Recently Read Vol. 4

It’s that time again. Five more books read, 20 so far this year. Need a book recommendation? Check out Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3.

Recently Read Vol 4

1. Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

Let’s just start with this. It took me reading 70% of this book to realize that I’d already read it. For some reason I thought I had started it and never finished it, when in fact I’d read the entire book. Oops.

This book follows a mother who sees her sons face on a “have you seen this child?” flyer. Though she legally adopted her son, her instincts kick in and she winds up trying to retrace the steps of the adoption as well as the kidnapping of the child on the child on the flyer. Cool premise, right?

Even though I’d discovered I’d read it (and therefore kind of knew what was coming) I still enjoyed it. Sure, it’s no Gone Girl, but the plot twists are surprising and the desperation of the main character is totally believable.

A solid beach read.

2. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Following Gone Girl, I immediately felt I had to read Gillian Flynn’s other novels. Neither were even close to as good as Gone Girl.

Sharp objects is creepy. I heard it was horror in genre (something I’ve never been interested in) but I didn’t see it as horror.

Here’s what I realized about all of Gillian Flynn’s main characters: they are all not likable. At all. I started this book and quickly realized that I pretty much hated the main character and felt the same way about Dark Places (we’ll get to that).

Sharp Objects is about a reporter who has issues, who returns to her hometown (the root of those issues) to cover the story of a recent murder. Commence lots of creepy, bored teenagers and desperate housewives with secrets. Oh, and more murder. Of children. The book keeps you on your toes but the people you are suspicious of, who come off as the most creepy, well your suspicions are completely warranted.

3. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Convinced that maybe this would be better than Sharp Objects, I jumped in. Again, not at all like Gone Girl but this one hooked me a bit more.

Dark Places is about Libby, a screwed up low life who has every right to be super screwed up (but I still didn’t like her). As a child, her mother and sisters were murdered in an apparent satanic sacrifice at the hands of her brother Ben. Libby then testifies against Ben. Twenty-five years later, Ben is in jail but not everyone believes he’s guilty.

Again, let’s remind you that almost none (no actually, none) of the characters in this book are likable, but I guess Gillian Flynn has proved that you can write a decently likable book without a single likable character. Man, I’m really selling this one. If you read this before Gone Girl, you’d probably think it was great. After, it’s a bit of a let down.

4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Anytime there is a book that will eventually turn in to a movie aimed at 13 year olds, I’m bound to read it. If I Stay just came out in theaters last week. My little sister desperately wants to see it.

This book is deceptively short based on how big the book looks. Maybe it was just the edition that I bought but the font was freaking huge! I’m like, did I buy the large font version? Is this book really for 5 year olds?

That said, it’s easy to plow through this book in like 3 hours. Based on the movie trailer, you’d think it was about a girl in a coma but so much of the book is flashbacks, done in a very conversational way. Almost like the main character, Mia, is talking to herself and going through the significant moments of her life. It’s deep, for a book written for 13 year olds. I enjoyed it.

5. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

If you took my advice and read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, read this book immediately. It’s in my top 3 favorite books I’ve read this year.

The main character, Don, had autism and the way that his thought process is written and the way the author got inside the brain of Don is truly fantastic. Sure, no two people are the same (and certainly we can’t completely compare real people to fictional characters) but I feel like I understand people with autism better after reading this.

Don decides that the only way to approach finding a wife (because after all, married men live longer) is to create a questionnaire and give it to a large sample size of women. He’d then be able to weed out the undesirable traits and then find the most compatible mate. Foolproof, right? Instead he finds Rosie, a grad student who is the opposite of what he was looking for but who has a project of her own – the father project. And so Don, a geneticist, begins to help Rosie find the man who could potentially be her father.

It’s heartfelt and charming and all kinds of warm fuzzies. Now that I think about it, it’s got a touch of When Harry Met Sally in it. Can men and women really be just friends? Can the person you don’t think you’re at all compatible with actually be your soulmate? Read this book if you love romantic comedies.

On another note, I’d like to add that I think it’s sort of weird and pretentious when a book is titled [insert title here]: A Novel. Like, what did you think we thought it was? [Book title]: A Rhinoceros? [Book Title]: An Pint Glass? It’s a novel. Throwback word time: DUH.

Now’s the part where I need help. Book recommendations please! I’m thinking of reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Have you read it?

  • I’m not convinced that I actually like Flynn’s books. She definitely knows how to tell a story…but…. “The Rosie Project” on the otherhand, I loved! x

  • I just read Gone Girl a few weeks ago, and was wondering if I should give other Gillian Flynn books a try. And now I’m iffy. Haha. But I also started reading If I Stay and completely agree, it’s really pretty good! And I’m flying through it.

  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I loved Attachments, so I moved straight onto this one! It’s just as good.

  • looks like I need to check out the rosie project. i think you and I have very similar taste in books. also #1 i laughed out loud that you already read it.

  • Have you read The Witness by Nora Roberts? Lisa Scottoline writes pretty good books, she has a bunch out about this group of female lawyers one is called V for Vendetta. I’ve read a few of those and they are good. Lethal by Sandra Brown is also a really good book, it hooks you from the first page.

