reading list…

on one of my previous posts, i wrote about my “30 before 30 list” aka bucket list. i changed it to a general bucket list, because i realized i could not possibly do all of the things on the list in the next year and 3 months. however, one of the things was to start reading more/again, because i love reading, but sometimes allow crafts to get in the way. i decided that reading 30 new books before i turn 30 is an obtainable goal, and thus began my journey. i didn’t think that updating that old post each time i finished a book was a good idea, hence why i am starting this one instead. all of the books i wish to read, am currently reading, or have read will be on this post. i will also try to add short reviews of each book.

30 books to read before i’m 30

    1. the time keeper by mitch albom
    2. the storyteller by jodi picoult
    3. a girl named zippy: growing up small in mooreland, indiana by haven kimmel
    4. history of a suicide: my sister’s unfinished life by jill bialosky
    5. forgive me leonard peacock by matthew quick
    6. tell the wolves i’m home by carol rifka brunt
    7. the fault in our stars by john green
    8. the night circus by erin morgenstern
    9. gone girl by gillian flynn
    10. the red tent by anita diamante
    11. turn of mind by alice laplante
    12. somebody up there hates you:  a novel by hollis seamon
    13. the husband’s secret by liane moriarty
    14. 3 willows by ann brashares
    15. stealing buddha’s dinner:  a memoir by bich minh nguyen
    16. wonder by r.j. palacio
    17. orphan train: a novel by christina baker kline
    18. to all the boys i’ve loved before by jenny han
    19. side effects may vary by julie murphy
    20. gathering blue by lois lowry
    21. we were liars by e. lockhart
    22. the rosie project by graeme simsion
    23. everything i never told you:  a novel by celeste ng
    24. mr. penumbra’s 24 hour book store:  a novel by robin sloan
    25. dash & lily’s book of dares by rachel cohn and david levithan
    26. heaven is for real:  a little boy’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and back by todd burpo
    27. attachments:  a novel by rainbow rowell
    28. th1rteen r3asons why:  a novel by jay asher
    29. poisoned apples:  poems for you, my pretty by christine heppermann
    30. addicted:  a novel by zane

1. 51OmY4c0GjL._SY300_

i would probably give this book on a scale of 1-10, an 8. i had previously read another of his books, “the five people you meet in heaven,” so knew already that he writes in a religious way. the synopsis sounded interesting, although far fetched. i like how the story is actually about 3 different people and how each of them, although vastly different, suffer from the same problem…and that is time. we can relate, because we all know the importance of time all too well. time at work drags on, time with friends and loved ones is never enough. we never really just stop and appreciate the time we are given. we are always wanting more of it, wanting things to happen sooner, or faster, or on the contrary, wanting to spend eternity in a moment of bliss. although the ending was a little cheesy, the overall moral hits home. events in our lives never happen too early, or too late, they are just as they were meant to be. i would recommend it for a quick, light summer read. i think i finished it in two sittings at the pool 🙂

2. storyteller

i’ve read several of jodi picoult’s novels before and loved them all…until this one. she is known for writing “ethical thrillers,” and the topic in this book was the holocaust. i don’t know why this book didn’t appeal to me as much as some of her others have. it seemed to just drag on. i would really connect with the characters and get into it for a short while, and then there would be a long lull. it was also very busy and sporatic. she likes to tell the story from more than one character’s point of view, which is fine, i like that. however, this time, she also had a story in a story and it was just too much to follow at some points. i was just about to give up on it, even though that would be a set back, but then i really developed feelings and even cried for a few chapters. after that though, i lost interest altogether and just wanted to finish and move on. in her usual style, the end had a huge twist. usually i don’t like the way her books end…but that’s ok because i think that’s her goal. it doesn’t always have to have a happy ending. i didn’t like the ending. from 1-10, compared to some of her other books that i have loved, and based on the 8 i just gave to the time keeper…i guess i would have to give it a 5?

