Northwest Native: Show Us Your Books [February 2017]

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Show Us Your Books [February 2017]

It's time again to link up with Steph & Jana to talk about one of my favorite things--books!
Life According to Steph


If I Stay - Gayle Forman **1/2
I really wanted to love this, but there were some parts that were so cheesy I would cringe. And I found myself disliking Mia pretty often. Also, at first, the references to Oregon were cool, but eventually they got to be really annoying because they were so over the top or stereotypical (i.e. "We had steaks and tofu pups, this being Oregon." I've never had a tofu pup and don't plan to). I am also a big crier in books and this didn't make me cry once. I just never got invested. Maybe it's because I saw the movie already when it came out?
+1 for Erin's Book Challenge - set in my state (25 points)

Winter Storms - Elin Hilderbrand *
I wasn't going to read this (since I didn't like the first two), but I had it from the library and basically decided to hate-read it. I found Ava slightly less annoying this time, but this still managed to be my least favorite of the series. I felt like the purpose of this book was to give every single character a shiny happy ending and I thought that was boring. I didn't notice it in the other two books, but in this one, the writing was so undescriptive. (Example: "He did this." "She went there." Basically just saying what happened, and then dialogue.) I did think it was nice that Elin name-dropped a couple of other authors in her genre (a character was reading Jane Green and another author). And then she name dropped her own book and I had to roll my eyes at that.

Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult *****
I just love JP. I was worried when I saw reviews calling the ending unrealistic or over the top, but I enjoyed it. Picoult has been my favorite author for years, and her endings are always big. I love that she tackles tough topics. If you read this, make sure to read the author's note at the end.
+1 for Erin's Book Challenge - favorite author (20 points)

Wonder - R.J. Palacio *****
I absolutely loved the message of this book--to be kind to everyone, no matter how different we all are. I had tears of sadness and of joy in my eyes at different times in this book. It was just so cute.
+1 for Erin's Book Challenge - starts with 'w' (10 points)

Rain Reign - Ann M. Martin ****
I did not expect this book to be so heavy! It was really hard to read at times (emotionally). But Rose was such a heartwarming narrator.
+1 for Erin's Book Challenge - homonym in the title (20 points)

All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr ****
This was a beautiful story, and so well written. I loved how the different stories were woven together, and in a lot of cases, unexpectedly. I don't think I was in the right mindset for it when I was reading it, or I was just too distracted, so I kept having to reread passages and I wasn't absorbing it well. In other circumstances, I may have rated it five stars.
+1 for Erin's Book Challenge - six-word title (10 points)

Difficult Women - Roxane Gay *****
This was my first Roxane Gay read and it won't be my last! Her writing is incredible. The short stories range between two minutes and thirty-five minutes (at least, based on my Kindle's analysis of my reading speed) and they're all different but have many similar themes.

Goodnight, Beautiful - Dorothy Koomson *****
I loved the character development. The points of view varied and it switched between past and present, so you got to know the characters bit by bit. I loved that the characters and relationships between characters were so complex. I'm also glad it ended the way it did. (Also, my feminist self is always glad to see a love triangle where it isn't simply, "this woman is a major bitch and this woman is great" and also to see a woman who doesn't need a man to be happy.) (Guys, I think this is my very first book that I've blogged about that I haven't seen in anyone else's posts. Probably because this was one of the three oldest books on my TBR, added in 2011. No idea where I heard about it, since I didn't read blogs then!)

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger ***
I have some complicated feelings on this one. For one, the first portion of the book (quarter? third? I don't recall) creeeeeped me out. It was supposed to be romantic, I think...but I found it creepy. And the creepiness came back later for short visits. The writing was good, and I enjoyed reading it during the non-creepy parts (and after I tried thinking the time travel thing to death (it's really confusing to think about the past/present/future all happening at once etc...once I stopped trying to comprehend it it was more enjoyable)).
+1 for Erin's Book Challenge - time travel (35 points)

Britt-Marie Was Here - Fredrik Backman ***
I thought this was a very cute story. The last 40ish percent wasn't as good as the first 60, and the last 10ish was pretty boring.
+1 for Erin's Book Challenge - green cover (15 points)

Dark Matter - Blake Crouch *****
This book grabbed my attention from the first page. It was suspenseful, fast-paced, and full of twists.

Erin's Book Challenge progress...

10/10 books
200/200 points
See my full list here and my Goodreads shelf for the challenge here.
I'm done! I can't decide if I'm going to do the bonus round or not. I go back and forth constantly. You'd think this is a life or death decision based on how indecisive I'm being...

Currently reading...

The Girl Before - J.P. Delaney

Next up...

In no particular order, I intend to read a mix of books I own (they're accumulating quickly--I've never had this problem before!), popular books that are going to become movies soon (because books are always better!), and the oldest books on my TBR (from 2011) since I seem to always add more and then read the newly added ones first. If I still want to read a book more than five years later, I figure it's about time I read it.
Owned: The Butterfly Garden, Me & Earl & The Dying Girl, The Mutual Admiration Society, Only the Truth, Sisters One, Two, Three, Water for Elephants (I've owned the Kindle version forever, started it like five years ago and abandoned it; I don't think it's actually on my TBR, but I own it and feel the need to read it--yes, I have seen the movie), What She Knew, Everything We Keep, The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland, Can You Keep A Secret?, Let Me Explain
Soon-to-be movies: Everything, Everything & Before I Fall (Really thought there were more of these...)
Oldest on my TBR: The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes & The Things We Do For Love

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  1. Rain Reign and Wonder are two books I hope to read sooner rather than later. I'm so glad you liked Dark Matter, it's coming up on my hold list soon. Awesome job finishing the reading challenge with so much time left!

