Saturday, June 7, 2014

May Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

I am excited to share with you all my May Wrap-Up! Basically, this is where I share the books I have read and my thoughts on them.

Let's get started!

In the month of May, I read a total of 9 books. This isn't as many as I was hoping, but I had other books I had to read for school and I didn't want to have to read multiple books at once.

Missing: The Program (currently lending it out to a friend)



One of the first books I read in May was Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen. I was really interested in the premise of this book, but in the end, it just fell flat for me.

Basically, the general premise is that the year is 2250 and water is scarce. The story follows the 16 year old son of the Deliverer, the man who negotiates with the ratlike miners underground that get them fresh water. Luca's father goes missing and Luca finds himself travelling underground to try and find him.

It sounded a little like City of Ember which I really enjoyed, so I thought I would really like this book but in the end, I gave it a 2/5 stars on Goodreads because it wasn't amazing and the ending left me with questions that were left unanswered.






Another book I read was The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson which by the way, wins the award for the worlds longest book title!

This book is about a man named Allan Karlsson. He turns 100 years old and is living in a nursing home. He decides that since he has had such an eventful life, including helping construct the atomic bomb, becoming friends with the President of the United States, and sharing more than one meal with Stalin himself, his life is not over yet. So he climbs out the window, and takes off.

I think that I underestimated this book. I wasn't expecting so much of Allan's backstory and since I would definitely not consider myself a history buff, I found it a little hard to follow. Overall, a solid 3/5 stars on Goodreads.







Next, I read  Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan. I actually quite enjoyed this book. 

This book features a guy named Clay who, after being laid off, gets a job at the curious looking 24 hour book store. After only a few days on the job, Clay realizes that where he works is not your average everyday book store. There are only a few customers who "check out" books, instead of buying anything. Clay is lead on a crazy adventure, all the while trying to figure out what really is Mr. Penumbra's bookstore.

I think the best word to describe this book is curious. It was quite an enjoyable tale and without giving anything away, I would definitely say, if you are even debating reading it, pick it up! Plus the hardcover I have GLOWS IN THE DARK! A 4/5 on Goodreads.






Next up, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. I really liked this one and it was a fun little quick read.

This story is based around Lily, who planted a red notebook with clues, in the famous NY bookstore the Strand and Dash, the seemingly perfect candidate for Lily's dares. 

I loved this book! I read it all in one day and loved the characters and the wit in the writing. It really was a magical novel! Although this is a Christmas centred book, reading it at the end of May was definitely not a problem.

I really enjoyed the story line and it kept me hooked throughout. I know some people have a hard time getting into this book, but I found it fascinating and couldn't bare to put it down! Without a doubt, 5/5 stars on Goodreads!





Another novel I devoured was Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park. This was my first Rainbow Rowell book, and I can tell you, it will not be my last!

This wonderful book follows the lives of Eleanor, a 16 year old who comes from a broken family and abusive stepfather and Park, also a 16 year old who decides to let the new girl sit with him on the school bus. This story is set over the course of one school year, where two teens are smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

I LOVED this book. Like, this is my new favourite book. I thought it was so well written and the characters were so real. This book was not what I had expected - it was so much more! For sure, a 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

One of the final books I read in May was Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin.

This book is about a girl named Naomi who, after a serious fall down some stairs, becomes an amnesiac. She doesn't remember her boyfriend, or how she came to love him, she doesn't remember her best friend and she definitely doesn't remember her parents divorce, or their new families.

This was a tricky book for me. I went into it only knowing the basic idea of what it was about and once I was a few chapters in, found that it hit very close to home in more ways than one, but I am left wondering if that is why I liked it. Overall this book was written very well and I found it to be an emotional roller coaster. If you are looking for a grounded, well written story that is realistic and not so story book ending, then this is your book. 3/5 stars on Goodreads.




Since my birthday was in May, one of the books I received and read was Panic by Lauren Oliver. Going into this story, I actually thought it was a dystopian, but it was actually a contemporary.

Basically, this is a story about a town that every year, all the graduating seniors play this game called  "Panic" and you have to put money in the pot everyday and if you win the game, you win all of the money. One of the main characters, Heather is playing after she realizes she needs the money and the other character Dodge wants to win for a darker reason.

I don't really know what to say about this one. I found it dragged on a bit at parts and was a little hard to follow and DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED on that ending! Ugh. It was an unexpected read, but still not terrible. An overall 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

Next up, is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. This is an adult fiction book I believe and it was fairly enjoyable.

This story follows Don Tillman, a genetics professor who has decided he needs to settle down. After he embarks on what he dubs "The Wife Project," Rosie Jarman stumbles into his life and Don's original project is put aside to help Rosie find her biological father.

This book is an adult fiction novel, so as a 17 year old, I had some problems relating to. This almost felt like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory was trying to find a wife. Everyone else seemed to love this book but it just wasn't amazing. Overall, this is a good book and I think that a sequel is in the works, which I definitely feel like the potential for a second book is there. A solid 3/5 stars on Goodreads.



Finally, I read The Program by Suzanne Young. I absolutely LOVED this book!

This is a dystopian book where suicide is an epidemic, affecting almost everyone from ages 13-17. The story follows Sloane and James, two teens who have experienced great loss and are expected to hold it together, otherwise they will be sent to The Program to be "cured." Sloane and James struggle to hold and when the depression sets in, they realize that The Program is surely coming for them.

I really loved this book. I thought that the characters were well developed and you could really feel for them. The only complaint I had was the ending, but of course, because the sequel, called The Treatment, is out, you have to keep reading to see what will happen! This was a great duology overall and I really think that this series shows that you don't need a dystopian to be a trilogy for it to be good. A 4/5 star rating on Goodreads. (It would have been 5/5 if it weren't for the cliffhanger ending!)



Well, that is it for my May books I read. I hope to have even more read in June!