I am not one to do these types of challenges but this one couldn’t have been easier. All of the books was from my TBR list on Goodreads, and I managed to read all my original picks.
The categories Kay and Kristen picked made this a fun challenge. Each photo and book title links to the Goodreads summary page, portions provided in italics below each book.
My book picks!!
- A YA book
When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High’s resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules:
1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben.
Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?
My thoughts: Lexi has a deal with bad boy Tyler even though she has been crushing on Ben, the smart jock. Tyler knows about her alcoholic mother, and understands her relationship with her best friend whose family took her into their home when her Mom is too drunk. Ben begins to show interest and her relationship with Tyler is threatened. Problem is someone what you always wanted isn’t what you need.
- Non US Author
The Last Letter from Your Lover – by Jojo Moyes
It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply “B”, asking her to leave her husband.
Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper’s archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie’s search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.
My Thoughts: Jennifer awakes from a coma and doesn’t remember much but her rich husband takes her home and all her things don’t make her feel home. She stumbles upon some love letters and while she can’t remember who wrote the letters they make her feel alive again. A little over 40 years later Ellie a newspaper write stumbles on the letters. She is moved by the letters, as she is going through a similar relationship and makes it her mission to find the writer of the letter and the women they belong too. A love story that both breaks your heart while still giving you hope. It pulled every emotion out of me.
- A book that was recommended by a blogger (or instagrammer / you-tuber / goodreads-er)
The Social Network meets The Wolf of Wall Street in The Underwriting, as it takes you behind closed doors into a post-recession world of sex scandals, power plays, and underhanded dealings.
Todd Kent is young, hot, and on his way to the top of Wall Street when the eccentric founder of Hook, the popular new dating app, handpicks him to lead its IPO. Given just two months to pull it off, Todd and his investment banking team—brainy Neha, party-boy Beau, and old college flame Tara Taylor—race to close the $14 billion deal of the decade. It’s the chance of a lifetime for Tara, too, who sees her opportunity to break through the glass ceiling and justify six years of sacrifices for her career.
My Thoughts: This book is heavy in the Wall Street lingo. It does provide a behind the scenes look into what it takes to get a company to go public. A lot of money is at stake, and the back stabbing, double dealing, and last minute saves are needed. A new dating app similar to Tinder is set to go public, a shift in CEO’s threatens to kill the deal, also the death of a girl who used the app the night of her death. The inner workings of the financial stuff was a little boring at times but it was interesting, and the ending shocked me.
- A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more
Rose-Ellen (“Zell”) Carmichael Roy wears her late husband Nick’s camouflage apron even when she’s not in the kitchen. That’s her widow style.
It’s been over a year since Nick died tragically during a post-Katrina relief mission in New Orleans. Long enough, according to the grief pamphlets, to have begun to move on with her life. But Zell is still unable to enter her attic, which is full of Nick memories. She hasn’t even turned on her oven because cooking was Nick’s chore. That is, until she decides to enter the first annual Desserts that Warm the Soul baking contest, hoping to donate the grand prize to Katrina survivors in Nick’s memory.
Meanwhile, Zell’s nine-year-old neighbor, Ingrid Knox, is learning to cope with the loneliness of growing up without a mother. With an imagination as big as her heart, Ingrid treasures her doting father but begins to plot how she will meet the woman who abandoned her so many years ago. When an embarrassing baking mishap brings Zell and Ingrid together, they form an unlikely friendship that will alter both of their lives forever. Together, and with the help of a lively and loveable cast of friends and family, Zell and Ingrid embark on winning the Desserts that Warm the Soul contest – and learn that through the many sorrows and joys of life, with a little bit of flour and a pinch of love, anything is possible.
My Thoughts: I loved that the author was from New England because there was a lot of references to some places I knew. Zell lost her husband during a Katrina relief mission and just hasn’t recovered. She decides to start baking and almost burns her house down. Her next door neighbor’s daughter offers to help her bake and enter a contest. The relationships are the focus of this book with a little romance sprinkled in.
