2017 Book Wrap-Up [June - September]

10/04/2017

If you're catching up, be sure to check out Part 1: 2017 Book Wrap-Up [January - June]

Originally there were only going to be two parts to my yearly book wrap-up, both posts covering 6 months worth of books. But I've been a little Matilda lately (what's new?) and have not only completed my goal of 50 books in 2017, but have managed to read a total of books in the last 3 and 1/2 months. Figuring that may result in one hefty post if I waited and stuck to the original plan of 6 months, I present to you part II of what now will be a trio of posts. Enjoy!
Side-note: I stopped wrapping-up after the 30th book, the others that I read in the later part of September will be in the third and final post.



Massive
by Julia Bell
A realistic portrayal of a young girl's struggles with an eating disorder. Read my full review HERE.
8/10

The Martian
by Andy Weir
Stranded on Mars, yeah, Mark Watney isn't having the best work trip. You've probably either heard of this or seen the movie based off the book starring Matt Damon. I really enjoyed this read, it was actually one of the funniest books I had read in a while which doesn't seem right given the storyline but alas, Mark is a hoot and you will fall for his boyish charm as you delve into his new living situation.
9/10

Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
Wade Watts is a angsty teenager with only one thing in mind: to find an 'Easter egg' hidden inside the OASIS (A virtual reality game.. I guess) by its Sheldon Cooper regent creator. If you've seen the trailer for the movie and are now interested in the book, keep in mind that it looks completely different and the cast is way off. But don't let that put you off the book. This isn't usually something I'd pick up, so I will a little  apprehensive going in. But my fear was for nought, and I wound up enjoying it.
7/10


The Age Of Miracles
by Karen Thompson Walker
Spoken from the future, a girl tells the story of when the Earth began gaining hours in a day and the outcome that it brought upon us all. Basically a dystopian novel without the fast-paced action. If you're a fan of this genre, I'd recommend you giving this a go solely for the different take the author had on it. It's a smooth and somewhat slow-paced story, but beautiful because of that. I didn't wholeheartedly love it, but I appreciated the change.
5/10

The Girls
by Emma Cline
Based on the girls who followed the Manson Cult, this is both a fictional tale of a girl coming into womanhood and a little dark for those of us who enjoy horror and satanic cultyness (Those are very much words to effortlessly describe something, thank you very much). I enjoyed this book a lot, and is one I would recommend to anyone who is interested in reading about the workings behind cults. We all too often hear of the outcome, but not the path that it takes to get to that place.
8/10

Water For Elephants
by Sara Gruen
When his parents die in a tragic accident, Jakob runs away from everything in his life and winds up travelling around with a circus. Basically. The synopsis for this book sounds a little wacky, but the story itself was beautiful. I've never been so invested with a fiction non-human creature before, but alas, enter in the Elephant. I will say that I didn't take a big liking to any of the human characters in this book, which made it semi difficult to care about their outcome.
6/10

The Secret Life Of Bees
by Sue Monk Kid
"A classic of modern times." Apparently. I had never heard of this book prior to picking it up in a Library sale. The story follows a little white girl who runs away from home with her black housekeeper, to try and reveal some of her diseased mother's life story. Along the way, they find themselves staying at a honey-making farm which is run by three black sisters. With strong racial scenes and a realistic portrayal of the time where such attitudes were not frowned upon, this book is as beautiful as it is eye-opening. The characters truly make this book what it is.
9/10

A Wrinkle In Time
by Madeleine L'engle
The first book in a children's series that most have read, yet I had never heard of. I'm out of the loop with such matters. You may know that A Wrinkle In Time is making it on the big screen in 2018, which is mainly why me and my partner picked it up. But alas, it just wasn't my type of book. I could appreciate the magical lands and creatures as much as the next gal, but it was a little too cooky and whimsical for my liking. Sad times.
3/10

Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver
Being unable to stop a tragic accident from happening, a teenage girl is forced to relive the day repeatedly until she can find some way of changing the outcome. This had been on my TBR since it came out, mainly due to the Booktuber community raving about it. I did thoroughly enjoy it, and I think that was partly down to my expectations not being too high going in. I expected a standard YA novel with some funny characters but an underlining deep meaning. That's exactly what I got. If anything, the characters were some of my favourites that I've read in any YA book. So, take that as you will.
8/10

Brunette Ambition
by Lea Michele
Lea Michele is a queen. Duh. Why wouldn't this be on my list? This was actually a reread for me, but I always find inspiration in her book. I especially love the workouts and recipes. All tried and all enjoyed!
9/10

The Strange Library
by Haruki Murakami
As it was my first Haruki Murakami book, I decided to start with something short and easy. Despite the obvious weirdness, I did fall for his way of writing and I look forward to picking up more of his work in the future.
7/10

13 Reasons Why
by Jay Asher
After finally finishing the TV show, I figured it was only right to read where the inspiration came from and see what they adapted. I was hoping the book would be more delicate with the topic and less "I blame you all!" but alas, it still feels like a child got a hold of the subject of suicide and decided to write a book with it - no clear understanding. I will say that the show made some questionable changes and seemed to choose to make Hannah's life as worse as possible.
5/10

Everything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon
Read my review HERE.
3/10

Gwendy's Button Box
by Stephan King and Richard Chizmar
A book released in 2017! Am I becoming totally modern and not 3 years behind on my reading list? Maybee. The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told... until now. My partner suggested I read this after he finished it, and though it was somewhat wacky, I did enjoy the story and the underlining hidden message.
8/10

