Just because I’m in Europe doesn’t mean that I’m going to miss out on Show Us Your Books day with Steph and Jana, but it probably does mean that I’ll be getting caught up on all of your posts when I’m on the plane back next week!
To be honest, this month was kind of a struggle for me reading wise, even though I managed to complete 4 books. Of the 4 books that I read, 1 of them was an audio book that I started in July and didn’t finish until the end of August, and the other 3 I didn’t start until the last two weeks of the month. I had started reading Emma at the beginning of the month, but decided to put it down for a little bit so I could read some books for book clubs. Anyways, here’s what I read during August!
Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys ★★★★★ 5 stars
This book was selected for the Beyond Words: A Bloggers Book Club August book, and I was really excited to finally read a book by Ruta Sepetys since I’ve heard so many wonderful things about her books, and Salt To The Sea totally lived up to all of my expectations!
You can read my full review here, but pretty much this is another WWII novel that is so beautifully written and stays with you for a long time after you’re done reading it. Salt To The Sea follows four young adults and teenagers who are caught up in the tumult towards the end of WWII. In 1945 the Nazis are being pursued by the Russians from the east and the Americans and British are pushing in the west. Thousands upon thousands of refugees from Prussia, Lithuania, and Poland are fleeing the oncoming Russians and their brutality, and their only hope for survival is to board one of the few ships in a port city to escape back to Germany. Each of the teenagers has a past that is currently haunting them and on their journey towards escape from the Russians, they each must come to terms with their demons. Once the characters have made it to the port city, they’re all granted passage on one of the ships making its way back to Germany. They all view this as their chance to be saved until the ship that more than 10,000 injured soldiers, refugees, and other soldiers is hit by torpedoes from a Russian submarine causing the most devastating loss in maritime history.
In my Goodreads review of this book, I described this book as “another beautifully told but haunting story of WWII,” and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a wonderful story, and even though it’s very heart wrenching, I feel like everybody needs to know how these thousands of people lost their lives. I’m already looking forward to reading more books by Ruta Sepetys, but I think I might need a little break before I start another one!
The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware ★★★ 3 stars
This book was selected for my book club at work, and even though I’m going to miss out on the meeting this month because of our trip I still wanted to read the book, especially since so many people have raved about it lately.
This book follows reporter Lo Blacklock, a travel journalist, as she sets sale on a small cruise ship (by small I mean only holds 20 guests and then crew members) that tours the Baltic Sea region. On the first night of the journey, Lo wakes up to the sound of the woman next to her being thrown over the side of the ship! When Lo reports what she hears, she finds out that nobody is staying in the cabin next to her. Lo can’t deny what she heard, and as she continues to try and find out what happened, she starts to receive even more threats and warnings from somebody on the ship.
Even though this is only a 3 star book, I really consider this more like 3.5 stars. Lo reminded me a lot of the character of Rachel in The Girl On The Train, and the fact that the character wouldn’t help herself kind of drove me crazy. Overall, I couldn’t stop reading it, and got through it really quickly, but I think that some of the other thrillers that I read this year were better.
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty ★★★★ 4 stars
Truly Madly Guilty follows 3 couples as the deal with what happened at a BBQ one evening. Throughout the book you don’t know what exactly happened at the BBQ, in true Moriarty fashion, but you find out how each of the characters feels responsible for what happened and how they’re dealing with it and their other demons throughout the book.
I absolutely love Liane Moriarty, but this book was definitely not my favorite. I think that I gave this 4 stars even though it’s more like 3.5 stars because I’m pretty sure that I gave The Hypnotist’s Love Story a 4 star review and I liked Truly Madly Guilty more. I agree with most of the other reviews out there that this started off a little slower than most of her other books and while the mystery was interesting, it just took a while for the book to capture me.