- A book with a kickass female character
I’ve read the other eight books in this series and Lucy is rough around the edge but a kickass person who has overcome a lot. IT’s not actually due to be published until August 5th so I have time to read the other books.
Newly minted FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid is settling into her job in San Antonio, Texas, when the corpse of Harper Worthington, the husband of a sitting congresswoman, is found naked in a motel on the wrong side of town. It’s up to Lucy to locate the last person to see him alive: a teenage prostitute who seems to have vanished into thin air.
When forensics determines that Harper was poisoned, Lucy and her new by-the-book partner dig deep into his life to find out who might want him dead. Why did Harper lie to his wife and his staff? Was he involved in an illicit affair? Embezzling money? Laundering money for a drug cartel? Or was he simply a pawn in someone else’s dangerous game?
My Thoughts: Allison Brennan is always one of my go to authors for a good read. I have read this series from the beginning and this one didn’t disappoint. Lucy has been through the imaginable and she is a character who just keeps fighting. She also always fights hard for other victims out there and so we are kindred spirits. Sean is her boyfriend and he lends his computer skills again to help her find the person who killed the Congresswoman’s husband. It is wound in gang war fight, espionage, prostitution and embezzlement so something for everyone. I am looking forward to the next book in this series which will be out in November.
- A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show)
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
My Thoughts: I thought this was going to be a light and fluffy YA book and boy was I wrong. The feelings that Bianca felt being the “ugly duckling” to her beautiful friends, her Mother being absent and the problems that causes were visceral. When Wesley the good looking jock keeps pushing her buttons she pushes back by kissing him. When they get paired together for a school assignment they begin an affair out of hate, well at least for Bianca. Wesley has his own issues that he masks with humor and a bad reputation to keep people at a distance.
I really liked the overall message aside from the promiscuity of teenagers. I decided to watch the movie after finishing the book and I have to say don’t even bother. It is nothing like the book, the only thing that was the same was the two characters but everything in between was changed. Total crap.
- A book written by a comedian or celebrity – or even a memoir if neither of those are your jam.
Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.
My Thoughts: This book was all over the place but it covered so many fun topics. From her time writing for Saturday Night Live, and her time with 30 Rock, and even some stories from her childhood and college. It was so cool to hear how she wasn’t a very “cool” kid and she had some really embarrassing moments that she shared. It made her even more real and just a very down to earth person. I totally recommend the audiobook since it is read by her.
- A book with a one word title.
All she needed was a job…
The last thing twenty-four year old grad student Angie Roberts needs is to worry about her new boss’s father. After all, she’s never even seen him. He remains sequestered upstairs in a house that looks like it should be the main feature in an episode of Hoarders. She had no idea the house was such a dump when she took the job. But she’s concerned about the safety and health of the old man living under such horrid conditions.
What she got was a mystery…
Despite warnings not to venture upstairs, she wanders up to the second floor. What she sees is shocking. The man she finds is a gorgeous, sexy, middle-aged man– and he’s stepping out of the shower. But something is definitely not right. Why would this wealthy, handsome man live in a house in such disrepair while his nine-teen year old son resides in a lavish penthouse? Why does he hide away from society? Why does he come to her rescue and then run away?
What she discovered was heartbreaking…
Angie learns that forty-four year old Grayson Whitmore suffers from schizophrenia. Paranoid, he retreats into his own world.
My Thoughts: This was a book that focusing on Angie who is a nursing student and takes a job at a house cleaning out the clutter. While her boss tells her not to go upstairs she does after a cup of coffee is left for her daily. She also gets rescued from Grayson and wants to thank him. She pulls him out of his self-imposed exhile catching glimpses of his smile. Grayson warns her away and is honest about his schizophrenia. She still finds herself falling for him.
