Six Book Reviews

I am interrupting my holiday gift guide posts to bring you one about something equally, if not more, important. Books. I am an avid reader and have read a lot this year in particular. I have been very lucky to have had an abundance of time to read thus far in 2016, and I’m not planning on slowing down anytime soon! With that being said, I wanted to share some of my recent reads with you.

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The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena – I was on a plane yesterday and started this book and finished it when I got home from the airport. It was a quick read, but one that was impossible to put down. I had seen a lot of hype around it on other blogs and Goodreads, and to be honest I did not even read the synopsis of the book before I went ahead and read it, just knowing it was a mystery/thriller. It certainly was not disappointing – I was dying to know what would happen at the end from virtually the first chapters. While I do not think this is the best written book in the world, it was concise in the fact that the details that were included were all very pertinent to the storyline, with little to no superfluous information or additions to the plot. I would definitely recommend this if you like mysteries/thrillers, and keep in mind this one is pretty fast-paced. This book surprised me – which I love.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman – I had absolutely no interest in reading this book until the movie trailer came out, and then my interest was piqued. When it finally came off my “hold” list from the library, I was really excited to read it. This was another relatively quick read and I am happy to say I enjoyed it. The characters were easy to get involved with and care about, and it is interesting to put yourself in their shoes and individual situations and see who you empathize with. To be honest, I felt for all of the characters throughout the story! This certainly wasn’t a story that will stay with me for a long time to come and I wouldn’t rate it as a “top book of 2016” in my list of reads, but if you like emotional stories I think it is worth the read. I am excited to watch the movie when it eventually comes out on Redbox/On Demand.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld – can I just say how obsessed I am with Curtis Sittenfeld’s books? I absolutely love her writing style and admire how detailed and enthralling her stories are. I actually have been thinking I want to reread her first novel, Prep, because I was a lot younger when I read it and don’t really remember it at this point. And I VERY RARELY reread books- that is how much I love her as an author! Anyways, Eligible is her latest novel, which came out in the spring and is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I had heard mixed reviews of this before reading it, but I absolutely loved it – par for the course with Sittenfeld’s books for me. This one was a bit quicker to read than her past novels – American Wife (another favorite) took me a long time to get through. This novel was filled with perfect characters and a set of interesting and intriguing storylines that were easy to become involved with. I highly recommend this book to any fiction lover. It is so much more than a love story – it is about family, friendship, and relationships in general.

The Past by Tessa Hadley – sorry to say it, but I definitely would NOT recommend this book – to anyone. This book was very hard to get through as I found it incredibly boring. Nothing seemed to happen in the storyline! Nothing exciting, anyways. While the description of this book made it sound intriguing and worthwhile, I was very disappointed and felt like reading it was a waste of my time.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly – this is a historical fiction story that is actually based upon a true story. Centering around people involved in World War II, if you liked books like The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, you are sure to enjoy this story. And if you didn’t like The Nightingale – you should probably question your likes and interests (in my opinion). Whether or not you typically like the historical fiction genre, this is such a compelling story that I do not believe anyone could not enjoy it. I liked how the book switched narrators throughout the length of it, as it kept it very interesting and diversified the plot. At the same time, the author did a wonderful job weaving the storylines together into one seamless book.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh – this is another novel that surprised me, multiple times. I love unexpected twists in books. While this story was pretty sad, it was still a page-turner that left me reeling afterwards. The author did a great job taking creative liberties with the narrator’s voice and capitalizing on that to make the story more interesting and twisted. This was the first book I’ve read by Mackintosh, but now I want to read her other book- I See You, because I did enjoy this one a lot.

Those are the highlights – good and bad – of what I’ve been reading lately that I wanted to share. I love getting book recommendations from people because it leads me to authors and genres I might not have explored otherwise. Up next I just started Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, which I am excited to read before the HBO series based upon it starts. Be sure to keep up with my current reads on my Goodreads account.

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