Tuesday, January 7, 2014

December Reads

Like last month, I'm continuing to keep track of the books I'm reading this year, with a goal of at least 30 books to match the 30 books I expect my students to read this year... might as well lead by example! 

9. Accidentally Yours by Susan Mallery

A lot of people on Good Reads didn't like this book, thought the main character was too pathetic...  but I actually kind of liked it in the predictable ending kind of way. Kerri is a single mom with a young son dying of an awful genetic disease. She needs a lot of money, and fast, to help a local researcher find a cure. She decides to blackmail billionaire Nathan King into donating the money. Then comes a lot of drama, tears, and eventually the realization that they are in love with each other. The issue of the son's disease adds another element to the story, but wasn't really enough to keep it from being obvious. 

10. The Beach House by Jane Green

At first I really didn't like this book, I actually almost ditched it, but I'm glad I kept reading because it ended up better than I expected. It was a slow start with the introduction of a lot of characters, but as the book progresses, the characters start to come together and when all the connections are explained it's really interesting and catchy. I couldn't put it down for the last couple of chapters. 

11. Until There Was You by Kristen Higgins

If you read my book reviews last month, you know I've been loving Kristen Higgins books, which is what made this one so disappointing. Posey, the main character, was just too pathetic and depressing that I found her annoying rather than sympathetic. She's been in love with Liam since she was a teenager, even though he "broke her heart". I put broke her heart in quotes because what he did was pathetic and not at all what I expected. He didn't date her and then leave her, or cheat on her, or anything. They weren't even ever in a relationship. He just made fun of her once in high school and she was crushed... fast forward to the present and she's still obsessed with him in an almost stalker-ish manner, however then he starts paying attention to her. I just found the book too self-deprecating to really enjoy. 

12. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I was warned that Gillian Flynn was dark...I just didn't realize how dark it could get. I got a taste of her darkness with Gone Girl, but this book takes it to a whole new level. If you don't like gore, you honestly shouldn't read... it was really too much for me in a lot of places, and I ended up skimming over a lot of sections. That said, it was still an amazing book. Complex and well thought out just like Gone Girl, unraveling in a way that captivates you. 

The book starts out with Libby who survived the horrific massacre of her mother and two sisters. Her brother, Ben, has been in jail for the crime for the last 25 years, partially due to Libby's testimony that she heard him do it. Libby is physically and emotionally scarred by the event, when she meets a group of people who are convinced Ben is innocent. As the story unfolds, you see that night through the eyes of Ben and Patty (Libby's mom) as well as through the things Libby is learning and figuring out in the present. 

I love the way Gillian Flynn unfolds the truth slowly, and through multiple perspectives. Each time something new was shown, it completely changed everything you thought you knew. In the very last chapter I was sitting there, glued to my phone in horror and amazement as the truth came out.

13. Too Good to Be True by Kristen Higgins

This was my favorite Kristen Higgins book so far. It was funny, cute, and interesting all the way through. Grace's ex-fiance is dating her little sister... and Grace can't stop obsessing over him. She's been making up fake boyfriends her whole life when she felt alone, so now seemed the perfect moment to make up Mr. Right. She tells her family that she's dating a pediatric surgeon who is hot, rich, and of course perfect. Her family obviously wants to meet him, and Grace has a harder and harder time making up excuses. To further complicate matters, Grace has a thing for her new neighbor; Callahan who is the epitome of a bad boy. Grace has to figure out who to deal with the fake boyfriend, the very real ex, and the possibility of Callahan being "the one".

What have you been reading lately? Any suggestions for me? I'm always looking for new books to read! 

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