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?

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