September 2, 2016

Bite-Sized Reviews :: Edition Twenty-Three

Time to do a bit more catch up! Some days I need something light and fluffy and some days I need something a little deeper. So this batch of mini reviews is an eclectic mix of books. Which is my usual, right? :)

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Ms. Stiefvater is most definitely an incredible storyteller! Her writing is so vivid, she makes her stories come alive. She keeps me intrigued to find out what happens next, even when the story itself isn't one of my favorites. I didn't love this first book, but I still want to read the others in the series just to know how things play out. Blue and her boys' adventures are strange and a bit crazy at times, and there were bits that I skimmed pretty quickly, which meant that every time I had to pause reading I wasn't dying to pick it back up. Yet the power of Maggie Stiefvater's writing would draw me back and I'd start in again. Her characters persistently make me like them, I especially loved Blue. So for Blue's sake, I want to read more of her journey some day soon! :)


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Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra
When I learned the main character, Steph, is a book blogger, I knew I wanted to try this one. It was cute! I wasn't blown away, there wasn't anything amazing that happened, it was simply a fun little romance. When I needed a quick, easy read to escape real life for a bit, this was a nice distraction. It made me smile, which was all I wanted! :)





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The Boundless Deep by Mary Jane Hathaway
I have been thoroughly enjoying Ms. Hathaway's Cane River series! This is another story that is just as wonderful as the others. Those apartments above By the Book must be magical, it seems they've gotten quite the reputation by this time. Move in and you're guaranteed to find your true love! :D I love the family that Alice and Paul (from The Pepper in the Gumbo) have created around that bookstore. Everyone who comes into contact with those two immediately become one of them. And Rose and Blue are no exception! They do try and deny their attraction, but true love will not be thwarted, especially when helped along by Alice and Paul. ;) Plus all the literary references always give me warm fuzzies. Even when I may not know the book referenced! I sincerely hope Ms. Hathaway continues with books in this series because I want more of this surrogate little family.


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The Things We Knew by Catherine West
I liked this one, but I didn't love it. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed all the familial aspects of the siblings as they struggled to reconnect with each other. But I have to admit that there were several of them and they all had major drama in their lives. So much that I felt like things ended up getting resolved too quickly. Each sibling could have had an entire story written about what they were going through. As we get time in each of their heads, it seemed that some of the conflicts weren't given enough time to be fully fleshed out and therefore weren't able to make me truly invested, which disappointed me. But! We spend the most time with Lynette and I did care about her journey and if she would be able to get the help she needed. I enjoyed watching as she and Nick circled around their attraction for each other. Their romance was definitely a plus. So while this may not be a favorite read, I'm still happy I read it.

**I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.


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A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
I stumbled across this little book in a used bookstore and as I recently lost my mother, I thought it might be just what I needed. It was! This reads like a diary written by Mr. Lewis during the time right after his wife passed away. His stream of thought so closely echoed my own, with all the ups and downs of his emotions. As he struggles to come to terms with this grief in his heart, I connected with so much of what he wrote. And there were so many good quotes that I wrote out and stuck around my house to remind me to keep going. Such as, "Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection; the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer." Or this, "Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape." So true! If you've lost someone you love, this is a wonderful book I recommend. It helped me through several hard moments.




6 comments:

  1. Looks like you've been reading some good books. I wonder what you'll think of the rest of the Raven Boys books.

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    1. Jenny: I'm terribly curious to know what I'm going to think as well. Hoping to find copies at the library soonish!

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  2. I'm glad you enjoyed A Grief Observed. I had a hard time with it. I read it about a year after my mom passed away. It was hard for me because of Lewis's rambling nature. I know grief is like that. It's not logical, but I have a hard time following unedited thoughts, if that makes sense.

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    1. Jenni: I can understand that. His writing can be rambling anyway, but I especially felt this book was that way. And yes, that makes sense. I think my personal writing tends to be more rambling, so maybe that's why I connected with it better?

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  3. I've seen Maggie's books around SO often and considered reading them, but never have. Also, Catherine's has been making the blogosphere rounds, but somehow that one slipped past me. Ah, well. I suppose I have a big enough TBR. ;)

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    1. Rissi: If you ever do read one of Maggie's, I'd not recommend starting with this series. I'd go with The Scorpio Races or one of her other series, I think. And oh how I understand about those TBR stacks! Completely understand. :D

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