Tag: what I’ve been reading lately

The Best Books I Read in February (2020)

I read 22 books in February, bringing my total for the year to 42.

The three best of these were:

the robe

The Robe, by Lloyd C. Douglas. I first read this so long ago that I remembered nothing about it, but it’s the story of Marcellus, a Roman soldier who wins Christ’s robe at Golgotha, and then sets out to find out the truth about the Nazarene carpenter. I enjoyed so much seeing Biblical figures come to life!

isaiah's legacy

Isaiah’s Legacy, by Mesu Andrews. The story of Manasseh, a biblical king who did great evil, and how he comes to know Yahweh. I love Mesu Andrews’ way of bringing biblical tales to life, and this was a wonderful read.

the grace kelly dress

The Grace Kelly Dress, by Brenda Janowitz. Three women. Three weddings. One dress. The story of three generations of women and the dress they all wore at their wedding. I loved this!

What I Read in February (2020)

Books Read in February:  22

Books Read for the Year: 42/200

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck (classic). I read this years ago, in high school. I remember it being much better that first time. This time…not so much.

The Robe, by Lloyd C. Douglas(TBR). Also a re-read, and wow! I loved this!

Love Without Limits, by Nick Vujicic (spiritual). This is an inspiring read.

In 27 Days, by Alison Gervais (TBR). I ended up loving this! I see there’s a sequel out there somewhere, too.

Everywhere You Want to Be, by Christina June (TBR). Simple and sweet, and fun to follow these characters farther.

For Review:

Whiteout

Whiteout, by Adriana Anders. This was an enjoyable romantic suspense. The setting was just unbelievable to me—I’m not a fan of cold/snow/ice—and the author definitely brought that to life. This is the first book in a new series.

light changes everything

Light Changes Everything, by Nancy E. Turner. I enjoyed this historical fiction read, set in 1907 in the Arizona Territory. Mary Pearl could stay home and marry her wealthy suitor, but she chases her dreams and goes to art school instead. But trauma plagues Mary Pearl and changes her life and her family forever.

the janes

The Janes, by Louisa Luna. I hadn’t read the first book in the Alice Vega series, but had no problems jumping in with this one. Vega is an interesting character, and seeing how her mind works as she investigates the murders of two unidentified girls was intriguing.

what kind of girl

What Kind of Girl, by Alyssa Heinmel. There was a lot going on in this book about teen dating violence, eating disorders, anxiety…a lot going on. But, it was woven together well and managed to tell all the stories with aplomb and sympathy.

foul is fair

Fair is Foul, by Hannah Capin. I finished this, but I didn’t like the characters. Lots of violence, blood, revenge, and, frankly, straight up evil.

a good neighborhood

A Good Neighborhood, by Therese Anne Fowler. This was a challenging read. Racism in the South is a real thing, and this book captured it realistically enough to make me angry on the characters’ behalves. I did find the portrayal of churches and church-going people to be completely one-sided, judgmental, and unrealistic, however.

the borgia confessions

The Borgia Confessions, by Alyssa Palombo. Another book with zero likable characters, but the writing and setting were superbly done.

southern double cross

Southern Double Cross, by Caroline Fardig. This appears to be the third and final installment in the Southern B & B Mystery series, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first two (and the Java Jive Mystery series, also by this author).

isaiah's legacy

Isaiah’s Legacy, by Mesu Andrews. This is a continuation of the Prophets and Kings series. It’s the story of King Manasseh and how his childhood friend–and eventual wife–turns him away from Yahweh and to evil. It’s also the story of how he and his wife, Shulle, realize the truth and turn Israel back to God. Mesu Andrews’ books were my introduction to biblical fiction, and I love how she brings biblical characters and events to Technicolor life! This was another wonderful read!

ten days gone

Ten Days Gone, by Beverly Long. I enjoyed this suspense/ thriller.

master of sorrows

Master of Sorrows, by Justin Call. I enjoyed this fantasy read, and look forward to reading more in this series (I do assume there will be more.)

a highlander in a pickup

A Highlander in a Pickup, by Laura Trentham. An enjoyable entry into the Highland, Georgia series. Gotta love those men in kilts!

tucker

Tucker (Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas #2), by Emily March. From men in kilts to Texas men. Neither is a bad thing…another solid romance read.

