Sigh. Well, if you can read a calendar at all, you know that my challenge to read 50 books in a year has in fact taken over a year. Although I haven’t reviewed all the books on here yet, I actually finished the challenge in early May—just a little over what my March goal was. Oh well—it was still fun and opened me up to so many new authors and books that I’ve loved sharing with you guys. If you’re game, I’m going to start a new batch of 50 after I complete these reviews. I always find great new books through blog reviews, so I hope you are enjoying these picks as much as I do! Now, onto our second-to-last batch!
I’m pretty positive this book is actually considered teen fiction, but that has never stopped me before. I’d liken All the Bright Places to The Fault in Our Stars a bit—same dose of angst mixed with young love mixed with a bit of drama and sadness. It’s the story of Theodore Finch (also known as Finch) and Violet Markey, both students at the same high school who are unknowingly dealing with the same issues of fragility. Violet lost her twin sister in a horrific car accident and has since been dealing with survivor’s guilt. Theo is troubled and eccentric, and longs for a life where he is valued and loved. The first few chapters, I guarantee all that will run though your head is, “Damn, these kids have issues,” but soon enough you’ll be completely captivated by the sweet, budding love story that unfolds. I will say—this is not a happy book. There is talk of self-harm, suicide and acts of violence quiet frequently, so if that is a trigger for you I’d suggest you skip this. The ending isn’t happy but it is bold, raw—and realistic. Definitely a worthwhile and thought-provoking read (it’s also being turned into a movie starring Elle Fanning).
I. Adored. This. Book. If you’re heading out on vacation at any point this summer, swing by the store (or OK, your Kindle “store”) and pick up this book before you go—it’s the perfect beach read. Love Rosie is an almost-sometimes-not-quite love story told—rather uniquely—through e-mails, online chats and letters between two friends, Alex and Rosie. They meet at age 7 and their tight friendship spans decades—during which everyone around them (except them) realizes they’re the perfect match. It will make you laugh out loud and endlessly cheer on the love of these two characters that (trust me) are meant for each other. I think unrequited love is one of the most relatable scenarios out there—we’ve all had those moments where, for whatever reason, you just keep “missing” each other. Sometimes, the things we leave unsaid (or the things we say just a little too late) can change the course of our lives completely—and boy, does Love Rosie nail that on the head. I can’t gush enough about this book (and the movie, starring Lily Collins and Sam Clafin, is pretty adorable too). Read it!
Hm, how to describe this book…I’d say a series of short stories about nothing, told exquisitely pretty much sums it up. Don’t get me wrong—the writing in this book is incredibly beautiful. But ehh—I don’t know. I could have done without many of the stories honestly. There were only a select few that really intrigued or captivated me, and even then, they were so short that I didn’t stay enthralled for long. I wanted to be able to connect more with the stories and characters (especially since they all surround the universally relatable subject of love) but I just couldn’t. The writing style was all there—the stories were not.
I really am not a post-Apocalyptic book type person, so I was extremely skeptical about enjoying this book when a friend suggested it. Happily, I can say I was completely proven wrong—I really liked this book. It was the perfect mix of a character driven drama and other-worldly suspense novel. Station Eleven starts actually at the end of civilization as we’ve known it as a mysterious, unstoppable “Georgia” flu ravages Toronto the same night the lead actor in King Lear drops dead on stage. Weeks pass and soon there is no Canada, no United States and almost no human population remaining. We’re left to wonder what happened to the cast of the play, including 8-year-old Kirsten, who was playing one of King Lear’s daughters the night of the actor’s death. Fast forward 20 years and we’re introduced to another interesting cast of characters, part of a Traveling Symphony, who are constantly on the move in a dangerous, post-Apocalyptic world. The story is their quest for safety, understanding and, above all, a life worth living—not just surviving. <<That is super vague of me, but I don’t want to give anything away!