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Books Read in January

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in BetweenTalking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lauren Graham is a unique, endearing, and funny voice that I thought translated well into the written word. I enjoyed her essays, especially the ones about Gilmore Girls because...come on. She talks about Parenthood too, and the adorable fiction novel she wrote that I read last year. She talks about her childhood, her first jobs, her first performances. She talks about her relationship with Peter.

Definitely a great way to start off the year. :)

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Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay... I'm going to do my best to make this a spoiler-free review, even though that task feels slightly daunting.

This book picks up exactly where "Red Queen" ended. Mare and co. are on the run from King Maven with a plan to search for the other "NewBloods." (i.e. people with erm...undiscovered abilities.) The first half of the book was slow to get into, but the action in the second half and twist at the end helped pick the pace up. There are also a lot of new characters to remember.

I didn't really care for Mare in this book. She had this cold, calculating, almost cruel persona. I know she was turned from commoner to princess to rebel leader; but it was frustrating to see her try and shut her emotions down. When will it be okay for YA females in dystopian world to feel their feelings? Feelings can make you stronger!

I liked getting to know Farley and Shade more in this book, but they are still side-lined here. I guess Farley has her own novella, but I'm probably not going to read it. I'm kinda burned out on that concept after Danielle Paige released seventy-hundred of them for her "Dorothy Must Die" series.

I love Maven as a villain and was disappointed that he wasn't in more of the book. I'm hopeful he appears more in the 3rd book.

I feel like I should note that there are several character death. One affected me more than the others. I won't say which.

I'm on the hold list for the 3rd book at the library. It comes out next month so I'm glad I paced my introduction to this series well (even if there's a 4th one coming out in 2018. *sigh*)

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3. Still MissingStill Missing by Chevy Stevens

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Woah...this book was super messed up (and I've read Heartsick by Chelsea Cain!).

I don't want to give anything away so I'm just going to state that this book is about a real estate agent who is abducted from an Open House. She is forced to live with a madman for almost a year. She does escape her tormentor and that is why this book is told thru the sessions she attends with her psychologist.

This book deals with dark stuff - rape, emotional manipulation, violence, etc. It is not for the faint of heart.

I found the sections after her escape to drag on for a little bit, but I can understand why the build-up was necessary.

I did not see the final twist coming.


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4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has been sitting at the top of my Goodreads list since I created this account. I had attempted to read it sooner, but couldn't manage the slog through the first 100 pages or so. My husband loves this series though and as a result, I have seen the first film (the Swedish and American versions). I decided to use that to my advantage.

The first 100 pages or so are still not great. The overabundance of details is not great. The mystery of Harriet Vanger's disappearance was compelling, but disturbing. Lisbeth was an awesome character (though I hated seeing her victimized. Her revenge moment, though, made me squirm just as much.) This author definitely wants to make it clear that violence against women is not okay. I can at least appreciate that thesis.

The financial part of the book, i.e. Millenium vs. Wennerstrom, was not super intriguing. I understand why they needed to spend some time on it though.

Not a bad book, but I'm not sure I'm in a hurry to read the other two.

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5. 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts by R.J. Palacio

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a collection of quotes/precepts collected and published by Mr. Browne, the 5th grade teacher from Wonder. There were a lot of really good ones in here about kindness, about bravery, about perseverance, about justice, about truth. There were also little side stories between each month where Mr. Browne discussed his life and his interactions with students.

There were many things to love about this book.

It was definitely a welcome reprieve from some of the gloom of yesterday.

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6. Catch-22Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think there are some books out there that are intended to be read from a certain frame of mind. As I came to the middle of reading Catch-22, I suspected that I was not in that frame of mind. I'm not entirely sure that I could define that 'frame of mind' for you, but it could just be that war is not a subject that I need to be reading about right now. *shrugs*

This book is well-written and seems to be a great example of classic satire...but it's also long winded and, at times, confusing.

Until the last 100 pages or so, this book was definitely a two star rating for me, but the darker tone and realities of war presented by that last section bumped it up to a 3.

I know this book has many fans though so don't let me dissuade you from reading it if you've never given it a chance.

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7. Rob&Sara.comRob&Sara.com by P.J. Petersen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very sweet book about two people who connect as email pals. They are teenagers. They do fall in love. The parents and adults that learn about it handle it well. The Internet references are dated, but the story itself is well done. Especially the limericks. They made me giggle out loud.

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