11 books; approx. 4,648 pages
Here are the books I finished this month:
- Every Last Word, by Tamara Ireland (5/5)
Oh my heart.
This is one of those books I read and whisper "I get this."
It's such a powerful story of mental illness and fighting your way through the trenches. Yes, it is YA, but full of so much more than just teen angst and anxiety. It's so much deeper.
- All The Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven (5/5)
I don't know why I am drawn to these books that tear me apart.
Maybe one day I'll enjoy books that make me laugh rather than cry.
But until then, books like these will be my home.
And thank you to those who write them. They're the hardest words and truths to write, but they need to be heard.
I guess that's not much of a review, so here: Jennifer does a wonderful (such a terrible phrase in this context) of shedding light on the silent impact of mental illness. Opening up doors inside the mind of a young boy who can't even bring himself to understand what his mind is. It's tragic. There's hope. But it's tragic in the end. And unfortunately, that's the reality.
This story is real, because the truth it bears is real.
Even if there are a hundred books written under the same context, the words are still needed and the book is still praise-worthy.
There are so many battles being fought inside of minds we cannot read, and words like Niven's open up the doors and conversation to the devastation the mind can bring.
- We All Looked Up, by Tommy Wallach (4/5)
"Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.
But then we all looked up and everything changed.
They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we'd been, something that would last even after the end.
Two months to really live."
- Eligible, by Curtis Sittefield (5/5)
A truly great re-telling of Pride and Prejudice! I loved the modern twist. It was comical and even though at times you wanted to scream at the characters and their choices and, well, craziness, the story is perfect!
- Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (5/5)
I'm not sure why it took me so long to pick this book up, or what actually convinced me to do so. But I don't regret it. Considering how much of TV crime/law/etc. junkie I am, it's a surprise I don't read more Fiction Crime-Mystery-Thrillers.
But this certainly won't be the last.
Flynn does quite a wonderful job with unreliable narrators, conflicting plot lines, and basically a bunch psychotic breaks. Like really, who could you possibly trust here?!
Once you get into the unreliability of all the characters, it's hard not to get hooked on the rest of the book.
Recommend. Even if you're not a typical Mystery-Crime reader.
ps, I have never seen the movie.
- When We Collided, by Emery Lord (5/5)
Another great depiction of mental health and the need to talk about it among YA.
The story was initially hard to get into, but after the first 1/3 I was attached. Emery has a beautiful way with words and metaphors and this truly is a love language in and of itself.
Grateful for authors who are willing to write the tough words.
- The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins (5/5)
- Beautiful Chaos, by Robert M. Drake (5/5)
I never read anything I do not like by R. M. Drake.
- The Last Love Letter from Your Lover, by Jojo Moyes (4/5)
Lovely Jojo. You won't regret reading this one. Truth behind the un-dying power of letter-writing and true-true love.
- The Way I Used to Be, by Amber Smith (5/5)
Another powerful story of the affects of mental illness, and in this gripping story it takes on the form of rape and the power and possibility of survival. Even if these words have been written before, even its one other book results in a similar story line, these words still matter.
- My Heart and Other Black Holes, by Jasmine Warga (5/5)
love the concept of physics and energy used in this storyline. It's a beautiful story of overcoming and forging ones on path despite the circumstances that have come before us. A powerful story of heartbreak, destruction, and suicide ideations, this is another gripping YA about potential and choice.
- Tell Me Three Things, by Julie Buxbaum (5/5)
This is one of those "happy-tears" books that makes me wish I had an "Somebody-Nobody" to save me in High School. A great (and super cute) story about finding oneself again and again after life seems to have flattened you out.
Here are the books I hope to read/finish for May:
- My Age of Anxiety, by Scott Stossel
- Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan
- More Happy Than Not, by Adam Silvera
- The Love That Split The World, by Emily Henry
- Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here, by Anna Breslaw
- Forgive Me Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick
- I'm Glad About You, by Theresa Rebeck
- Dear Emma, by Katie Heaney
- A Brilliant Madness, Robert M. Drake
As always, I continue to update my Goodreads shelves: