Ery-chan (erychan86) wrote,

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book reviews: books read in january

I decided to change the format for this monthly post because what I was doing does not work very well with my layout (it worked when I was posting about a book every time I finihed one, but this way it looks messy). I am almost sure I will change again, but for now I think I like it!

- books read: 6
- pages read: 2137
- average page per day: ~70

link to goodreads

Title: Somerset
Author: Leila Meacham
Genre: Historical Fiction (US, Civil War)/ Romance
Stars: ☆☆☆☆1/2

Plot: The Prequel of Roses tells the story of the Tolivers, the Warwicks, and the DuMonts and covers 100 years of it!
Silas Toliver has a dream: run his family plantation but, deprived of his inheritance, joins his best friend Jeremy Warwick to plan a wagon train expedition to Texas. Silas is in love with his soon-to-be wife, but when Jessica Wyndham comes back home from Boston, with a different view on slavery, everything changes.
Slavery, westward expansion, abolition, the Civil War, love, marriage, friendship, tragedy and triumph-all the ingredients (and much more) that made so many love Roses so much-are here in abundance.

Review: What a book! I would have never guessed I would have want more pages to read! What a great story, told in such a fascinating way! I want to read Roses now.
It's always easier for me to read a book with short chapters. If I am torn between two books I always go with the one with shorter chapters... I've been wanting to read this one for a while now, but I knew it would have took some time, instead I was wrong... It's such an easy read, and it's broken down perfectly. It's the kind of book that makes you keep reading until you reach the words THE END.

Best Quotes: “Better to know defeat from courage than safety through chickenheartedness.”

link to goodreads

Title: The Notebook
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Genre: Romance / Drama / Contemporary
Stars: ☆☆☆☆☆

Plot: It starts with a old man in a home. He goes visit one of the other resident, a woman who has Alzheimer, and starts reading her a story. Their story: Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner, recently returns home in North Carolina from the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories... until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.

Review: This is one of the very few times I watch the movie before reading the book... I saw the movie years ago, and I remember little about it. Of course the kiss in the storm is one of the things that comes to mind when thinking about it and I was surprised to see how differently the story unfolds in the book... it feels more "organic" it is a very sweet/heartbreaking love story, told as a memory from a distant past... if people are looking for more than that (like character growth, a never ending triangle, obstacles and enemies and lies,...) they should walk away from the book... this is a story that could totally be 100% real. The characters are real and the struggle is real.
It's a story about that kind of love that is rare and pure and that makes it also powerful. It's a story about hope and beauty. It flows and it makes sense. It's simple and inspiring.

Best Quotes: “The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we've lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we've found each other. And maybe each time, we've been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come.”

link to goodreads

Title: Wild Wood
Author: Posie Graeme-Evans
Genre: Historical Fiction / Mutliple Timelines / Contemporary
Stars: ☆☆☆

Plot: Jesse Marley calls herself a realist; she's all about the here and now. But in the month before Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981 all her certainties are blown aside by events she cannot control. First she finds out she's adopted. Then she's run down by a motor bike. In a London hospital, unable to speak, she must use her left hand to write. But Jesse's right-handed. And as if her fingers have a will of their own, she begins to draw places she's never been, people from another time: a castle, a man in armor. And a woman's face.
Rory Brandon, Jesse's neurologist, is intrigued. Maybe his patient's head trauma has brought out latent abilities. But wait. He knows the castle. He's been there.
So begins an extraordinary journey across borders and beyond time, a chase that takes Jesse to Hundredfield, a Scottish stronghold built a thousand years ago by a brutal Norman warlord. What's more, Jesse Marley holds the key to the castle's secret and its sacred history. And Hundredfield, with its grim Keep, will help Jesse find her true lineage. But what does the legend of the Lady of the Forest have to do with her? That's the question at the heart of Wild Wood. There are no accidents. There is only fate.

