Sunday, December 2, 2018

August Books

The year is almost over, and now I still need to do the past four months of books!  I used to update my blog regularly, but life has taken over the past year or so and I just don't.  Oh well, I am still committed to these posts, though, because I love to use it to track my reading.

The Monogram Murders

Hm, this book was not great.  It was written in the style of Agatha Christie, like a new Hercule Poirot novel.  Had it not been for that, the book would have been fine.  The murder story was interesting and fairly well done.

But goodness, they messed up Poirot!  He is such an amazing detective character, and I felt like this book twisted him up and gave a new spin to him.  I'm not really okay with that...

So if you aren't a huge Agatha Christie reader, you might enjoy this book.  Otherwise, stay away!

The Cheerleaders

Did I mention that I am on the Vermont YA award group this year (and the two years after that)?  It's called the Green Mountain Book Award Committee, and I will thus be reading a LOT of YA books in the upcoming three years.

This was a YA mystery/thriller.  I really enjoyed it.  Five years before the story starts, the main character's older sister and three other girls, all cheerleaders in a small town, died within two weeks of each other.  The main character has always felt like something was off, so she starts investigating.

I thought the mystery was really well done.  The content was good--interesting for high schoolers but not too much language or gore.  I really liked it.

The Glass Castle

I am not the biggest non-fiction reader out there, but I'm really trying to push myself.  Memoirs are a good middle ground for me.  They are non-fiction but often read like fiction.

Jeannette Walls writes about her growing up years, with parents that struggle, unbeknownst to themselves, with mental illness, about moving constantly, etc.  It is a really interesting book.  While I did really enjoy it, I read three memoirs in the course of a month, and this was probably my least favorite of the three.  Of course, that isn't an indication of the book itself.  It was up against two other great books.  I would definitely suggest this book!

P. S. I Still Love You

Always & Forever, Lara Jean

Ah, back to the world of Lara Jean Song.  These are the two sequels to To All the Boys I've Loved Before.  Goodness, these books were just delightful.  This whole series is wonderful.  They are interesting, but not filled with language and sex (although those aspects aren't totally absent).  The main character is charming, fun, and so quirky.  If you haven't read this series, you should definitely check it out.

Truly Devious

Another Green Mountain Book Award read, and I loved it.  It won't make the list because it is very clearly the beginning of a trilogy, but it has been one of my fav YA reads thus far this year.

This mystery is set in Vermont at Ellingham Academy and spans 80 years.  There are two mysteries that happen, one in the 1930's and one current day.  But, spoiler, since it is the beginning of a trilogy, the mysteries are definitely not solved at the end of the book!

I couldn't put this book down.  It wasn't even just that it was set in Vermont (although I did love that), but the premise behind the academy itself was just really engaging.

The History of Jane Doe

Another YA read.  Jane, not her real name, moves to a rural Connecticut town, befriends two nerdy guys, falls in love with one of the guys, and then something drastic happens.  You don't really know what happens until the end, although there are lots of hints and you can make an educated guess early on.

This story is less about the dramatic event and much more about the characterization.  What makes us who we are?  Can we change?  Can we defeat what we struggle with?  I really enjoyed this book.

I'll Be Your Blue Sky

This was my first Marisa de los Santos book to read, and I really liked it.  I've heard some mixed reviews, but I was a fan.  It is a time lapse novel, so beware if that's not your thing.

The book switches back and forth between the 1950's and today, telling the story of two women who both are impacted by domestic abuse.  I think Kate Morton is still better at the time lapse genre.  But if there are no new Morton books, this will do!

This Heart of Mine

Hm, I was iffy about this YA read.  Here's the premise:  Leah has a heart disease and needs a heart, Matt's twin kills himself and Leah gets the heart, and (I'm sure you saw this coming) Leah and Matt fall in love.  

Okay, that's fine if that's where it ended.  Maybe a bit of Return to Me style plot?  But the author wants to throw in some mystery as well.  Matt thinks his brother didn't really kill himself, and Matt and Leah are determined to find out what happens.  Also, the ending deals with some big issues, except it doesn't really deal with them, just puts them out there and doesn't handle it.

Yeah, just don't.  

13 Little Blue Envelopes

This book, as do many others, magically appeared on my kindle.  Thanks, Kindle Fairy, aka Mom.  

I wanted to read it because the author also wrote Truly Devious.  In this book, Ginny's peripatetic aunt has passed away and left her with 13 envelopes (which also happen to be little and blue...shocker, right?).  Ginny has to travel all around Europe to discover what's in the envelopes and what her aunt has left her.

Not that crazy, right?  But throw in the fact that Ginny is in high school, super protected, and she can't travel with a cell phone or extra money.  Whew, I was stressed.  Seriously, this book stressed me out.

It wasn't a bad read, if you aren't, by nature, overly anxious.  It really was fun.  But get some traveler's checks, Ginny!

So there's August.  It was a little meh...

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