Reading Circle – February
All images courtesy of Goodreads.
Remember the good old days of being in a reading circle in elementary school? I secretly loved them and that’s probably why I’m a book nerd! I am back on track this month to achieve my reading goal of reading 75 books by the end of the year. I read six books this month and I’m proud of myself because this month I branched out from my typical Young Adult Lit and read regular adult fiction and really enjoyed it!
Black Moon by Kenneth Callhoun –★★ – A copy of this book was provided to me for free by Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own. Black Moon tells the story of several characters as they deal with an insomnia epidemic that is sweeping across the nation. Slowly, people begin to lose their ability to sleep and start to hallucinate. When the sleepless see others still sleeping, it ignites a rage within them and they do everything they can to punish the sleeper.
While this book started off really strong and I loved the concept (who thought of sleep being the thing that would destroy the world?) the book went south for me about half way. While it was really interesting to be in the minds of the characters as they too, succumbed to insomnia, the writing got really confusing and crazy. I couldn’t get a clear grasp of what was actually going on in the story because of how descriptive and insane the hallucinations were. Maybe that was the whole point, but I got so frustrated that I skimmed through the end.
Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos ★★★ – Advanced copy provided by Net Galley. All opinions are my own. This story takes place in a world where teenagers are in charge of setting trends in fashion, music and pop culture and as they age, are demoted to worthless jobs. It follows two girls, Marla and Ivy. Marla is part of the fashion industry and Ivy is part of the music one; chosen by the silents when they were in 7th grade. When Marla gets demoted early because of expressing her opinion, it sets off a chain reaction as she realizes that setting and following trends may not be all it’s crack up to be. The concept of this book was really interesting and it reminded me of the Uglies series meets Divergent. I think the theme of this book “don’t follow trends and do what you want” came across well for the most part. What prevented this book from being five stars for me was the switching of points of view. It was confusing to have on character from first person and the other character from third person. They should have both been the same point of view, preferably third
Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me [and other concerns] by Mindy Kaling –★★★★ – A change of pace from the regular books I read, I found Mindy’s book to be light-hearted, witty and clever while maintaining her personality. If I were to sit down and have coffee with Mindy, this book is exactly how I imagine our conversation to be like. I love that this book is a series of short essays, instead of following the cliche progression of life like typical memoirs. She covers every topic you’d want to know while making me laugh and giving me profound advice and food for thought!
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle – ★ – I loved Lauren Myracle’s Shine and Peace, Love and Baby Ducks so I was super excited to pick up this new book of hers. I didn’t mind the first half much, but half way through it just went down hill. This story follows to senior graduates who find each other and spend the whole summer falling in love; but the whole book was about Charlie (the male character) wanting to get into Wren’s (female) pants and then successfully doing so. It was too graphic, no strong morals or lessons and the characters basically had sex every other page for the rest of the book. I would not recommend this to ANY of my students.
Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Lani Taylor – ★★★ – More like 3.5 Stars. Karou is an artistic teenager living in the city of Prague, going to art school by day and running errands for a wish granting chimera monster named Brimstone by night, who is only accessible through magic portals. He raised Karou from a baby in his shop and she doesn’t know much about her life or where she came from. Black handprints start to appear on the portal doorways and suddenly Karou is locked out from her monster family and faced with a handsome man named Akiva and thrown into a war she didn’t know about while discovering shocking secrets about her past. I liked the beginning of this book a lot, and loved the world that was created. Once Akiva was thrown into the mix, the story lost its luster a bit with all the backstory that seemed to drag. I did pick up the second book to find out what happens, so it was good enough for that!
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ★★★★ – Big Little Lies follows three woman living in a small coastal town in Australia. Each woman has a child in Kindergarten and their lives all become tangled through a series of events at the school involving their children and a murder. The beginning of the book was a little rough, but once I got going, I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed the format of the book-the excerpts from the police report between chapters made the book more suspenseful and kept me interested while I tried to figure out what was going on. I like that the book switched which character I was learning/following without switching points of views. It was really well done! The characters were really well realized and each had great depth and complexity. Everything was tied together well and I liked the questions this book raised about friendship, parenting and abuse. I like how the author kept me guessing the whole time and it wasn’t until the very end that I figured out what was going on!
What books did you read this month? Have you read any of these before? What books need to be on my list for March?