Books

Show Us Your Books- What I Read In August

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

I seriously don’t know where in the world this month has gone because I can’t believe that it’s already time for another Show Us Your Books day with Steph and Jana! Surprisingly with everything that I had going on last month, I still managed to read 5 books last month, and I think that had a lot to do with the fact that I listened to a couple of them as well. So let’s get on with the book reviews!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In August

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins ★ 2 stars

This was a book that several people had mixed feelings on, but I decided to still give it a chance, especially since the audio version was readily available from the library! I loved The Girl On The Train, and I was really hoping that Paula Hawkins would write another thriller that I would love and couldn’t put down!

The Drowning Pool is an area that is notorious for being used for witch trials, but also for the mysterious deaths of several young women and girls. When Jules’s sister Nel becomes one of those mysterious deaths, she quickly hurries home to a place that she has tried hard to avoid at all costs. Will Jules be able to solve the mystery of her sister’s death?

I just couldn’t get into this book. I think that it was a combination of too many characters and not liking the characters so much that I didn’t even care what happened to them. I did hurry to finish listening to this book, but only because it had to go back to the library and it would take too long to get it again and I have a thing about finishing books.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In August

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris ★ 4 stars

After reading Behind Closed Doors last month, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on B.A. Paris’s newest book, which is why I was pretty surprised when it was actually available at the library pretty quickly. Thankfully it was a quick read, and I was able to get through it really quickly!

Cass drove home late one night in a terrible storm down a road that she promised her husband that she wouldn’t drive down. She stops when she sees a car because she thinks that somebody might have broken down, but one the person doesn’t get out and come to her car, she continues driving home. When she wakes up the next day, she realizes that the person in the car was actually a woman who was murdered! The murderer is still at large, and as strange things start happening to Cass, she’s convinced it’s the murderer coming after while her husband is convinced that she’s having a mental breakdown. Will Cass figure out what is going on with herself and figure out who murdered that woman?

While I liked both of the B.A. Paris books, I think that I liked Behind Closed Doors a little bit more, but that might have something to do with me liking messed up people and stories. Anyways this was still a really good story that had me glued to the pages from beginning to end. I did figure out part of the twist part of the way through, but the big twist I had no idea about until the end. Definitely pick this one up if you’re looking for a good thriller!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In August

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware ★ 3 stars

It’s been 16 years since Isa has seen her other three friends and played The Lying Game together, but when a text comes from one of them, they all drop everything to be together. They soon discover that the biggest lie they ever told will all come back to haunt them.

I’ve officially read all of Ruth Ware’s books and while this wasn’t my favorite, I still liked it more than The Girl In Cabin 10. For a thriller it didn’t really seem like there was too much action going on until the very end. Sometimes that works, but I found myself literally falling asleep during certain parts of it. Only reason it got 3 stars was because I actually cared what happened to the characters and wanted to know the truth.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In August

Beartown by Fredrik Backman ★ 4 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

In true Fredrik Backman fashion, he has a way of making you fall in love with a book and it’s characters even though you think that you might not love it.

Beartown is a small town that is slowly dying, except if it’s hockey team can win the Juniors final and help the town change courses. But then the unthinkable happens that turns neighbor against neighbor and makes everybody question what is right and wrong and who they should believe.

While this book definitely centers around hockey it really is about so much more than that. It’s about looking at your moral compass and making decisions that are right even if nobody else believes in it. This was definitely a lot darker than some of Backman’s other books but I still really enjoyed it, but maybe not as much as Ove and Grandmother. Be sure to check out a more extended review here!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In August

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica ★ 3 stars

I had actually started to listen to this book earlier this year, but then got sidetracked and ended up putting it down. I had listened to it enough to know that the main character was dealing with amnesia and Stockholm’s Syndrome as well, so I figured that it’d be the perfect choice for Erin’s challenge.

One fateful morning, a mother receives a horrible phone call that causes one of her worst nightmares to come true, her daughter Mia has been kidnapped. What follows is a flip between the past and the present as the reader gets to see how Mia was kidnapped and where she was held, how the police are working to solve the mystery of her kidnapping and bring her back, and the aftermath of the kidnapping and how Mia and her family are dealing with her condition.

Usually I like books that have multiple perspectives and hop around but this one just didn’t do it for me. I don’t know if it had to do with the fact that I listened to it instead of reading it and didn’t particularly care for the narrators or what. Also for being a “thriller” I didn’t really think that it was that thrilling of a book. I did like the twist at the end though!

Have you read any good thrillers lately? Have you been disappointed by any bestsellers recently?

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Show Us Your Books- August Reviews including Into The Water, The Break Down, The Lying Game, Beartown, and The Good Girl!

