Hello hello! Back again for another month of Reading Lately with Alison of Puppies & Pretties. I’m trying to step up my reading game and read a greater variety of genres. I joined the Blended Blog’s Virtual Book Club this month, if you want to join the book club, check out this blog post here! I finally participated in the Beyond Words: A Bloggers Book Club on Goodreads. Erin’s Book Challenge ended at the end of April and I did a decent job, finishing about half my list. My goal is to complete the challenge next time, the list for the next challenge goes live on June 1st so head to the Facebook group to join the next challenge!
I read a lot of books this month, so I don’t want to have a long introduction. So here’s what I’ve been reading lately!
Reading Lately May 2017
Two Towers: Being the Second Part of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
I didn’t want to post another Lord of the Rings review (see my review to the first book here) but I felt I had to after finishing the novel. After reading the first book I immediately picked up the second, partly because I wanted to know what happened next and partly because I felt obligated to keep going with the series. I started this journey with Frodo and I couldn’t give up on him when he needed me most. Just kidding. But I felt that I made this commitment to read the books before watching the movies, and I was going to stick to that.
But not giving myself a break between the two books might have been my problem. I was pretty busy and tired by the time I got home every day that I never had much time to read. So it took me a while to get through this book. I enjoyed it, but the slower parts were hard to get through. Thankfully there are not many songs or lyrics, but some parts are just slow. I still enjoyed the book and it left me intrigued to finish the series, but I decided to give myself a break before picking up the last book.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
When five year old Jacob is killed in a hit and run accident, Jenna is left struggling to cope with the grief. Packing a few personal items, she boards a bus with no destination in mind. She ends up in a remote coastal town, where she attempts to escape the memory of the car accident that repeats in her head. Meanwhile back in Jenna’s hometown, Detective Ray Stevens and his team continue to search for the driver to find justice for Jacob and his mother. After hitting countless dead ends, they gather some information that could break the case. But it doesn’t quite add up.
I couldn’t put this book down, I highly recommend it! It starts a little slow, but it’s still heartbreaking and intriguing. About halfway through it really picks up. The book kept my interest because I wanted to find out who the driver was. I wanted to know who killed Jacob and if the police ever caught them. It is every mother’s worst nightmare, losing a child and dealing with the heartbreak and grief afterwards. The story is thrilling, dealing with abusive and manipulative relationships. There’s a major twist, that I almost felt tricked by, but it still was interesting. I really can’t describe more without giving away anything. Of course the best parts to talk about are the spoilers. Some of the twists weren’t believable, just a little far fetched. I still recommend this book, it’s a heartbreaking read but very good.
If I Run by Terri Blackstock
After Casey Cox finds her best friend, Brent, murdered she leaves town in a hurry. Casey doesn’t trust the police and with her DNA all over the crime scene, in her mind the only option is to run. Brent’s parents hire his friend Dylan, an ex military detective, as a private investigator to search for Casey. As Dylan learns everything he can about Casey to get inside her head, he finds that details about the murder aren’t adding up. Casey doesn’t seem like a psychopathic killer, but if she’s innocent why did she run? The further Dylan gets in the investigation, the more he finds himself unsure who to trust and what to believe.
This book has been on my to-read list for quite some time and I’m sorry I didn’t pick it up sooner. Something about this book just sucked me in, I read half in one sitting and finished it by the next evening. It is a fast read, but it also kept me intrigued. I’m a little disappointed this is part of a series, because I worry the next book will drone on about the Casey still on the run, that it will be repetitive and slow. There is a subplot that picks up about halfway through the book that adds suspense to the story, but I find it a little too convenient to be believable. Without the subplot, or those in the sequels, the series could have been done in one novel. But I definitely plan to read the rest of this series.
There are a few repetitive phrases and words, which make me think the writing a little amateur, but it really didn’t bother me much. Alternating perspectives between Casey and Dylan adds some suspense to the story. And I really found it interesting reading from a fugitive’s perspective. The book’s genre is Christian fiction, and there is a strong sense of finding one’s faith, but it doesn’t feel preachy or overbearing. I highly recommend this book.
The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn
After friends announce at a dinner party that they have an open marriage, Lucy and Owen decide to give it a go as well. They are happily married, but their lives have become dull. Lucy is a stay at home mom to take care of their autistic son. But she’s let herself become comfortable, making her feel invisible. To spice things up in their love lives, they try a six month experiment. But there are rules, no details and no falling in love.
This is the book I read for the Blended Blogs Virtual Book Club. I have mixed thoughts on this book. It starts pretty slow, I found I was not as keen to pick it up which never really went away as I progressed through the novel. It provides interesting ideas that makes you think about relationships. Filled with failing marriages, infidelity, and ideas that monogamy can’t work, the idea that monogamy will never work seemed forced on me. Especially with the included quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I will say that there are some amusing parts, but I wouldn’t describe the book as a hilarious read.
The Twin Game by V.J. Chambers
Hope has an identical twin sister, Serenity, who no one knows about. Their father started the “Serenity-doesn’t-exist” game when Hope was four years old. Never allowed to leave the house, Serenity remains a secret when Hope goes to college and when she returns after their father suddenly dies. Nobody knows she exists. Hope visits their fathers grave one night when she is kidnapped and tied up in the woods. She escapes and goes straight to the police, but no one will believe her. Instead, the police send her to a mental facility. Everyone thinks Hope is crazy, and she’s beginning to believe she is as well. Nothing makes sense anymore. But she’s determined to find the truth.
