Well I am still plugging along on my two book challenges. For the full lists see here and here. I am close to being done and most of the books are already checked out of the library so I just need to finish them. So far I haven’t switched any of my books out which was a surprise.
Hopefully you find a book or two you want to read too. Just remember books that connect with me may not connect with you and that is okay, as long as you are reading!
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.
** – Item was received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I pull no punches though, so all opinions are my own.
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.
Dog Crazy: A Novel of Love Lost and Found – While this book is about a pet bereavement counselor who loses herself when she loses her pet, moves to a new city and starts over it is more about her recovery with the help of her friends dog in order to help a girl try and find her dog. Anya believes her dog was stolen and Maggie is determined she can help her move on. She helps her search daily not knowing how much it helps her. This story is not about loss it’s about the love of friends, family, and the healing powers of dogs.
** What Doesn’t Kill Her – This book just floored me, it was fast paced and it was intense. Flint kidnapped a young Reggie and held her captive for 4 years, she was saved only when an accident with her in the trunk left Flint in a mental hospital with a brain injury. He has been plotting ever since on how he can get out and capture her once again. He evades escape and leaves a trail of bodies. Reeve once known as Reggie teams up with the retired FBI agent who once worked her case. This is a series so I will be sure looking for the next book.
** Grayson – 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 squimish but I think it was within context.
The Life We Bury – Thirty years is a long time to spend in prison for a crime you didn’t commit. Carl Iverson now faces his final days and weeks in a hospital with Cancer, he decides to tell Joe his story as his dying declaration. In doing so these two are tied together in telling the true story of a young girl brutally murdered. All is never as it seems. A twisting tale that kept me interesting right to the end.
The Duff : Designated Ugly Fat Friend – 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.
** Even in Paradise – There are always moments that can break you, and Julia is broken. Her friendship with Charlotte or Charlie is what helps her heal even for just a moment. Charlie is just your average person who is surprised when the great Julia Buchanan befriends her. It becomes even more surreal when her wealthy family takes her in too. The lure of the summer home, the parties, the dresses is all consuming. It doesn’t hide that the family is still reeling from a loss of one of their own.
The loss of Julia’s sister is hidden away. While there was no major arc to the story I felt it showed how life ebbs and flows. That sometimes life moves in directions you don’t want it to go in, and sometimes you have to grow up and make decisions that are hard.
** Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? – 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.
** Those Girls – I went back and forth between 4 and 5 stars and decided on 4 because of how much it wrecked me. This is so much pain and destruction in the book and while there is some healing I just wanted it all the end. Not the story but the absolute evil. The three sister first run away from home after their father attacks them during a drunken rage. They run into some trouble on the way and the girls never really catch a break. I devoured this book mostly because I wanted to know what happened to them.
**Disclaimer – It is graphic and does detail brutal events. Not for the faint of heart or those who have experienced trauma personally.
** Forward Pass – Shay carried a torch for her brother’s best friend Joe. Joe has a hard time shaking his play boy image but when he ends up sharing the house of his best friends little sister he wishes his reputation didn’t follow him everywhere. This is lot of miscommunication in the story and at times was a little over the top. Overall a cute story though.
Accidents of Marriage – This was an audiobook I listened to while working out so it might have lost some punch since it took me almost 2 weeks to finish it. Maddy was a social worker married to the passionate Ben, a lawyer who had passion and drive. She soon learns that the passion can quickly turn to rage. His outburst become more frequent and she finds herself trying to calm the rage. One fateful day an accident lands Maddy in the hospital struggling to perform the easiest of tasks after being in a coma. She leans on Ben to help her through even though her family directs their rage at Ben. Was it’s Ben’s road rage that caused the accident? An in depth at the complexity of marriage and relationships. The family member instigated a lot of drama which really started to annoy me and made it a less enjoyable read for me.
Simply From Scratch – 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.
The Underwriting – 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.
** Miss Match This story had all the makings of a good story. Woman down on her luck after being fired from a job after telling her slimy boss no to his advances. Blake is in need of a wife to hang on his arm he is too busy heading up his company so he hires a matchmaker. Andrea applies for the job and her fiesty nature intrigues Blake. There were a few parts I really didn’t like about the book, that could have landed Blake in jail and a ton of miscommunication. I know part was to push the story along so I left it as average. The chemistry was good though.
