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It’s the first Monday of the month and I thought it would be nice to have this day each month set aside for my ‘currently reading’ ramblings. 😉
When I last gave my reading list update, I had just started Everything We Keep by Kerry Londsale. It was a quick read and I really enjoyed it. It had some mysteries, and a bit of the chick lit I like every now and then. Some of the story was predictable, but for the most part it felt original and really kept me interested.
Before I Go
From there I moved on to Before I Go by Colleen Oakley. Gosh, I really don’t know how I end up reading all these sad books! I don’t really read descriptions before I start a book generally, just so I don’t go into the book with any preconceived notions. I do enjoy a sad book, when done well, because who doesn’t like a good cry now and again?
This book was heavy. There is no sugar coating this one. It’s about a recently married, young woman who has been in remission from breast cancer for three years, only to get the news that the cancer is back and it is terminal.
It was a pretty heart-wrenching story. I certainly am a person who cries while reading books, but there are only a few where I have outright sobbed and this is one of them (I had to leave the room where Jeff was watching TV because he kept asking if I was OK!). If you don’t like crying, I definitely do not recommend this book. However, I think I cried not only because of the topic, but because of how relateable the main character was. Oakley was very “real” with her main character and the thoughts and feelings she went through. I think that rawness really made it for me.
Library of Souls
Because I needed a break from all the sadness, I was really excited that I finally got the notification that my hold on Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #3) by Ransom Riggs came up (side note – awesome name!). I’ve read the other two Miss Peregrine’s books (the first – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children just came out as a movie!) – I really enjoyed the first, so I figured I continue to finish the series. The second one was just OK in my opinion. A lot of running around, building up energy and momentum, and then leaves off at a cliffhanger because, like so many YA novel series, there was a third book that everyone has to read! 😉
The third book was good the way I like the final book of most series – it brought a conclusion. I still prefer the first book, but I think this was a fairly solid ending to the series. There were definitely some twists, but it felt like everything got tied up in a nice, near bow just a little too quickly in some ways.
For those not familiar with the series, the author includes a bunch of authentic, very strange, old photographs in the book. He found many of the pictures in the first book at flea markets and such and they were the inspiration of all the children’s peculiar abilities. He still uses strange, old photos in the other books, and while they are neat to see, you could really feel that certain parts of the book were written just to incorporate the photographs.
The Girl in the Red Coat
From there I read The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer. This was another book I was on the waiting list for because I saw it received some good reviews. This is a book is one of the rare ones, I believe. It was the definition of a page turned to me. I just couldn’t put it down!
The super short intro to this book is (again, without giving anything away), a single mother has an 8 year old daughter (this takes place in the UK). One day, she takes her to a book fair/festival that is held outside with multiple tents. Then the girl disappears (she was wearing a bright red coat which becomes, as I’m sure one could imagine from the title, a theme throughout the remainder of the book).
Being a mother now I think this book affected me in ways in might not of 5 or more years ago. Just thinking about Brynn or Asher being taken or disappearing is terrifying. Hamer definitely captures that terror and the hopelessness that follows.
Truly Madly Guilty
Next, I was so excited when I found out I could finally borrow Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. As I’ve referenced in my other “Currently Reading” posts (here and here), Moriarty is one of my favorite authors. I think I may have been a little too excited for this one. I did enjoy this more than the Hypnotist’s Love Story that I read last, but overall I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. I did enjoy the story, as Moriarty does certainly know how to weave a mystery, but the characters drove me crazy.
Two of the characters were supposed to be best friends, even though they both admitted internally that they didn’t think this was true. Throughout the book I couldn’t imagine why these women ever stayed friends (the book explains why they became “friends” in the first place). I get that Moriarty wanted that component to her story – about the friends who probably shouldn’t have been friends – but she took it too far I think. The way they treated each other, I could never imagine trying to sustain a friendship like that. But I guess that’s just me! 😉
Overall though, while I liked the plot line itself, it just didn’t make up for the characters.
A Man Called Ove
Currently, I am just finished up A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. This was a really unique book and I can see now why it has received so many good reviews. I don’t want to give away too much (although it’s certainly not a mystery, just the way it is written really unravels the story), but as it says, it’s about a man called Ove. It takes place in Sweden in the present. Ove is a very particular man and likes things done a certain way.
The book explores his current life as well his past to explain all about Ove. The author crafts this tale so perfectly and reveals just bits and pieces of events – just enough to understand what is happening at the moment.
I feel like with the number of books I read, I don’t always remember all of them for the long term. This is probably one of the few (along with The Girl in the Red Coat, actually) that I’ll remember for a long, long time. The character of Ove was such a perfectly painted picture it’s almost hard to believe he isn’t real!
Fun fact: This was also made into a movie in Sweden and released just recently!
Once I’m officially done with Ove, I’ll be moving on to Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. This recently got a bunch of attention since it was recently made into a movie starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (the second Hunger Games movie). I was on the waiting list FOREVER so it better be good! 😉
Happy reading and Happy Monday everyone!