children of the stars

Children of the Stars, by Mario Escobar. I feel like this one lost something in translation. Set amidst the persecution of the Jews, it skirts the atrocities ever-present then, but the two brothers that are the main characters never felt like they were truly in danger, so it didn’t seem realistic to me.

the girl with the louding voice

The Girl with the Louding Voice, by Abi Daré. A 14-year-old Nigerian girl who has spent her entire life in servitude must fight to make herself heard as she chases her dream. This is a powerful, powerful book.

the grace kelly dress

The Grace Kelly Dress, by Brenda Janowitz (forthcoming). I enjoyed every page of the three different timelines!

lost at sea

Lost at Sea, by Erica Boyce (forthcoming). This was an interesting read. I do recommend it.

The Best Books I Read in January (2020)

I read 20 books in January. There were five or six more that I started and DNF because I just couldn’t get into them, but three books I read were excellent.

the little bookshop

The Little Bookshop on the Seine, by Rebecca Raisin. This was an enchanting read—and I now have the author’s other books ready and waiting on my Kindle. I loved both the bookshops in the novel, and thoroughly enjoyed every page.

everywhere holy

Everywhere Holy, by Kara Lawler. This isn’t a book about fancy, sweeping things, but about savoring the simple things, the small things. I don’t have kids or live in the country, but loved reading about the author’s experiences.

i've seen the end of you

I’ve Seen the End of You, by W. Lee Warren, MD. This was probably the most unexpected thing I read in January. It’s written by a neurosurgeon who wrestles with his faith:  how does he give his patients hope when he, a man of science, has seen what’s in store for them with an incurable disease (neuroblastoma)? Nonfiction is hit or miss for me, but the voice and the stories in this one made it un-put-down-able.

What I Read In January (2020)

Books Read in January: 20

Books Read for the Year: 20/200

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

I changed it up a bit this year. Instead of reading one book in each of my five categories (spiritual, classic, nonfiction, cultural, TBR), I’m still reading five books…but one classical, one spiritual, and three from my TBR, which has gotten completely out of control.

Keep It Shut, by Karen Ehman (spiritual). This was a good read, full of solid suggestions.

The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame (classic). Eh. Toad was annoying enough to kind of ruin the whole thing for me.

Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarity (TBR). I really wasn’t impressed with this at all. I had high hopes, but it was very slow.

A Conspiracy in Belgravia, by Sherry Thomas (TBR). I thoroughly enjoyed this! Charlotte and her multiple chins…

All That’s Bright and Strange, by James Market (TBR). This was quite odd.

For Review:

jan anonymous

Jane Anonymous, by Laurie Faria Stolarz. This was a…I don’t know, sad, hard, inspiring, difficult, take your pick of adjectives…read. Jane has a normal teenage life until she is kidnapped by a stranger and held captive for seven months before she manages to escape. She makes friends with a fellow prisoner, and his support is what helps her make it through.  But going back to her old life is not so simple.

the night country

The Night Country, by Melissa Albert. Dark fairy tales are back in this excellent follow-up to The Hazel Wood. I think I liked it better than the first one!

the little bookshop

The Little Bookshop on the Seine, by Rebecca Raisin. I loved this book! I loved both bookshops, and, although Paris isn’t really on my list of places, I really enjoyed Sarah’s adventures there. Even better that this is not really a romance, but a story of a woman coming into her own.

westering women

Westering Women, by Sandra Dallas. I loved the idea of an all-women wagon train headed west, but the actual execution didn’t live up to my expectation. The writing felt rushed and abrupt in places.

a beginning at the end

A Beginning at the End, by Mike Chen. This was not your typical dystopian novel. It pretty much avoided telling about what exactly happened to kill off most of the world’s population, and instead focused on a detailed look at a handful of characters a few years later, as they struggled with their own problems in a world turned on its head.

i've seen the end of you

I’ve Seen the End of You, by W. Lee Warren, MD. This was an incredible read! Nonfiction, written by a brain surgeon who thinks he knows how each of his patients will fare, which causes him to struggle with his own faith—until he experiences an unfathomable personal tragedy.

everywhere holy

Everywhere Holy, by Kara Lawler. I enjoyed this so much!

