One of the best things that I’ve done this year is do my best to read for fun. It’s hard because I do so much reading for school, but with Audible and intentionally setting aside time to read, I’ve been able to make it work. Since the semester ended in May, I’ve been able to read even more! Reading is one of those things that is good for my soul, so I’m glad that I’ve been able to make it happen. Here are the books that I’ve read since April and what I’ve thought about them so that you can decide if you should read them, too.
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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead – This was cute, but not my favorite. I read it for Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge for the category of Newbury winner or Honor book, which is an award for middle grade or YA books. Its main character is in the sixth grade, and it was clearly aimed at kids around that age, so it was a bit young for me. It’s about a sixth grader who starts finding mysterious notes and there’s time travel and family relationships so, again, it was cute, but I was ready to finish it.
Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur by Cara Alwill Leyba – If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me post quotes from Girl Code for the past couple of months. It’s a wonderful book for any woman who wants to kick butt in the workforce and run a business, whether it be a blog or a shop or something else all together. I strongly suggest you check it out, especially if you like books like Girlboss.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I loved this book so much, and if I wasn’t on a restricted budget, I’d buy the sequel in a heartbeat. It’s about a heist pulled off by a gang of street kids (high school aged, maybe college) and there’s magic, betrayal, and love, so it hit most of my favorite genres in one book. Plus, it’s one of those books that I was unable to put down, especially once I got to the second half. This was another book that I read for the reading challenge, this time for the category of a book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author (Bardugo is Israeli).
Lord John and the Hellfire Club by Diana Gabaldon – If you read the Outlander books, you know how painful it is waiting for the next one in the series. She hasn’t finished writing the next one and the show won’t be back until September, so obviously the way to get through what is called Droughtlander the obvious solution is to read books from other aspects of the Outlander universe! She has oh so kindly written several books around another character in the universe, Lord John, and this is the first book in that series. It’s a novella, but the other books in the series are novels. You don’t need to read the Outlander series to follow – but you should because it’s sooooo goooooood – but the gist is that Lord John is an eighteenth-century soldier and younger brother of a Duke and this book is about him trying to solve a murder that he witnesses.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid – This is a beautifully written novel about a couple who emigrate from an unspecified war-torn Middle Eastern country via magical doors that appear to allow instant transfer across the world. It’s really amazing because it combines this science fiction/fantasy element with the current migrant crisis that is going on. What would that crisis look like if people could just instantly travel across the world? This book explores that and the language is just beautiful. FYI, I read this for the reading challenge for the requirement of book of any genre that addresses current events.
Atonement by Ian McEwan – If I were to describe Atonement in two words, I’d choose “beautiful” and “sad.” The language is gorgeous and the characters are so well created. I don’t even care that it’s such a sad book because it’s so beautiful. Basically, in the 1930s, a teenager accuses someone of a horrible crime that he didn’t commit. In the 1940s, he’s fighting in World War II because it was the only way he could get out of prison and she is trying to pay for the pain she caused. Once again, sad but gorgeous. In the reading challenge, this fills the role of a book with an unreliable narrator or an ambiguous ending.
Buffering by Hannah Hart – I don’t normally read books by YouTubers, but I decided to try this because of how much she talks about mental illness in it. There’s a history of it in her family, and a lot of this book talks about her growing up with a mother with schizophrenia and all that entails. It was a really fascinating read and really demonstrated the lack of help for people with mental illness if the US.
Reflections by Briana Morgan [FYI, this was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review] – This is another book that I couldn’t put down. It’s about Rama, a teenager who is trying to investigate the murder of several teenage girls in her town. She ends up becoming a shape shifter and has to learn to love herself in order to succeed. As I mentioned on Twitter, my thoughts throughout the second half of the book (especially the last third) alternated between !!!!!! and AHHHHHH. It was so good! By the way, you should know that Rama is a victim of sexual assault, and she does talk about it and experience flashbacks in this book.
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