  2. LOVED Dark Matter! Also, I don't really remember If I Stay, but I think I liked it? It's been so long and obviously it wasn't good enough to stay with me haha. But I would be annoyed at the over-the-top stereotypes about my state, too.

  3. I have The Girl Before and need to get to it. Everyone seems to like it. I wasn't a huge fan of If I Stay either. I mean, it was alright...but pretty cheesy like you said. Not deserving of all the hype. Small Great Things was good!

  4. You should check out all the other books that go with Wonder. They are quick reads & equally as good as Wonder.

  5. My daughter is in 4th grade and I am pushing Wonder on her so hard. It's an amazing book and I'm superexcited to see how they handle it as a movie.

    YES to Dark Matter and SGT, and If I Stay made me want to throw my Kindle against a wall, I hated it so much. Especially the end.

  6. i read if i stay and i did cry a bit because i am also a big crier. i only cried when she talked about her little brother though. then i read the 2nd book immediately after and i really didn't like it and it tainted my view on if i stay too. i watched the movie and eh. lol @ hate read. been there. i loved small great things and the ending, the only thing i thought was a teensy bit unrealistic was the epilogue. if it had been more fleshed out or more questions answered, i wouldn't have thought that. too coinky dinky for me. but overall i loved it. i loved wonder too, so good. added goodnight beautiful to my list - i love hearing about books i've never heard of before, so good for you. my oldest book on my goodreads is gone with the wind, i think i added it in 2011 and yep. still haven't read it.
    i am so sad you didn't love the time traveler's wife, though i totally get why. it's one of my all time faves, but it's been a long time since i've read it. if you want effed up/creepy, you should read her other book. her fearful symmetry? i think? one of the most horrible creepy weird books i've ever read. i was like how did the same person write these?!
    i had no idea they were making movies of Everything, Everything & Before I Fall, i will have to add them.

  7. You seriously killed it this month with good reads and with completely Erin's challenge too! That's so awesome! Wonder sounds like a great book, so I'm adding it my list along with Goodnight, Beautiful! I'm glad that you picked up The Girl Before and are liking it so far! It was one of my favorites this past month!

  8. I think Roxanne Gay's writing is incredible too.

    I've been sitting on the latest Picoult since October. It seems too relevant right now even though I know that's BS.

  9. I got confused and thought The Girl Before was by Rena Olsen and then I noticed that you read that one too! I'll have to check this one out- sounds interesting. Also adding Difficult Women (especially since I don't read a lot of short story collections). I think the past/present/future all happening at once in Time Traveler's Wife sounds really confusing which is why I never added it haha. I had Water for Elephants but gave it away because I knew I would never read it after I saw the movie. CONGRATS on finishing Erin's Book Challenge!

  10. So many books, so little time, well for me as I only read during the school term while I am sitting at the school waiting for Leo to get out

  11. But like... HOW do you people read so many books. Seriously. It's a real struggle for me to get through Erin's Challenges. I have yet to even come close to finishing one. Lol. So impressive.
    Wonder has caught my eye a few times, but I've never picked it up. Goodnight, Beautiful sounds really good, too!

  12. I really liked Dark Matter too! I am reading Small Great Things right now, so I am glad to hear you liked it! I'm reading Britt-Marie was here for the bonus round! I figured I would need a cute story after reading Small Great Things!

  13. I'm reading The Time Traveler's Wife for Erin's 6.0 Challenge too, but I haven't started it yet. Dark Matter is on my TBR and I read The Girl Before last month and enjoyed it - hope you do too!

  14. I read 'Wonder' last month! Such good stuff... and totally tears of joy/sadness/everything!

  15. You read a lot of books! I'm about halfway through Small Great Things right now & love it although it's kind of frustrating to read. I'm definitely curious to see how it all turns out.

  16. I enjoyed Dark Matter, but at the same time, I was glad for it to be over. I was never invested in Jason as a character, he bored me most of the time, but at the same time, I enjoyed the concept of the story and all it's science nerdiness.

    I'm currently reading The Butterfly Garden now and so far, it's not bad. For me, who isn't all that into thriller/mystery etc, it's a good book. So it's probably really good for those who like that kind of thing.

  17. What a bad ass reader you were this month! Well done. Looking at this list, we have quite similar tastes in books. I've either read some of them, or the others are on my tbr.

  18. Thank you for the book recommendations. I haven't read any of them, but I did see Time Traveler's Wife and it does have some creepiness. The movie was good though and glad I didn't read the book.

  19. I loved so many of these books: Wonder, Time Traveler's Wife, and All the Light!! I also have to admit that I quite enjoyed the Winter series for what it was - which was distracting from real life and fluffy. haha.

  20. I LOVE the book Wonder. I'm so excited it's going to be a film. I should check out Dark Matter. I'm so curious!


  21. Oooh awesome reading month! I forgot to linkup again. LOL. I really want to read Dark Matter...! I did not like The Time Traveler's Wife... Looking into goodnight beautiful now! :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  22. so glad you liked Dark Matter! I loved that book!

  23. I really feel like Jodi Picoult can do no wrong!!! I've only read one of her books (Nineteen Minutes - omg so good) BUT seriously, she's amazing!

  24. I have had all the light we cannot see in my cart forever, I am so glad you loved it! I will have to purchase it next!

  25. I really love JP too. And I'm always forever impressed by how much you bloggers read in a month!