3. zip

i love memoirs! and i love books about indiana too, because i’m from here and would never leave if i didn’t have to. i’ve read another memoir from indiana, called jesusland that i really enjoyed but was kind of a dark religious story. a girl named zippy was very light and i laughed out loud several times. i even read some snippets to brian who also thought they were funny (and it’s hard to get that guy to laugh!) it took me a while to get into it, because i would always try to read at random times when i only had a few spare moments. however, i brought it on vacation with me, and within two or three quick sittings i was done with it. i would definitely recommend it. if you are from indiana, or any other small town for that matter i’m sure you can relate to some of “zippy’s” childhood experiences. it’s almost not fair for me to rate this book against the other two, because it was so different in voice and content. but, keeping consistent with my reviews, i would gladly give it a 9 out of 10 🙂

4. history-large

while i was in louisville, and finished “a girl named zippy,” i needed to pick up a new book stat. we went to half price books, and this was one of the featured titles. i mostly read fiction, with a few memoirs thrown in there, so this different genre peaked my interest. it’s non fiction, and not really a biography per say. the author writes about her own upbringing, along with her sisters’. she also does a lot of research on suicide that she adds into the book. she also adds poetry and actual excerpts from her deceased sister’s diary and writing composition book. i think it’s my nosy nature that likes to get into the head of others and see what they are thinking and how they are feeling. have you ever heard the quote, “be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a great burden?” this book made me really stop to think about the people in my life. my parents and siblings. my boyfriend. my coworkers. my best friends. are they happy? are they dealing with any emotional hardships that i don’t know about, or simply dismiss as “stress that everyone faces?” although this wasn’t the most uplifting book, for obvious reasons, i was still able to read it from cover to cover (which is more than i can say for most books), and it only started to die down toward the end, mostly because i was just ready to add another book to my list and keep it moving 😉 no, honestly, i began to wonder if the author was trying to delve into this subject matter to help her sister, or to help herself. i also have always wanted to be either a teen counselor or family counselor, and i think this gave me a small taste of the people i could potentially be working with. i would personally give this book a 7 or an 8, but i don’t know if i would recommend it. i think someone would have to happen upon it and chose to read it on their own, as i did. the subject matter isn’t for everyone. ironically, the next book i am reading is also about suicide, but it’s fiction, and it is completely different.  i promise i’m not obsessed lol.

5. Leonard

let me just start by saying that on a scale from 1 to 10, i would give this book a 25…clearly, i LOVED it! first of all, it was written by the same author of “the silver linings playbook,” which i also LOVED, so i should’ve known right away it would be amazing. after reading a serious book about suicide, i didn’t think i was ready to read another book about the same subject matter, but it ended up not actually being so much about that. you become attached to the main character immediately. you feel his pain. you cry for him. you want to give him a hug and make everything right for him. i think i have a mild case of add, and i like how this book skipped around from present day, to flashbacks, to letters from the future, to explanations of relationships, etc. it really broke it up and kept me interested until the last page. oh, i forgot to say, i read this book in about 3 hours. yes, 3 hours! i could not put it down!! i do have one complaint though…i didn’t really understand/like how it ended…i felt like there wasn’t exactly a conclusion. i guess it’s one of those endings that you have to  decide what happens on your own. i really hope matthew quick writes more books, because i have started trying to read a few since this, and none have grabbed my attention in quite the same way. i suggest you read this book ASAP!