  • I loved Gone Girl and then the other two just left me questioning what is wrong with Gillian Flynn that she has these ideas in her head….you’re right, the characters were totally unlikeable! The books weren’t that bad, but I kind of questioned my own sanity while reading them…

  • I’ve got If I Stay on my bookshelf waiting to be read, and I’ve been on the fence about Gone Girl. Since you mentioned how much you love it repeatedly, I might have to download the sample on my iPad…

    I haven’t read Me Before You, but since it sounds like you enjoy young adult novels as much as I do, I definitely recommend the Divergent series if you haven’t already read it. I just finished it recently and it was fantastic! I also absolutely loved Night Circus (a creepy, magical premise that I absolutely adore reading) and The Book Thief.

  • Those were some great choices! I haven’t read The Rosie Project yet, but it’s on my list. I really enjoyed “If I Stay”. It might not stick with me forever, but it was definitely good.

    “Me Before You” is SO good. I had never heard of Jojo Moyes before I read it, so I felt like I was taking a chance. After reading it and “The GIrl You Left Behind”, I knew I’d be putting all of her books on my to-read list. So, so well done.

  • I have been toying with reading If I Stay – now I definitely will! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • I did like If I Stay a lot. It wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be, but I did enjoy the book as well as the sequel (Where She Went) and I do want to see the movie!

    And I’ve had the Rose Project on my ipad for several months now but I haven’t read it. You saying I should read it after Attachments has made it go right up to the top of my TBR! I’m so excited!

  • I love You Before Me. But it is a crying book. I think I will pick up the Rosie Project! Sounds like a good read.

  • I LOVED If I Stay…and HATED Gone Girl. I guess it’s that the characters are so not likeable, I didn’t even care what happened to them. Got about halfway through, looked at the ending, and gave up.

    Have you read The Husband’s Secret? I really enjoyed that one, and am currently reading her newest book, Big Little Lies. Good so far!

  • Kristin

    Me Before You is a fantastic book. You should definitely read it.

  • I want to read If I Stay before I see the movie!

  • I love seeing what other people are reading! I have a stack of books a mile high that I have to read, but it’s always so tempting to add more to the list.

    xo Julie

  • Ah all of your book recommendations always have me wanting to read them! I haven’t read any of these ones yet and they are immediately going on my to-read list! I just read Stolen by Lucy Christopher, again it was no Gone Girl, but pretty good!! Thanks for the recommendations Nadine!

  • I love these Recently Read posts. Last night I stayed up til 3am finishing Me Before You. At first I didn’t like the protagonist but she, along with the other characters, definitely grew on me and I especially loved the witty dialogue/banter. Easy read, maybe about 4.5 hours, worth your time!

  • Gillian Flynn’s characters are my favorite least favorite characters. She has this way of writing about people who are so evil and twisted you can’t imagine ever liking them, and yet you can’t get enough of their stories and somehow feel like you grew yourself by learning about them. I can’t wait for her to write another one.

  • If I Stay is definitely on my list. I think I’ll read it and then catch the movie down the road, like on Netflix.

  • At the moment I am reading a lot of Kerry Greenwood books I love her Phyrne Fisher novels

  • I absolutely loved the rosie object and couldn’t get through sharp objects. It was soooooooo slooooooow and I couldn’t do it. But yes the Rosie project and attachments are some of my favorite books!!

  • Dee

    I loved Gone Girl and If I Stay too. I also loved Me Before You, so maybe you will too!

    I also recommend Before I Fall Asleep. It’s kinda like Gone Girl and also being turned into a movie.

  • i LOVED Me Before You. definitely on my top 10 favorites list.
    i enjoy reading your “recently read” posts! 🙂

  • I couldn’t even get through Dark Places, I hated it so much. It didn’t compare to Gone Girl AT ALL and I was just so let down. Maybe if I finished it I would have liked it better, but I just couldn’t even handle it.

  • I DID take your suggestion and read Attachments(on my honeymoon!) and loved it! Great beach read. Also, When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies… I guess I’m convinced to read The Rosie Project, pretentious or not! 😉

  • Have you read Little Bee by Chrs Cleave yet? Although I had to put it down because it can be a little bit disturbing and dark, I totally recommend it. It is hard to put down and you cannot help but feel for the characters.

  • I’ve started a Reading Wish List on Amazon to track the books that I want to read.. Though I’m trying to convince myself to go to the library instead of Amazon in an effort to be a little more cost effective… 🙂 (Here I am rambling again)

    Have you read any of Lisa Scottoline’s other books? My mom LOVES a few of her other books.

  • jessica

    yes, definitely read me before you! be prepared to ugly cry. i also suggest the sequel to if i stay…where she went! i think i’ll check out the rosie project, thanks for the recommendation!

  • If you think Gillian Flynn’s books are messed up, you should read some of Elizabeth Haynes novels. They’re messed up, but GOOD!

  • Tina

    Love your book recommendations. Downloaded The Attachments because I saw you recommended it and just finished it. I loved it! Great story and likeable characters. Now I’m off to try The Rosie Project.

    Have you read The Good Girl? Its somewhat reminiscent of Gone Girl… but I ended up liking it better. Also enjoyed into the darkest corner by Elizabeth Haynes… Good but dark.

  • I just read the Husband’s Secret, which I loved. Have you read it?

  • I’m bummed to hear that Sharp Objects and Dark Places weren’t all that good because I loved Gone Girl. I did just buy If I Stay and Where She Went and I am excited to read them as well as see If I Stay.

  • Please keep doing these posts! I’ve read Look Again and Attachments at your recommendation and loved them both. I’ve been stuck in a “I don’t know what to read” funk for a while and I read both in the last week. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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