Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Reads: Short and Sweet Book Reviews

First things first - thank you so much for all the love regarding my last post. I tell you what - it has been really hard to blog about anything going on in my life without mentioning what seems to be the ONLY thing going on in my life. The last few months have been exciting and terrifying at the same time, and I can't believe how fast the weeks are flying by. December will be here before we know it!! Yikes.

Baby-talk aside, it's my intention to keep things business-as-usual around here. I will probably do some weekly pregnancy updates (although so far I haven't been that great at getting those pictures taken... it's more like an every other week thing. Oops.) and baby-related topics will inevitably come up, but I plan to keep things as random and normal as they always have been. Cool?

That said, I thought I'd share some recent reads today. Summer always seems to be the time when people are looking for a new book to pick up, so I've got a few on my list that I am highly recommending. These are great beach / pool / lake / weekend reads - so add them to your list and check them out the next time you need a great story!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr // this is, by far, the best book I've read in years. I have recommended it to everyone I know, and only one person has come back to tell me they didn't like it as much as I did! The story takes place during World War II, and follows the very different lives of two children as they grow up through the war, slowly winding their paths towards one another. The writing is absolutely gorgeous, and the setting, Nazi-occupied Paris, is a different take on the usual backdrop. I found the story enthralling, and while obviously WWII-related, about so much more than the war.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes // A book club book that I failed to read in time for our meeting, this one was on the back burner until it finally became available at the library. I know everyone loves Jojo Moyes, but this was actually the first book of hers that I've read. The story is somewhat different than I expected when I first started reading - I expected a love story, and got one, but on different terms than I anticipated, and I found myself ugly-crying on the train on my way to work one day. Definitely get out your tissues for this one - it's a great easy read, but a tear-jerker!

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares // This was a random find at the library, and I'm so glad I picked it up. The story is based on the idea that some people have what's called "the Memory," or the ability to remember all past lives, and follows the path of a young man who is always searching for his soulmate, no matter which life they are each in. It was just magical enough but not overly so, and I really enjoyed the parts where the book is set in Virginia - local always makes it a little more interesting. Beautiful story that had me wishing the book hadn't ended.

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy* // I am a huge historical fiction fan, but this story was something new for me: Civil War, abolitionist-era America, following the story of John Brown's family - specifically, his oldest daughter, who has a gift for creating maps to help lead slaves to freedom. This is another book that jumps back and forth between stories, one set in the past and one set in the present, slowly weaving together two seemingly unrelated lives. It has a several twists that I wasn't expecting, and I thought that the story moved along at a good pace. Again, it was a semi-local setting, taking place around Harper's Ferry and other parts of West Virginia, so it was appealing to me in that regard. There are some characters that are easy to like, and some that are easy to dislike, which I always think is a sign of good writing. I found the dialogue a bit slow and unrealistic at times, but the rest of the story carried the book successfully. I liked it more than I thought I would, and found myself really wanting to get to the end to see what would happen. That's my kind of book!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. Get more information about the author and the story here!

1 comment :

The Lady Okie said...

I don't trust anyone who didn't love All the Light. It is the. best.