I just finished Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna. It was my January pick for Book of the Month. I was having some remorse about not picking The Woman in the Window because I am seeing it allllllll over Instagram, but once I started Two Girls Down, I was hooked. Initially, I thought it would take me a bit of time to get through because of how fast my last few books went, but I read it in only a few sittings. I stayed up late, read before work, and thought all day about how I couldn’t wait to get home to wrap up this read!
Two Girls Down is about a pair of sisters who disappear from a parking lot when their mother runs an errand. The police start to search, but find nothing, so the family of the girls hires Alice Vega. Alice is known to find missing kids. She teams up with an ex-cop to find the girls before it’s too late.
I’ve talked before about how I really enjoy mystery/thriller shows and movies, but do not tend to read many books in the same genre. This book may have turned me into a mystery/thriller fanatic. I loved Luna’s writing, I thought the story was great, and the book avoided two components of this genre that bother me. Both of those things would be spoilers, though, so I’m choosing not to elaborate!
This was the best book that I have read in a while, and I will be keeping my eye out for a similar read.
I spent the last two days reading Forward: A Memoir by Abby Wambach. Like much of the world, I really got into women’s soccer for the past few World Cups and Summer Olympics. Part of the reason was watching Abby play. It was always so amazing to see her score goals with her face.
I did not know a ton about her personally, but remember hearing a few things when she got married (then, where did her wife go?, wait, now she’s married to Glennon Doyle?…this was my chain of thoughts when I was trying to figure this all out). My best friend read this book, and she never reads, so I thought I should get my hands on it.
My best friend and I both agreed – this book made us sad. It was sad that, while the entire world watched, Abby was not in love with the sport like we all thought she was – she was in love with the attention and the love of others that came to her through the sport. I did not know about her addiction struggles, or why her wife disappeared one day. This book was an interesting insight into how Abby felt in the highs and lows of her career, and how she, like all of us, had to come to terms with who she was and what she needed in order to continue moving forward (ha! see what I did there).
I did wish that there was some more reflection on events and why she behaved how she did instead of pushing along to the next story. I do recommend this book, though. It was an easy read that held my attention, and lead to some personal reflection.
This week I finished Artemis by Andy Weir. It was my first Book of the Month Club book. I did not read The Martian, but I did enjoy the movie. I spent most of my time reading this book buried under covers and animals, all of us trying to stay warm! It’s been a cold and snowy Northern Michigan winter so far.
This book is about a young woman named Jazz who has grown up in Artemis, a settlement on the moon. Jazz struggles financially and makes extra money by smuggling goods into Artemis from Earth. She is recruited to commit a major, complex crime for an extremely large amount of money, and accepts the offer. The rest of the book follows Jazz as she works to follow through on her promises, and uncovers the truth about how Artemis really functions.
This book was a page turner for me. I found it funny and unique. However, I did not like how Weir wrote Jazz. I understand that she is supposed to be unlikeable, she’s rough, she’s a criminal, she has issues, she likes to drink, etc. I am fine with all of that. However, I think Weir was off the mark with her internal thoughts. She talked and thought like a teenage boy. It was like Weir only tapped the surface of her as a character. Essentially, Weir wrote Jazz as Mark from The Martian, with a vagina. I think that he should not try to write female characters again in the future – not his forte!
I was gifted a Nook for Christmas a few years ago, and have only read a few books on it, mostly when I am traveling, or cannot find a book that I want to read locally. My local library was reading Into the Water by Paula Hawkins for their monthly adult book club in January. I had decided I was going to start attending, so I purchased the book on my Nook (thanks to my brother for the B & N Giftcard for Christmas!) and got reading. Unfortunately, I had forgotten about a work event on the night of book club, and I was unable to attend. However, I did still finish the book.
*I just had to pause writing this because my dog projectile vomited across my living room. I live a glamorous life.*
I liked Girl on the Train, but had been told by many people that I shouldn’t think of Into the Water as the same type of book. I didn’t know what that meant, and went in with a really open mind, and no expectations. However, I found some similarities between the books. Both were a bit suspenseful, mysterious, made me really consider what I knew (and didn’t know) about the characters, and left me relatively satisfied. I don’t think Hawkins is creating incredible works of fiction that will be read in classrooms for years into the future, but damn, they are entertaining.
After Nel Abbott is found dead in a local swimming spot, her sister comes back to their hometown to look after her daughter, and dive into the mystery surrounding her family, while learning more about her relationship with her sister. I will say that the list of characters felt long in this book. It was difficult for me to keep them all straight at the beginning, especially while reading in e-book format because it was not as simple to page back and get my head aligned.
This book was an entertaining read, but not as suspenseful or as much of a thriller as I had hoped.
I finished The Mothers by Brit Bennett on New Years Eve, but had to wait to do a post because it was also someone’s Christmas gift (oops), and I had to send it to them.
I heard all of the hype about The Mothers on all kinds of podcasts and book recommendation lists over the past year. I completely understand why! It has been a long time since I devoured a book like this. I loved Nadia. She’s not perfect, she has regrets, but she also keeps moving forward.
Nadia is struggling with her mother’s suicide and her relationships. She is angry. She falls for the pastor’s son, and Nadia finds herself in a situation where she has to make decisions on her own, and without support. This decision stays with her and impacts her decisions for years.
I loved the gossipy group of the church Mothers who narrate this book like a Greek Chorus. Pick this one up if you haven’t yet!
I finished my first book of 2018 this morning! I started it in November, but finished today. My Goodreads goal of 55 books was a little ambitions for 2017 – I hit some major reading slumps last year. For 2018, I’m setting a goal of 45 books. Still ambitious, but leaves room for me to change some habits and keep reading.
Today, I finished Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. Atwood has been my favorite writer since I read the Handmaid’s Tale in college. Hag-Seed is Atwood’s retelling of The Tempest (which I have not read, but know the plot of). I loved the way this book was structured. The sort chapters kept my attention, and allowed me to read a chapter, even if I only had a few minutes to spare.
The main character, Felix, loses his job right as he is about to conduct a performance of The Tempest. While most assumes he disappears with his tail between his legs, he allows his anger to simmer into revenge. It takes him years to set the stage to gain his revenge, but he is patient and determined. Felix finally gets to direct The Tempest, through a theatre course for prisoners. Along the way he never loses sight of his goal.
Cheers to all of the reading 2018 will bring!
I recently finished The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer. I won this book in a giveaway, which was really exciting (and I took a killer Instagram photo with the cover).
I liked this book. For some reason it took me a long time to get through it, but I was able to pick it right back up whenever I decided to open it. The main character in the book is a girl named Ruby who lives with her parents – a father who physically and emotionally abuses her, and a mother who cannot intervene. Ruby recently learned that she is adopted, and is determined to find her real family.
You quickly learn that Ruby sees things that others around her cannot see. This escape helps her to find the motivation to keep going, even when the road to finding her parents is tough. Because she can see things others can’t, it keeps you wondering if characters are real, and I found this unreliable component kept me engaged in the story.
There were a few pieces of this story that I didn’t like, but they were overshadowed by what I did enjoy.