Summer 2018 Book Reviews

My goal every summer is to read at least ten books! Check out what I read/listened to this summer…

Title: Little Fires Everywhere

Author: Celeste Ng

Format: Physical book

Personal rating: 6/10

Comments:  I read this for Bad Bitch Book Club. I didn’t love it. At all. In fact, if it wasn’t for book club, I never would have finished it. It was just not interesting. Nothing kept me hooked and the ending was unsatisfying. However, maybe a sequel with a different main character would be cool.

Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han

Format: Physical book

Personal rating: 7/10

Comments: I just wanted to know more about all of the boys she had loved before. The book didn’t focus on as many boys as I was hoping. Also, the ending was unexciting. There was definitely a lot of character growth which I always appreciate. I think I would have enjoyed this book more when I was 17.

The film adaptation of the book is on Netflix and of course I had to watch it. I loved it. I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed the book. The two were very similar but I appreciated the ending of the movie way more. Watching the movie was the first time in my life I have ever wanted sisters. Ever. Seeing the relationship Lara Jean, Kitty, and Margo had is hard not to envy. (Kitty low key was the best character in the movie). I just really loved how natural the acting felt and how relatable the story was. I always love seeing a hair out of place or a normal mannerism that I feel like I don’t normally see in movies with teenage characters. It was really well done and the music was rad which is always a bonus. And they’re making a sequel!

Title: The Life We Bury

Author: Allen Eskens

Format: Physical book

Personal rating: 9/10

Comments: Such a page-turner! The several different stories lines made the book hard to put down because if one thing wasn’t that interesting, the intense story line kept me flipping the pages. I love a good mystery. And I love a good love story. So it was a perfect match.

Title: Gone to Dust

Author: Matt Goldman

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 9/10

Comments: I ❤ mysteries and this one totally met my expectations. It was so good and kept me interested the entire time. The ending was very unexpected which was cool because it’s no fun when it’s easily predicted. Detectives are always such interesting characters so it was fun to learn about this detective’s quirkiness. I think this one is part of some kind of series so I absolutely plan on reading other books by Goldman.

Title: Bachelor Nation

Author: Amy Kaufman

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 9/10

Comments: Hilarious. Informative. Mind-blowing. A totally necessary read for any Bachelor fan. Not only did Kaufman provide perspectives from Bachelor Nation alums, she also shared opinions from celebs which really got me. Donny Wahlberg a bach fan?! Love it. It was so interesting to read about some of the secrets of a reality show that no one sees or knows about. After reading this, I am way more aware of what could be producer-motivated in all my fav reality shows.

Title: One of Us is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Format: Physical book

Personal rating: 8/10

Comments: Really good. It was flip-floppy among characters but not with the timeline so I was cool with it. It’s a pet peeve of mine when the date and time goes back and forth. I had several theories throughout the book but was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t come true.

Title: Sharp Objects

Author: Gillian Flynn

Format: Physical book

Personal rating: 8/10

Comments: Took me only two days to finish! I loved Gone Girl so I figured I would love this – and I did. We all know I love a good mystery and this one didn’t disappoint. I was not obsessed with the ending and I did feel like it was a little predictable but the characters were so unlike any other characters I’ve ever read about before. Their characteristics and personalities were so far out there and so beyond my imagination that I was so intrigued the entire time. This would be a great novel for a sequel and I don’t say that often.

The mini series of this novel is an HBO original starring Amy Adams (who isn’t my favorite). Having both read the book, my mom and I decided to give the show a try. We made it halfway through episode two and gave up. It was sooo flashbacky and confusing even though we read the book. The music choices were not for me and the acting was super subpar – I only really appreciated the actor who plays Amma; I think we will definitely be seeing a lot more of her. My mom and I both agreed that the episodes were too long and very boring. The book was much more thrilling.

Title: All We Ever Wanted

Author: Emily Giffin

Format: Audible

Rating: 8/10

Comments: This was another book club book! There were four main characters: Nina, Lyla, Tom, and Finch. Except, we only read from the point of view of three characters which was kind of frustrating. Finch was the reason all of these people were connected yet we never got to see inside of his mind. I know some people were disappointed with the ending; I was not. I was disappointed that we never got to hear from Finch. However, it was a very timely story and addressed situations that are happening everyday among teenagers and I think that was really the essence of the novel.

Title: The Favorite Sister

Author: Jessica Knoll

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 5/10

Comments: Too wordy. Too confusing. I couldn’t focus at all. It took me forever to finish because I was just not that into but after spending $20.00 on it, I wasn’t going to give up. I really didn’t like the narrator for one of the main characters, Brett. I dreaded every Brett chapter. Just like All We Ever Wanted, it was written from three different points of view, alternating each chapter, which isn’t my favorite especially when the chapters also alternate time periods. I was constantly thinking to myself “just get to the point.” I think maybe I could have liked it better if I physically read it. However, the setting is five women on a reality show and I LOVE reality TV so it was cool to read about producer manipulation. I’m sure it was dramatized but thanks to Bachelor Nation, there’s no doubt in my mind that the crew has more control than we are made to believe.

Title: Behind Closed Doors

Author: B.A. Paris

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 9/10

Comments: Absolutely one of my favs all summer. The audio version I listened to had a British accent so I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get past it. But I did. Very quickly. No matter where I was, I could not wait to get back into my car just so I could listen. I knew from the beginning that one of the characters was going to come in clutch at some point and boy did she save the day. The idea that no one really ever knows what’s going on ‘behind closed doors’ became such a reality during this book. This book came highly recommended to me and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Title: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 10/10

Comments: This was the final book club book of the summer and words cannot explain how great it was. First of all, I am so glad that I listened to it. The narrator, Bahni Turpin, was INCREDIBLE. Throughout the novel, I laughed, I cried, I got goosebumps. I felt proud, I felt guilty, I felt uneducated, I felt confused; I felt so many different emotions. It is not very often that I go on such an emotional roller coaster during one novel. It was so powerful. I really believe that having listened to it from Bahni made it even more powerful because of her tone, her speech, and her ability to transform into each character. It is easily one of my favorite books and I’m glad I ended the summer with something so strong and current.

The Hate U Give movie comes out in October and I am so eager to see Starr’s story come to life.

 

Shoutout to Audible and iBooks for helping me surpass 10-books-per-summer goal considering I barely had anytime to read physical books this summer!

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