Monday, March 3, 2014

February Reads

February was a great reading month for me. February vacation meant nap times curled up with my Overdrive app and new books every other day. Like the past few months, I've been keeping track of the number of books I'm reading this school year with a goal of 30 to match the 30 books my students are required to read. 

18. Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson
I love all the Joshilyn Jackson books I've read so far. She has a way of writing that makes you connect to the characters, even the ones you can't stand. This book is about a woman named Ro Grandee who was abused by her father as a child after her mother ran away, and then by her husband. She was used to the abuse until a gypsy at the airport tells her that she must either kill her husband or she'll end up dead. This sets of a series of events in which she tries to shoot him and then leaves him to find her mother and change her life. I found myself with my heart in my throat several times as I worried about Ro yet at the same time disliked her for being stupid about things. I don't think I actually liked any of the characters of this book, but I was drawn to them and couldn't stop reading.

19. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
This was a random book I found that looked interesting... and I guess it was. Kinda. It tells the story of three women all trying to figure out their lives and find love. Everyone they know is getting married and having babies and they're not there yet. What I liked about this book was the humorous and self-deprecating way the characters told their story. That said, I didn't feel any real connections with any of the character. There were several times when I debated about ditching the book, but then would come across a funny part and keep reading. 

20. A Fool's Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery

Like the other Susan Mallery book I read last month, this book was completely predictable. I knew within two pages who was going to fall in love and the problems they would face. That said, I still enjoyed the book and found it one of those fun, easy reads.

21. Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult
I've read this book before, but I always love Jodi Picoult books, so when I saw it as an audio book on Overdrive, I decided to give it a go. Usually I don't like audio books, I prefer to read at my own pace and often can't really follow along when someone else reads to me. That said, I really enjoyed listening to this. I listened when I was running, in the car, and before I fell asleep at night. When I read this before, I didn't connect to it as much as I did this time around. It's the story of Paige who finds her "perfect man", gets married and has a baby... only to discover being a mom isn't all she thought it would be. She was overwhelmed, exhausted and felt like she was doing it all wrong. Oh how I understood her feelings. It gets to the point where one day she up and leaves, determined to find her own mother (who left when she was five) and figure out who she is. This story was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time.

22. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Victoria is a 18 year old girl who has just been emancipated from the foster system. She's on her own, and doesn't know what to do.Flowers are the only thing in her life that has ever made sense. A foster mom once taught her what all the different types of flowers mean, and to Victoria, that is the best way to communicate her thoughts and feelings. She starts working at a flower shop, but then comes across someone from her past. This starts a whole series of events where Victoria has to learn how to interact with people, and face secrets from her past that took her away from the only real mother she ever knew. The beginning of this book was rather slow, and didn't really draw me in, but as Victoria's past and present started to unfold at the same time, I started to get sucked into the story and ended up really loving it. 

23. Divergence by Veronica Roth
This is one of those books that everyone's reading, so I hopped on the bandwagon. I'm so glad I did. I ended up reading it in about a day because I just couldn't put it down- thank you February vacation for making that possible. Divergence is a sci fi story of a dystopian society focused on factions. Each faction values a different quality; selfless ness, honesty, bravery, peacefulness and intelligence. When you're sixteen, you take a test that is supposed to tell you which faction you belong to. However, when Beatrice Prior takes the test, the results come back unclear. The test giver tells her that she is "Divergent" and that she can't tell anyone, because it is very dangerous, even deadly. Beatrice has to decide which faction to join, and then undergoes the rigorous training involved in becoming a member of that faction, all the while hiding that there is something different about her. The story is fast-paced, descriptive, and spell-binding. I loved it, and I can't wait to read the second book in the series; Insurgent.

1 comment:

  1. I love finding new books to try! I've never read anything by Joshilyn Jackson and totally added it to my wishlist on Amazon. Great recommendations!


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