My Summer Reads

One of the things I try to do on summer break is cram as many books into my brain as humanely possible. I admit…I have slacked a little this summer in the reading department. But the books I have read have been pretty great, so let me tell you about them.

Close Your Eyes And Hold Hands. by Chris Bohjalian
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This was the last book I read. It’s told from the viewpoint of Emily Shepard, a runaway from Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. She is on the run because she is certain she is in danger: her dad was in charge of the towns nuclear power plant, and after it’s meltdown,thousands of people are forced to flee their homes. Both of her parents are killed in the blast and everywhere she turns, she hears of another person cursing her father. She creates a new identity for herself as “Abby” and tells no one who she really is. She loses her way: drugs, prostitution, and sleeping on a mattress in a drug dealers apartment are her new normal. When she befriends another young runaway, Cameron, she begins to come back to the surface as she is forced to think of “what is good” and “what is bad” for her new 9 year old companion.

It’s heartbreak,jarring and emotional. I really liked it because the main character is so well written and I felt like I truly got to know her. I began to see her life in the before/after stages that she tells the book in, and why she made certain choices. I even liked the rambling round about way she tells stories because I feel like I do the same exact thing! I liked Chris’s writing style and will be back for more of his books!

Where She Went by Gayle Foreman
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I have blogged once before about “If I Stay. This is it’s sister follow-up book. I don’t always like follow up books. Hunger games, Divergent-these third and final books in the series were downright Awful. I didn’t even finish the 3rd Divergent book because I kept falling asleep. Anyway, I wasn’t going to read this book: I really liked the way “If I Stay” was written, and I liked it’s ending and the way the story left off. I didn’t want to change anything in my own head with what happened.

But One (boring) day, I was desperate for a new book to read. This one popped up on my kindle feed (thanks Amazon!) and being desperate and all..I bought it. And RIGHT after I had just had a lengthy conversation with my mother about how I didn’t plan on reading this book:
mom:are you going to read Where She Went? You loved If I Stay
Me: NO WAY!! I like the ending and I don’t want to ruin it for myself! What if the second book is really stupid or really sad? That will change how I feel about it!!

…and BAM! I did it anyway. Rebel!

This book is a continuation of Mia and Adams beautiful love story. My God. I could not put it down. It’s amazing, it’s powerful, I love the characters, and it might be one of my favorite books of all time. I really dont want to tell you too many details in case you haven’t already read “If I Stay” (coincidently, it comes to theaters next week!) Everyone i know who read this book absolutely loved it. Trust me, I wouldn’t lie to you! If a love story is what you’re after..this is the one for you.

Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah
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This book is a little older. Its a story of friendship that we have all heard before: two best friends who share a unique bond throughout their years. Tully is as brazen and outspoken as her best friend Kate is reserved. The two are unlikely friends and begin to bond after a tragedy befalls Tully. When one girl moves away, they continue to write letters back and forth to detail their lives. Each girl has her own dreams that lead them to college and beyond. I really am not doing a great job detailing this book: it was pretty good-but all the other ones I have read this summer…were better. BUT—sometimes I get stuck in a rut where I do not want to read any style of book unless it’s like the one I’m reading now. So if stories about beautiful friendships are up your alley right now…this is for you!!

Series: The Unwind Dystology Books by Neil Schusterman.
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This is a four part series –
Book 1-Unwind
Book 2-UnWholly
Book 3-UnSouled
..with its final book (UnDivided) being released on October 14, 2014. At least it gives me a book to look forward to!

The plot of these books is really out there. It stems from the “pro-life/pro-choice” debate that has plagued our country for many many years. The story begins after the “Heartland War” (essentially the 2nd Civil War) where a Bill of Life is created that states that human life must not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the ages of 13. However a loophole allows parents to retroactively get rid of a teenager through the process called “Unwinding.”

The story is based on three teens: Connor, a rebel whose parents have signed his unwinding order and is to be taken away. Risa, a beautiful ward of the state who is to be Unwound due to budget cuts, and Lev, the last of 10 kids, born a religious tithe and destined for Unwinding since birth. These three kids couldn’t be more different. Their lives intersect as they try to save themselves, and others, from the terrible fate of Unwinding. As weird, sick, and twisted as the topic of “Unwinding” is… The characters are all very relatable. Their stories of feeling lonely and lost could be YOUR story of being lonely and lost.

There are a ton of more issues in these stories: abortion, adopting, and storking are just a few of the extremely serious topics discussed. They are gripping books. Sometimes it was hard to read certain parts because it was fairly grisly. I could not put them down- they consumed me until I was done. If you’re looking for a whole different type of book–this is for you. When I finished the third book-I was SUPER bummed that I would have to wait for the fourth. I promise you:each book is as interesting as the last.

Can you tell what were my favorite reads this summer?!

Up Next:
Jodi Picoults “Storyteller” and “Dear Daughter” by Elizabeth Little.

Whatcha readin?

Happy Friday!!

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9 thoughts on “My Summer Reads

  1. Ooh, awesome! I love hearing/reading about what others are reading 🙂 I’m definitely adding a few of these to my to-read list!

    I just finished “Dear Catastrophe Waitress” by Brendan Halpin. I picked it up solely because of the name, which is the title of a Belle and Sebastian song. I didn’t have any expectations, but it ended up being really good. A good chunk of it is set in Boston too, and I always like reading books that are set locally.

  2. I ended up reading the Storyteller while I was on vacation! I thought it was really good, but there were some parts that were harder to get through…I won’t say more than that but I hope you enjoy it!
    And thanks for the other recommendations! I am waiting for “If I stay” to be available to borrow from the electronic library.

    • Ahhhhhh!!!!!! Lisa I ended up MAKING myself put it down bc i HAVE to finish a work book before I go back to school next week—now I’m excited to talk to you about the book!! Thanks lady! and I literally CANNOT wait to hear what you think of “If I Stay”! It’s So. Dam. Good.

  3. I’m not a super fast reader because of my busy schedule but I’m slowly trying to work my way through the diary of ann frank

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