Monday, January 27, 2014

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

I love stories with multiple unrelated people whose stories are actually quite intertwined. That's why I liked this book so much.

Cecelia is the perfect, organized, Tupperware-selling mom. Then, she finds a letter written from her husband to be opened upon his death. Ut-oh. And then there's Tess who finds out that her husband is in love with her cousin. Yuck. She picks up and leaves with her son to go back to her hometown. Finally, there's Rachel whose teenage daughter was found murdered years ago and she's still grieving. All these ladies are connected but they don't know it.

There are lots of twists to this book which made it a page-turner. The Epilogue was actually my most favorite part of the book. I liked this story so much because it plays around with the "what ifs" in life.

Don't be fooled by the "chic-lit" look of this book. It contains deeper themes like secrets, fidelity, and paying for mistakes.

Highly recommended! =D

Monday, January 20, 2014

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Ivy Hart is a 15-year-old living on a tobacco farm in North Carolina in the 1960s. She cares for her diabetic grandmother, her sister, and her nephew. It's a lot for her, plus she's a teen in love with the farm owner's son.

Enter Jane Forrester, a recent college grad, newlywed, and new social worker. She has no boundaries and gets over-involved in Ivy's plight.

I found Necessary Lies to be a very predictable book. The most interesting aspect of the book is that it goes into North Carolina's little known Eugenics program that sterilized people who were deemed unfit to have children. Apparently, this program was in effect until 1975!

A so-so book.

Monday, January 13, 2014

World Without End by Ken Follett

This is the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth which I read back in 2011. During Christmas 2012, I started reading it and got through about 700 (of 1,000+) pages. I put it down and didn't pick it up again until this past Christmas 2013 and finally finished it. Phew! It is quite the engrossing saga.

It takes place two centuries after The Pillars of the Earth and is set in the same city of Kingsbridge but it can be read without reading the first book. It's full of triangles, greed, murder, nuns, animal cruelty (yuck!), and gruesome injuries.

I first heard about these two books from my cousin, Gabe. He told me that they are both long books, but "you don't want them to end." Thanks for the recommendation, Gabe!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Wait! Do you have a pencil? You're gonna need one to write down this title so you can check it out next time you're at the library.

It is the story of 14-year-old June. It's the late 1980s and her godfather/uncle, Finn, dies from AIDS. Her family doesn't provide much support, but she finds a connection with Finn's boyfriend, someone who may miss Finn almost as much as June does.

Touching, heart-wrenching, and beautiful all the way to the end. I really loved this book.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Best Reads of 2013

Happy new year! I'm late with this list, so I'll make it quick.

Here's what I enjoyed most out of what I read during 2013.

Best Fiction
The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Most Practical
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
Most Delightful
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

Most Heartbreaking Memoir
Stations of the Heart: Parting with a Son by Richard Lischer

To my faithful readers, thanks for reading my blog! Please send along your book recommendations!  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I first heard about this book from a neighbor. I looked it up at the library, flipped through it, and saw some spooky black and white photos of strange children. I didn't check it out.

I later told my neighbor that it looked too spooky, but she encouraged me to give it a try. So I did. Once I did start reading it, it was actually not too spooky and quite entertaining.

Jacob is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding his late grandfather's death and his last words. To that end, he travels to a remote Welsh island and encounters Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

I found this to be fun and imaginative. Somewhat sci-fi, kinda young adult, but a solid story. The pictures were actually kinda neat and only a little-medium spooky.

Thanks to Rebecca for encouraging me to read it!