September Reads

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Book 28:
"Leaving Time" by Jodi Picoult
Alice Metcalf and her husband have spent years studying elephants, learning and understanding their behavior, and eventually owning their own elephant sanctuary. One night, there's an incident in the sanctuary that leaves one woman dead and Alice in the hospital. Strangely, Alice checks herself out and is never seen again. At the time of the incident, Alice's daughter Jenna was only 3 years old. Now 13, Jenna is more determined than ever to find out what happened to her mom.

I loved this book. First off, I actually learned a lot about elephants, which is a nice bonus. It's obvious that Picoult does her research, and the information is woven into the storyline in a way that makes it informative without being too data-heavy or boring. It was great. That information paired with Jenna consulting a psychic to find her mom, and reading about different perspectives on ghosts and spirits and the afterlife, made this book feel really unique. And that ending. It's wild.

This was everything I wanted from a Jodi Picoult book.

Rating: 4/5

Book 29:
"Finding Audrey" by Sophie Kinsella
In Sophie Kinsella's first Young Adult novel, we follow Audrey, a teenager with an extreme anxiety disorder. She doesn't leave her house, and she always wears her sunglasses, even indoors, to act as a buffer between her and whoever she's talking to.

Though she sees a therapist, Audrey doesn't feel like she's making actual progress until she meets Linus, her brother's friend. Linus understands how she feels – or at least he actually makes an effort to. He's kind and funny, and he makes Audrey feel like progress is possible. Like maybe she can make her way back to how she used to be.

"Finding Audrey" is such a sweet book. There are aspects that are a little over the top – such as her mother being convinced that video games are corrupting her son and throwing his computer out the window – but I felt like that helped add to the realism of the story. I loved reading about an imperfect character. And I loved that as much of a comfort as Linus was to Audrey, he didn't save her. She had to be her own hero.
I'd laugh, only my stupid lizard brain has disabled the laugh button for now. I'm too frozen with tension. I am owed so much laughter. Sometimes I hope I'm building up a stockpile of missing laughs, and when I've recovered, they'll all come exploding out in one gigantic fit that lasts twenty-four hours."
Rating: 5/5

Book 30:
"Letters to the Lost" by Brigid Kemmerer
Juliet has always written letters to her mom, who traveled the world as a photojournalist. Now, after her mother's death, Juliet continues to write, leaving letters at her grave, confessing her feelings of pain and loss. During one of his work shifts at the cemetery, Declan sees one of the letters. Curosity gets the best of him and he not only reads the letter, he writes back. "Me too."

This starts an anonymous correspondence between the two high schoolers. Though they don't know who the other person is, they confide in each other. They establish a strong connection because they're strangers. So what happens when their identities are at risk of being revealed?

I got through this book so fast. The overall premise is simple but there's a lot to it. And the character development! So good! I love characters that I can root for. I definitely need to read the second book in this series ("More Than We Can Tell").

Rating: 4.5/5

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