My Erin’s Book Challenge 7.0 Choices:

My Erin’s Book Challenge 7.0 Results:

10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “B”
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (351 pages, 4 stars).
30 points: Read a fictional book about mental illness (submitted by Jamie)
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (352 pages, 3 stars).
35 points: Read a book a Disney movie was based on OR a book based on a Disney movie
Heartless by Marissa Meyer (453 pages, 4 stars).

PREVIOUS POINTS: 45
TOTAL POINTS: 75

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Beyond Words- Beartown

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Blogger's Book Club

This Friday is definitely going to be one for the books. Not only is it the last Friday of the month, which means that it’s the time to link up with Carolann and Christy for the Beyond Words- A Bloggers Book Club, but Hurricane Harvey is rearing it’s ugly head and will definitely be hitting the Texas coast this weekend. Thankfully it’s not hitting Houston directly, but we are on the “dirty” side of the storm which means that we’ll be getting a whole heck of a lot of rain this weekend. So Chris and I are prepared to hunker down at the house all weekend and ride it out, and hopefully not get flooded in. But that’s neither here nor there because today we’re here to talk about our latest book club selection Beartown by Fredrik Backman.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Life Update

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Beartown is a small town located in the middle of the woods. What started off as a small town that was growing with a factory has turned into a small town that is dying as businesses and people begin to move away. The town does have some hope though, the Juniors Hockey Team is competing in the semi-finals of the National Championship. If they win this game and win the finals, that could mean a fresh new start for the town. Future players will want to train in Beartown so a new ice rink will be built and potentially even a shopping mall, which could turn this dying town around.

But one fateful night between two teenagers can change all of that. That one night will divide the town and turn friend against friend and neighbor against neighbor and teammate against teammate, and completely change two teenager’s lives. While on the surface Beartown can be viewed as a book about a hockey town, it really is so much more. It really makes you ask the question of what truly is right and wrong.

I feel like this is one of those books that you really can’t say too much about it because you just don’t want to give too much away. I obviously went into this book with really high expectations because I love Fredrik Backman and everybody kept on raving about how great this book was, and I think that it really lived up to those expectations.

The one thing that really surprised me about this book was how quick everybody was to become a mob and completely turn their backs on their friends that had been around for years. What happened in the book that was the main catalyst for everything to change in the town was so serious, and it amazed me how quickly everybody was able to discount what had happened and blame the victim. I understand that as a mother you want to protect your child and their dreams and goals, but as a mother you’re also supposed to help guide your children and teach them what’s right and wrong. I guess that’s what everybody would say is wrong with our generation today, that we’re too focused on getting our way instead of what’s right and wrong.

While I did really enjoy this book, I don’t think that this is my favorite Backman that I’ve read so far, I think that I actually enjoyed A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry a lot more. I feel like the content of Beartown was a lot darker than his other books that I’ve read, and I felt like the the writing was a little more jolting than some of his other books. While it did still feel like a Fredrik Backman book, it almost felt a little all over the place. I think that he was trying to give you the feel of being in the hockey rink and in the hockey culture, but it just didn’t work for me, which is why I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Anyways, if you haven’t had the chance to check out a Fredrik Backman book or you just haven’t picked this one up yet, definitely go and pick up Beartown as soon as you can. You won’t regret it, I promise, even if you don’t like hockey! Also make sure to join us next next month when we read One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This is my first TJR book, and I’m super excited!

Have you read Beartown? Did you enjoy it? 

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Beyond Words- Beartown: A book review of Fredrik Backman's new book about a town that revolves around hockey and so much more!

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Show Us Your Books- What I Read In July

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

There’s no chance that I’d ever miss Show Us Your Books Day, so of course I’m linking up with Steph and Jana so I can talk all about books with some fellow book lovers! I felt like this month was better than last month as far as reading is concerned, and it also kicked off Erin’s Reading Challenge 7.0! Another great thing about this month was that besides one book, everything that I read was from the library! Y’all I think that I’m finally hooked, and I also think that it helps me to read faster because I have an actual deadline! Anyways, let’s get on to the books!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

The Light We Lost By Jill Santopolo ★ 3 stars

This was a pick for my work book club, and when I initially read the description I thought that it wouldn’t be for me, and after reading the book I still agree with my initial assessment. Although I will say that even though it wasn’t the book for me, it was a really quick book and it kept me interested until the very end.

The whole premise of the story is that two college students meet on September 11th, and they both vow to make a difference in the world. A few years later they meet up and begin to start dating, until one of their careers takes them away. Through it all, they always seem to be drawn to each other, even after marriages and kids, but will their lives ever cross again where they can have a future?

