March Reads

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Book 7:
"Behind Closed Doors" by B.A. Paris
Plot: Jack and Grace have a picture-perfect marriage. He's a handsome, successful attorney. She's the perfect, elegant wife. But things aren't always as they seem. It's not a coincidence that Grace always flakes out on plans and rarely leaves the house. What's perceived to be a flawless marriage has a lot of secrets behind closed doors.

Thoughts: If you're into thrillers for the characters and overall creepiness, I'd recommend this one. But if you like reading thrillers for the twists and surprises that keep you guessing, like I am, I'd pass. I wanted to like this book more than I did. The plot is great, but 90 percent of it is set up right at the beginning, leaving little else to discover as you go.

Rating: 2/5

Book 8:
"A Life In Parts" by Bryan Cranston
Plot: "A Life In Parts," is exactly that – Cranston recounting his life, not in chapters, but in parts. From his father abandoning his family, to the handful of odd jobs he worked growing up, to his beginnings as an actor, to his memorable roles in "Malcom in the Middle" and "Breaking Bad," Cranston tells it all. With honesty and depth, it's a reflective and uplifting take on life.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed reading this. Bryan Cranston is another one of those celebrities where I like him a lot because of a character he played (Walter White in "Breaking Bad," obviously) but don't know much about him otherwise. Now I do, and he seems like the kind of dude I'd get along with. Parts of the book were very unexpected (he lost his virginity to a prostitute) while others weren't surprising but still interesting to learn. I'd definitely recommend it for "Breaking Bad" fans, as he goes into detail on how he developed the character, as well as the dynamic of the cast and crew on set.
I'd been a working actor for nearly my entire adulthood, and now, suddenly, in my fifties, I was a star. That's never what I aspired to be. I wanted to act. I wanted to work. Being an actor and being a celebrity are different things altogether."
Rating: 4/5

Book 9:
"Girls Burn Brighter" by Shobha Rao
Plot: Poornima is not hopeful about her life. Her mother has died, and the only thing she knows her future holds for certain is an arranged marriage that her father is trying desperately, and angrily, to secure. When her father hires Savitha to work for him, the two girls find comfort in each other and become fast friends. But then something terrible happens to Savitha, and in the middle of the night, she leaves. Heartbroken and confused, Poornima leaves her home in search for her friend, starting a journey bigger and more dangerous than she could have known. "Girls Burn Brighter" is a story of friendship and the lengths we'd go to in order to preserve it.

Thoughts: This book blew me away. I picked it up because most of the books I read have characters that are white and from America, so I wanted to broaden my horizons a bit. I'm so glad I picked this one. I felt for the characters so much. I rooted for them like they were real people. It's heartwrenching and heartwarming, frustrating and sweet. What a book.
And so she decided in that moment—decided, yes, decided, astonished that she could even do such a thing as decide—that she would never again ask forgiveness for a thing she didn't do, for crimes she could in no way recall committing."
Rating: 5/5

Book 10:
"Orbiting Jupiter" by Gary D. Schmidt
Plot: Fourteen-year-old Joseph was in jail for attacking his teacher and is now 12-year-old Jack's new foster brother. As Joseph gets acclimated to his new home and school, the two boys get to know each other. Jack learns that Joseph has a baby daughter, Jupiter, who he's never met but loves all the same. "Orbiting Jupiter" is a story of friendship and having each other's back, despite any obstacles in the way.

Thoughts: I'm conflicted on how to feel about this book, but I think overall I needed more character development to feel invested in the story. Much of it felt like it only scratched the surface. The plot has a lot of potential to dig deeper, though it is a YA book, so I guess it can't dig too deep into it since the subject matter is pretty serious as it is. Honestly, I may have even felt differently if the characters were 14 and 16 rather than 12 and 14. A good story, though, and a very quick read. I finished the book in about an hour total.

Rating: 2/5

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