THE VANISHED BIRDS

The Vanished Birds, by Simon Jiminez. I’m…a little mad I finished this, because I feel like it was a waste of my time. The writing is great, but the story just wasn’t for me.

big lies in a small town

Big Lies in a Small Town, by Diane Chamberlain. This started off a little slow, but eventually the dual timelines both had me intrigued.

don't read the comments

Don’t Read the Comments, by Eric Smith. Although about a serious subject—cyber-bullying and sexual harassment—the tone was light and made the entire book quick to read.

the prized girl

The Prized Girl, by Amy K. Green. I realized when I finished this that I really didn’t like any of the characters.

echoes between us

Echoes Between Us, by Katie McGarry. I thoroughly enjoyed this! Flawed characters, and the MC’s quirks made me want to hang out with her—and her friends.

Off Script, by Kate Watson (review forthcoming). I’m still a little undecided about this. It was a fun read, but the self-absorbed characters almost did me in.

Highfire, by Eoin Colfer (review forthcoming). This was such a unique take on dragons and their mythology! I really enjoyed it and the tone/voice of the entire book

Everyday Hero, by Laura Trentham (review forthcoming). Redemption and renewal are the focus of this book. I loved snarky Greer, and Emmett was an amazing character!

Left Unfinished:

Lean on Me, by Pat Simmons. I loved the cover! But…the characters felt so cliched —like caricatures—I just could not make myself care.

The Companion, by Kim Taylor Blakemore. Dark, depressing, and all the characters were unlikable.

Zed, by Joanna Kaavenna. I couldn’t get all the cutesy tech/app/AI names straight, and the POV was too distant for me.

Dark Mother Earth, by Kristian Novak. This might have been a really good book—I loved the premise—but the MC started out as someone who just sat around and felt sorry for himself, and I just wasn’t in the right mindset for that.

Followers, by Megan Angelo. Definitely a case of the book just not being a good fit for me. I’m not a fan of social media in general, so a book focused on that just succeeded in annoying me. My issue, not the book.

Best Books I Read in December (2019)

I only read 15 books in December, and most were just okay—good.

Here are the three I enjoyed the most:

Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. Come on, you knew this was going to make the list! It’s my all-time favorite book. I get immersed in the culture—even the parts I don’t like—and the characters are so vivid. Scarlett, although almost entirely unlikable, is larger-than-life, and so is Rhett. Melanie is wonderful. Ashley is…meh. But the book itself is a wonderful, compelling read. (And, in case you’re wondering, it’s absolutely where the name of this blog came from.)

Take the Day Off, by Robert Morris. Yes, Pastor Robert is my pastor. But he writes such important spiritual truths, and my life, health, and well-being have all improved so much since I started implementing a Sabbath day of rest every week.

Higher Power Has a name, by Cavanaugh James. This was an interesting read. I haven’t read too many (if any) faith-based books talking about the problems in our current culture…written by someone who was born in this current culture (he’s a Millennial), so that was an interesting perspective on the present problems.

 

 

What I Read in 2019

My reading goal for 2019 was officially 175 books. Privately, I was hoping to read 200 books. I actually read 225 books!  Tracking my reading the past few years—digitally and in a reading journal—has been great.

My last book finished in 2019—and the decade—was Gone with the Wind, which is my favorite book ever! I’ve read it probably at least 20 times, and I still get made every time, cry, and want to slap Scarlett.

January: 17 books.

February: 14 books.

March: 18 books.

April: 18 books.

May: 17 books.

June: 20 books.

July: 20 books.

August: 24 books.

September: 21 books.

October:  21 books.

November:  20 books.

December:  15 books.

 

 

What I Read in December (2019)

I feel like I should say:  the last book I finished this year—and therefore this decade—was my all-time favorite book, Gone with the Wind.

Books Read in December:  15

Books Read for the Year: 225/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

I changed it up a bit this month.

Take the Day Off, by Robert Morris (spiritual). This has so much truth in it!

Higher Power has a Name, by James Cavanaugh (spiritual). This was quite the interesting read, Christianity from a Millennial point-of-view.

Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell (classic). This is my all-time favorite book, and I used to read it every December, but it’s been a couple of years. Scarlett is such a not self-aware person that it’s mind-boggling. And Rhett, well, he’s Rhett. I still love this book, and I still cry every single time…and I’ve probably read it 20 times at least. And Ashley? No, thank you.

