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Sunday, May 03, 2015

Books of April 2015

My April included a fishing trip with Alex, a fun 5k, a fast 10k, and some longer runs before Cap City. It also included a week long work trip to Dallas (my longest trip yet) and visits with friends and family. I got sick the last week of April and it's holding fast. No bueno.

I picked up a bunch of quick-read mysteries from the library in April and it was nice to feel like I made a dent in my to-read shelf. Unfortunately, it was my virtual to-read list and not my overflowing physical to-read bookshelf. Oh well, progress is progress. Let's look a the books of April:

Finished April 16, 2015
by Megan Abbott

Review: 4 / 5 
I enjoyed this more than Dare Me, but I'm not sure if it's because I read it (vs. audiobook) or if I liked the characters better. A few of them were certainly nicer than the terrible girls in Dare Me. Deenie's father Tom was an interesting character. It's nice to see a parent treated as a real person in a YA book - what a novel concept! (Oh gosh, am I old enough to care about that stuff now?!) 

Can't say too much more without going into the details of the "Fever," but I'd watch this as a movie. And I'd like to confess that I thought this was dystopian for the first 15 or so pages due to the original book cover and weirdly vague set-up of the vaccinations.

Finished April 9, 2015
by Becca Fitzpatrick 

Review: 3 / 5 
I really hated book 2, so it was nice to get back to enjoying the story. While I sort of feel like the book could have been skipped or combined with book two, I was relieved the plot was explained a few times. I'm not up on my mythical angel / Nephil origin stories and the review was welcome. 

For a review with spoilers, you can read my review on Goodreads by clicking the book title above. 

Finished April 16, 2015

Review: 4 / 5 
I read this on my plane ride home from Texas. A quick read and very entertaining. Maya seems like a class act and a nice kid. (I think she may be in college now, so I guess I should say "young lady.") I'd recommend this to women of all ages... and I think some pre-teens could learn a few things from Maya. The book has a nice message and at the end of the day, popularity is about caring for and interacting with other people. 

Finished April 18, 2015

Review: 4 / 5 
I didn't read this cover to cover, but chose sections of interest (stretching, strength, and food were pretty interesting). Alex flipped through it, too. My copy is a library books, but I'd recommend keeping this at home as a running resource if you're hardcore or looking for advice. 

Obviously, Meb is an elite athlete and I'm not going to follow his exact plan (or run marathons), but it's interesting to read what a top athlete goes through to win. He makes a lot of sacrifices and spends a lot of time training and it pays off. It's nice to see an honest depiction of his regimen. I'm kind of tired of lies like, "anyone can win with a tiny amount of effort! And eat all the donuts!"

Finished April 19, 2015
by Paula Hawkins 

Review: 4 / 5 
Is this the "It" Book of 2015? 

I had to take a weeklong break from this for travel, but it was very easy to get back into the story upon my return. Had I the time, I could have finished this in one or two days. 

I figured some things out a bit early on (I'm not sure if that was intentional or not), but it still unraveled in a fascinating way. Can't say too much without dropping loads of spoilers. I know the phrase "if you liked Gone Girl..." is overused, but if you did, you'd probably enjoy this. 

Finished April 20, 2015
by E. Lockhart

Review: 4 / 5 
I'm glad I didn't know anything about this going in or read the rave reviews. I don't think it would have held up if I were expecting it to be amazing. 

I zipped through it. I didn't love the main character and her migraines made made nauseous, but it's always fun to read about spoiled rich people and their issues. Without giving anything away, I enjoyed the ultimate result and had to go back and read several passages. Nice job, author.

Finished April 27, 2015
by Emily St. John Mandel

Review: 4 / 5 
I didn't love this book, but a 3 feels rude. This is another story of a post-apocalyptic world, but it's not a zombie world or YA love story featuring a strong teen who takes on the government. In fact, there is no government.

The way it was written reminded me of Sydney Sheldon novels or even Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: lots of perspectives and overlapping stories, but written in a really dry manner. I didn't enjoy the Symphony in the beginning and was relieved when the story flashed to other times and characters. I'm not sure how I feel about the characters revolving around one central figure. I know you can't get an answer to all questions, but a few more would have been nice.

If this book does really well and warrants a special edition, they should hire an artist to compose a few pages of the graphic novel Station Eleven to intersperse throughout the novel. (Davie Gibbons of Watchmen? ...But maybe that's too predictable.) I'd buy that.

For a review with spoilers, you can read my review on Goodreads by clicking the book title above. 

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As always, these reviews were ripped from my Goodreads

What did you read in April? 
What are you reading now? 

What I'm looking forward to:  I finished Kimberly McCreight's Where They Found Her on May 1st and started Lauren Oliver's Vanishing Girls. I may need a break from women-centric crime/mysteries for a while. No idea what I'll read next! 

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