Thursday, September 15, 2016

Summer Book Reviews

I've been meaning to do some book reviews for weeks months, but just never sat down long enough to follow through with it. So here we are. I decided to stick to books I've read during May through August. Hopefully you may find a book or two that you want to read after seeing my review.

Note: I also came up with my very own rating system. Although obviously not unique, I've rated each of the books on a 5 star rating system. 
1- did not like
2- it was ok
3- I liked it
4- I really liked it
5 I loved it
Ratings are below each book review.


Riffs of Regret by Micah Chaplin
I downloaded this book because fellow blogger, Micah, was the author. I follow Micah on Twitter, and thought, "How cool that she wrote a book?!?!" I'm going to be honest, I think I've always wanted to write a book, but never took the plunge. Anywho, on to the review. This book has a really good plot about a guy and girl whom are both really into the music scene. After months and months of bad timing and guarded feelings, the two finally FINALLY share their feelings. While I like the characters and Micah's style of writing, I felt that sometimes there was a bit of fluff in the details. 

You guys. I love me some Amy Schumer. Remember when I saw her do stand-up? She was hilarious. And I love that she has no filter and holds nothing back. So I was really excited to read her story. Even with the funny bits here and there, I was a little bored to be honest. Granted, I usually am with celebrity memoirs. (Why do I keep reading them then???) The details she gives with her dad's sickness, her sex life and drinking habits were a little disturbing, but it also gave a look into the real Amy, which I don't think "fans" really get to see. But it is classic Amy and you will laugh. 

So Long, Insecurity  by Beth Moore

I had such high hopes for this book, because hello! Queen of Insecurity over here. And I'd heard so many good things about Beth Moore. But I'm going to be honest. I didn't love it. In fact, I had to re-start this book at least twice, if not three times. Basically she tells us that everyone has insecurity and that God tells us not to. Ummm. This did not help me whatsoever. Sorry Beth.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This was a book club read, and as soon as I bought it, I was a little skeptical. 1. Historical fiction is just not my cup of tea. 2. It was a big book, so I couldn't just read through it in a few days. 3. So much jumping back and forth between time and characters. It was hard for my to keep up. Overall though, I see why people liked it. Doerr does an excellent job in developing the two main characters, a young member of Hitler's army and a blind girl who is trying to escape the war zone, and the plot, while thick, is pretty enjoyable. I hated the ending and how he left some of the characters. If you like WWII-era books and historical fiction, you'll love this. I can appreciate Doerr's writing, but not a book I would choose again.

90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
I'd heard about this book for years, and I honestly only bought it because it was only $2.99 at a local discount store. And I honestly, didn't have high expectations because I just wasn't sure how believable this was; however, the story was just good. Don was in a fatal car accident and the story tells of his 90 minutes in heaven (very little is told about this journey) and mostly about his life after that journey to heaven. It was scary and heartbreaking, but so full of faith. I can't imagine what Piper went through, but the only way he made it through those years of pain was because God was right there with him. I have no doubt.

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
This was my second Kubica book for the summer, and I loved the first so much, that I was anxious to read this one too. Pretty Baby is about a mom who becomes enamored with a young, homeless woman and her child. She invites them to stay in her home and eventually it causes a rift between her and her own family. Like The Good Girl, Kubica gives a shocking twist at the end that leaves you wanting more, but happy with how she's knocked you off your feet. Genius, I tell you. 

My Favorite Husband by Pam McCutcheon
This was a .99 cent purchase from Amazon, so I honestly didn't have very high expectations for it. But for a buck, I thought, "why not?" It's a cute, quick story about a woman whose husband has been missing. She finally decided to declare him dead and plans a memorial for him, which just so happens to be on the same day as her impending marriage to another man who has been there for her since day 1. To her, and everyone's surprise, guess who shows up at the memorial. Yep, husband #1. No literary masterpiece, but a cute, light-hearted, no thinking required book.

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlin
Necessary Lies is of a young, newly married social worker who, against her husband's wishes, works with families that are uneducated, white and non-white, and not of the proper societal standards. This was also the time when the Eugenics Program, basically a sterilization of people who had low IQs and would be unable to care for themselves and their possible future children, was in force ( I didn't even know this was a thing). As I was reading, I kept thinking, "I can see how this was a thing," but by the end, with some twists and turns, you see how unethical and sad it could be. This book was so so good, and you really become attached to the characters. 

Let's Misbehave by Lisa Plumley
I honestly don't have a lot to say about this one. This was another one I found on Amazon for like .99 cents. A party girl has to find a job as part of her shopping addict recovery, so she lands a nanny gig with a famous football player. They obviously fall in love and live happily ever after. It's a cute book, but super cheesy, and really written simply. I didn't absolutely hate it, but it's ok for a quick beach read. Definitely no literary award winning book, by any means.

The Good Girl  by Mary Kubica
Y'all. This book very well could be my very favorite fiction book of the entire year. The Good Girl is about a prominent judge, whose daughter gets kidnapped for ransom. While she is in a cabin in the woods with her abductor, the judge thinks his daughter has just run away since she has history of being a little "flighty". The detective on the case and the judge's wife bond instantly and do everything they can to find the daughter before it is too late. Kubica leaves the book with a major twist that no one sees coming. And for this, I declare Kubica to be a genius. Genius!

I'm going to try to do this at the end of every month so it's not so overwhelming. My hope is that I can share books I loved with you, and in turn, you can comment and share books with me too. If you want to keep up with what I'm reading, check out my Mel Reads page (link at top of page), or on Goodreads!

Now tell me- what good books have you read lately?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words about my book. I'm glad you liked it.

    I also loved "The Good Girl." And that Diane Chamberlain book has been on my to-read list for a while.


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