Where did April go? Spring seems to have come and gone and we are deep in Summer. Okay it just feels like it since it’s been in the 80’s the last few days. With the warm weather I am for sure noticing that I am reading less. My treadmill is acting funny too and I used to read when I ran so that has changed. I still got to read a good number of books too.
My rating system:
Five Stars: Blew me away, made me want to stay up till 3am to finish, would read again and again or I didn’t find anything I would want to change.
Four Stars: Really good book, fast paced or thought provoking, but may have dragged a bit or left something unresolved
Three Stars: Okay, didn’t thrill me but didn’t disappoint me either.
Two Stars: I almost didn’t finish, it may have irritated or offended me in some way.
NOTE: I may not care for a book or I may love a book and my reactions are based on my experiences and tastes. Please don’t let my opinions deter you if a book really intrigues you, and know all opinions are my own.
All The Rage – This story takes place within a two week span and you get some of the story before and some of the story after a tragic event. Romy obsessively paints her nails red, and wears red lipstick as armor against the person she used to be. Now she is an outcast, scorned and bullied, labeled a liar. A senior party at the lake leaves another student missing. Her job at a diner is her chance to be surrounded by people who don’t know her secrets, and Leon a possible safe place. The missing girl begins to shatter the idea of keeping her lives separate. This story is dark, twisted, and shows the ugly side of high school students, with a chilling reality. Serious topics of rape, drugs, and murder are part of this story.
Where The Road Takes Me – I read this book after The Girl On The Train and it restored my faith. It is a lighter tale but has real struggle and triumph. Chloe loses her mother to breast cancer, and finds herself in a foster home. She vows to never get close to anyone again, and plans on hitting the road after high school and never looking back. Blake a rising basketball star hides his own issues at home and has a chance encounter with Chloe. He is determined to break down her walls to let him in. A few cliche’s but overall it gives you hope.
“Red-letter days. It’s when something unexpectedly phenomenal happens.” I choked on my sob. “You’re my unexpectedly phenomenal, Chloe. You’re my red-letter day.”
This book shows that even when life is hard, good can come from it, and opening your heart can bring greatness.
The Far End of Happy – This book occurs during a 12 hour span. Ronnie has endured years of struggling with her husband and today is the day he is moving out. She is hopeful of moving forward with her life, until her husband locks himself inside with a rifle and lots of booze. Her mother, nd his mother all share their thoughts on what brought him to this point and how to end it. The author experienced this kind of event first hand, and you can hear her struggle in her writing. Deeply moving, fast paced, heart wrenching, yet remaining hopeful. Beautifully written! The author will be making a blog stop here tomorrow with an excerpt so be sure to check it out.
Unlike Any Other – As the estranged daughter of two celebrity parents AJ comes back after hearing her father is engaged to a much younger woman. She knows her parents hide behind many half truths to protect their family. While back AJ pressures her father to tell the truth and save their family. There was a huge twist in the middle, and had it been reveal a little earlier I would have given this 5 stars. Mason is also a family friend and has looked after AJ, their chemistry was undeniable and I am looking forward to the second book in this series which tells Mason’s story.
You – This book makes you second guess the social imprint you make as Joe googles Guinevere Beck after meeting her at the bookstore where he works. He sets up a chance meeting based on her tweets. He molds himself into the perfect person, even removing people who gets in his way. Total creep factor and written in such a way that makes you want to google your online footprint.
The Memory House – Julia threw herself into restoring an old Civil War era home, the Peach Orchard Inn, after her son was abducted and her husband left her. She is a shell of the person she once was but the arrival of Eli, a man trying for a second chance makes her feel for his sadness. Eli meets his son for the first time and makes him even more determined to make things work at the Peach Orchard Inn. He is working to restore the carriage house and uncovers the letters of the previous owners. Weaving in the history of the Inn and also a love story. Julia and Eli begin to allow themselves to believe in a happier ending.
The Girl On The Train – I can see what others liked about this book, but I just didn’t like it. I finished because people said the ending was good and while I agree the ending was good and a good twist I just couldn’t get into this book. It switched POV’s multiple times from different years so it got me turned around a lot. Similar to Gone Girl the main characters are unlikeable and without morals. The main character gets fixated on a couple she saw from the train and inserts herself into an investigation in the woman’s disappearance. It made me lose faith in humanity.
Memphis Rib – At the 14% mark I couldn’t really tell what the story was about but there was a lot of racial and derogatory comments, and Southern stereotyping that just couldn’t get past.
What books have you read this month?
Will you add any of these books to your list?
Linking up with Steph and Jana for this months reads.
kathy at real talk says
i did not read a thing last month! i was too busy inhaling Gotham (which is so good). i still have to read girl on the train but i heard mixed reviews as well…either you love or hate it.
