Recently Reading (Sept-Nov 2016)

As I was coming up with content to schedule for while I am traveling, I realized I hadn’t don’t a recently reading post since the end of summer! This semester I challenged myself to read a few books throughout the semester, and I ended up reading more than I thought I would! In fact, I am splitting this up into two posts since I usually only have 6-8 books per Recently Reading post!

“For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?”

This book was a pretty quick read that would be such a good beach read! If you like reading young adult books, even if they are slightly cheesy, try this one out!

“As the new girl in town, Samantha just wants to fit in. Being invited to a party by her fellow swim team members is her big chance…especially since Zee will be there. He hasn’t made a secret of checking her out at the pool. Sam didn’t figure on Alex being there too. She barely even knows him. And she certainly didn’t plan to kiss him. It just kind of happened. 

And then Alex dies—right in her arms…

Consumed by guilt and grief, Sam has no idea what to do or where to turn when everyone at school blames her. What follows is Sam’s honest, raw, and unforgettable journey to forgive herself and find balance—maybe even love—in a life that suddenly seems to be spinning out of control.”

This was another quick read, but I did like this one as well! It was a well written story of a girl’s fight to be normal again after her classmates turn against her.

It’s summertime in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a blue-collar dockside neighborhood. June and Val, two fifteen year-olds, take a raft out onto the bay at night to see what they can see.

And then they disappear. Only Val will survive, washed ashore; semi-conscious in the weeds.

This shocking event will echo through the lives of a diverse cast of Red Hook residents. Fadi, the Lebanese bodega owner, hopes that his shop will be the place to share neighborhood news and troll for information about June’s disappearance. Cree, just beginning to pull it together after his father’s murder, unwittingly makes himself the chief suspect, but an enigmatic and elusive guardian is determined to keep him safe.

Val contends with the shadow of her missing friend and a truth she buries deep inside. Her teacher Jonathan, a Julliard School dropout and barfly, wrestles with dashed dreams and a past riddled with tragic sins.” 

This description drew me in since I am always down for a good mystery. I did finish the book, but it took me a few weeks because it was not super compelling, especially to begin with. I also felt like I couldn’t really relate to the main characters, so that made it difficult to become invested in. Overall, I probably wouldn’t recommend this book, because in my eyes it was just average. 

“For most of her life, sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks has been shuttled from one distant relative to another. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she summons the courage to leave Iowa and move all by herself to Vida, Montana, to prove up on her late uncle’s homestead claim.

Under the big sky, Hattie braves hard weather, hard times, a cantankerous cow, and her own hopeless hand at the cookstove. Her quest to make a home is championed by new neighbors Perilee Mueller, her German husband, and their children. For the first time in her life, Hattie feels part of a family, finding the strength to stand up against Traft Martin’s schemes to buy her out and against increasing pressure to be a “loyal” American at a time when anything—or anyone—German is suspect. Despite daily trials, Hattie continues to work her uncle’s claim until an unforeseen tragedy causes her to search her soul for the real meaning of home.

This young pioneer’s story is lovingly stitched together from Kirby Larson’s own family history and the sights, sounds, and scents of homesteading life.”

I accidentally read the sequel to this book last year, so I wanted to read the original this year. I like reading books that are set in older time periods like this, but I would only recommend this book if you like them as well! It definitely gives some Little House On The Prairie vibes, so if you liked those books as a child like I did, this could be a good choice for you! 

“Every April, when the wind blows from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he’d fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister. 

A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it. 
Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter’s life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood…”

Pretty sure you are all familiar with this story. I had watched the movie so I had known what happened, but I still wanted to read the book. I literally read it in one sitting because it is not too long, and it was pretty compelling. Definitely would recommend if you like Nicholas Sparks books but haven’t read this one yet!

“A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.A revolution. An accident. A secret.Lies upon lies.True love.The truth.We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Read it.And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”

I had heard so much about this book, but the description is pretty vague so I never picked it up. If you are looking for a well told story with a twist, I definitely recommend this one! I honestly did not predict what happened AT ALL, which is one of the reasons why I loved it! This was definitely one of my favorite books from 2016, so check it out if you haven’t yet! 

What is the best book that you have read recently? I would love to hear your recommendations! 

xo, Scarlett