Book #13: i’d know you anywhere by Laura Lippman

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I’m not usually one to read suspense but this one had an interesting premise. I think the author did a good job of giving and withholding information from the reader and the book moved at a good pace. The protagonist felt like a real person wrapped up in her own thoughts and prone to distractions. I liked the way that Eliza grew as person. It was subtle and yet still concrete. The author also did a great job of portraying the antagonists Walter’s twisted logic and his complete lack of empathy and feelings of justifications for his actions. I also appreciated that the author re-framed from needless plot twists and showed that even having undergone great tragedy one was able to move on and still create a relatively happy life and have faith in the world. I will certainly keep an eye out for more from this author but as I have 10 books waiting in Que it might be sometime before I get around to reading another one of her works.

Book: #13 of 100

Number of Pages: 370

Total Number of Pages: 4106

Days Remaining: 329

Book #12: 30 Lessons for Living Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans by Karl Pillemer, Ph.D.

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I do not know what exactly I was expected from this book. Some life altering piece of advice? A good idea of what lay before me when I reach the age of the people interviewed for this book? The author certainly feels that he discovered something magical in his interviews with senior citizens but for the most part their advice was common sense and things I’ve heard a million times before. I did meditate on many of the lessons and it was a good reminder of the importance of some of them but ultimately I feel like I didn’t feel like I learned any new information from this one. Perhaps it would be better for someone a little older or a little younger than myself.

Book: #12 of 100

Number of Pages: 268

Total Number of Pages: 3736

Days Remaining: 330

Book #9: The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

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While I liked the writing style, the characters and the setting I found myself putting this book down quite a bit. I feel as though it is trying to make some big statement about faith or knowledge that has been lost in the modern age but there was nothing really substantial, profound, or unique about it. It didn’t help that over all there was very little plot to this book. It felt as though someone made a rough outline of just a page and then filled it in with quotes, descriptions of the setting, short history lessons, and casual conversation. There just wasn’t anything substantial there. I think that this is one book you will likely either love or hate.

Like I stated there are a number of good things about the book so ultimately I do like the author and I would like to read more from her but I hope that her future works have a little more plot to them. Considering that this is her first novel I am sure that there will be. She definitely has a lot of potential.

Book: #9 of 100

Number of Pages: 258

Total Number of Pages: 2994

Days Remaining: 349

Book #8: Suffer the Children by Craig Dilouie

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An interesting take on the zombie/vampire apocalypse story Dilouie’s story had a clear voice and even though you knew where the story was headed you found yourself hoping that somehow things would turn around. The way that the parents and society seemed to deteriorate along with the innocence and humanity of the children was chilling and compelling. The book asked the question of just how far parents would be willing to go for their children and their families and it did not disappoint. I can’t go into to many details without ruining the book but I will say that while many questions are left unanswered such as how the “disease” took hold in the first place, if the children are still aging what happens when a child hits puberty, etc. it is ultimately satisfying.

Book: #8 of 100

Number of Pages: 342

Total Number of Pages: 2736

Days Remaining: 354

Book #7: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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I’m not sure how I expected this book series to end but I was surprised at which characters lived and which died. I wish that the ending would have gone into some more details about how the new Capitol was structured, what happened in the last Hunger Games, and what became of some of the supporting cast but all in all I found the ending to be relatively satisfying. I thought it was fitting that Katniss ended up with Peeta and that people found a way to rebuild and move on with their lives. I also appreciated that the author did not wave a magic wand and make the wounds that were inflicted by the tragedies they faced disappear or completely fade away as authors so often do with these types of books.  May check out Collins’ Gregor the Overlander series at some point.

Book: #7 of 100

Number of Pages: 458

Total Number of Pages: 2394

Days Remaining: 357

Book #6: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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The second book in the series was quite entertaining although I felt the time in the arena seemed a little rushed. I enjoyed the implications of the uprisings against the Capitol although I was disappointed we didn’t get extended details about the other Districts or get to know the full extend of what is going on. I suppose that we are only given the opportunity to know what is happening through Katniss POV and she didn’t know the full extend so it’s only natural we wouldn’t have those details. I’m hoping when I watch the movie that it will fill in some of those details like they did in the first movie. I did enjoy this book though and finished it in half the time of the first book. I look forward to wrapping up the series.

Book: #6 of 100

Number of Pages: 472

Total Number of Pages: 1936

Days Remaining: 358

Book #5: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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I have been meaning to get around to reading this series since I saw the movie a few years back. I have the box set of the three books so expect to see the other two added to my list soon. The book was so close to the movie I was actually disappointed. I expected them to have left a lot out but most of it was there and in fact it seemed like the movie gave you more details since you found out about what was happening outside the arena. Unfortunately, the book is never as good if you watch the movie first. I can’t fault the book for that. I do enjoy the author’s writing style and the character. Thankfully I have only seen the first movie in the series so I am sure the remaining books will be better. Will keep you posted on my progress.

Book: #5 of 100

Number of Pages: 454

Total Number of Pages: 1464

Days Remaining: 359

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

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I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed Everything I Never Told You. All of the main characters in the book were fleshed out and emotionally complex and you couldn’t help but draw parallels between characters in the book and people who have known in your life. The story moves from character to character and back and forward through time swiftly but it transitions so smoothly that it seems natural. It is rare that you can the chance to read a book that deals with grief in so many ways and asks so many honest questions but doesn’t push its own opinion on the matter. It is also rare to see a new author with such a clear and distinct voice. I really hope to see more books from her in the future.

Book: #4 of 100

Number of Pages: 292

Total Number of Pages: 1010

Days Remaining: 362

Neptune’s Tears by Susan Waggoner

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I thought that I was going to wrap this up tomorrow but it was a slow day so I was able to get this one wrapped up as well. I’m not quite sure how I feel about Neptune’s Tears. I wanted to like it but despite it having a number of interesting ideas I do not feel like it really came together for me. I thought that the love story was a lacking and that the characters never truly seemed to grow or learn more about one another. I was able to figure out the “big twist” almost immediately so I felt like there really was no pay off at the end of this book and that it felt unfinished. I wish that they would have gone into more depth with the Empaths, the technology of the day, had given us more information on the terrorists, and most importantly had wrapped up many lose threads such as the supposed struggles of the lives Diviners, what happened to the turncoat diviner,  what the future of humanity was like, and what effect people being there could have on the future, etc. Had the author taken some additional time to explore all of these subjects I feel like this could have been a very good book but ultimately it seemed rush and just didn’t work for me. Can’t win them all I guess.

Book: #3 of 100

Number of Pages: 218

Total Number of Pages: 718

Days Remaining: 364

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

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Today I decided to take it a little easy and read a short novel by one of my favorite authors Neil Gaiman. The Ocean at the End of the Lane combines realism with fantasy in just the way that one would come to expect from Gaiman. The story was compelling and at times terrifying, sad, and hopeful. The fact that in a way the main character relives the story time and time again but can never hold on to the truth of his childhood for long was very poetic in a way and its questions about morality leave a lasting impression. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for something shorter to read that leaves a huge impact. I will definitely be reading more Gaiman at some point this year.

Book: #2 of 100

Number of Pages: 178

Total Number of Pages: 500

Days Remaining: 364