For Review:

Cast in Wisdom, by Michelle Sagara (review forthcoming). I LOVE this series. Enough said.

trace of evil

Trace of Evil, by Alice Blanchard. Why on earth did no adults think it even the tiniest bit odd that every single teenager was in a coven? Seriously? I never figured out who the killer was, either.

the weight of a soul

The Weight of a Soul by Elizabeth Tammi. I really love Vikings and Norse mythology, so I thought I’d love this, but the MC was so unlikable that it seriously detracted from my enjoyment of the setting.

all that's bright and gone

All That’s Bright and Gone, by Eliza Nellums. I’ve never read an murder investigation by a six-year-old, so this was an interesting read.

the dating charade

The Dating Charade, by Melissa Ferguson. This was a sweet, fun romance about two people who are hiding a big secret from each other:  the sudden arrival of three children in their life.

starborn

Starborn, by Katie MacAlister. The second book in the Born Prophecy series. while I enjoyed the snark, this felt a bit rushed to me.

husband material

Husband Material, by Emily Belden. I enjoyed this surprisingly-lighthearted tale of a young widow—who practically no one knows was even married—and how she deals when the ashes of her dead husband show up at her door.

shamus dust

Shamus Dust, by Janet Roger. I prefer my detective noir stories in movie form, but this was a solid, atmospheric read.

smoke screen

Smoke Screen, by Terri Blackstock. Fourteen years ago, Nate and Brenna were teenagers in love when his father was convicted of killing her father. Now she’s fighting a nasty custody battle and he’s recovering from burns when questions arise from the murder so many years ago. They must work together to uncover the truth. A solid, enjoyable read.

the heart of the rebellion

The Heart of the Rebellion, by Sian Ann Bessey. Thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction set during the Welsh rebellion against English rule. And the cover is gorgeous!

good girls lie

Good Girls Lie, by J.T. Ellison.  I’m still not sure who the bad guy was in this book. Seriously. Was it the one girl…or the other girl?

just don't mention it

Just Don’t Mention It, by Estelle Maskame.  This is the first book in the Did I Mention I Love You trilogy…told from Tyler’s POV, which was an interesting switch.

What I Read in November (2019)

Books Read in November: 22

Books Read for the Year: 210/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Discerning the Voice of God, by Priscilla Shirer (spiritual). Loved this!

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, (classic). Can we talk about how much I disliked EVERY SINGLE character? Seriously. I read this 20+ years ago and had forgotten just about all of it. Wishing it had remained that way…

The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness (TBR). Honestly…I thought this sucked. It just wasn’t to my taste at all.

On the Shoulders of Hobbits, by Louis Markos (nonfiction). This was a really fascinating read about faith and fiction.

The Pearl Thief, by Elizabeth E. Wein. (cultural). The first I’ve read by this author, and I enjoyed it.

For Review:

we met in december

We Met in December, by Rosie Curtis. This was such a fun read! I enjoyed discovering London and all Jess’s adventures as she falls for her charming flatmate.

the family upstairs

The Family Upstairs, by Lisa Jewell. This was a creepy read, and one almost unbelievable to me. If everyone sees the signs their life is becoming a cult, why not take action, before people die?

the bake shop

The Bake Shop, by Amy Clipston. I thoroughly enjoyed this Amish romance about Christiana, who opens a bake shop in the Amish marketplace, next to the cranky Jeff, who just can’t seem to get his words to come out right.

9781335008480.indd

Day Zero, by Kelly deVos. Jinx’s dad is a doomsday prepper, so she’s spent years training for the end of the world. When it happens, though, Jinx is stuck trying to take care of her little brother, her opinionated stepsister, her stepbrother…pretty much everyone, as they struggle to find her dad, accused of causing the destruction. But the truth is far harsher than the rumors.

navigating the stars

Navigating the Stars, by Maria V. Snyder. Sci-fi, YA, romance…Terra Cotta Warriors are found on other planets, and Lyra’s parents are the experts studying them. How cool is that premise? I couldn’t put this one down!

tracking game

Tracking Game, by Margaret Mizushima. I wasn’t really a fan of this K-9 murder mystery. The writing wasn’t solid enough, and the MC was…I don’t know. I just couldn’t connect with her.

chasing the shadows

Chasing the Shadows, by Maria V. Snyder. Loved this second book in the Sentinels of the Galaxy series even more than the first!

mercy road

Mercy Road, by Ann Howard Creel. An excellent historical fiction about Arlene, who joins an all-women team on the front lines of World War I as an ambulance driver.

the confession club

The Confession Club, by Elizabeth Berg. When a group of friends who meet weekly for dinner start confessing secrets in their get-togethers, they aren’t expecting the depths of each other they’ll explore. One of them is in love with a troubled homeless man. Another is hiding the truth from her husband. Will The Confession Club help them deal with their secrets? I thoroughly enjoyed this read!

this really happened

This Really Happened, by Annmarie McQueen. This is told in alternating timelines: Erin’s day-to-day life when she comes to university, where she meets her group of friends and falls in love with one of them, and blog posts she writes in the future, after a tragic accident.

