Monday, September 11, 2017

Books I Read: July/August 2017

We were out of town so much in August that I was never able to get the July book report up, so I am combining July and August. I didn't have the chance to read as much as I would have liked this summer, anyway. I really enjoyed the books I did read, though, and the pile next to my bed and on my kindle is just growing taller and taller!

Book reviews of Right Next to Me by Rachel Ward, Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, The Final Silence by Stuart Neville, and When I'm Gone by Emily Bleeker


Books I read in July & August 2017


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Book review of Right Next to Me by Rachel Ward


Right Next to Me by Rachel Ward


I read Rachel's first book (Dear Jane) a while ago and really enjoyed it. She has a fun writing style and it was a good, clean read that one of my teenagers also picked up and loved. I was sent a copy of her newest book, Right Next to Me, to review and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first one.

It is a sweet romance about Sydney who is just leaving for her first year of college. Her boyfriend is also starting college, but he is at a university all the way across the country. But there is another boy who has always been her best friend through high school, and while he isn't attending the same college as Sydney, he is a lot closer. Perhaps it's not so surprising the way everything turns out, but I enjoyed the flashback story telling style and the characters were well written and I enjoyed spending my time with them. This is a super quick and clean read that I'm sure you'll enjoy. 4 stars, and one that I will be handing to my teenage girls to read knowing they'll really enjoy it.

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Book Review of Into the Water by Paula Hawkins


Into the Water by Paula Hawkins


Paula Hawkins is the author of the widely acclaimed The Girl on the Train—which I devoured. You all know that mystery and thrillers are my favorite to read and so I was really hoping for Into the Water to be just as engaging. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but not quite what I was hoping for. There were so many characters to keep track of that it really slowed the story down for me.

I did enjoy it and the twists were surprising which is definitely a plus for me. I'd give it 3.5 stars. *Strong language found in this book.

I purchased Into the Water as an add-on to one of my recent Book of the Month boxes. I'm loving Book of the Month, by the way. Such a great way to get access to new books for a lot cheaper—especially if you're like me and tend to buy books more often than you use the library.

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Join Book of the Month and get three new releases for just $10 and a free tote bag!

Book Review of When I'm Gone by Emily Bleeker


When I'm Gone by Emily Bleeker


One of my friends had mentioned this book on Facebook as being her favorite of the 2016 Whitney Award nominees. I went and looked at it on Amazon and found it was on sale for Kindle that day, so I downloaded it and finally got around to reading it in July.

When I'm Gone is about Natalie—a woman who has died of cancer. The book begins just after her funeral and follows her husband and children as they deal with their loss. Her husband finds the first of many notes she has left for him that day and it sends him on an emotional ride as he uncovering secrets long buried.

It was a good read that had a few mysteries buried in there, too. I give it 4.5 stars.

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Book Review of The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware


The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware


I picked up this book simply because the cover looked like The Girl on the Train. Shallow reason, hey? But it didn't disappoint. It was definitely Girl on the Train-esque (so much so, it's received quite a bit of criticism for it). Lo, the main character, finds herself on a cruise as a member of the media and some strange things happen that only she seems to be aware of. It gets pretty scary since everyone is confined to a small cruise ship, and Lo is a pretty unreliable witness anyway.

Despite the main character not being super likable, I still loved the book. It kept me on my toes and it took me a while to solve the mystery on my own. I give it 4.5 stars. *Strong language found in this book.

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Book Review of The Final Silence by Stuart Neville


The Final Silence by Stuart Neville


Our library does a summer reading program where you can earn rewards for reading. Every year I make sure to do it with the kids to encourage their own summer reading and we picked up our rewards a few weeks ago. One of the rewards is that you get to choose a free book. I was having a hard time finding one that I hadn't already read or that looked interesting to me, but Sophia picked this one up and felt I would like it because it was a murder mystery. It looked interesting enough, so I got it.

It takes place in Ireland, and a girl is cleaning out the home she just inherited from a long-lost uncle and discovers a gruesome book detailing serial killings. Her father is a well known politician and will not allow her to take it to the police. There are several other stories that intertwine with this one and while it was an interesting plot, it was a little too graphic in its violence for me. I also hated the ending. I give it 2.5 stars. *Strong language found in this book.

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I did not manage to listen to any books—mainly because my kids were home all summer and they were the ones using the bluetooth speaker and I couldn't put it on when I clean like I usually like to do. Maybe this month I'll have more chances for that.

What good books have you read lately?

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Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.

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