Friday, February 1, 2013

Good January Reading

Welcome February and Happy Friday! At times January sure did seem like a big blur to me. It was a month filled with some so-so exercise, some sickness, some butt freezing temperatures, some knitting, some Jury Duty and tons of reading!

Today's post is going to be all about what I read during January! I know, very exciting, but I am a woman who loves to read and look forward to sharing with you all that I read during the year. By doing so, you may even find a book or two that interests you.

First let me say, I read all varieties of genres. One day I may read a Historical Fiction novel and the next day it may be a Young Adult novel. The one genre you may not see on my lists are the Classics. I think all the reading of them I had to do in High School and College may have given me the fill of them.

One of my goals this year is to read 40 books. I think that is a pretty big goal and when I set it, I didn't know just how realistic it would be. I think that January had gotten me off to a pretty good start on that goal. I managed to read a total of 7 books and let me tell you, I enjoyed every single one of them.

So let's get started...

1.  Divergent (#1) by Veronica Roth
Finished January 6, 2013

"In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I had heard that if you enjoyed the Hunger Games series, then this was a must read. In my opinion it is absolutely true. This is the first book in the Divergent Trilogy and I have to say I enjoyed this book way more than the Hunger Games. The ending left me wanting more.

2. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Finished January 9, 2013

"Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match."

I had come across this book on a summer must read list this past summer. I wrote the name of it down and completely forgot about it until I saw that my sister had bought it. I admit I started reading it probably back in November, but only the first couple of chapters. After I finished Divergent this year, I was waiting for some books to become available through the library so I thought I would commit myself to finishing this book. I did enjoy the book and can understand why it was on a summer reading list. I could see myself lounging at the beach or at the park while being totally engrossed in it. I always know I am enjoying a book when I want to yell at the characters and I wanted to do that A LOT!

3. Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon
Finished January 13, 2013

"When Josie Jensen, an awkward 13-year-old musical prodigy crashes headlong into new-comer Samuel Yazzie, an 18-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a future and a life, leaving his young mentor behind. Many years go by and Samuel returns, finding his old friend in need of the very things she offered him years before. Their roles reversed, Samuel teaches Josie about life, love, and letting go. Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings."

When my sister finished this book she told me I had to read it! I am so glad I did. This is a beautiful story and I became emotionally involved with the characters. I DID NOT and COULD NOT put this book down!

4. Unveiled by Colleen Quinn
Finished January 19, 2013

"What happens when two people marry for money. . .and then find out neither one has any?

Katie O’Connor is desperate. When an opportunity arises to impersonate a wealthy socialite, she sees a way out of disaster. All she has to do is find a rich husband. When she meets Christopher Scott, of the well-to-do Scott family, she falls hard for him, only to discover the truth after they are wed. . .

This is another book my sister had and the cover intrigued me to see what it was all about. It is classified as Historical Romance. I was excited to pick it up every night before I went to sleep to see what would happen next with Katie. I would recommend it to anyone as a filler book to read between major books because it is such a quick delightful read.

5. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Finished January 23, 2013

"Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.
So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, , she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over..."

My sister has read this book. I know this book has been making it's rounds in the book clubs. I know it took FOREVER for my library to get me a copy of it to read. I thought this book was fun and couldn't imagine what my life would be like if I hit my head and woke up thinking I was 29 again!

6. Insurgent (#2) by Veronica Roth
Finished January 27, 2013

"One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so."

Knowing that the third book in this series wasn't due for publication until this Fall (hopefully), I tried to put off reading this book for as long as I could. When I put it on hold at the library, I thought that getting through the long list a patrons in front of me would take longer than it actually did. So of course, I couldn't resist finding out what happened with Tris Prior. When I read the last sentence of this book I immediately said to myself, "When if the next one coming out again?"

7. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Finished January 30, 2013

"A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

This is another book my sister had (yes, we read and recommend a lot of books to each other) and I had been wanting to read it for a long time. I started this book late last year and again I only read the first 3 chapters. When I finished Insurgent, I told myself I wasn't going to get any other books out of the library until I finished this one. While the peculiar pictures throughout the book kinda gave me the creeps and it took me a bit to really get into the book, I ended up knocking this book out in a few days. I was in bed one night reading and all of a sudden I hit a point in the book where I didn't want to stop reading. I was completely sucked in it. I noticed that this book is classified as #1, so I browsed the internet to see if there really was going to be a sequel. It's appears to be true. I will definitely be reading it.

Tell me, what have you been reading? I am always looking for new authors/books to read. Any recommendations?

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