Ohh I’ve seen commercials for that show, it looks good. The reviews are all over the place.
Girl on a Train was just kind of blah. Interesting? Yes. But the characters were so annoying! Totally agree with you.
Yes, it was interesting and a good whodunit, but not a character was one i could relate to or care for in the end.
totally agree with the girl on the train… i enjoyed it at the time but it’s definitely not something i would re-read and i can see the flaws more clearly the further i am away. that’s how it is sometimes!
meanwhile i added every single 5 & 4 star book to my list. lol
Had there been some light in it I might have liked it more, but I kept saying to myself “come on”!! Killed it for me. Hope you like them too!
The far end of happy sounds really good – something that takes place in a 12 hour span – very interesting! I actually really dislike movies that do that one day thing, but with a book it might be differed!! xo, Biana
I think it helped move the story along and she did a really great job with it. I can’t imagine having to go through that in real life, but she survived it. So inspiring and to have the strength to write about it.
It seems like people either really love or really hate The Girl on the Train. I still think I will probably check it out, even if I’m disappointed at the end. lol!
I think it is worth a read, just keep expectations low and if it exceeds those expectations than it’s a bonus. Too much hype ruins it. It seems to be very split down the middle of people loving it or hating it.
Your You review got cut off midsentence, but I still want to read it. Also adding The Far End of Happy. I haven’t had time for The Girl on the Train but I need to just spend a day to see what I think about it.
Sorry, fixed it. It was so creepy and good. The Far End Of Happy is based on the real life of the author and for that it made me like it more. I will be curious to see what you think. I wanted to give up on it many times.
Amanda Elizabeth says
So many books I’m taking with me on the trip!! Thanks for the recs I can add to it!
Hope you find a few you like! Perfect ways to pass the time while out catching some rays!
I almost bought You this weekend because Book Outlet was having a good sale but it got chucked from my basket. I’ve read some good reviews of All the Rage so I will have to check that out.
It was really good. Totally worth the read and really makes you think about how much you put online. I really liked it and the main character was strong, when she could have just fallen apart.
SMD @ Life According to Steph says
The Girl on the Train made you lose faith in humanity but You didn’t? LOLOL Both so effed up but in different ways.
I know, I am a weird one. I think The Girl on The Train, I just hated every character, some points are personal to me too. With You, he was mostly the only deranged one, give or take and the twitter conversations and such provided a little break from the dark spots. If that makes sense.
lisacng @ expandng.com says
I’ve already got You and Girl on the Train on my list. Seems like The Train is getting mixed reviews. I can’t wait to see for myself.
I saw a lot of mixed reviews on it. I can see why some liked it, and some just really hated it. I say totally read it and see what you think. Look forward to seeing what you think.
It makes me happy another person in the world did not care for The Girl on The Train.
Also You, so effed up!
It totally fell flat for me and it could have been really good. I think I just really didn’t care for anyone in the book. It needed more balance, a little humor to soften the dark.
You was so creepy and scary. I mean totally freak but at least it was mostly him and some lighter moments.
Erin Gray says
I’m always suspect when I read a book that receives so.much.hype like Girl on the Train. I’ll read it, but I’m always worried I’ll be disappointed. All the Rage sounds goooood.
I know, it seems every hyped book I have not liked as much as the hype. I think if you are set to be disappointed and it’s not than that is better for high expectations that fail?! All The Rage was really good and I liked the strength of the main character.
Jana @ Jana Says says
I loved the story behind The Girl on the Train but good lord did I hate Rachel. She annoyed the crap out of me. You was fantastic! So creepy and now I’m slightly paranoid.
I’m definitely checking out All the Rage and The Far End of Happy.
Yes, I thought it was an interesting story. If it wasn’t for how annoying she way and how it seems all the secondary characters were just all corrupt I might have liked it. I mean give me a little light at the end of the tunnel! You was creepy and seriously made me second guess so much of what we put online.
Alison @ Puppies & Pretties says
“You” sounds super creepy! Many of your books seem pretty dark, I’m not sure I could handle all of that in one month.
You was very creepy. I usually try and fit in a light or romance in between the dark ones otherwise it gets depressing. Where The Road Takes Me was really uplifting for me, and Unlike Any Other was a lighter read too. Next month I am switching to lighter reads for sure! 🙂
I am not a fan of a book where I don’t like the characters…so I am second guessing if I want to even try Girl on Train. You and a few others that I really agree on book reviews with weren’t huge fans. I think I have You on my list to read…I need to double check! It sounds interesting.
You was really good, it is a little dark and creepy but it had lighter moments. For some reason Girl On The Train was just so depressing.
All of your five star books look so good! I really love books that take place in one day or over just a few days./ I feel so involved.
Thank you! It was a good reading month. The Far End of Happy really kept me on my toes and having the perspective of the three women in the story really added different perspectives.