I also felt like I didn’t connect with the characters, like at all. I haven’t connected with all the characters in all of Liane’s books, but it really bothered me that Clementine and Erika didn’t even really like each other and they were best friends. I guess that they were more like frenemies instead. It’s still an enjoyable Liane Moriarty book, just don’t go in expecting it to be another Big Little Lies or What Alice Forgot (my two favorites from her) or even The Husband’s Secret which is what got people started on Liane in the first place.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★ 4 stars
This was the only book that I finished for Erin’s reading challenge (music category selection), and it also happened to be my first Rainbow Rowell book as well. I really enjoyed this book, and I’ll definitely be reading more in the future!
Eleanor & Park follows two high schoolers who know that they’re very different from the other kids that go to their school. On Eleanor’s first day on the bus, Park lets her sit with him on the bus, and as the days pass their relationship starts to build. Eleanor accepts Park despite the fact that he likes comic books and weird music that nobody likes, and Park loves Eleanor despite the fact that she’s a little overweight with crazy clothes and crazy sense of style. Will this first love be able to overcome everything that life throws at them?
Despite this book being a young adult book, it really deals with a lot of adult subjects. Eleanor’s home life is very rough, not only is she dealing with poverty but also an abusive step father but a mother that won’t get away. Park on the other hand is trying to deal with being himself, even if who he is isn’t what his dad wants. I’ve heard that this is Rainbow Rowell’s book that deals with a more tough storyline, so I’m excited to read some of her other books that are maybe more lighthearted. Good thing I have Fan Girl selected for Erin’s Challenge too!
So overall a solid reading month for me, but I have a feeling that September isn’t going to be a big reading month for me since we’ll be traveling for about half of it. Here’s to hoping that I’ll be able to read a book or two on the plane though, and hopefully make it through more of Erin’s reading challenge!
My Challenge Choices:
- 5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass (404 pages)
- 10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “R”.
Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran (355 pages)
- 10 points: Read a book with five words in the title.
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot (277 pages)
- 15 points: Read a book that has a (mostly) blue cover.
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (479 pages)
- 20 points: (Submitted by Barbara A. Wild; she’s a twin and is a mother to twins.) Read a book with twins as characters. Helpful link:https://www.goodreads.com/…/show/5031.Best_Books_About_Twins
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (445 pages)
- 20 points: (Submitted by Christina Mapes) Read a book from the following list of books made into movies: http://www.popsugar.com.au/…/Books-Being-Adapted-Movies-327…
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (369 pages)
- 25 points: (Submitted by Stef Thompson) Read a book set in a country you have always wanted to visit.
Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer (368 pages)
- 30 points: (Submitted by Linda Young Zajac) Read a historical fiction book. Helpful links: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/historical-fiction or http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kindle-Store…/…/157059011
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler (384 pages)
- 30 points: (Submitted by Ericka Blankenship) Read a music related book. (i.e. a memoir from a musician, singer, band, roadie, producer, groupie, music journalist, etc. OR a fictional book with a lead character that is a musician, music teacher, etc.) Helpful links:https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/music-themed orhttps://www.goodreads.com/…/1566.Classical_Music_themes_in_… orhttp://www.mtv.com/news/1860773/music-themed-ya-book-list/ orhttps://www.goodreads.com/…/26006.Best_Biographies_Memoirs_…
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (328 pages)
- 35 points: (Submitted by Ferne Merrylees. Read a book originally published over 100 years ago. This link should help:https://www.goodreads.com/…/16.Best_Books_of_the_19th_Centu…
Emma by Jane Austen (474 pages)
My Challenge Results So Far:
10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “R”.
Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran (355 pages, 4 stars)
10 points: Read a book with five words in the title.
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot (277 pages, 4 stars)
20 points: (Submitted by Christina Mapes) Read a book from the following list of books made into movies: http://www.popsugar.com.au/…/Books-Being-Adapted-Movies-327…
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (369 pages, 5 stars)
30 points: (Submitted by Ericka Blankenship) Read a music related book.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (328 pages, 4 stars)
PREVIOUS POINTS: 40
TOTAL POINTS: 70