I think that my main problem with this book was the fact that the lead female character pretty much spent the entire book pining after the lead male character. Even after they broke up, she just couldn’t get over the lead male character. Maybe I’m just really coldhearted, but I feel like if you break up with somebody you need to try and get over them and not just put your life on hold. And if you have attempted to move on, you can’t just drop everything and let this person turn your world upside down. Anyways, that was my main problem with this book, but even though it wasn’t my favorite book I still thought that it was a quick read that I still enjoyed.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

The Couple Next Door By Shari Lapena ★ 3 stars

When Anne and Marco are invited to a dinner party at their neighbor’s house they agree to go, but then their babysitter falls through. Marco convinces Anne that their few month old baby will be ok all alone, especially since they’re right next door and they’ll check on her every hour. But when they leave the dinner party for the evening, they arrive home to find their baby girl gone! What ensues is the utter chaos of a police investigation and a blame game as they try to figure out who took their baby girl and if they’ll ever get her back.

I picked this book up from the library after hearing everybody rant and rave about it for so long, and I was very glad that I did pick it up, even though it wasn’t my favorite thriller that I’ve read lately. It was interesting to see how everything was woven together and how all the characters were related, and while it was slow at parts, I seriously couldn’t put it down during the last 30-40 pages. I’d say this was more like 3.5 stars instead of 3 stars.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

In A Dark, Dark Wood By Ruth Ware ★ 4 stars

We all have friends from certain parts in our lives that we have lost contact with. Nora hasn’t seen her best friend Clare in 10 years, and then out of the blue Nora gets an invitation to Clare’s hen (bachelorette) party, literally in the middle of nowhere. After going back and forth about whether or not she should go, Nora decides that it would be worth it, in order to reconnect. While normally bachelorette parties are filled with a random assortment of people, Clare’s hen seems even more so, and as the weekend drags on, strange things start to happen, including Nora waking up in the hospital. Can Nora piece together exactly what happened during that Clare’s crazy hen party?

After reading The Woman In Cabin 10 last year I didn’t know if I’d want to read anymore Ruth Ware books because I just didn’t love it the way that everybody else seemed to. I’m so glad that I gave In A Dark, Dark Wood a chance! I started off listening to this book and then had to switch to the ebook because the audio version was about to expire from the library. The audio version was great! Overall I really loved this thriller and couldn’t wait to listen/read more of it. I was reading The Couple Next Door at the same time and it was definitely hard to not compare the two. This one definitely wins!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

Behind Closed Doors By B.A. Paris ★ 4 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Where do I even begin with this book? Everything is not as it seems for Grace and her husband Jack. While they might live in a huge and beautiful house, go on fabulous vacations, and look like the perfect doting couple, they are in fact not. Grace is actually a prisoner in her own home and tried desperately to escape multiple times. Will she ever be able to escape her sadistic husband?

This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s pretty graphic with the abuse that Grace sustained being married to Jack, which wasn’t terribly violent but terrorizing is the perfect way to describe it. The book went back and forth between the past and present which I liked, although it did get a little confusing at the end.

I think that I was so horrified by everything that was happening that I couldn’t put the book down and read it super fast. Definitely pick this up if you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

Heartless by Marissa Meyer ★ 4 stars

The Queen of Hearts is probably one of the most rememberable characters in all of fairytale history, but have you ever wondered how in the world she actually became the Queen of Hearts? Was she always so crazy and mean? Heartless tells exactly that story, how the Queen of Hearts became the Queen of Hearts.

Cath is a young woman that has a passion for baking, but unfortunately, since she’s a woman of noble birth, the likelihood of her being able to follow her dreams is very slim, especially once she learns that the King of Hearts wants to marry her! But on the night of the apparent proposal, her world shifts again when she meets the king’s new court jester. What follows is a love story that takes you all over Wonderland and the Kingdom of Hearts, and shows you exactly how Cath became the notorious Queen of Hearts.

Now I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the biggest Alice in Wonderland fan. I think that I’ve only seen the Disney movie maybe a handful of times, and I’ve never read the book. But I don’t think that there will be a Marissa Meyer book out there that I won’t read, and I’m so glad that I did pick this one up. She does an amazing job of weaving the story of Alice in Wonderland into this prequel, and really made you feel for the future Queen of Hearts as well!

Whew! I feel like this was the longest SUYB post in a while, but that’s a good thing because that means that I’m reading more! I don’t know if it’s because the library books are lighting a fire under my butt to read, or maybe I’ve just been reading some really great books lately, but I finally have my reading mojo back! I hope that it continues into the next few months because I’m finally back on track with my Goodreads reading challenge as well!

Have you read in good thrillers lately? Have you been reading a lot this summer?

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The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

My Erin’s Book Challenge 7.0 Choices:

My Erin’s Book Challenge 7.0 Results:

10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “B”
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (351 pages, 4 stars).
35 points: Read a book a Disney movie was based on OR a book based on a Disney movie
Heartless by Marissa Meyer (453 pages, 4 stars).

PREVIOUS POINTS: 0
TOTAL POINTS: 45

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