This month was a nice month to read through a number of books that I have been wanting to read for quite sometime. I was able to read a few books from my TBR (to be read) pile- which is exciting!
This month I read a total of 6 books, and I enjoyed reading a large majority of them!
Circling The Sun by Paula McLain
Paula McLain’s latest novel takes us on an adventure following the exciting life of Beryl Markham and her journeys in Kenya.
Being surrounded by nothing but wild animals and men transformed Beryl into a fierce young women who wouldn’t take anything from anybody.
Later on in life, Beryl not only faces the scorching heat of Africa, but finds herself stuck in a relationship that is not the fairy tale she had hope for. Her passion for horses and her love of training is what keeps her sane during these difficult times.
A lovely story set in Africa during the early 1920’s reveals that Beryl Markham is a women seeking the adventure of a lifetime.
This novel was set in Kenya during a point in time where women weren’t much more than housewives. Seeing our main character Beryl take charge and do things that no women had done before her was inspiring and exciting. Beryl not only grew up on a farm helping her father after her mother abandon them, but she later learned to fly planes, and ride horses. Beryl wasn’t afraid of adventure or a little mud, to say the least.
Overall, I found this novel to be an enticing story about a young woman who was able to accomplish extraordinary tasks before it was socially acceptable to do so. Despite the rumors about Beryl and her failing marriage, she was able to live her life the way she wanted to without caring what anyone else thought. Despite her flawed character, I found this to be an honorable trait for a young lady from her generation.
This was a great read, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys adventure!
I give this novel 3.5 out of 5 tea mugs. (See my full review here!)
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
I don’t want to give too much information away due to the fact that this is a sequel, but I will give a brief overview of Where She Went.
Where She Went is the sequel to If I Stay by Gayle Forman that follows a girl named Mia Hall. Compared to If I Stay, Where She Went is told from Adam’s point of view. Adam was an integral part of Mia’s life until that tragic day one winter when everything changed. Ever since that day, Mia has moved on, trying to free herself from the past.
I found that this duology was well thought out by author Gayle Forman. It was very interesting to see how she changed the perspective from Mia’s in If I Stay to Adam’s in Where She Went. This not only gave the reader a better view of both sides of the story, but it made the story quite a bit more exciting.
I enjoyed this duology, and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys novels like The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp, or Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.
I would give this novel 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Leonard Peacock, our main character is a troubled boy. The novel opens on the day of Leonard’s birthday, and the day he decides to bring a gun to school. Leonard has decided that his birthday will be the day that he kills his former best friend and then himself.
Before accomplishing this, Leonard decides that he must give proper farewells to the people he cares about the most. There are 4 people in total; the first being his next door neighbour named Walt, the next is a girl named Lauren, the third is one of his high school teachers, and the fourth is his classmate – a boy named Baback.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a fast-paced novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I have never read a book that is as intense or catastrophic as this one. This is a story that will stick with you for a long time. Matthew Quick is a gifted author who wrote about a topic that had to be shared.
This novel was eerie, yet enticing and I could not put it down. Despite the difficult subject matter, I would highly recommend this novel to anyone and everyone.
A fantastic read!
I would give this novel 4.5 out of 5 tea mugs.
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
This novel was written by Marina Keegan who was planning to be a writer when she graduated from Yale in 2012. She loved to write, and had even written a play that was produced in New York. Marina was bright, adventurous and loved to write, she even had a job waiting for her at the New Yorker after graduation. Marina was never able to work for the New Yorker, because 5 days after graduation, she was tragically killed in a car accident.
Despite this tragedy, her family and close friends decided to assemble some of her best pieces and have them published in a book. That is how The Opposite of Loneliness came to be.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances that surround this publication, it is a lovely compilation of some of Marina’s best work. I would definitely recommend picking it up!
I enjoyed Marina’s work, and would recommend it to anyone that appreciates short stories (both fiction and non-fiction).
I would give this novel 4 out of 5 tea mugs.
Armada by Ernest Cline
This novel follows a boy names Zack Lightman who is absolutely obsessed with anything and everything video game related. He has always dreamed that one day he would be able to go on an adventure just like the ones he plays in his video games, or sees in the sci-fi movies he loves to watch.
The difference between dreaming and reality is simple; one is real and the other isn’t. That seems clear to Zack until one day when he sees a flying saucer outside his classroom window. The strangest part is that the flying saucer he claims to have seen is the same one from the video game called Armada that he plays daily. Armada is a game where players are trying to save earth from an alien invasion.
It turns out Zack isn’t going crazy after all. The government has implemented the skills of millions of gamers around the world to help save Earth from alien invaders.
This novel is original because of the interesting plot line and character development, but I could have done with less 80’s trivia. It’s not to say that it wasn’t interesting, but I felt that it became a bit repetitive after a while. I did however enjoy Ernest Cline’s ability to describe the fast-paced, action packed scenes in his novel.
Overall, this novel was a bit too alien focused for my taste, but if you are into aliens, gaming and everything nerdy you might enjoy this novel.
I would give this novel 3 out of 5 tea mugs.
Missing Steps by Paul Cavanagh
Ever since he can remember, Dean Lajeunesse has been troubled with the memories of his father, and has tried his best to avoid following in his footsteps. Dean’s father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease when Dean and his brother Perry were young. Ever since then, Dean has feared that he will also be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Approaching the age of 50, Dean has been struggling with his memory and worries that it will only get worse from here. Dean worries that Aidan, his son will have to watch him deteriorate just as Dean watched his father turn into someone unrecognizable.
Dean is also struggling with his rocky relationship with Valerie; his long time girlfriend who has had enough of his family secrecy and inability to share what’s really on his mind.
To make matter’s worse, Dean receives a call from his brother Perry that informs him their mother is sick. Dean has always envied Perry for his ability to gain favoritism from their mother his whole life. Dean feels as if he’s living in Perry’s shadow and Perry is left to clean up Dean’s mess.
As their mother’s health becomes worst, Perry and Dean are forced to spend more time in each others company. Aidan is faced with meeting an uncle he hasn’t seen since he was a toddler, and Valerie is left in the dark about any personal family drama.
This is a coming of age story for Dean who has struggled his whole life with the guilt and grief he felt towards his father and the disease that overtook him. Not only was his father burdened by this disease, but now Dean learns that early on-set Alzheimer’s disease is genetic and can be passed down from generation to generation. Dean worries that he or his son might end up with Alzheimer’s disease and wonders how they will cope with the news.
This was a fantastic novel! I enjoyed the interactions between characters along with the well-developed backstories. Overall, I would recommend this novel to anyone and everyone who enjoys reading.
A must read novel!
I give this novel 4.5 out of 5 tea mugs!
Until next time,
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