So, I totally fell off the boat when it came to the 30 Day Book Challenge. I mostly got bored, and if I was bored, then surely you would be bored as well. I finally finished all my work traveling last week, and I have gotten back into my reading routine, and want to review all these books, especially because these ones seem to be popular choices.
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Allegiant is the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy. I was highly anticipating this book as I ripped through Divergent and Insurgent so quickly. The finale of the series fell a little flat. I think it was a little confusing, and highlighted how complicated a rebellion can be. Where do your loyalties lie? What are the best strategies to serve everyone well? Who becomes a leader? And lastly, what sacrifices are you willing to make? This last book was told from both Tris and Four’s perspectives, which was a little nicer than in the previous books, because I do think Four is a good character. It wasn’t my favorite book of the series, but I thought it ended better than Mockingjay ended The Hunger Games trilogy. 3/5
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I am a little late to this party, as many people have loved and read this book about a young foster girl in WWII Germany. I will confess that I tried to read this book a few years ago, but couldn’t seem to get into it. With a friend’s suggestion, I decided to pick it up again, and I really loved it this time! It reminded me a lot of Number the Stars, one of my favorite childhood books. The story is told from Death’s perspective as he has acquired Liesel Meminger’s life story and feels the need to tell it. Liesel has come to live with the Hubermanns, a couple whose own children have grown, but have room in their hearts and home for one little girl. With her adoptive father, Liesel learns to read, and becomes good friends with one young Rudy Steiner, who takes her on a quite a lot of adventures in their small town. Despite the Nazi propaganda and the requirements to join the Party placed on them, the Hubermanns and the Steiners still stand with integrity and for what they believe in. Their resolve carries them through a good part of the war, but unfortunately, not everyone survives unscathed. At times, the narration is heart-breaking, because Death lets us know what’s coming before it happens, but it’s told so well. And even though, it’s a young-adult book, the writing and vocabulary are sophisticated and appeal to many adults as well. I’m giving this one a big stamp of approval. 4/5
Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin
Emily Giffin writes some great stories for women. It was easy to kick back and relax to Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof. But as a young newlywed, I couldn’t really get behind Love the One You’re With. I know break-ups can be hard and messy, and marriage isn’t really a walk in the park, either, but I didn’t feel the need for them both to collide in this book. Ellen is newly married to Andy, a sweet gentleman who has shown her nothing but kindness and love, and who happens to be her best friend’s brother. But the day she runs into Leo, her most significant ex, a flame for him rekindles that she thought had been extinguished years ago. The book proceeds as an ode to her Andy and her conflicts about her feelings for Leo, and some bad rabbit hole situations that seem a little too deep to dig out of. I’m not that down with infidelity, like at all, so it wasn’t that fun of a read for me, but I will admit that the first hundred pages sucked me in. I blame that one on the plane and the need to read something other than SkyMall. 2/5
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
OMG. LOVE. LOVE! Go read this now! This has been sitting on my shelf for years! And it wasn’t until my recent forays into a mini-book club that I decided to finally read it. Honestly, I almost wish I could erase it all and read it all again for the first time, and I haven’t felt that way about a book in a long time. Two young illusionists are trained to compete with each other and their arena becomes Le Cirque des Reves, the Circus of Dreams, that only holds court at night. It’s not as simple as standing on one stage throwing charms at each other. These two, Marco and Celia, hold the circus together, enhance it, and are always tenuously attached because of its existence. When the two meet and fall in love, they must find a way to outsmart the game, to live their lives together in peace, and to keep the circus going for the adoring fans who have come to lead their lives by the Circus. Basically, it’s like Water for Elephants meets The Prestige meets Pride and Prejudice. If you love any of those stories, you will love The Night Circus. 5/5
As a side note- I have started reading Harry Potter again. I just finished The Sorcerer’s Stone, and I am just so happy and in love with the series all over again. Now if I can get my hands on a warm butterbeer, my winter will be made.
What are you reading this fall?