6. wolves

as i’ve said before, it’s hard to rate a book after i’ve just read one that i consider to be “off the charts.” obviously, this book could not compare to the last book i read, but i would still probably give it a 9. i can tell within the first chapter or two if i am going to make it through a book or not. i can probably list at least a 100 books i have started and quickly abandoned. i think that’s a big downfall of having a kindle. i have so many books at my disposal, i may dismiss something faster than i regularly would have. however, i actually went to the library to track this book down. another thing about the kindle, you “turn the pages,” so quickly, you don’t realize how fast you are reading, until you look at the status bar and see you have already read 49% of the book. this real book that i held in my hands was a daunting 355 pages, but i read it in probably 3 or 4 sittings. i know i loved a book when i can’t remember how it started. when it just seems to envelope you in the characters and plot right from the very start, and this book did just that. the main character is some what odd and immature. in fact, i didn’t realize for almost the first third of the book that she is actually in high school. her best (and only) friend is her uncle/godfather, finn, who dies early in the story from AIDS. she then comes in contact with the serious boyfriend she never knew her uncle had, and what happens after that? well you’ll just have to read it to find out 😉

7.  1381265058000-GREEN-FAULT-BOOKS-934

i can tell how much i am going to love a book, by how many sittings it takes me to read it, and this took about 2 1/2. first and foremost, the author (which i did not previously know) is from indianapolis, indiana (my hometown). so as i started reading about familiar streets, high schools, parks etc. i had to do a little research on the author. i was also pleased to find out that a movie is in the works and will be out in june of 2014. i really enjoyed the writing style of the author, it seemed like he just “got” my sense of humor, and a couple of times it was all i could do to keep from laughing out loud while reading during my students’ naptime. however, of course since the novel is about a pair of lovebirds both battling cancer, the story also pulls at your heartstrings. (of course the boyfriend makes you wish all guys were as charming and romantic in real life!) i feel pretty morbid, because i just realized that pretty much 6 of the 7 books i have read so far include death, suicide, or illness of some kind. what is that saying about me?! anywho, i had gotten a little behind schedule because i couldn’t find a book that i was really interested in. so glad i gave this book a second chance and finished it so quickly. hopefully i won’t have that problem again while searching for my next book. i would give this book a 10…i liked it more than the last book i read, and would definitely recommend it. onward!

8. The Night Circus UK

There were a few different covers for this book, but I think this one really captures the feel and essence of the story. I recently read that this novel will be made into a movie. I usually like to read the book first, before seeing the movie, but this is one I would probably be ok with just seeing the movie only. Because I read on my kindle, there are no page numbers. I can only tell my progress by a percentage bar at the bottom of the screen. The last few books I read, I flew through, and even though I was reading at what I felt to be the same speed, this book seemed to drag on. It’s not that I wasn’t interested, I just felt that it was entirely too long. I finally looked at the book in real life and it was over 400 pages, which made a little more sense, but still. The story itself was a new and unique concept. The characters were well developed and likeable. The ending seemed to sum up all loose ends nicely. I don’t know, I just wasn’t in love with it I guess. I would only recommend it to people that I know enjoy this type of genre. If I had to rate it, I would probably give it a solid 7. I’ve always enjoyed circus type books since reading “Water for Elephants.” I tried to read “Devil in the White City,” and stopped after like two sentences. I thought this would wow me as much, but I suppose I was slightly disappointed. Oh well, at least I’m one step closer to reaching my goal!

9.  gone girl

while i was snowed in, i finished reading gone girl. although it kept me interested and i wanted to keep reading and find out what happened, it still felt longer than it needed to be. i don’t know if my goal to read 30 books has made me impatient lately, or if i just keep choosing long books. i finally broke down and googled how many pages are in gone girl…395. anywho, the plot was awesome, the characters were so well developed, the style of writing was super enjoyable. and of course i just found out it is going to be a movie as well. how weird is that?! that’s like the third or fourth book in a row i’ve read that are going to be movies. i looked up the cast and it wasn’t exactly who i had in mind. ben affleck is going to be the main man, who is supposed to be a bit of a douche in the book, so i don’t see that, unless he really puts on a good act. i would still give this book a 9 out of 10. i would also read some of this author’s other books, but probably not toward my goal of 30, unless i run out of other options. it was suspenseful and intense for sure, with lots of twists. not at all crazy about the ending, but a lot of other people have said that too.

