Dark Places

This is the second work I’ve read by Gillian Flynn, and I found this one a disappointment compared to “Gone Girl”. “Dark Places” was a mystery and thriller like “Gone Girl”, except the characters and plot were much different.

Honestly, I didn’t think I would finish the book. There were a few good things about it, but in my eyes the bad outweighed the good.

One of the biggest drawbacks for me were the characters. I found most of them rather annoying. At the same time, the style of characters Gillian Flynn had in this book may have been part of the point. If that’s the case, it tells me I just don’t care for that style of character.

I’ve seen people really enjoy Dark Places and other works by Gillian Flynn, but this book is starting to make me wonder if her writing just isn’t meant for me. After finishing the books I have read of hers, they haven’t left me feeling the best, so I don’t think I will continue to read her works.

Big Little Lies

First off, I have something to admit.  This is the first book to leave me with book hangover. It was such a powerful read that I didn’t pick up my next book until a day later. This is unusual because normally I can start another book shortly after finishing one.

“Big Little Lies” is a beautifully written, dramatic book that shows the impact of various forms of bullying. I didn’t realize this aspect of the story until about half way through the book. Some of the implications, and various parts of the plot were worked further into the story, which I felt led me to not realize the bullying aspect until later.

When I first started reading “Big Little Lies”, I got caught up in what I first perceived as just some good, juicy drama. Later on in the story, I found myself reading an article about the making of the book into a mini HBO series. This article opened my eyes to what was really happening. As I continued to get to know the characters I realized that most of them had suffered or were a part of some sort of bullying.

Liane Moriarty did a beautiful job with the characters of the book. From the beginning you could tell how unique each of them were, and that there was much to be learned about them throughout the book. The relationships between characters at times seemed unlikely, and exactly what they needed all at the same time.

In conclusion, this is a wonderfully written, powerful book that I recommend to anybody interested. I am thankful that I read this book and can’t wait to read other works by Liane Moriarty.

Little Earthquakes

“Little Earthquakes” is a fun chick-lit that was a nice change oMGSK3946f pace compared to the previous books I read recently. It follows the story of four woman after the birth of their first children. This story is filled with struggle, love, and laughter. This is the first book I’ve read of this nature and I found it enjoyable. It showed a different side of live shortly after children.
The book follows four woman in the time shortly before they gave birth, to the months following. Each of the woman are different, and seem like the most unlikely of friends, yet they have a strong, unique bond. They are there for support during the silly little things, and the big things that you only want your girlfriends there for. It’s a bond unlike any other.
With each woman the struggles and lessons are unique to them. There is the woman with the famous basketball player for a husband and she takes care of the baby while he is away. Another woman co-owns a restaurant with a friend, and has a wonderful husband and interesting mother-in-law. There is the woman who has to have it all, while doing all the work without rest. Finally, the woman who has a fabulous life until tragedy hits and her life is turned upside down.
This lighthearted, entertaining book was an easy and pleasant read. I recommend this book to anybody looking for a simple, yet pleasant book to read. It would probably even be good for the beach.

The Handmaid’s Tale

OQTS0538“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a simply written, thought provoking book. Margaret Atwood did a beautiful job writing a story that makes the reader wonder about a world created with such simplicity and purpose.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is set in a dystopian future where birth rates have decreased, and the Handmaids, like Offred, are able to leave the house once a day to do shopping, or for special occasions like births. The woman who are considered to be fertile are chosen for their role in society because the birth rates are so low.
Through Offred, readers are able to learn about the striking before and after difference of her world and how it came to be. As a result of this first person perspective the reader is able to have an idea of the impact of this new society and how one person feels about it. It may only be a part of the story, but it still tells a lot.
As I was reading I thought about what it would be like to be in Offred’s place. I’m pretty sure I would go crazy! There are times where the simplicity sounds nice, like less of a hassle than the present day. However, there are other things like the lack of individuality that I’m not sure I would handle well.
All in all I would recommend this book to anyone interested. For a simply written book there is a lot to the story and I plan on reading it again one day.

This is Where I Leave You

I picked up this bookWGLU2014 as part of my book to movie challenge. One day I was searching through my TBR list, reading the synopsis on books to decide on what to read next. I landed on this book for a couple reasons. The first, is that it will help in my book to movie challenge this year. The second, is that I was hoping for some laughs after reading the synopsis.

“This is Where I Leave You” is an odd duck of a book. The story line followed the members of the Foxmans, particularly Judd, the narrator of the story. At the time that it takes place the family is grieving over the loss of their husband and father. During the grieving process we are shown what makes this family so dysfunctional.

What makes this such an odd duck of a book for me would be the combination of the weird storyline and the author’s writing style. As I was reading, in some ways it played in my head sort of like a movie would, minus the buttery popcorn to snack on. This was in part because most everything was associated with the time it took place, which would be listed at the beginning like a header. The drawback for this was that there were a few spots I was left confused. I would finish a page on my Kindle, expecting there to be more, and when I turned the page the time changed. I actually went back to make sure I wasn’t missing something, because I was confused. It seemed like there would have been more writing on what was happening rather than a time jump to the next thing.

I did get some entertainment from this book, but it was hard to get much from it. Sure, aspects of the story may have been entertaining, or just messed up, so I had to keep reading to find out what would happen, but that was about all it had. I honestly feel like the plot for the most part was missing from this book. It was fairly easy to figure out where the story line would end, but I was curious about what the characters would be like compared to the beginning of the story, which wasn’t much of a difference.

