June Reads

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Book 25:
"How to Be Someone Else" by Rachel Del
Plot: Penny lives her life according to the plan that's been set for her: graduate college, work at her dad's marketing firm, and eventually marry and start a family with her current boyfriend, Matt. When her parents announce that they are getting divorced, Penny's devastated and decides to take control of her life. Questioning her relationship and neglecting her friendships, she becomes determined to shed the person she was and be someone else.

Thoughts: I'm conflicted about this one, because the writing was good, the story just isn't for me. I've said before that I'm not a huge romance reader. However, I did like that the story was relatable and pretty fast-moving. There weren't any unnecessary details slowing down the storyline. I'm a big fan of multiple POVs too.

Rating: 3/5

Book 26:
"While You Were Sleeping" by Kathryn Croft
Plot: Tara Logan, wife and mother of two, wakes up naked in her neighbor's bed. Not only that, but she realizes that he's been stabbed to death, and she has no recollection of the previous night. Convinced that she is innocent, Tara stays silent, while trying to piece together what happened and uncover the truth of who's responsible.

Thoughts: This one was just okay. It's a very interesting premise, one that had me eager to read, but it fell flat for me. There's a line in the book that says, "A strong sense of déjà vu overwhelms me; we are going around in circles and getting nowhere." That's kind of how it felt reading this. You'd be led down one suspect's path only to be given a "twist" of evidence that incriminates someone else. Then you'd follow that path and get another "twist." Repeat, repeat. I love thrillers but if I can guess the ending, I'm disappointed. 

Rating: 2/5

Book 27:
"The Dreamer" by E.J. Mellow
("Dreamland" series, #1)
Plot: On her twenty-fourth birthday, Molly is struck by lightning, and suddenly every night when she goes to sleep, she has vivid dreams of a different world – dreams that seem, somehow, real. In this dreamland, she meets Dev, who helps her discover how much power she has in this world. Becoming more focused on her dreams than her real life, Molly works to discover her abilities, find her purpose, and determine if any of this is more than just a dream.

Thoughts: This isn't the type of book I'd usually go for, but I liked it. I wanted to step out of my usual genre(s) and read something different. If you're not much of a fantasy reader but want to try one out, I'd recommend this one because it's a nice middle ground, a fantasy concept rooted in the real world.

Rating: 4/5

Book 28:
"Ice Cream for Breakfast" by Laura Jane Williams
Plot: In the spring of 2016, Laura published her first book. She was being celebrated, newspapers were asking her to write for them, she was achieving what she'd always dreamed of. Yet, she was completely burnt out. In her words, "I'm sure it would've all been incredibly exciting, were it not for the fact that I was dead inside." She decided to put her writing on hold and be a nanny. Spending her time with three children taught her a lot – mostly about how rediscovering your inner child can make you calmer, happier, and solve your bullshit adult problems. "Ice Cream For Breakfast" is a collection of lessons learned from kids that could help us more than we thought.

Thoughts: I adored this book. It's reassuring, funny, comforting, eye-opening, everything. It's written so conversationally, like I'm just sitting with Laura over some coffee, and she's telling me about what she's learned from the kids today. I love it. This was actually the first book I took a highlighter to, putting sentences and paragraphs in a bright neon spotlight. It was exactly what I didn't know I needed.
Acting more like a kid – being childlike, not childish – finally made me content again."
Rating: 5/5

Book 29:
"Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch
Plot: One night, while running an errand on foot, Jason Dessen is approached by a masked gunman and knocked out. He awakens strapped to a gurney, surrounded by a group of strangers, people he's never seen before but who recognize and know him, except the Jason they know isn't this Jason. This life isn't his life. His wife isn't his wife, he doesn't have a son, and instead of a professor, he's an award-winning genius. Now he must figure out which world is the real world and how to make it back to his family.

Thoughts: I've seen this book all over Instagram, and it definitely lived up to the hype. Despite having a pretty complex storyline, Crouch explains it all really clearly so you can be fully immersed in the characters and plot. If you're in to sci-fi and/or thrillers, keep an open mind and check this one out.
What if all the pieces of belief and memory that comprise who I am – my profession, Daniela, my son – are nothing but a tragic misfiring in that gray matter between my ears? Will I keep fighting to be the man I think I am? Or will I disown him and everything he loves, and step into the skin of the person this world would like for me to be?"
Rating: 5/5

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