Books Lately

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The Broken Road by Richard Paul Evans

This Book: chronicles the life of a man named Charles who, despite growing up surrounded by poverty, finds overwhelming financial success. He’s discovered this success comes at a price and, after a series of disturbing events, Charles finds himself wondering what it would be like to get a second chance. (It’s based on a true story).

What I Thought: 

  • I really liked this book. I’ve never read Richard Paul Evans before but his writing style is really easy and enjoyable. It’s obvious he writes to portray a message but the story was interesting in and of itself as well. It was also refreshing to read something that was totally clean.
  • This book is just the first in a trilogy (and book #2 doesn’t come out until May). I didn’t realize this when I started reading so I was frustrated at the abrupt ending. Just be warned, if you do read it, that the ending leaves you wanting to know more!

Should You Read It?: I would recommend this without reservations.

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Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

This Book: begins with a private jet falling into the ocean. The only survivors are a 4 year old son of a millionaire and a nobody struggling painter. What happened in the moments before the crash? Was it an innocent accident? Or was something more sinister at work?

What I Thought:

  • After reading so many YA books, this one definitely had a more mature voice and that was a nice change! And I liked how the book was written. Interspersed throughout the book were chapters talking about each of the people who had been on the plane, their personal histories and any clues about what happened leading up to the crash.
  • This book would probably be considered a thriller but in my opinion it was a pretty tame thriller. Meaning, my postpartum, anxiety-ridden mind was able to read it and still fall asleep at night. I was grateful for that.
  • I truthfully really enjoyed this book BUT I was pretty disappointed in the ending. It was the kind of ending where I guessed it right off but immediately thought, “That’s too obvious, it’ll be something more crazy.” But no, it was just kind of a boring ending. Having said that, I still really enjoyed it.

Should You Read It? I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers but is kind of a wimp (just me?).

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Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This Book: was written by Gilbert, in a way, as a means for healing. Following a drawn out divorce and a painful broken heart, Gilbert is determined to fight through her depression and find peace. So she takes a year long trip spending 4 months in Italy (eat), 4 months in India (pray), and 4 months in Indonesia (love).

What I Thought:

  • I know I’m late to the party (like, waaaaay late), but I can see why this book has gotten so much attention. It’s very well written and I could see how it’d be really easy to relate to.
  • This book was definitely meant to be a sort of journal of spiritual discovery. Honestly (and not trying to sound superior in any way), I’m pretty comfortable with where I’m at spiritually so more than anything I enjoyed it mostly for the travelogue. It got me seriously craving some Italian food (can you crave something you’ve never eaten?). And I loved reading about the herbal healing in Bali.
  • I thought the section on India was boring and seriously lacking. I mean, I enjoy yoga quite a bit but I’m not a huge fan of meditating (at least not in the sitting cross-legged and humming sense)…so I guess it makes sense that I wouldn’t want to read chapters upon chapters about someone else meditating for hours on end. Blech. Boring.
  • This point contains a spoiler, so skip it if you don’t want to be spoiled;). As part of her year of self discovery, Gilbert commits to avoiding romantic relationships during this time. She says she wants to, for once, just let herself be without the influence of a partner. And she spends a sufficient amount of time whining about how difficult this is. But then she ends the book with her hooking up with–and eventually falling for–some gorgeous Brazilian man whom she meets in Bali, but don’t worry, reader!-it’s on her terms! As if, obviously, the pinnacle of any year long spiritual journey would/should be a romantic relationship. Meh. Lame ending, in my opinion.

Should You Read It? I think a lot of people would really enjoy this book and even maybe learn from it. The book has been referred to as priv-lit (can’t argue that…I mean, who has the means to quit life for a year so they can aimlessly go travel?), so if that kind of staged-means-for-a-book bothers you, then definitely steer clear. Otherwise I’d say it’s worth giving it a try.

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Entwined by Heather Dixon

This Book: is a retelling of the fairytale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. In this version, Azalea and her 11 younger sisters lose their mother to illness, and in having to comply with mourning rules, are unable to do the one thing they feel honors their mother’s memory: dance. But the castle in which they live is enchanted and one evening they find a secret passageway that leads them to a magicked pavilion. The Keeper there invites them to come back every night…but soon he starts asking favors of them…ones they’re not sure they can keep.

What I Thought:

  • Overall I liked this book. It wasn’t my favorite in this genre, but it was definitely unique and enjoyable.
  • I did think that it moved a little slowly at some points. And I kind of got bored of all the dancing (I skimmed lots of the technical terms). I almost stopped reading it towards the beginning because nothing was happening, but it picked up right after that.
  • I thought the villain was extra creepy. Like too creepy…? But I admit to being a wimp.
  • I did really love all the relationships in this book. I thought all the characters stayed true to their personalities, which I appreciate. And the romances were sweet and believable and not overwhelming.

Should You Read It? This book, with it’s magic and princesses, definitely has a particular audience. If you’re a fan of the genre, I’d say it’s, again, not my favorite, but still pretty good.

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

This Book: starts off with Alice waking up from a serious fall at the gym. The most recent things she can remember-buying a fixer upper home with her husband, learning she was pregnant with their first child-apparently happened 10 years ago. A lot has changed in 10 years and 39 year old Alice starts putting together the pieces of her life that lead her to this place the 29 year old Alice never imagined she’d be.

What I Thought:

  • With how often I read, it is a surprisingly rare occurrence that I read a book I’m completely in love with. So let it be known that I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. I seriously loved it. I thought it was unique, fast paced, intriguing. I loved the questions it brought up. I loved the ending. The last chapter was so good. To me, it had a clear message and it made me cry. Loved it.
  • I don’t have any real complaints about this book. I will say that I thought the Frannie storyline was unnecessary but I didn’t hate it.
  • My first Liane Moriarty book was Big Little Lies which I totally loved. I wanted to read any Liane Moriarty books I could get my hands on! But I read Truly Madly Guilty and The Husband’s Secret and was decidedly disappointed. The writing was still good and the storyline intriguing, but they just didn’t hold my attention in quite the same way. I’m so glad I gave What Alice Forgot a try and although it wasn’t nearly as juicy as Big Little Lies I think I liked it more!

Should You Read It?: I’d happily recommend it (although it does have swearing).

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