Review: A nice read but nothing exceptional. The books moves between two time lines that don't cross until the last few chapters. It didn't feel well balanced as the first part seemed to concentrate more in the past and the second one in the present. The chapter s weren't alternating properly and that annoyed me a bit, since there was no need.
The characters were good, but the dialogues in the present time were odd. Sentenced interrupted and, yes, it felt like a real conversation (there's a chapter where Rory and Alicia are talking about something important while she's making tea and the "Milk? / Sugar? / Can I help you with that?" makes the discussion less fluid.
In the present timeline, the attraction between the 3 main characters was quite odd since the beginning, I was quite happy to stumble into a love triangle, toward the middle of the book (when Hellen and Rory have a weird conversation in her office) I knew 2 of them must have been related somehow. I felt like having Rory and Alicia finding out they were brother and sister would have been a good plot twist, but when - in the end - we discover that they are all related I was very disappointed... and then Jesse getting engaged to Mack after a couple of months dating? I don't know why but I didn't like Mack... maybe because I wanted Rory and Jesse to end up together... it feels forced that way... there was no need... any other combo would have been okay, but the 3 of them? Meh!
The past timeline was very interesting at the beginning, but it grew less and less engaging... the last few chapters were all about the battle and if the chapters were well balanced it would have not happened. It feels like the author wanted to use this long battle to make the reader wanting to turn the page and finish the chapter to get to the interesting part...
It could have been better, it could have been worst! I didn't pick up this book because it was sold as a story similar to Outlander, but if you did I am sorry, you must be extremely disappointed... the only similarity is the double time line and Scotland. No passion, just a big misery that remains such!

Best Quotes: /

link to goodreads

Title: It Ends With Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Contemporary / New Adult / Romance
Stars: ☆☆☆☆☆ ++

Plot: Lily has come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

Review: I was unsure when I saw this book listed as both Romantic and Contemporary, plus the "new adult didn't help" I think I started stepping away from these kinds of books since 50 shades of gray ruined it all. So, as soon as I started this book, after a few chapters, I went online checking Colleen and I saw here she gave 5 start to 50 Shades and I got VERY WORRIED, but I kept reading... I finished this book in less than 24 hours and I don't think I've ever did that with something that's over 300 pages.
This book is gold! My mission in life will be to read everything Colleen writes from now on! She is gold!
What a book!
A book EVERY woman should read! A book that restored my hope in all the books that fall into these categories! This book is so powerful and I can feel the struggle the author went through when she had to make these decisions for Lily... I've never been in an abusive relationship but I felt the pain, I felt the struggle, I wondered what would I do... I feel I understand myself better after I read this book! I feel like a huge question found an answer somehow. This book makes me feel stronger, so every woman should read it. No matter what's their situation at home. This book is (I'm going to repeat this again and again and again) pure GOLD!

Best Quotes: “There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”

“It stops here. With me and you. It ends with us.”

“You can stop swimming now, Lily. We finally reached the shore.”

link to goodreads

Title: Tales of the Peculiar
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult / Short Stories
Stars: ☆☆☆1/2

Plot: Tales of the Peculiar is an illustrated collection of fairy tales set in the same universe as the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Review: I'm not a huge fan of Young Adult Books, but I'm a sucker for Short Stories and these fairytale-ish kind of stories are a good alternative to what I was used as a child! Very enjoyable!

Best Quotes: "So please enjoy these Tales—before a crackling fire on a chilly night, ideally, a snoring grimbear at your feet—but remember, too, their sensitive nature, and if you must read them aloud (which I highly recommend) make certain your audience is peculiar."

link to goodreads

Title: Choose Your Own Autobiography
Author: Neil Patrick Harris
Genre: Autobiography / NonFiction
Stars: ☆☆☆☆1/2

Plot: Tired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened?

Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life, you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.

Review: A great idea for a great book. After I got to the end (the happy ending) more than once I went back and read all the missing chapters! It was a fun read, it was an interesting book and it was a intriguing format!

Best Quotes: "“But magic is like pizza: even when it's bad, it's pretty good.”

I am very proud of myself because last January I read only one book during the mont of January! I feel very positive about my goodreads reading challenge this year!

Best Book of the Month: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Worst Book of the Month: Wild Woods by Posie Graeme-Evans
Tags: !book review, !books, people: neil patrick harris, social: goodreads reading challenge 2017
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