Bookshelf Update

To stave off the panic + boredom, I’ve been reading a lot of books. It’s been so fun to read for fun, and not for school and I absolutely love it. In fact, the highlight of my days these days is when someone says they’d love to read a book I posted about or loved the book(s) I’ve recommended to them. I even managed to start a bit of a book club with some friends and a couple past brides! 🙌🏼 So, since we last chatted, below are the last few books I’ve gotten through with links to buy!

*The links are affiliate links 😊

  1. An Anonymous Girl. An Anonymous Girl (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5) follows Jess, a young woman in New York who enrolls in a psych study for some quick cash. An Anonymous Girl is the worst nightmare of everyone who has ever wanted to or actually participated in a psychological study. What starts as a seemingly simple task of anonymously answering questions on morality leads to something sinister. An obsession begins that Dr. Shields, the Psychiatrist running the study, cannot put behind her. She will do everything she can to find out just want makes Jess tick…and what will make her break.

    This was such an inventive story, but as a psych major details of how the study was conducted were not correct which bothered me. If you weren’t a psych major, you won’t notice these mistakes though- so don’t let that deter you! However, the fatal flaw of this book is that while the story was so captivating and engaging, it came to an abrupt end that didn’t make much sense. NO spoilers, but An Anonymous Girl definitely could have gone on for another hundred pages or so.
  2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The Ocean at the End of the Lane (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) is an incredible story but I have the hardest time really explaining what it is about so here is the description from the back of the book: “A man returns to the site of his childhood home where, years before, he knew a girl named Lettie Hempstock who showed him the most marvelous, dangerous, and outrageous things, but when he gets there he learns that nothing is as he remembered. Wondrous, imaginative, impossible, and at times deeply scary, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is classic Neil Gaiman and has captured the hearts of readers everywhere. This beautiful illustrated edition features haunting, emotive artwork by renowned fine artist Elise Hurst, whose illustrations seamlessly interweave the childhood wonder and harrowing danger that infuse Gaiman’s beloved tale.”

    If I could give it six stars I would. I inhaled this book within twelve hours; just couldn’t put it down. It’s 336 pages (which to me is a short read) and that makes it the perfect quick fiction read. 10/10 will read again.
  3. A Discovery of Witches. A Discovery of Witches (⭐️⭐️.5) is a tough one. The TV series under the same name ^ is great, I really love it and recommend it if you’re into that fantasy, slightly sci-fi genre. However, the book is…eh. I’m not even sure if I should include this one, at this point, I finished it just to check it off the list, but didn’t really enjoy it.

    The story follows Dr. Diana Bishop, a professor of history and alchemy who is at Oxford trying to finish a major paper. Diana is a witch who has never used her magic because she wants her life to be her own and not dictated by occult forces. However, all of that changes when she (unbeknownst to her) magically calls up a very old manuscript in the Bodleian Library that has been missing for centuries. Once this missing manuscript has been discovered, all of the creatures (vampires, witches, demons) start to come out of the woodwork to get their hands on the manuscript and all hell breaks loose. The community of creatures will stop at nothing to get their hands not only on the manuscript, but on Diana as well.

    This book reads very much like a Twilight for adults. While A Discovery of Witches is more thoughtful, creative, and inventive than the Twilight series ever was, there are way too many synchronicities between the two series to ignore. So with that being said…I don’t really recommend the book, but 100% recommend the series, as it is (and it hurts to say) actually better than the book. The TV series has cut through a lot of un-needed material, made Diana more of a strong and independent character, and toned down the character flaws of her love interest Mathew.

    So to read the book click the title next to the star rating, to watch the series, click here.
  4. Neverwhere. Neverwhere (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) is by the same author as The Ocean at the End of the Lane– Neil Gaiman. I absolutely loved this book and have decided that Gaiman is my favorite author. “It is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he discovers a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed. Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Here in Neverwhere, Door is a powerful noblewoman who has vowed to find the evil agent of her family’s slaughter and thwart the destruction of this strange underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life and home, he must join Lady Door’s quest to save her world—and may well die trying.”
  5. Chariot on the Mountain. Chariot on the Mountain (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) is a historical fiction novel about Mary, a white woman who will go to any lengths necessary to set one of her house slaves (Kitty, who happens to be her late husbands daughter) and her children free. But the road to freedom is not easy or safe. Just when Kitty, her children and Mary reach the safety of Pennsylvania and are legally emancipated, Kitty and her children are assaulted and kidnapped. But Kitty is now free and she will not stand for this. So Kitty does something unthinkable and never attempted- she sues her kidnapper, a white man, for assault and kidnapping. This is a beautiful story of the family you choose, and the importance of using your voice to fight for what’s right.
  6. Unspeakable Things. Unspeakable Things (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) is one of those based-on-a-true-story stories that you see on the news, or hear about in a true crime podcast, but that you don’t think could ever happen. Unfortunately, this story is based off of real events that happened in the authors hometown.
    Our heroin Cassie is a middle schooler with a quiet, perfectly normal life. Well normal apart from her abusive father, her parents disturbing parties, and their sinister guests/friends-which she’s used to. Cassie lives on a farm with her parents and sister, and has a crush on the nicest guy in school. But everything changes when one day, a boy disappears and comes back looking haunted and acting violent. One after another, boys disappear and then come back wishing they hadn’t.
    Unfortunately for her, Cassie understands all too clearly who the real players are and sees the secrets they are desperately trying to keep hidden. When Cassie’s crush is taken, Cassie risks everything to find him before it’s too late, even if that means going against her family and their shady friends.

    (Also, there are a few different novels under the same title, so make sure you use the link above to access this one).
  7. We Were Liars. We Were Liars (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) is one of those books I inhaled in one day.
    We Were Liars is narrated by 17-year-old Cadence, who was born into a wealthy New England family with high expectations of everyone, especially of Cadence and her cousins. But every Summer, everyone comes together at their family’s private island and all is well with the world again. But one year, Cadence and her cousins (the liars) decide enough is enough. They decide they will no longer compete against each other for the family fortune, they will no longer do the bidding of their mothers who always seem to drink a bit too much, but most importantly, they decide they will once-and-for-all make a stand that will change everything.
    We Were Liars is a novel with a twist so shocking, you’ll get full body chills. You’ll want to immediately read it all over again to see just how you could have missed a twist that shocking.
  8. The Hazel Wood. The Hazel Wood (⭐️⭐️⭐️) is on the same lines for me as A Discovery of Witches. It’s an inventive and creative story that’s kind of like a darker version of the show Once Upon a Time mixed with novel, The City of Bones.

    The Hazel Wood is a place where Alice has never been able to go, never been able to even find on a map, and never been able to understand. The Hazel Wood is where Alice’s grandmother lives; a woman with a dark secret. Alice’s grandmother is an author of a book that contains 12 or so short fairy tales based on a place called the Hinterland. These short stories aren’t your average fairy tales, and all of them are 10x darker than the darkest Grimm brother’s tale. The grandmothers secret? all of the stories are real. Very real.
    When one day, Alice is followed by someone from her grandmothers stories, and her mom is kidnapped by another one of the story characters, everything Alice has ever known is up-ended. What follows is Alice’s journey to rescue her mother from a place that shouldn’t even exist: the Hinterland.

    I think this novel is fine by itself, and can definitely be read as a stand alone story, but it is a series with two other books I believe.

Next up: Thirteen, the story of the serial killer who isn’t on trial, because he’s on the jury. I mean, how good does that sound!?

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