Happy New Year!! Our internet was all sorts of wonky the last month or so. I had a hard time checking emails, much less updating blogs and such! It is still pretty bad, but we keep hearing of a new internet company coming in the spring. We are already on their list, so I hope it is a great thing! Even though I am combining two months, I really didn’t read a ton. Do you read a lot during the holidays? Here is what I read in November and December
If Only by Jennifer Gilmore –
When Bridget imagined her life at sixteen, it didn’t look like this. She didn’t think that her boyfriend would dump her for another girl. And she certainly didn’t think that she would be pregnant. With just a few months until she gives birth, Bridget must envision an entirely new future—one for her baby. But as she sifts through the many paths and the many people who want to parent her child, she can’t help but feel that there is no right decision.
Ivy doesn’t know much about her birth mother. She knows that she is now the same age Bridget was when she placed Ivy for adoption. She knows that Bridget was the one who named her. And she knows that fifteen years ago Bridget disappeared from Ivy’s and her adoptive moms’ lives. Ivy wants to discover more about herself, but as she goes to find Bridget, she can’t help but feel that the risks might far outweigh the benefits of knowing where she comes from and why her birth mother chose to walk away.
What I thought: This was told from two different viewpoints. I liked the story well enough, but something about it just didn’t mesh well. I am sure it is just something I didn’t like, but I am sure other people wouldn’t mind it. I don’t even know what it is!
Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding –
Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.
A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.
Until she meets Kate Randolph.
Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart…because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunick. And she’s a murderer.
In her masterful follow-up to The Party, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past?
What I thought: I think this book had a good story, but it was kind of…predictable. I still enjoyed the book…
The Giver by Lois Lowry –
Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.
What I thought: Ok, I don’t know what happened, but I had sworn that I had read this book already! I know we saw the movie, so that must have been where I was confused. I enjoyed this book! I ended up getting the set for Lauren for Christmas…and I might have to read the rest of the books as well. 😉
The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld –
A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.
“Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or—is it possible—you are still alive?”
Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as “the Child Finder,” Naomi is their last hope.
Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.
As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?
Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a breathtaking, exquisitely rendered literary page-turner about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.
What I thought: I thought this book was well done and I enjoyed reading it. I am always fascinated that my book choices seem to follow a theme for a while, even if they aren’t totally noticeable to other people. I could feel myself in this storyline just with the descriptions of everything.
The Fall of Innocence by Jenny Torres Sanchez –
For the past eight years, sixteen-year-old Emilia DeJesus has done her best to move on from the traumatic attack she suffered in the woods behind her elementary school. She’s forced down the memories–the feeling of the twigs cracking beneath her, choking on her own blood, unable to scream. Most of all, she’s tried to forget about Jeremy Lance, the boy responsible, the boy who caused her such pain. Emilia believes that the crows who watched over her that day, who helped her survive, are still on her side, encouraging her to live fully. And with the love and support of her mother, brother, and her caring boyfriend, Emilia is doing just that.
But when a startling discovery about her attacker’s identity comes to light, and the memories of that day break through the mental box in which she’d shut them away, Emilia is forced to confront her new reality and make sense of shifting truths about her past, her family, and herself.
What I thought: I enjoyed this book, the imagery was done well. Some of it was more….poetic than story I guess? Just the way it was told…It was still a good book though!
All of these books I rated as three stars or higher. I have a hard time rating anything five stars because I think I might make a mistake and read something even better and then it will throw off my whole rating scale, lol.
But this was what I read in November and December. Did you read anything wonderful over the holidays? Let me know!