this habit has continued through college, law school and “adulthood.” Now that I’m not in school and I have more free time, I get to read even MORE books! Who doesn’t love disappearing into another world for a little while?

Anyway, I thought I would list the books that I’ve read this year. Each one has a link to either my own book review, or just straight to its Goodreads page if I didn’t write one. Enjoy!

 

Books Read 2014

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

The House Girl by Tara Conklin

Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Brain on Fire by Susanna Cahalan

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

night circus book reveiw

The Night Circus by E. Morgenstern

Hidden by Catherine McKenzie

The Woman in White by Wilke Collins

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Chasing The Sun by Natalia Sylvester

She Has Your Eyes by Elisa Lorello

Walk Me Home by Catherine Hyde

A Scattered Life Karen McQuestion

I Am Livia

I Am Livia by Phyllis Smith

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

The One (The Selection, #3)

One (The Selection Series Trilogy) by Kiera Cass

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Heir Untamed (5 Book Series) by Danielle Bourdon

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Daughters of Eve (3 Book Series) by Danielle Bourdon

The Testing (trilogy) by Joelle Charbonneau

Shatter Me (trilogy) by Tahereh Mafi

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)

The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg

Inamorata by Megan Chance

Pivot Point by Kasie West

Weekday Brides Series (5 book series) by Catherine Bybee

Split Second by Kasie West

Under the Never Sky (Triology) by Veronica Rossi

Getting Out Of Hand by Erin Nicholas

The Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg

On The Fence by Kasie West

One Plus One

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes

Sex and the Soul of a Woman by Paula Rinehart

The Best Yes by Lysa terkeurst

Eve (Triology) by Anna Carey

Long Gone by Alifair Burke

The Glass Magician by Charlie Holmberg

18630496

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Girl On a Wire by Gwenda Bond