A Silken Thread

A Silken Thread, by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale sent in Atlanta a few years after the Civil War. The Atlanta Exposition is the setting, and I found it fascinating.

a christmas haven

A Christmas Haven, by Cindy Woodsmall. A sweet Amish romance about Ivy, who wants to leave her faith to start her party-planning business, and Arlan, who’d do anything to keep his sister safe.

the chosen one

The Chosen One, by Walt Gragg. I cannot recommend this military fiction. The POV was too distant, and the (very) few female characters were ridiculous caricatures.

safe harbour

Safe Harbour, by Christina Kilbourne. Harbour has been living in a a tent outside Toronto for months, waiting for her dad to arrive with their sailboat. But winter is approaching and her dad still isn’t here, and Harbour will have to find a way to survive the bitter cold.

lake season

Lake Season, by Denise Hunter (review forthcoming). When Molly’s parts died in a tragic accident, she, her brother, and her sister decided to fulfill their dream of turning their childhood home into an inn. Then Molly finds an unsent letter from 30 years before, and decides to find who wrote it—and deliver it if she can.

synapse

Synapse, by Steven James (review forthcoming). This thriller about a minister and her AI robot seeking to stop a terrorist attack was riveting from the very first page!

southern harm

Southern Harm, by Caroline Fardig (review forthcoming). Another of Fardig’s charming Southern tales has Quinn and her sister investigating a 30-year-old murder that just might hit closer to home than they suspect.

Scared Little Rabbits, by A.V. Geiger (review forthcoming). This ended ip being a total guilty-pleasure read!

Just Because:

Call Down the Hawk, by Maggie Stiefvater. A spin-off series to The Raven Boys? I’m in! Loved this read. A bit…quirky, but the wry humor had me snorting with laughter. Some beautiful sentences in there, too.

The Best Books I Read in October (2019)

This was a tough one. I read 21 books in October, bringing my total for the year to 186. And, while several were just “meh,” several of them were really excellent. The best of these:

the library of lost things

The Library of Lost Things, by Laura Taylor Namey.  This is about mental illness, friendship (and SUCH an awesome friendship!), love, and figuring out the future. I loved all of it!

the grace year

The Grace Year, by Kim Liggett.  This book was unusual. Dystopian setting where women have no rights and are treated as nothing (that’s clearly not the unusual part…), and they spend their entire seventeenth year banished outside the town…and not all of them come back. But no one talks about that Grace Year. Completely compelling read.

the curious heart of ailsa rae

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae, by Stephanie Butland. This was a cute, sweet read that I immensely enjoyed. Ailsa is such a likable and lovely character, and her transition from on the verge of death and needing a heart transplant to a determined survivor was engrossing from the first page.

What I Read in October (2019)

Books Read in October:  21

Books Read for the Year: 186/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

The Anatomist’s Wife, by Anna Lee Huber(cultural). Okay, “cultural” might be stretching it a bit…but I loved this take on a female Sherlock Holmes. (I’ve already procured the second one, too.)

Every Exquisite Thing, by Matthew Quick (TBR).  I’m just going to say “eh” on this one. I was not impressed.

More than a Good Bible Study Girl, by Lisa TerKeurst (spiritual). An excellent read!

The Beauty and the Damned (classic). Honestly…I thought this book kinda sucked. I don’t like selfish, self-absorbed people, and the two main characters were nothing if not that, so this was not the right choice for me.

The Obesity Code, by Jason Fung (nonfiction). Interesting reading, but a little dense and repetitive at times.