“This is Where I Leave You” is a book I would recommend for somebody looking for entertainment involving grief and a dysfunctional family being forced to be together for the first time in years. If the reader doesn’t need much for a plot it’s even better. Honestly, the plot did feel empty to me. I would classify this as a mediocre tale, that would probably make a better movie.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

LKOS0654I saw the trailer for the movie and was intrigued, so naturally I had to read the book. I was drawn in by the wonder and mystery of the lives the children lead, and what Jacob was meant to protect them from. After finishing the first book I look forward to seeing the adventure that awaits me in the rest of the series.

When I opened the book to discover there were pictures, I thought it was rather odd. I couldn’t understand why a fiction book would have pictures scattered throughout. As I read the book the pictures made more sense, and I felt they added to the story and helped me picture all the characters.

The book started off with Jacob listening to his grandpa tell stories about life on a mysterious island. Meanwhile, his dad tells him not to believe the stories. The whole family thinks the man is crazy. Jump to Jacob finding his grandpa hanging on to the last little bits of his life, giving Jacob a message with his last breaths. Then, Jacob looks up to see a creature that can only come from a nightmare. From this point Jacob’s life will never be the same, and the adventure is just beginning.

The writing in the book brought my imagination to life with the descriptions of the children, and what makes them so peculiar. As I read the book I wondered what their life is like when they first discover their abilities, and how many more there are out there in the world of this book. Not only that, but how they manage to trick time so to speak is incredible.

This book has a good mix of peculiar and adventure. What one boy thinks normal life is, still has bits of peculiar leading him to some difficult decisions. There is also a good mix of people who have no clue what is really happening as with any book involving fantasy.

Bad Feminist 

I chose this book to go with my month theme of reading books written by woman. This has allowed me to expand my reading outside of my comfort zone, while discovering some talented authors.

“Bad Feminist” is the first book I have read that was a collection of essays, allowing me to step outside of my reading comfort zone. From this I learned this style of writing is not for me. However, I did still find bits of it entertaining.

When I first started this book, I was excited to see what was in store for me as a reader. There were some topics I felt like I identified with Roxanne Gay, others where she opened up my eyes to new ideas, and I even learned a few new things. However, as I continued to read the essays I began to lose interest. I just didn’t feel captured as a reader throughout the entire book.

I think the biggest drawback for me was that I felt like I could put this book down, read another one, and then pick it up like I didn’t miss anything in the mean time. I felt like there was a lot of jumping from one essay to the next with no rhyme or reason to it besides it being what the author wanted.

My Life on the Road

To be honest, I chose this book at random by sitting in front of my bookshelf trying to figure out what to read next. After enjoying “Love Warrior”, I decided to go with another book written by a woman. I am happy with my choice.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “My Life on the Road”. The words flowed with each section of the book connecting. In the introduction, Gloria Steinem encourages the reader to spend some time traveling. As I sat there reading her stories about the people she met, and some of the places she visited, it awakened my desire to travel. The experiences that she described were incredible, and the places sounded beautiful. I think it would be hard not to be influenced by the beauty of her stories.

“My Life on the Road” left me with a few lessons. The first lesson is to find something that ignites a passion within you, and to do something that you enjoy. Another important lesson is to spend time in a place that leaves you with a feeling of belonging. For Gloria Steinem, her interest seemed to be in being an organizer. This lead to her meeting so many amazing people, and sharing such wonderful stories in this book. My guess is her passion, or at least main interest, is in equality for everybody, race or gender makes no difference.

I’m not sure I can recommend this book enough. When they say books have the power to change people, this one should be included. “My Life on the Road” is an example of a book that moves the reader.

Dead Letters

BMDP1696After reading several non-fiction books, I decided it was time for a change of pace with a thriller.

Throughout the book I was captured in the journey as Ava went through the clues to discover the truth about her sister Zelda. As she is doing this, she is forced back into a life that she tried to escape from, and goes on a sort of self-discovery journey of her own. Ava’s past is revealed as the clues are discovered, so that the reader learns what she decided to run away from. In some aspects, it seems that she channels her twin and picks up on some of her habits so that people mistake her for which twin she really is.

Caite Dolan-Leach had me from the first page, capturing my attention and keeping me guessing at what would be revealed when I finally reached the end. Throughout the story I felt as though the verdict could go either way, leaving me guessing until it was finally revealed.

One aspect that I really enjoyed about this book, was how I was left wondering even after I turned the last page. Caite Dolan-Leach wrapped up many pieces of the story, some of them in surprising ways, but left some parts to the imagination of the reader. As I sit here writing this review I’m wondering about the possibilities of what the characters are up to after the last page.

 

Love Warrior

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Recently, I decided to start checking out some of the books that Oprah recommends and “Love Warrior” was the first one. In my time spent on the internet, I’ve come across a mention of her book club and reading lists, so I thought I would start mixing them in.

If I had to describe this book in one word it would have to be real. I was struck by the beauty of the writing and how easily the story seemed to just flow.

“Love Warrior” is a story of beauty. Glennon Doyle Melton brought to life, in her view, the struggles of being a girl, or just sometimes the struggles of life. I enjoyed reading about how she found herself along the way and she didn’t quit. The fact that she never gave up is inspiration alone.

Yes, this is another short review, but I am having difficulties trying to find a way to write about this book any more than I have. This is a book that just needs to be read.