10. The-Red-Tent

i am behind on my schedule because of this book. this is the second time i have tried to read it, hoping i would like it more than the first time, as has happened with other books i’ve revisited, but no such luck. i pretty much just put it aside for a while, until the last few days when i decided i wanted to finish it, move on, and get back on track. i really buckled down today as i was only about 70% finished this morning. it’s somewhat of a biblical fiction story (is that a real thing?!), and as some biblical stories go, there were way too many unnecessary characters (ie: so and so’s twelve sons, and their wives, and their slaves, and their midwives, and their servant girls, and their sons and daughters, etc. etc.) too much! i could’ve done without all of that, and perhaps i would’ve felt more about the characters if there were less of them. the story starts with dinah’s childhood and her four mothers and many brothers. it really wasn’t all that interesting. in fact, it didn’t get interesting until she was grown (which in biblical times means she was probably about 14) and her own life starts to take shape…that was about 65% in. her life was crazy, and in the end she found peace, although i don’t know if i could have if i were in her shoes. my advice if you want to read this book, is to start reading about 2/3 of the way through. i guess since i gave the storyteller a 5, i’d have to give this one about the same. had high hopes for it, but it sadly fell short. in other news, i am now officially 1/3 of the way done with my goal! and have about 9 months left to read 20 books. not too far off track! 🙂

11. turnofmind

i really enjoyed this book! i read it in about 4 or less sittings. as you can tell from some of the other books i have read (“history of a suicide,” for example) i don’t always choose books from the current bestseller list. i happened to find this one in the bargain section of half price books, and i’m so glad i took a chance on it. i guess it could be categorized as a murder-mystery. it’s about an orthopedic surgeon who has early onset alzheimers. her best friend is found murdered, with four of her fingers surgically removed. all signs point to her, but did she do it? and if so, why? the book is written in a way that i have enjoyed in other books…it jumps back and forth between past and present, but never leaves the reader confused. i would probably give this book an 8. most of the action and wrap up happened in the last 30 pages or so and still left a few questions unanswered for me. i finally learned how to get books on my ipad as well as my kindle, so i downloaded 5 new books last night and am already well into one of them.

12.   suthy

10 out of 10 for sure. i chose this book because it seemed to have a similar story line to “the fault in our stars,” which i absolutely loved, and it did not disappoint. it is about two teenagers, living on the hospice floor of a hospital. it’s a love story, but it doesn’t spare all the painful details of their illnesses and emotional distress. it also has some funny parts, some tearful parts, some heart wrenching parts, etc. a quick, easy read. it was the first book i read on my ipad, and i really liked the format. it told me how many pages were left in the current chapter, and how many pages were left in the whole book. not sure how i feel about the ending, but i’m not exactly sure how i would want a story about two teenagers living in a hospice unit to end if i could chose. and dare i say i’m a little ahead of schedule? 🙂

13.  The-Husbands-secret

i really liked this book, but it wasn’t one that i completed in just a few sessions. i actually happened to find it while downloading another book, and this was part of the “collection.” the cover and title caught my eye, so i read the synopsis and decided to go with it. i guess the author is australian, but i think the book was set in the uk. i really like how the author delves into each character’s psyche, and shows you their thought processes and how they react to each situation. i can really relate to the over analyzing women, lol. the actual secret is a big one, although some of the other twists and turns in the book seemed to catch my interest even more. not sure i exactly “like” how it ended, but i do in fact feel aas if i know how each issue was resolved. i didn’t realize that she is the author of another book i’ve been wanting to read…”what alice forgot,” so i might have to check that out. however, i think for these 30 books i want to try new authors, genres, etc. i would give probably give this book a 7.

