March Reads

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book 10:
"I See You" by Clare Mackintosh
Plot: Zoe Walker takes the same route to work every day, going to the same train station and the same platform, sitting in the same seat. One day, she sees a picture of herself in the classified ads, along with a phone number and a website, The next day, it's a different woman's photo. And a different one after that. Each day, it's a different woman, and Zoe realizes that it might not be a coincidence, because they've all become victims of increasingly violent crimes. Has someone been watching Zoe? Could she be the next target?

Thoughts: The concept of this one is what drew me in. It's really creepy. I checked it out from the library two days after I heard about it. Unfortunately, it turned out to be slow-moving and predictable, at least for me. If you're a fan of the genre, it's worth a read, but if you want a good mystery, it might not be the best choice.

Rating: 2/5

Book 11:
"One True Loves" by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Plot: Emma Blair couldn't be happier. She's married her high school sweetheart Jesse, and has built a life with him full of new experiences and adventures. Then, a year after their wedding, Jesse leaves for a trip on a helicopter, and it goes missing. Emma, devastated, quits her job and moves back home. She grieves. Eventually, she is able to put herself back together again. She meets a man who makes her happy again. The two get engaged, and it's Emma's second chance at happiness – until she gets a phone call that Jesse is alive. He's been found, and he's coming home.

Thoughts: With this being a romance book, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. If you're a fan of the genre, you'll probably love it. If you're not, don't rule it out. It's not just a sappy love story. It's about how the people and events in our lives make us who we are.
I throw myself back down onto my pillows, covering my face with my hands, wondering if I will ever feel only one emotion again in my life. Because lately it's happiness and fear, joy and sorrow, guilt and validation. It is not simply happiness. Simply fear. Simply joy. Simply sorrow."
Rating: 4/5

Book 12:
"On Fire: The 7 Choices To Ignite A Radically Inspired Life"
by John O'Leary
Plot: As a nine-year-old with burns on one hundred percent of his body due to a house fire, John O'Leary was not expected to make it through the night. Not only did he survive, he's now openly shared his story – the highs, the lows, the heroes, and the unexpected encounters. With honesty and frankness, O'Leary shares the seven choices we all need to make in order to live our best lives.

Thoughts: I loved this book. It was a great balance between storytelling and teaching, without being preachy, reading about O'Leary's life and in turn being inspired to make the most of my own.
Gratitude leads not only toward a heart that is thankful for what you have, but grants you the courage and determination to move through any adversity you face."
Rating: 4/5

Book 13:
"So Sad Today" by Melissa Broder
Plot: "So Sad Today" is a collection of essays by Melissa Broder, the voice behind the Twitter handle @sosadtoday. Broder has always struggled with anxiety, and in 2012, she created the then-anonymous Twitter feed to use as an outlet, posting her true and honest (and sometimes dark) feelings. Her book takes it a little deeper, exploring and elaborating on thoughts about sex, addiction, anxiety, life, and death.

Thoughts: My low rating probably has more to do with me than the book itself, because people seem to love this book. I guess it's just not my taste, or I couldn't relate to it enough. The writing isn't bad (vulgar at times, but not bad), and some of the essays are pretty powerful. There were parts that even made me laugh ("The ocean gives me performance anxiety about being at peace."). I feel kinda bad giving such a vulnerable, brave book a lower rating, but like I said, it's just not for me.

Rating: 2/5

Book 14:
"Shrill" by Lindy West
Plot: Today's society favors thin, quiet, unresisting women. Lindy West is not those things. From a shy childhood to an empowered adulthood, West shares what she's learned along the way. A bit from the summary on Goodreads is actually too good to leave out: "With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss--and walk away laughing." 

Thoughts: It's rare that a book will actually make me laugh out loud, but Lindy West did it. Not only is it funny, but it was also really eye-opening. In addressing topics like rape jokes and Internet trolls, West makes some very good points that you can't help but nod along to.
You can't advocate for yourself if you won't admit what you are."
Rating: 4/5

Book 15:
"The Couple Next Door" by Shari Lapena
Plot: Anne and Marco are attending a dinner party with the neighbors next door. They decide to leave their six-month-old daughter at home; the neighbors aren't fond of the fussing, they'll have the baby monitor with them, and they'll check on her every half hour. All goes well until Anne and Marco come home and find that their baby is missing.

Thoughts: First off, I want to say that for a while I thought the book cover was black with some sort of orange light on the sides. Eventually I realized it's the silhouette of a woman's head, and now it creeps me the hell out whenever I look at it. Anyway, this book was great. There are so many twists, you're left guessing until the very end. I strongly recommend it to any fans of suspense/thriller/mystery.

Rating: 5/5

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