August 09, 2016

The Books I've Been Reading {#11}

At the beginning of the year, I set my reading challenge at 30 books. Given my results of the past few years, I figured this was a good number to aim for, and one I was confident I would be able to achieve. My reading has been on a role since January, and I am finding myself flying through books faster than I ever thought possible. It's been such a treat to knock off books that have been on my TBR list for months and years. I'm also really pleased that as of July, I have already creeped past my goal of reading 30 books! I'm not sure if I will be able to keep this momentum up until the end of the year, but I know I will be happy now with whatever number I hit by the end of December.

Anyway! On to the books I read in July! I read 5 novels, and one novella. A few were big flops for me, while a few I absolutely adored.

Book Reviews Adult Fiction

1. The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan: this was my online book club pick for June, and I LOVED it. It had actually been sitting on my shelf for months, and I don't know why I never picked it up sooner (#TBRproblems). It was cute, fun, but not completely fluff. An easy read, and one I was pulled into and didn't want to end. You can read my full review here.

2. After You by Jojo Moyes: I talked about re-reading Me Before You last month and about how much I adored it even the second time around. I figured it was a good time to read After You, but man, I struggled with this book. I think I'm in the minority with this one, but I really didn't like it. I think the biggest problem is that what I loved so much about Me Before You was the relationship between Louisa and Will. The book just wasn't the same without Will. And I just didn't like the angle this book took. It bothered me that Lou was still wasting away her life, not doing anything, never thinking about herself first. I wasn't crazy about the new character (Lily), and even Lou's mom was kind of odd with her whole feminism awakening thing going on. I'm not sure what I wanted from this book, but I didn't get it. I even tried (as was recommended to me) to think about this book as a standalone one, and not as one in comparison to Me Before You, but I think I liked it even less then! Funnily enough, with all that said, if there was a third book, I would still read it! Haha.

3. The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson: I was really excited to read this book, especially after two of my friends gave it 5 star reviews. Sadly, it was a complete flop for me (2 stars). Maybe I just don't do "weird", or maybe I took the book too literally, but for me, it was just depressing and I couldn't find anything funny or endearing about it. The film on the other hand, looks really good! But I'll watch anything that Jason Bateman is in! I think maybe this is one of those rare instances where the story is better executed on film.


4. Lost & Found by Brooke Davis: Another book I had high hopes for that ended up being a let-down. It was cute & quirky at times, but for the most part, it was just sad. Seven year old Millie has been left by her mother in a department store and never returns. With the help of two elderly people she befriends, they set out on a journey to find Millie's mum. I found the story unbelievable and the two elderly people were more annoying than likeable. I understand that this is a story about grief and that we all grieve in different ways (the elderly people were both recent widows), but I could not forgive the mother for abandoning her daughter. Therefore, any humour was lost on me and I never found the story entertaining. I was glad when it was over, even though the ending was so disappointing. 

5. How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern: This book was super cute and a great summer read. It's about a young woman named Christine, who is walking home along a bridge one night when she happens upon a man (a gorgeous one at that) who is thinking about jumping to his death. Christina, miraculously, is able to convince Adam otherwise, and bets him that she can change his mind about wanting to live and convince him to love life again before his 35th birthday. Which, surprise, is in just 2 weeks. While I personally let my issues of this time frame and the seriousness of suicide get in the way of fully enjoying this book, it was still a really cute story. Christine and Adam are very likeable characters and you can't help but root for them the whole time. 

6. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes: Probably my favourite read of the month! Part of the book takes place during WW1 and the other during present day. Two different women, separated by almost a century, are fighting for something they love most. It was interesting to see how their two stories were connected and came together. I can't say I've read much about German occupation during WW1 so I really enjoyed this historical aspect to the novel, especially since I'm a huge fan of WW2 fiction. This book reminded me a bit of a mixture of The Nightingale (although not nearly as intense) and The Woman in Gold. 

7. Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes (a novella): I didn't even know this book existed until I got to the end of The Girl You Left Behind and realized that the book sample at the end of the book was in fact, the entire novella. It's a prequel to The Girl You Left Behind, and gives a bit of back story to the two main characters from it. It was a treat to be able to read a bit more about these characters I had grown to love, and I think I'm glad I read it after and not before, The Girl You Left Behind. 


Also, just a reminder that the discussion and link-up for July's book club pick (Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley) is next Tuesday, August 16! You still have a week to read the book! 


What have you been reading lately? 

Did you read After You? Thoughts? 


Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books!




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