All The Bright Places
by Jennifer Niven
I'd heard so many things about this YA novel after Zoella included it in her Wh Smith book club. A boy and girl meet at the top of their school's bell tower, both planning on jumping. I really wanted to love this book as it covers subjects that usually interests me, but All The Bright Places just sort of left me.. meh. The characters weren't all that likeable and I found it difficult to connect with them. The story is a good idea, but it was just executed poorly. At least in my opinion.
5/10


15 Down, 15 To Go! We Can Do This!

The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
When foul looking Mary Lennox is forced to move to England to move in with her wealthy uncle, she becomes obsessed with the possibility of getting into the locked garden that no one is allowed to enter. This was one of my favourite books as a child, and though I didn't enjoy it so much as an adult, it was still a rather nice throwback and I can see why little girls love it.
9/10

Girl On A Plane
by Miriam Moss
Bahrain, 1970. After a summer spent with her family, fifteen-year-old Anna is flying back to boarding school in England when her plane is hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and taken to the Jordanian desert. I randomly stumbled across this at  the library, and though it isn't like my usual picks, it was an interesting story.
7/10

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
by Ramson Riggs
Looking for an explanation for his grandfathers death, a young boy stumbles across a mysterious world where children never age and have incredible talents. I enjoyed this book but I did feel as though it only started to take off  near the end. It felt unfinished.
7/10

Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
The classic tale of George and Lennie, two migrant ranch workers who try and adapt to their new job without trouble. This is one that I actually had not read (I know, what am I doing with my life?), but the wait was worth it and I really enjoyed it. It wasn't at all what I was expecting.
9.5/10

Me, Earl, and The Dying Girl
by Jesse Andrews
Greg is your standard awkward teenage, he goes through high school with a game plan. So when he befriends a dying girl, things get a little tricky. I get that things in life aren't always some grand life-changing moment, I do. But this book just felt sorta, off. I really liked the characters, which is a bonus, yet the story itself seemed lacklustre. Like the author was in the editing process, pressed ctrl+f and deleted anything that resembled feelings.

Go Ask Alice
by Anonymous
The journal of an anonymous girl who struggles with drug addiction and depression. This is a YA book that I'd heard a lot about. Some good, some bad. I personally found it devastatingly interesting. I like these type of books because they open up a humans psych like no other, and I appreciate the harsh wording. There is no romanticising mental health, which all too many YA books do. I have heard that this was some hoax or something, but I don't really care. Fiction, or not.. the point of the story stands.
8.5/10

The Circuit
by Francisco Jimenez
The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child is an autobiographical novel by Francisco Jiménez based in part on his journey from Mexico to the United States of America. This isn't usually my area of the library, partly as these types of books always seem to break my spirit in some way for how devastatingly sad they are. Alas, I saw hope written behind the lines of this book and though the stories themselves are harsh truth, you do have to educate yourself about the journeys that so many have been forced to go though.
8.5/10

The Outsiders
by S.E.Hinton
Think Grease, but no music and a little tougher. I loved this book and it may have already found it's way onto my top 5 books of all-time after one read. Yup, I'm a sucker for a greaser.
10/10

Sundays With Scottie
by Milton Jones
Pastor Milton Jones writes about his memories of his deceased friend Scottie. This was the first religion based book I think I've ever read, and though I don't particularly have faith, I enjoyed this book for what it is and it did unravel certain aspects of religion that I didn't know prior to turning the first page. It wasn't preachy.
8/10

Smile
by Raina Telgemeier
My first graphic novel of the year, ooh, fancy. When a young girl knocks out both her two front teeth, she is forced to face the ridicule in school for wearing braces. I liked this a lot, and I think a major factor in why I did was the subtle undertone of "friends shouldn't put you down". I think it'd help a lot of teenagers who are in toxic friendships and maybe don't realise it.
8/10

Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
A group of British boys find themselves stranded on an uninhabited island and things quickly take a turn for the worst when they make a disastrous attempt to govern themselves. A classic, one I hadn't read (Sensing a theme?). I won't lie, it took me a decent amount of pages to get with the groove of the storytelling. It was vastly different to anything I have recently read, so it made it a sudden and somewhat unwelcomed change. Alas, the story was decent but the characters were loatheable. I wanted to enjoy it far more than I did.
6.5/10

After The Death Of Anna Gonzales
by Terri Fields
A book of poems/essays, written from the point of view of every student in a class after a fellow classmate commits suicide. Though this was a really quick read and semi makes you loathe how selfish some teenagers are, I found it interesting. Sad or not, this is likely a true representation of how people handle this kind of grief at a young age - more so when it's someone they only know in passing.
6/10

Girl, Interrupted
by Susanna Kaysen
A young woman finds herself at a renowned mental institution for troubled young women, where she must choose between the world of people who belong on the inside or the often difficult world of reality on the outside. I'd been wanting to read this for a long while, but I was semi afraid that it'd be triggering in some way. The topics are indeed heavy, but in some way, it was comforting to know that these thoughts we all seem to have rattling around inside of our heads isn't all that uncommon.
9/10

The Moment Of Everything
by Shelly King
A young woman finds her calling when trying to save a local bookstore. I wanted to wholeheartedly love this book, but instead I just felt a little "meh". The last half is undoubtedly better paced, and I grew to care for the characters.. but it was a tremendously slow burn and if I was the type of person just to read a few pages before bed, I think I would've given up on this one before I got the chance to get to the good part.
5/10

Animal Farm
by George Orwell
When animals realise how badly they're being treated, they take over the farm. Again, a classic. One I hadn't read, again. I liked it, though it was a little cuckoo at times. But when it's a book told from an animal's point of view, what more do you expect?
8.5/10

PHEW! WE MADE IT!

Books Read Out Of 50: 50!

We're done! Thank you for making it this far with me, it was certainly.. lengthy.
Have you read anything on this list? What are you currently reading? Let me know!

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