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Sorry for the late post, I must have accidentally not clicked schedule before I left for Alaska where I currently am. We’ve been busy hiking and exploring (check out my Instagram and follow me on snapchat at Kittykittylala to watch my adventures!) Anyways, I read some pretty good books last month! Most of the books I read were provided free for review from NetGalley because I had a pretty big to-read list. I didn’t even get any reading done for the Book Challenge 5.0! Anyways I won’t bother you with my rambling, check out my reading lately book reviews below and let me know which one you’re most interested in!
Holes by Louis Sachar
I know I know, this is a book that everyone seems to have read in middle school, but I never had to. In my Young Adult Literature class in the first half of the summer, we had to read two books of our choice and this was one.
I really enjoyed this book, it’s a great example of Young Adult Literature. Stanley Yelnats (love that his last name is Stanley backwards) gets sent to a juvenile detention camp after being wrongfully convicted of a crime. No one believed his story when he said he was innocent, and he was given the option of jail or camp.
Stanley and his family decide on camp, which is more like slave labor. He and the other campers wake up at 4:30 every morning to eat breakfast and start digging before the sun comes up. Shortly after arriving at camp, Stanley realizes that they aren’t just digging to build character — the Warden is looking for something.
Get Holes by Lois Sachar on Amazon here!
Arrowood by Laura McHugh
This was an interesting story and perspective on missing children. Eight year old Arden Arrowood was watching her younger twin sisters when they disappeared from her families front lawn in Keokuk, a small crumbling town in southern Iowa. The investigations that followed their disappearance never answered any questions regarding the incident. Arden’s parents, unable to deal with life after tragedy, left the “Arrowood home” and moved around for years before divorcing.
Twenty years later Arden returns to Keokuk and moves back into her childhood house, which has been maintained in a trust set up by her grandparents. She befriends a cold-case investigator who helps her piece together the puzzle of the twins disappearance.
Arrowood leads you through different motives and possibilities as you try to uncover the mystery. It was definitely an interesting take on a child abduction/disappearance, but it just didn’t quite hold me. It took me a little longer to finish mostly because of traveling, but there were irrelevant details and descriptions thrown in that didn’t add to the story in any way. I’m pretty sure I remember learning in class that if you describe something in a story it better show up again? Maybe I’m making that up. Anyways, while some description is necessary to make you feel present in the story, there was definitely some that didn’t add to the story.
The story was definitely interesting and I wanted to find out what happened to the twins, but I wouldn’t call it a page turner. It was an interesting perspective on this kind of tragedy and life after it. I enjoyed reading it but there was just something missing in my opinion. The suspense didn’t feel as real, and I wonder if that’s because there are a lot of stereotypical elements of a scary story present – a seemingly haunted house, leaky pipes, fall and Halloween, etc.
Preorder Arrowood by Laura McHugh on Amazon here – available on August 9th!
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
This novel tells two separate stories that ultimately meet. Augustine is an aging astronomer who has moved to the Arctic Circle to research the stars. Meanwhile, Sully is living aboard the Aether Space Shuttle that’s exploring Jupiter and it’s Jovian moons. Suddenly Earth goes quiet and neither Augustine nor the Aether crew have any communication with the world. Augustine knows little more about the circumstances leading to this silence than Sully and her crew mates. The reader gets no more insight about the catastrophic event than the characters know.
The interesting part of this novel is that it’s told in perspectives of two people who have already distanced themselves from the rest of the world. We learn their decisions to be where they are and their struggles with people and relationships. It was definitely an interesting take on end of the world, apocalyptic type of story.
Not knowing what is going on with the rest of the world is an interesting concept, it adds to to the fear and worry the characters feel. But I don’t like not knowing things so it was a little frustrating for me. If you don’t like unanswered questions, I wouldn’t recommend this book to you. I was left with a lot of questions and wanting to know what happened next.
The book did start a little slow for me, with a lot of descriptions. The book was actually filled with a lot of descriptions, but they grew on me and I enjoyed seeing the space station and the Arctic life. But it was a nice read, it really drew you in to the loneliness and emptiness the characters feel.
Preorder Good Morning, Midnight on Amazon here – available on August 9th!
Lights, Camera, Murder by Nikki Haverstock
I was a little hesitant about this book, the description is interesting and I really like the cover, but it seemed very Real Housewives and I’ve never watched that. A director and her producer want to visit Melissa McBallister’s family ranch in Fishcreek Falls as a possible site for their upcoming reality show, Sexxy Socialites of Fishcreek Falls. Melissa is beautiful, witty, and comes from a wealthy family. She is an aspiring writer after her mother who is a successful and famous author, only Melissa is struggling with it. When a woman drops out of the show at the last minute, Melissa is offered the spot. She jumps at the chance hoping to find inspiration for writing and gain exposure.
When a castmate is murdered on set the accusations get thrown at Melissa. As she struggles to clear her name and solve the mystery, the drama in her life and on the show escalates.
I really enjoyed the book, probably because there it’s a mystery. But it is a lighter mystery and was fun to read. There were several parts that had me laughing out loud (and at really awkward points when my boyfriend was watching some sad parts in shows – oops). But there was so much more to the book than the murder mystery, there was a lot of cattiness and drama involved. I also felt like I could relate to Melissa and how she’s feeling about her life. The book was told in alternating perspectives between Melissa and the producer Ryan.
One thing that really bothered me about this book was the amount of talk of vomiting. There was a lot in the first few chapters and it really made my stomach turn. Not a super big deal but it was kind of gross.
But I noticed that the book says reality tv series 1, so I’m really hoping that means there’s a sequel. The ending leads me to believe there will be one as well, so I’m really excited about that. It’s a fun, easy-going murder mystery.
Buy Lights, Camera, Murder on Amazon here!
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What have you been reading lately? What’s on your to-read list?