14. 300_ThreeWillows

this book was a very quick read. definitely for young adults, but i still enjoyed it. it is by the same author as the sisterhood of the traveling pants, which i never read, but she does reference those characters a few times. it’s about three girls that were best friends in elementary school, but have drifted apart by the end of middle school. the summer before they start high school, they all face different challenges in their lives, but it eventually shows them who their true friends are, and brings them back together by the end. of course it just goes to show us that everyone has their own problems, and we all need people to help us with our journey through life (or adolescence as this book mainly focuses on). i would give it an 8. i’ve already gotten a start on my 15th book, and a list waiting for me after that. almost halfway done with my goal, and about 6 solid months and some change to accomplish it. 🙂

15.  stealing-buddhas-dinner

unlike zippy, this was not a funny memoir, but it was still an excellent one. the main character, along with her sister, father, two uncles, and paternal grandmother came to america from vietnam when she was just a baby. her father eventually marries a latina lady, who moves in with her daughter. soon, they have a child of their own. all of these people live together in one house, along with a few foster brothers that come and go throughout the story. what a chaotic, blended family, with a variety of things going on! i could definitely relate with this author’s story…but what i really connected with, was her trying to find her identity. should she hold on tight to her asian roots? should she assimilate to american culture now that she lives in grand rapids, michigan? should she model after her latina stepmother? bich often feels like a lonely outcast. she tries to fill voids and learn the roles she should play by eating american foods and reading. when she is in college she finally meets her birth mother (and discovers even more siblings she has!) and returns to vietnam through a grant she is awarded. i originally picked this book, because it’s about a vietnamese girl and i wanted to hear about her voyage to america and struggles growing up here. it did not disappoint. a quick, easy read, and i loved hearing about familiar vietnamese foods and customs. 9 out of 10…but i may be bias 😉 officially 50% done with my goal, and way more than 15 more books on my “to read” list!

16.  wonder

on a scale of 1-10 i would give this book a 12. i LOVED it! i finished it in two sittings! ok so remember how there was the whole vampire/werewolf/zombie fad? and then there was the whole alter society (hunger games/divergent) fad? well now there must be a whole cancer/health issue fad, because the last three books i’ve loved have all been on that subject! (fault in our stars, somebody up there hates you, and now, wonder) wonder is about a 5th grade boy named auggie with severe facial deformities. he has never been to school before, until his parents push him to finally do so. it sounds cliche, but you will laugh and you will cry. you will see auggie’s point of view, his parents’, his sisters’, his friends’. maybe it’s the educator in me that has a soft spot for all children, but i couldn’t get enough of this book. i read it so quickly…i couldn’t put it down and was sad when it was over. if all the books i read were this amazing, i would meet my goal in no time!

17.  orphan train

moving right along…i’ve had this book for awhile, but didn’t really have a great interest in reading it. however, after finishing wonder, and being thirsty to start something new, i just went with the next thing on hand. i’m glad i did. this story is about a teenage girl, and an old woman…both are orphans. they have very different stories, and pasts, but it brings them closer together in the end. as a woman, i feel i was able to make a connection with both characters, and understand where they were coming from and how they might have felt in specific circumstances…i doubt i would be as “in tune” had the two main characters been male. when i really like the way an author writes, i tend to save quotes from the book…and while reading this one i shared at least three times on facebook passages that i liked. i give this book a solid 9 out of 10.

18. boyscover

it seems like most of the books i’ve been reading lately were meant for high school girls, lol. i don’t know if it was the asian on the cover, the penmanship in sharpie, or what that peaked my curiosity, lol. it was a quick, easy read. interesting plot initially, but pretty much ends the way you think it will. i read it on my ipad, so the cover image wasn’t that big…but when i just now added it to this post, that is not how i imagined the main character in my head. long story short, when laura jean is “done” loving a guy, she writes him a farewell letter of sorts, but never mails them. somehow, all (five) of the letters get sent, and it causes a ruckus. you’ll have to read it to find out what happens next! i would give this book a 7 out of 10. cute chick lit, but not a page turner.