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.
Heather @ My Little HEA says
Yes, there was a lot of miss-communication in that book, maybe that should have been the title. Looks like you read a lot of non-fluffy ones this month. I clicked on What Doesn’t Kill Her to check out and Even in Paradise and Forward Pass sound intriguing to me too. Happy reading!
Yes it was a good mix this month, though I always like a good fluffy book. 😉 Hope you like them, I think Even in Paradise is one you would really like.
more coffee, less talky says
dammit, what doesn’t kill her isn’t even in my library circulation, wtf!
It is a fairly new book but they need to get it together!!!
What Doesn’t Kill Her sounds SO intriguing! I just added it to my booklist. 🙂
Hope you like it. It was a book I didn’t want to put down.
I read Forward Pass and liked it a lot, but I haven’t read any of these other ones. I’m going to have to check out a few of them
Hope you like them. I think Forward Pass was a good story and the chemistry between them was good.
Linda sheridan says
Great reviews! I love Lisa Scottoline and her daughter Francesca. They write columns in our Sunday Inquirer!
Have a happy day!!
Love, SMD’s Momma
I will be reading more from both of them. Very good story tellers!
DUFF is on the list of books SC freshmen should read before school starts. Apparently SC tried to find books about the worst HS life has to offer so they can scare incoming freshmen.
Haha!! That is kinda hilarious! It’s not that deep into high school life than it is their story but it gets into the cliques aspect of high school so I get it.
Jenn @ Optimization Actually says
I’m intrigued by The DUFF. I’m a little worn out on the whole “coming of age” type story, but I feel like I could relate to this one. Don’t you hate when movies use a book premise but completely change the plot?! That’s how I felt about Ella Enchanted. They used her curse, and the main character’s names/positions, but everything else was different and all the originality and interesting parts of the story were stripped out. And honestly the movie might have been ok, but I’ll always hate it because I went in expecting the story that I knew. 😛
Yes had I seen the movie first I might not have been so annoyed but it was just so different. It was hard to get over it when watching it.
Jana @ Jana Says says
I thought Accidents of Marriage was mediocre. Same with The DUFF but since she was like 16 when she wrote it, I loosened my standards a bit for it. Those Girls is already on my TBR since I’m a Chevy Stevens fan but the second one you mentioned, What Doesn’t Kill Her, sounds like my kind of book.
With DUFF I had to sort of remember what it was like when I was 16 so it made more sense the things they went through. I didn’t think it would be as good since the killer is already revealed but it was really good.
I see 3 on here that I want to read!!!!! You do good reviews… you give enough info to pull me in without giving away the whole book!
Yeah!! Thank you. I try to give enough but not too much! Thanks friend!
chelsea jacobs says
Dog Crazy sounds adorable!
It was super cute!
Biana @ Blovedboston says
Miss match and simply from scratch are definitely two I’d add to my list!! I knew that you’d think the underwriting was heavy with the lingo – tried to warn you LOL 🙂 xo, Biana –
Hope you like both of them. I don’t regret it at all and I am so glad you warned me. I did like it overall and the game planning and backstabbing kept it interesting.
Those Girls is on my list because I read another Chevy Stevens book and really liked it (I think it was called That Night if you haven’t read it already). I also have Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? and maybe that’s what I need to pick up after all the heavy books I read this past month!
I don’t think I’ve read That Night but I would totally read another book from her. It is a light fun read and got me laughing quite a bit so I think it would be a good next read for you.
SMD @ Life According to Steph says
I also might check out What Doesn’t Kill Her!
I think it was a really good thriller, and I want to read the next book in the series.
miss match sounds intriguing… i might have to check it out, sometimes you need an ‘average’ book lol. also the dog crazy one looks great, even if i don’t technically have a dog 🙂
It was a cute romance and average light reads totally have a place. It is just so cute and it truly is for any animal lover.
I can’t believe the only one of these I read was Accidents of Marriage although Those Girls has been on my Kindle for a while. I think I need to move Those Girls up in priority to read soon!
Yes, move it up! It was good but with some hard subject matter.
Rebecca Jo says
I didn’t know that DUFF was a book!!!!
OMG yes and it is so much better that the movie.
Leeann @ Join the Gossip says
I reaaaaally need to start reading again. But in my defense my daily commute is about 4 hours so I am so exhausted end of day that I watch TV. I should be readying books though! Now I have a bunch to choose from 🙂
There were a lot of 4 stars this month for you!