For Review:

the lies we tell

The Lies We Tell, by Debra Webb. this was the second book in The Undertaker’s Daughter series—I haven’t read the first one—but I had no issues catching up or following along. Kind of a dark family drama/murder mystery, and a solid, enjoyable read.

the speed of falling objects

The Speed of Falling Objects, by Nancy Richardson Fischer. I loved When Elephants Fly, by this author, and this novel was excellent as well. Family angst and a catastrophic rainstorm adventure with a hot movie star? Yep, I’m there. I truly enjoyed this entire novel, and read it straight through in one sitting.

one night gone

One Night Gone, by Tara Laskowski. Sometimes, books with dual timelines just don’t work for me. This one, however, did. Mystery in a seaside town, a girl missing for 30 years…

trinity sight

Book Review: Trinity Sight, by Jennifer Givhan. A dystopian novel with Zuni mythology… When Calliope wakes up and finds all the people are gone, she sets out to find her family. Along the way, she finds creatures from myth and legend. This was an oddly compelling read.

whispers of shadow & flame

Whispers of Shadow & Flame, by L. Penelope. Another excellent read in the Earthsinger Chronicles! I love the different cultures in these books, and the magic system. Can’t wait to read the next one!

a spell of murder

A Spell of Murder, by Kennedy Kerr. Temerity Love runs Love’s Curiosities—and is renowned for her expertise with antiques. When a murder happens in her tiny Scottish town, her services will be needed to solve the crime. I loved this cozy mystery mixed with magic, and look forward to reading more!

the widow of rose house

The Widow of Rose Harbor, by Dina Biller. Fantastic read! The love interest, Sam, is just so…lovable. Alva has been tarred and feathered in the press thanks to her horrible husband after she left him. Now that she’s a widow, she wants to come home to New York, but the rumors have followed her and her efforts to restore an abandoned mansion are thwarted by a ghost. Enter Sam, the eccentric genius professor (I really wanted to say “playboy billionaire” there and go of on an Avengers tangent…) obsessed with studying ghosts.

the library of lost things

The Library of Lost Things, by Laura Taylor Namey. Darcy is named for one of literature’s most beloved characters, which satisfies her book-loving soul. Now she’s trying to keep her carefully orchestrated life—and her hoarding mother—from falling apart. When Darcy meets Asher, she yearns to get to know him better, but trust has never been her strong point. Darcy’s BFF Marisol makes this book! (Actually, ALL the supporting characters are marvelous.)

the grace year

The Grace Year, by Kim Liggett. This had the feel of The Handmaid’s Tale…except I didn’t care for that book, and I LOVED this one. In a male-dominated society, when they turn sixteen, girls have to get rid of their magic so they don’t have power over men, so they are banished for one year, The Grace Year. Not all of them will come back. And those that do will be changed.

oracle

The Oracle of Cumae, by Melissa Hardy. It’s possible that reading three books right before this one that were amazing made this less-than-amazing book seem even worse, but…honestly, I liked the premise, but the plot was meandering at best, and really more like pointless.

girls like us

Girls Like Us, by Randi Pink.  This is set in the 70s and is about teenage girls dealing with unplanned pregnancies. It was supposed to be about defying conventions and standing up for yourself…except none of them really did that.

christmas angels

Christmas Angles, by Nancy Naigle. This was a sweet Christmas romance about Liz, who buys the deserted inn that belonged to her grandparents and sets out to restore it.

the middle matters

The Middle Matters, by Lisa-Jo Baker (review forthcoming). A solid, relatable, and inspirational read.

bound in flame

Bound in Flame, by Katherine Kayne. I don’t think I’d ever read anything set in historical Hawaii, so I was excited to read this. But…the writing was shaky at best, and felt very bare-bones (Not in a clean, sparse way, but in an this-is-practically-an-outline-without-details-or-connections way).

if darkness takes us

If Darkness Takes Us, by Brenda Marie Smith. This was a unique concept to me:  secret doomsday-prepper granny left to take care of her four grandchildren after something knocks out all power and the government. Some of the characters seemed more like caricatures than actual people (rebellious teenager, angry pre-teen, verbally abusive husband) and the POV felt more distant than I would have liked, but it was an interesting read.

the curious heart of ailsa rae

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae, by Stephanie Butland. This was a fantastic read! It’s about a girl who gets a heart transplant after a lifetime of being sick, and how she learns to live again.

Left Unfinished:

I Have No Secrets, by Penny Joelson. I made it about 20% of the way through this, and decided to stop. It was interesting, I just don’t think it was a good fit for me now.