Tuesday, January 9, 2018

December Reads // Thank God for Vacation!

It's a new year for reading! Hooray! I haven't read since I've been sick, but I feel that I am finally getting better, and that I will be gobbling up books again in no-time! 

I read just 1 book in November, but talked about it with my October Reads, here is how I finished out the year!

The Guersey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy historical fiction, quirky characters, especially anything taking place during WWII.

This book follows Juliet, a journalist who is searching for a topic for her next book. When she receives a letter from stranger living on the island of Guernsey, they begin an unlikely friendship. As Juliet learns more about Guernsey, and its occupation by the Germans during WWII, she forms attachments to the people living there, and their stories.

I had heard such great things about this book from nearly everyone. I am so glad that I finally got a chance to read it. It is written in letters, which didn't bother me, but did detract just a little from the detail. It was still very vivid though. I loved the stories the characters told, and I really appreciated that this book, while sad, was very hopeful. It had a resilient tone. It was romantic enough, but not too romantic. I'm very excited to see the movie version whenever it is set to release this year. :) 

Piper by Jay Asher and Jessica Freeburg, Illustrated by Jeff Stokely

4 Stars - I recommend if you are looking for a solid graphic novel. This also contains diverse characters, the main character is deaf.

This graphic novel is a re-telling of the Pied Piper, and follows Maggie, a deaf girl who is shunned by her village. She just wants to live a normal life, but comforts herself by imagining up (rather dark) stories. When her village is facing a rat infestation along with the diseases they carry, the Piper shows up just in time to save them. Maggie is accepted by the Piper, but is he what he seems?

I saw this at Target, and KC got it for me as one of my Christmas gifts. I really didn't know what to expect from it, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is short, and only took a few hours to read. I appreciated that the story was a little bit dark, but not overly depressing. I liked the re-imagining of the Pied Piper tale. The art is really lovely as well. I recommend if you are looking for a graphic novel. 

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy contemporary women's fiction, and a bit of romance.

This story follows Emma, who has married her high school sweetheart. They live an adventurous life full of travel and spontaneity. When her husband, Jesse's, helicopter goes down somewhere in the Pacific, her world is shattered, and she moves back to Boston to be with her family. When she returns, she is able to heal little by little, improve her relationship with her family, and unexpectedly kindles an old almost-romance with Sam. They quickly become engaged, and are comfortable in their life together. It's a completely different life than the one she had before. When Jesse is found alive, after being missing for three years, Emma must decide who she is now, and who is her one true love.

Everyone raves about TJR's books, so I had high hopes for this one. I was pretty gripped by the plot, but I didn't LOVE this book. Anyhow, I found this book to be mostly emotional, rather than romantic. Very few parts of it felt romantic to me. It was more about her relationships with these two men, and finding herself during a chaotic time. A lot of it I was like, "NO DON'T DO IT!" and I felt so bad for all of the characters involved. Yikes. It also kinda bugged me how much baggage she had with her sister, but I am not really sure why. I unfortunately, figured out which way it was going to go very early on in the book. But maybe I'm alone there? This was very entertaining, but it wasn't my favorite.

Juliet by Anne Fortier

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy books that flash back and forth between multiple time periods, romance, adventure, and bits of "historical fiction". As well as Romeo and Juliet. (I'm not bonkers for R&J, but did enjoy this quite a bit!)

This book follows Julie, as she finds out that her beloved aunt Rose, the woman who raised her, has passed away. Not only that, but she has left her entire estate to her twin sister. She quickly finds out that she was left something even more valuable, a key to a safety deposit box in Siena, Italy. She is soon swept up in an adventure to Italy to solve the mystery of the key, all the while uncovering information about her ancestor Giulietta's tragic past in 1340. The past and present are woven together in a mysterious way, as what had happened in the past, was very much still relevant in the present.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was mysterious and adventurous, I didn't feel like I knew exactly what would happen, or how things would resolve. I felt like it was fast-paced, and considering I'm not overly into R&J I really quite liked this story. I thought that the romance was nice, but not overly important. The feuding sisters bothered me in this one too, but it wasn't a focus for the whole book, so that helped.

Currently Reading:

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (re-read)

On Deck:

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden* 

I ended up reading 58/50 books last year! Woohoo! See my favorite books of 2017!

Linking up with Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books today. :) 

What have you been reading? What do you hope to read this month?! 

Let's be friends on Goodreads!



* Asterisks denote titles that I was given advance access to by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. These reviews are my own opinion, and based on the edition of the book I was given at the time. Thank you Netgalley

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