While I finished this book very quickly, it started slow. With an intriguing plot, the book reads pretty fast. But I did find it predictable, even with the plot twists. I found several grammatical and spelling errors that bothered me, and I paid for this book, so it definitely lost a lot of points in my opinion for that.
We are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun
Catherine and Scott have been best friends since they were little, growing up next to one another. When Catherine goes off to her freshman year of college, they keep in touch by writing letters to one another. When life gets difficult, they realize that they’ve only wanted to turn to each other. But should they cross that line of friendship?
This story is told in letters sent between Catherine and Scott. It’s amusing to me because I am Catherine and I have a brother named Scott, who married a Katherine. Anyways, it’s interesting to read a story set in the 80’s told through letters. Catherine and Scott have a charming relationship, they have a witty way of speaking to one another through inside jokes and are very comfortable with the other, but it can get a little slow. Especially in the parts where they’ve seen each other in person. We don’t see them actually interacting so I felt a little disconnected from those parts. The letters relayed their in person interactions to the reader so it’s vital to us to be present, but it seems unnatural.
Taking a page from my English major education, it’s an excellent example of a Young Adult Literature novel. The story touches on relatable issues of college, relationships, and divorce. The parents aren’t very present as Catherine and Scott talk and figure out their problems on their own, turning to each other when life gets difficult. It’s a very realistic and pleasant coming of age story. It explores life in the first year of college as well as life for someone who doesn’t go to college. I loved the dedication to Scott’s character by intentionally including typos in his letters. But I recommend this book for someone who likes Young Adult literature or light, pleasant reads. I didn’t mind the predictable ending, it’s a young adult novel. But I didn’t like that their love story and the whole ending were so rushed.
The Wrath & The Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh
Khalid, the eighteen year old caliph of Khorasan, is a monstrous boy king. Each night he takes a new bride and each morning a silk cord is wrapped around her neck, bringing her death. When Shahrzad’s cousin becomes a victim to this, she volunteers herself to be his bride. Not only does she hope to live, Shahrzad plans to seek vengeance for her cousin and all the other women who have fallen victim to this terror. Through her wit, spit fire personality, and enchanting stories, Shahrzad lives to see the morning. But the longer Shahrzad spends with the caliph, the more she discovers he is not the monster she believed. Does she betray her family and friends to follow her heart? Or does she stick to her plan and get her revenge?
I read this book as a pick from the Beyond Words: A Bloggers Book Club on Goodreads.
I didn’t like this book initially, it starts slow and and I found it confusing. But the story is so captivating and I needed to know what happened. The story picks up less than halfway and I didn’t want to put it down. I also didn’t like the ending, at first I thought the story concluded that way and it really bothered me. Then I realized there is a sequel, which made me feel better, but it still frustrated me because it didn’t feel like an appropriate ending. I felt as though I needed to pick up the sequel to continue with the story. I would’ve been very upset had I read this when it first came out and had to wait for a sequel. But I definitely recommend this book and I already started the sequel, The Rose & The Dagger.
Well that’s what I’ve been reading lately. Don’t forget to link up with us, it doesn’t have to be a current post if you don’t have one. But we’d love to see what you’ve been reading lately and add to our to-read lists! If you’d like to link back to us in your post, here’s the html code to add to your site. Thank you for reading my reviews!
Desi @ A Northern Girl says
The Arrangement is on my TBR list, and If I Run sounds great too – I’ll have to add that. You have to read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid! She’s my favorite author and her newest book was impossible to put down.
Also, I love Dalmatians – he’s perfect!
I definitely recommend If I Run! And The Arrangement is a good read, not really my cup of tea, but it’s interesting. I’m adding that book to my to-read list! It has great reviews and looks interesting, thank you for the suggestion 🙂
Sheila DelCharco says
Based on your review, I’m glad I didn’t read the Arrangement. It sure doesn’t sound like “a fun beach read!” The Wrath and the Dawn sounds like Shadow Spinner. I think it’s basically the same story. I enjoyed SS very much!
I’ll definitely have to pick up Shadow Spinner! I really liked The Wrath and the Dawn so I’m interested 🙂 And the Arrangement wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t for me.
Alison @ Puppies & Pretties says
You definitely got a lot of reading in last month! If I Run certainly sounds interesting.
Haha but now I feel so behind this month because I haven’t read as many! Oops. And it was definitely an interesting book. I’ve picked up the sequel but I thought I saw that there’s a THIRD BOOK that isn’t coming out until next year…
I think I just need to bookmark all these book posts!! LOL So many books sound great!! I didn’t read The Arrangement but with all the mixed reviews, I think it’s just making me want to read it more …and decide for myself. Will also pick up I Let You Go…even though I know I might be a mess reading it!!
I always feel the same way when I see mixed reviews on a book. I want to see why people liked/disliked it and judge it for myself. I’d love to know what you think of it if you do read it!
I loved I Let You Go! I agree that it was slow to start and some of the plot twists at the end were too unbelievable and not necessary to the plot. But I loved the twist in the middle and the story behind it. How do you like The Rose and the Dagger? I am waiting to get it from the library. I just finished The Couple Next Door and I could not put it down! Thanks for linking up!!
The twist had me totally screwed up! I went back to the beginning to see if I missed something haha. And I liked The Rose and the Dagger, it has the same beautiful writing as the first book. It doesn’t feel like a sequel that has to be as good as the first book because it’s really the same story lol. I don’t think I’m explaining that well. But I’ll definitely pick up The Couple Next Door! Thanks for the suggestion 🙂