Monday, February 1, 2016

Books I read in January

I got this idea from Danica over at her blog Danakin Skywalker. She does a review of the books she reads each month and I liked that so now I am doing it. My goal is to read 3 books a month, sometimes 4 if I am feeling ambitious, but 3 is a good goal for me. I want to read more and so I have joined a few book clubs and will talk about those on another post. Reading is one of my favorite things to do and I am so excited to be getting back into it. If you have any book recommendations for me please comment, I am always looking for new suggestions.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


I have a slight problem when reading books. I will read about 2/3rds of the way and then get really anxious and will skip to the last chapter and find out the ending. Once I know the ending if it is interesting to me I'll keep reading, if not I'll just stop right there and never finish the book. I know this will probably drive some people crazy but I have done it forever and this book was no exception. 
I read about 2/3rds of the way through and finally figured out that Death was narrating the story, I don't know why that took me so long to figure out but I eventually did and then death has to go and ruin the ending before I had even read the ending. I was kind of mad so I jumped ahead and read the last chapter and was even more mad so I stopped reading. It was a good book up until that point though. 
I really loved Liesel and Rudy's relationship and how it developed. Rudy was so sweet and kind and you could tell he genuinely cared about Liesel. He showed up and never left her side. When he always joked about earning a kiss if he beat her in a foot race, or when he rescued her book from the river for her I thought it was just typical of a boy. At first he did seem to be teasing her but as they got older I think he really did love her. That was the part that I got mad at death for ruining it for me, because I kind of wanted them to succeed together. 
Papa was another one of my favorite characters. I loved that he taught Liesel to read even though he had very limited knowledge himself. She was so proud of that accomplishment once she was finished and you could tell he was proud of her as well. It helped them bond closer together and made him more understanding of her inclination toward stealing books. He also represented the way I would probably have reacted during the war more than any other character has before. When he said he joined the Nazi party to protect his family that really hit home with me, I feel that I would have done the same thing. Even though he didn't agree with what they were doing he still joined because he knew it could protect those he loved. 
I loved so many other aspects about this book, the history, Max and that Max survived, watching Liesel grow and change in just a couple of years, watching how war changes people and places. It was interesting to see how people viewed the war, maybe they were just being passive about the whole thing because it was safer. When the Nazi's found out that a neighbor had Jewish heritage and Papa stood up for him, Liesel was so worried and she asked Max can't he just apologize. Max said who would he apologize too? That question really got me going, and when Max said that Papa reminded people of their humanity how could they have lost it in the first place? Were they just numb to the events that were happening around them? Were they trying to ignore it hoping they would eventually go away?
If you like WWII then you'll like this book, I just loved all the different aspects about it and it really did make me think about what I would have done in their situation. I give it 4 stars because it's so good, it would have been 5 but death ruined the ending all the time and that bugged me. I do recommend this book though and the movie is great as well. 



I discovered this book browsing through my nook store one day while I was looking for something new to read. I was checking out the historical romance section because I just needed to read a good romance novel. The description on goodreads basically tells the entire story:
Ada has loved deeply and lost dearly. But protecting her heart could mean missing the love of a lifetime.

Ada Wentworth may be young, but she's seen enough of life to know she can only rely on herself. Everyone including God it seems, has let her down. Having lost her family, her fiance, and her fortune, Ada journeys from Boston to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, to take a position as a lady's companion. Though initially charmed by the pretty little Southern town tucked into the foothills of the great Smokies, Ada plans to stay only until she can earn enough to establish a millinery shop.

Her employer, Wyatt Caldwell, the local lumber mill owner, is easily the kindest, most attractive man Ada has met in Hickory Ridge. He believes Providence has brought her to town and into his life. But how, after so many betrayals, can she ever trust again? Besides, Wyatt has a dream of his own. A dream that will one day take him far from Hickory Ridge.

As the South struggles to heal in the aftermath of the Civil War, one woman must let go of her painful past in order to embrace God's plans for her. Can she trust Him, and Wyatt, with her future and her heart?

As you can guess she ends up falling in love with Wyatt, they move out of Hickory Ridge and she does start her hat making business. It was a really predictable book, almost too predictable but sometimes I like that. Again I got bored about 2/3rds of the way through and read the last chapter, I already had guessed the ending by this point and the middle of the book got kind of dry. I would give this book 3 stars. It was a good simple romance novel, but too predictable and the characters weren't rounded enough for me. They mentioned Ada's heartbreak but never went into full detail on the breakup and why it was hard for her to get over it. With that being such an integral part of the story you would think that the author would have spent more time explaining to the readers what is happening. I would recommend this book if you need something simple and lighthearted.



I love this book! If you haven't read Austenland yet you should also read that. The good reads description:
When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?

The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen's world. How could it not turn out right in the end?

I loved Charlotte's character. Although she had just gone through a divorce I like that she was giving her self a chance and branching out into a new world she just discovered. Unlike most Austen fans, she didn't read Austen's works until her adult life and she got caught up in all the happy endings which eventually led her to find out that Austenland even existed. I love the twist at the end of the book, I won't spoil it but she does end up with someone who is caring, kind, and just the opposite of the man she divorced. My only negative review with this book was that again it was a little dry in the middle, I don't know what it is about books lately but the middle is so hard to get through. Audible for the win! Make sure and sign up for audible, when you sign up you can earn one free book automatically to start with.
What books have you read so far in 2016?
XO
Caitlin






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