Recent Reads Vol. 20

March 19, 2019

Every year I hope to read more books and I'm off to a good start with 11 under my belt already! Here's what's been on my Kindle lately:

The Girls. It’s summertime in the ‘60’s and Evie Boyd has had a falling out with her best friend, parental supervision is basically non-existent and then she meets some girls in a park that she becomes very taken with. Turns out they all live together on a compound with a man named Russell that they can’t stop raving about. Evie starts hanging out with all of them on the compound and gets drawn into their cult until things take a turn towards violence. This is loosely based on the Charles Manson cult, which I didn’t really know much about so that was interesting. Would I recommend: no. I know this was the *it* book a couple of years ago but I cannot figure out why it was so popular. I didn’t like any of the characters and it was written in a way that was just really, for lack of better word, gross. 

Dead Mountain. I stumbled across this book when I was browsing online one day and am so glad that I did. It tells the story of the Dyatlov hiking group who were very experienced Russian hikers that all went missing in Siberia in the 1950’s. When their bodies were recovered it was under very odd and unexplainable circumstances. They had all fled their tent without the proper clothes for the cold, some of them had violent injuries and increased radiation on their clothes. What could have caused them to abandon their tent when it was -40 degrees and the middle of the night? The author went to Russia a few times for interviews and even did the same hike as the Dyatlov group. He ultimately makes a case for what he thinks happened that February night. Would I recommend: yes! I was so pleasantly surprised by this book and got sucked into the mystery of it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and was basically talking everyone’s ear off about it for weeks. That’s when you know it’s a good one!

Good Riddance. When Daphne’s mother, who was a high school teacher, dies and leaves her an old high school yearbook that’s annotated with notes about where all of her pupils ended up she’s not quite sure what to do with it. She ends up Marie Kondo-ing it and then a nosy neighbor picks it up out of the trash which leads to all sorts of secrets coming out about her mother and her students. Would I recommend: yes if you’re in the mood for a light, easy read. It wasn’t my favorite book ever but it was cute. 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. So so happy that my friend (hi Mary!) picked this for our February book club. It had been on my list for years and I’m happy I finally got around to reading it. Eleanor leads a very regimented and anti-social life because of some childhood traumas she hasn’t dealt with. A few random events force her to meet new people, get out of her comfort zone and face those traumas. Her inner dialogue is hilarious and was the best part of the whole book. Would I recommend: definitely. I loved this book and would say she’s one of my favorite characters ever. 

Ghosted. Sarah and Eddie meet when she’s home in England and spend a magical week together. They fall in love and plan to talk and see each other again soon. But then Eddie vanishes and won’t respond to any of Sarah’s messages. As she tries to figure out what went wrong and get to the bottom of what happened to him all sorts of old secrets come out. Would I recommend: yes. I really enjoyed the story and there were a few twists I didn’t see coming. 

An Anonymous Girl. Jessica is looking to earn some extra money so she enters a psychological experiment about morality. Dr. Shields, who’s running the experiment, seems to be able to see right through Jessica and knows how to manipulate her. Jessica becomes more and more involved with the study until things take a dark turn. Would I recommend: yes. This was entertaining and kept me wanting more but there weren’t any big reveals which I was a little bummed about. 

Famous in Love. I’d been hearing about these books for a while thanks to Grace and Becca and am so happy I finally checked them out from the library. Paige is a high schooler living in Seattle when she auditions for Locked, which is basically like a Twilight or Hunger Games-type franchise. She gets the part and flies to Hawaii to shoot the movie with her two costars Jordan and Rainer. A bit of a love triangle forms as Paige tries to navigate Hollywood and figure out how to be famous. Would I recommend: duh! I love a good YA series and this one does not disappoint. I was put off for a while because I knew that Bella Thorne was in the TV adaption and I do not like her. I’m so glad I got over that and read them anyway because I got sucked in! I read the sequel too and loved it. I tried watching the show but it’s so bad and so different from the books so don’t let that deter you!

I'm almost caught up on sharing recent reads! I'm only three behind now so hopefully my next post will get us up to speed. Would love to know if you have any recommendations or if you've read any of these books!

xo Catherine 

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