book review {feb 2017}

Why is it that in school I dreaded giving book reports & now I love them? I guess part of it stems from the fact that I didn't always love the books I was required to read.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton // This was one of those books that I liked...but I almost had troubles getting into it. What kept me going for most of it was the fact that I was told it had a great twist. So I waited for it. Then, one Sunday, I basically took the whole afternoon to do nothing but read & knocked out the last half of the book. Once I got going, it definitely held my attention, & the twist was worth it! I have to admit though, I figured the twist out right before it was revealed. There are two storylines intertwined: Dorothy's young years during the English Blitz, & Laurel, Dorothy's now 50-something year old daughter, who is now determined than ever to unravel the mystery that she witnessed as a child. It could change everything she knows about her mother.

Outlander, The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon // I pulled this out to start at the beach & my brother-in-law asked me if I was reading the dictionary. ha. I've made it through book 5, & I still love this series. Some highlights of this book: war is coming in the Colonies; a buffalo is slain by a woman; someone is bitten by a poisonous snake; someone is hanged; someone returns; a wildfire threatens a village. 

In the Woods by Tana French // I have this thing with not reading the summary on the back of any book once I've brought it home with me. Usually by the time I pick it up to read, I'll have forgotten the summary. I enjoy trying to figure out what the main plot is. Therefore, I had completely forgotten what this book was about by the time I started reading it. I'm not really sure when I picked this up or when it made it on my must-read list, but it did. The opening chapter was quite a doozy & I was hooked. This was a double murder mystery, set about 20 years apart. The main detective was determined to figure out if the two mysteries were connected or if they were just coincidental. One part of the ending did bother me, but I can't tell you what it is because that would spoil the whole thing. 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer // Don't judge me. I enjoy YA novels from time to time. I stole this off of my cousin's book shelf & read it in a weekend. Yes it's a quick read & predictable, but I enjoyed it. In fact, I'm currently reading the sequel right now. It caught my attention because it's a re-telling of Cinderella, & I can't pass up those kinds of stories. 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (not pictured) // This book. A friend highly recommended it & I had troubles putting it down. As I heard myself describe it to my husband, I realized how boring the plot sounded, but rest assured, it was anything but. I clearly have a thing for mystery books, because 3 of these books open with a murder of some kind. This one even names who died & who did it in the opening chapter! I can't give a summary better than Amazon's so here you go: "Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking & living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly & forever, & they discover how hard it can be to truly live & how easy it is to kill."

The Crown & the Crucible, book 1 of The Russians series by Michael Phillips & Judith Pella (not pictured) // Years & years ago I read this series. I was little & skimmed over the chapter that were political in nature & focused on the love story. By the time I reached the final book, I realized how much I had missed & the ending really didn't make sense to me. It stuck in the back of my mind & I was determined to read the series again. Thus, I began looking for this series, & strangely enough, I only found it in church libraries. Oh well. I got my hands on the first book. I honestly was disappointed, which made me sad. It was so so so clear that one of the authors wrote the historical/political side & the other wrote the romance. Whoever edited the story did a poor job of making the authors' styles flow seamlessly & I found it really distracting. My older more mature self also had a problem with how quickly the prince fell in love with the maid. (Cinderella much?!) I probably won't be re-reading the rest of the series. I don't know how historically accurate this story is (if at all). Just a head's up.

Harry Potter & the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne & John Tiffany // Don't hate me, but I liked this story. I know a lot of people hated it, but to each his own. Yes, it is different than the original stories, primarily because it wasn't written by J.K. Rowling, but also because it's a play. I won't say too much because I'd rather you form your own opinion. It's honestly on the sad side of things, but I'll jump on the chance to see it performed on stage!