This was a interesting romance story and shed light a little on schizophrenia. I liked the connection between the two and how they complemented each other. It was graphic so not for the squeamish but I think it was within context.
- A suspenseful book – a mystery, a thriller, a book about revenge!
Jerry Grey is known to most of the world by his crime writing pseudonym, Henry Cutter-a name that has been keeping readers at the edge of their seats for more than a decade. Recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of forty-nine, Jerry’s crime writing days are coming to an end. His twelve books tell stories of brutal murders committed by bad men, of a world out of balance, of victims finding the darkest forms of justice. As his dementia begins to break down the wall between his life and the lives of the characters he has created, Jerry confesses his worst secret: The stories are real. He knows this because he committed the crimes.
My Thoughts: I really struggled with this book. The beginning was really good at the beginning and I really like the premise of a crime author who develops Alzheimer and starts to doubt whether his novel was based on memory or just his imagination. Each time he escapes from his nursing home a new woman is found dead. The ending really picked up but I was able to guess some of it, which was a little disappointing. I started to just want it to be over which is why I could only give it three stars.
- A book about Summer, with Summer in the title, or in any way related to Summer because this is a Summer challenge!
The unstoppable, irreverent mother-daughter team presents a new collection of funny stories and true confessions that every woman can relate to. From identity theft to the hazards of bicycling to college reunions and eating on the beach, Lisa and Francesca tackle the quirks, absurdities, and wonders of everyday life with wit and warmth. As Lisa says, “More and more, especially in the summertime when I’m sitting on the beach, I’m learning not to sweat it. To go back to the child that I used to be. To see myself through the loving eyes of my parents. To eat on the beach. And not to worry about whether every little thing makes me look fat. In fact, not to worry at all.”
My Thoughts: This book read like you were a best friend having coffee. The stories were light and fun for the most part. A mother daughter duo and you can see the similarities. The stories were short and not in any particular order.
Any of these books making your list?
Do you have a summer reading list?
Of these I have only read Bossypants! Definitely want to check out the ones you gave four and five stars!
I really liked that it felt like we were just having a conversation thanks to the Audiobook. Hope you like them!
Awesome job on finishing the challenge– I really didn’t even come close, but I’m loving seeing what everyone else read. I definitely want to read the Last Letter From Your Lover because I’ve enjoyed Moyes other books so much.
I am excited to see everyone’s picks and what they liked. Hey one more is more than others did and as long as your reading that is all that matters. 😉
Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand says
Congrats on conquering the challenge! Seeing the Allison Brennan reminds me of the conversation we’ve already had. Last library trip, I did look for her, but she has so many series, and none that were on the shelf were the first of any of the series. I’ll get to her eventually.
Yes, put a hold on it, such a good series. I put a hold on the last book for your challenge, hope it comes in this week.
I love the Lucy Kincaid series!
It is so good. The series about her brothers was good too but I like Lucy, she is a firecracker.
thanks so much for joining us girl! i’m so glad the categories were easy and simple so that we could all pick things from our TBR list.. nothing worse than trying to pick a random book for a challenge and hating it because you didn’t want to read it in the first place!
Amen!! Yes I always struggle with ones that try to be too artsy or out there. If I wanted to read that kind of book I would but I don’t. I never want to struggle through a book. This challenge was perfect!
You have a lot of good books that you read for this challenge!!! I am with you, Bossypants was all over the place but I did enjoy it. Trust No One is on my list to read, it sounded interesting but I am not like jumping to start it like I am some of the books on there.
Thanks! Kathy and Jana liked it more than I did so you may like it more. I think I just read it at the wrong time.
Alexandra C. says
I would like to read Simply from Scratch too. It sounds really sweet and heart warming. 🙂 XO -Alexandra
Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things
It was really sweet and a little bit of everything.
Kari P says
Thanks so much for joining us and congratulations on finishing!
It was a blast, I loved finally getting to finish some books on my TBR list. Thanks for hosting.