Tuesday, June 5, 2018

May 2018 Book Review

I had another 11 book month, 8 of which counted for the Book Challenge. It's getting harder to only read for the challenge as the prompts get to the ones I found most difficult. I have now read 44 of the 50 prompts, I'm thinking/hoping I can finish in June!

First up, I read 4 children's books this month. 3 of them fit prompts and 1 was a book Trent wanted us to read together, which I LOVE.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - Fit the category of 'A book that is an allegory' - I know this book is a classic, but I found it very hard to read due to poor writing [in my opinion]. The story idea was cool - a young girl, her brother, and her friend go on a journey to save her father in another dimension with the help of 3 otherworldly beings. HOWEVER, it was just written very juvenile and didn't have to be. I was excited to read this because Trent wants to watch the movie, but meh. There are other books following these characters/this story, but I don't plan on continuing. Anyone else read this? Am I missing something?

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - Fit the category of 'a childhood classic you never read' - Did you know that the people of Denmark were able to smuggle almost all of the 7,000 Jews from Denmark into Sweden during WW2? I didn't! This is a fictionalized account of 1 family helping their neighbors, and it was such a good story. I want to read this one again with Trent - I think this is a great way for us to continue to talk about bigotry and kindness, etc. 

Rotten by Lily Sayre - Fit the category of 'a book written by a local author' - Lily is the daughter of the Director of the girls' school {I guess I need to start saying just Paige's school since T and D will be at the same school next year!}, and she published a book when she was 10 - a story about a girl named Avalon has a witch of a substitute - LITERALLY! I think Lily has a great future as a writer although this story was a little uneven - I felt like there were missing pieces of dialogue or story just due to what seemed transparent probably to Lily that I could have used being written out. What's funny is it felt similar to what I felt was missing in A Wrinkle in Time which was written by a 'real' author. I am going to follow Lily's career and would bet money on her!

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo - Trent asked to read this book together, and I LOVED it. Like I cried twice! Edward Tulane is a china rabbit who has numerous adventures and owners and learns about love, compassion, and friendship. Such a sweet story! I'm going to read it again with Drew.

The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas - My Overdrive app randomly recommended this to me, and I was a sucker for the picture on the cover, and I'm so glad I read it. Judd is almost killed in a mine cave-in in 1950s West Virginia and his brother/best friend, Joe, is killed. When he recovers from his injuries he decides to move to Myrtle Beach because he knew his brother wanted to live there. In Myrtle Beach, he meets Larkin {the daughter of his new boss} who teaches him that maybe he can live again, even without Joe.

The Street Lawyer by John Grisham - This is the 2nd John Grisham book I've chosen for the book challenge, and again, it just reiterates what a great author John Grisham is. Michael is a lawyer on the fast track to partnership at his law firm until a violent encounter with a homeless man has him questioning everything about his life. As he digs into the past of the homeless man, he discovers an unsavory connection with his law firm. Unique story, good characters, loved the legal piece of the story, loved the writing. It was a winner!

Educated by Tara Westover - OMG. This was the winner of the month and will be high on my list of favorites for the year. Tara tells the story of her life growing up 'off-the-grid' with her bi-polar, anti-government father and her choice to break away and go to college. The stories she shares seem like there's no way they could be real {to this day she doesn't know her actual birthday, she never went to school before college, first heard of the Holocaust in college, so many crazy ones!}, and her life is beyond fascinating. I cannot believe everything she overcame! This is a MUST READ.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling - I had read everything J.K. Rowling has written except The Casual Vacancy, and I can definitely say this was NOT my favorite. She continues to prove she is an amazing writer, but this story was very dark and slow and not the most exciting. It starts when a man, Barry, dies of an aneurysm and leaves his council seat open right as the opposing sides are getting to a critical vote over whether to let the next town over annex the poor part of town [basically]. Sound interesting? Not really, right? You follow numerous characters - it feels like too many to keep up with for easily the first 1/3 of the book - and most aren't likable or redeemable. I saw that some have called it a dark comedy, but I didn't really see any of the comedy parts. I really don't think I could recommend this to anyone. Read Harry Potter and her Robert Galbraith series instead!

CinderScarlet, and Cress by Marissa Meyer - Uh-oh, Allena found another YA series to love! There are 4 books in the Lunar Chronicles and I read 3 of them in May. They are loosely based on fairy tales - Cinder is Cinderella, Scarlett is Little Red Riding Hood, and Cress is Rapunzel - and the stories follow characters who help the Prince of the Eastern Commonwealth {basically Asia} as the Earth is targeted by the colonized Moon, called Luna. I know how that must sound to read that description, but I am loving these stories! A little bit adventure, a little big intrigue, love stories {but not overly gushy}, just a fun read!!

So that was May! I'm hoping to finish the book challenge in June which would be amazing - that would be OVER 50 books read in half the year. WOWZA. With 6 prompts to go, and of course, the hardest ones I've had finding books to fit the prompts...we shall see!

Also, anyone want to guess who got a Penicillin shot in her butt for her 4th positive strep test yesterday? Womp, womp! Glad our ENT appointment is Thursday!


Anonymous said...

Been wondering about Educated. So good to know you loved it! I may have given up on the book challenge...AP

Kathryn Bagley said...

I might have to check Educated out! and the sound of rain! so glad you loved the lunar series!

Emily said...

You are the 3rd person to recommend the Educated book but I feel it’ll be so heavy that I keep putting it off. The Cinder, etc series has intrigued me for a long time but I never took the plunge. Maybe I finally will?

Reading Witches said...

I loved the Lunar Chronicles, I just finished Cress and I'm excited to continue! I haven't read that Kate DiCamillo book, but I love her other books, they're so good! I'm definitely going to read it soon!