Your reading list is inspiring! I have so much I want to read this summer!
Thank you. My list is ever growing. I can’t imagine a day when I don’t read. Beach reads are coming!
Rebecca Jo says
You’re the first person I have seen that didn’t like Girl on a Train… but I think a lot of people tend to just agree for agreement sake. I like a real honest review. Not everything is for everyone.
Thank you. I try to be as honest as possible. I know my life experience and preferences cloud my perception when I read it but I think that is true for every reader. Not every book I love will be the same for everyone who read. Good thing there are so many books out there. 🙂
I enjoyed The Girl On The Train but I was not a fan of the characters. They all seemed like assholes to me.
Yes! I think that was the major problem for me. I couldn’t really get behind any of the characters!
I already had You on my list and I may need to bump it up. Your other 4- and 5-star books look intriguing as well. I loved The Girl on the Train, but that’s one of the great things about books – not everyone will have the same opinion, and all opinions are valid. I admit that initially the changing of years was hard for me, but eventually I just wanted so much to know what happened next that I didn’t mind it.
I would bump it up, so creepily good! I love that books touch each person differently based on your experiences and when you read them. Had I read the book a year ago I may have liked it more. It has been stressful at work lately so having to be so mentally present in the book to keep the time changes in order was more work than I wanted, any other time it may not have bothered me.
Emily Osborne says
I love reading book reviews. And I love when their reviews are pretty much spot on with mine haha… we’re the same person.
That is awesome! I want to know what you are reading then so I can score some books to add to me ever growing list. Are you on Goodreads? Hook a girl up!
Girl, you read so much. I have been bad with my reading this week but you have inspired me to finish the book I’m reading. I’m reading the second book in the Outlander Series and well, it’s just so long and I’m not loving it. I was but now I’m like ugh, is it over yet? ha.
Thanks! I really work hard to make time for it, and sometimes I read instead of doing chores. I hate that feeling, I think sometimes you need a book that just gives you are break, trudging through takes the fun away! The next book should just be a guilty pleasure book.
i just finished Girl in the Band.I love your honesty in your reviews as well as the fact you didn’t finish one! happy wednesday!
I haven’t heard of that one, will have to check it out. Thank you. I want to be as honest as possible, even if I didn’t like it someone else might, there is something for everyone.
Teh Megan says
I will eventually read Girl on the Train.. one day.. I also really want to read You and I totally google myself on the regular to see just how much I am out there since I have a pretty unique last name. I think the Far End of Happy is going on my to read list.
I wouldn’t rush but it is worth a look. You totally freaked an creeped me out!! I hope it does, it was a really touching and well written book.
The Memory House sounds really intriguing. I’ll have to check that one out! Thanks for continuing to do these round ups! 🙂
It was really interesting. I am not usually a history person but I loved them finding out about the history of the house and healing together.
Eh i didn’t really like the Girl on the Train either, but your first 3 sound awesome!! Definitely put them on my Goodreads immediately. What was your favorite out of the three 4 star books?
Awesome! Ooohh that’s a tough question, I’d probably say You, then Unlike Any Other, then The Memory House. They were very different from each other but all really good.
HEATHER @ My Little HEA says
Jay McLean has been on my TBR for months, maybe it’s time I move her on up. I’m planning on listening to Girl on a Train at some point, but I barely made it through You and didn’t make it through Yes, Please so I don’t have high hopes for it, lol.
Yes, I really liked it so I would say go for it. It has the HEA’s you love. I wouldn’t say not to read Girl On A Train, but I wouldn’t rush to read it.
Kay R. says
You gave the girl on the train two stars? Interesting. I love an honest review as you know and this has been on my list forever. Glad to hear another review of it.
Yes, I think people either loved it or hated it. I found most if not all of the characters to be despicable. I couldn’t really cheer for any of them. The main character was a hot mess. I think if you can get past that or not have high expectations it is still a good read.
I think I have several of these on my Kindle thanks to Netgalley. I need to read The Far End of Happy and You. I liked Girl on a Train but see your point.
I love NetGalley. I think I have 15 books still to read from them, never without a book now. 🙂 Those two are really good books. I don’t mind darker books and unlikable characters but I couldn’t get passed not liking the whole lot of them.
Kimberlee @ I Have A Degree In This! says
You blew through quite a few books! Does anyone else think the guy on the cover of Unlike Any Other looks like Channing Tatum?? lol
I agree about Girl on the Train. It’s been taking me months to get through because I’m not liking the back and forth of the POVs + I’m not getting into the story. The main character is a hot mess and very frustrating lol I’m going to try and fight my way through it this week.
Haha! I can totally see that resemblance. I just couldn’t get into it. She was such a mess and the supporting characters weren’t much better. Hopefully you can push through it and just get it done!