You should try audiobooks, it would help your commute go by faster. That is a long commute!! I am a little picky with my 5 stars so they ended up being 4’s instead! 😉
What Doesn’t Kill her sounds really interesting!!! I wonder if I can still request it on Netgalley? I hate when a movie is nothing like the book and leaves so much to be desired. Like why bother making it, you know?
I don’t think it is still there but totally worth checking out. It was so different from the book, it was just weird. Just call it something different because none of the main details were accurate.
I need to pick up that DUFF book. I did read Dog Crazy and liked it.
I’m currently reading Summer Secrets by Jane Green.
Summer Secrets seems to be making the rounds I am going to have to check it out. Hope you like DUFF.
lisacng @ expandng.com says
That cover of Dog Crazy, so cute! Story sounds uplifting and a reminder of why family (furry or not) are so important in life. Added! After a big letdown with the “thriller” You, I need a replacement. I’m adding What Doesn’t Kill Her to my list. I’d like to read DUFF as well.
Yes, it was very uplifting, and showed how important family and dogs are to our happiness. I hope you like it, such a bummer you didn’t like You.
I definitely added What Doesn’t Kill Her. That sounds like something I’d really like!
It is a really good mystery/thriller, it kept me up wanting to finish it.
I watched the movie version of The Duff and thought it was fine, but now i really want to read the book. I didn’t know there was so much more to the book! I’m also adding The Life We Bury. I have Those Girls on hold. I’m glad to see a high rating, but now I’m nervous to read it!
I think watching the movie first in this case is better. The book was so different and so much better, Those Girls was intense and it was hard to read what they went through, really gritty but good.
so many great suggestions! I’ll have to add a few to my goodreads list 🙂
Those two are really good. I haven’t changed any of my choices so far but I am switching between challenges and my NetGalley books. Hehe!
Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand says
I added Those Girls and What Doesn’t Kill Her. I was going to help post some to the group page for our book challenge, but I think you may have changed some of your choices and didn’t want to make any assumptions.
Those two are really good. I haven’t changed any of my choices so far but I am switching between challenges and my NetGalley books. Hehe!
Nancy @ NY Foodie Family says
Those Girls is on my nightstand from the library waiting to be read! I was adding What Doesn’t Kill Her to my Goodreads TBR list and noticed it’s book #2 in a series so I’ll have to go find the first one and read it. I’m anal with series like that! I’ve added a bunch of books from this list to my TBR list!
I had no idea it was a series when I read it but I will be reading the rest of it. I totally understand wanted to read it in sequence!
I would probably cry so hard with Dog Crazy, but it looks like a good read. Adding that to my list!
It was really good and it was less sad and more redemptive power of dogs with a little love thrown in.
I’m a sucker for a good mystery/thriller, so What Doesn’t Kill Her and Those Girls sound like books I’d really like. I’m definitely adding those to my “To Read” list!
I typically don’t read a lot of YA, but I’ve been getting a little more into it lately so I’ll probably pick The DUFF up at some point.
Both of them were really good thrillers/mystery. I don’t really read a lot of YA but it was really pretty good.
Lindsay @ Broke and Bougie says
AHhhh I want to read the Dog book – I could read about how great dogs are all day.
It was such a cute story and made me appreciate my pup for sure!
Kay R. says
Ok so I really need to read what doesnt kill her! Ill be getting on that stat!
It was such an interesting story and kept me up wanting to finish it!
Rose @ Ramblin' Rose says
I’m going to check out Those Girls and The Life We Bury.
Hope you like them. Both left an impression.
Mariah-Food, Booze, & Baggage says
What Doesn’t Kill Her sounds good, but I will wait for the next book to come out 🙂 It sounds super interesting though. You seem to have read some heavy books this past month, it’s funny how that works out sometimes.
I do like reading them all in sequence. Yes, it did seem to be pretty heavy, I guess it was just what came in from the library. Hopefully some lighter reads this month.
Kimberlee @ I Have A Degree In This! says
Some of these book covers lol Didn’t know DUFF was a book. Definitely some new books for me to check out. I’m still finishing Aziz’s “Modern Romance” – ALMOST done!
Haha! Do they make you blush? I love Aziz, is it worth reading?