19. sideeffects

continuing with the streak i’m on of books in the “cancer” genre, this book was a little bit different than the others, because the main character actually goes into remission. when she thought she was going to die, she did a lot of evil, vengeful things. she was really a spoiled brat, and i hated her character and personality and didn’t feel all that bad for her or her situation at all. it’s weird because my first impression of her was that she was a sweet girl, but after one small event that i can’t disclose, she just turned for the worse. when she goes into remission, she has to fix all the mistakes she’s made, or live with the consequences. i almost didn’t want to finish it, but 1. i am a completionist…and 2. i wanted to find out what happened to the other characters. i don’t know if it was the author’s intent to portray her in such a negative light, but if she was…mission accomplished! the plot did have a few interesting twists, i can’t completely tear the book apart, but the main character really just turned me off from continuing sometimes. i would have to give this book a 6. probably wouldn’t recommend it. but in other news, i’m almost 2/3 done with my goal with about 3 1/2 months left. hopefully the next one will go down easier 😉

20.   Lowry_gathering_blue_cover

i’m so behind on my goal! a little over 3 months to read 10 books eek! i started reading the raven boys and loved it for about the first 50 pages then quickly lost interest. so much so that i couldn’t force myself to continue on for the greater cause of the goal, lol. when i was little, my favorite book ever, was “the giver,” also by lois lowry. i got SO EXCITED when i found out it is being made into a movie! i got even more excited when i found out that it is the first novel in a quartet. really?! so of course i quickly downloaded the set, and finished this second book in a few hours. i couldn’t put it down! it’s been so long since i’ve read “the giver” that the two didn’t seem to connect, or pick up where the other left off. i think it’s more of them both being about futuristic alternative societies, and i think in the third book they somehow merge. this has already become rather lengthy, sorry! but the main character is a crippled young girl living in a world where “deformed” people are usually discarded. lucky for her, she has a special talent that is very much needed and too precious to dispose of. i give it a 10!

21.   We Were Liars

ok, if the last book i read was a 10, then this is a 25! i read it in ONE DAY if that tells you anything. i simply could not go to bed until i had finished every single bit of it. here is the synopsis written by the author that i think does a way better job of portraying it than i will ever be able to:

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.

AMAZING!! i don’t really remember why they are called the liars, or if that is ever even explained, but it doesn’t really matter. the twist ending is so severe i think i may have to go back and reread it, just to take another look at everything with fresh eyes. when all is said and done with this reading 30 new books thing, this will for sure be in the top three i suggest, if not #1.

also, while searching for images of the cover, i ran across this post card to the author, and if i’m ambitious enough i may either start sending these from now on, or even go back and do it for all 30! what do you think?

the next book i read has A LOT to live up to!


22. wpid-20140810_144538.jpg

i’m on a roll…i loved this book! the main character, professor of genetics don tillman is so entertaining! although he never admits it, nor does the author come right out and say it, but he is definitely on the autism spectrum…and the way he thinks and talks is just super funny and lovable. this story is about his quest to find a wife, but in the end he finds himself and reevaluates everything he thought he once knew and wanted. i would love to see this turned into a movie. i read a few other reviews about it, and someone said they imagined don as sheldon from the big bang theory and that about sums it up, lol. i’m so excited because a sequel is set to be released later this year. i don’t know if i’ll read it for this project, but i will for sure read it one of these days. two thums enthusiastically up!

23.  everything book

hmmmm. i have mixed feelings about this book. the author begins the story with the end. lydia, the middle/FAVORITE child of three is dead. the rest of the story goes into her parents’ past and how they met. a chinese man and white woman getting married and having kids in the 50’s wasn’t exactly looked upon with loving eyes at the time, which made a hard time for all involved. the book is basically about the failed dreams of the mother, and her forcing those dreams on her daughter that ultimately lead to the daughter’s demise. for the almost 500 pages of hype surrounding the death, there is only about one paragraph that is supposed to actually explain it, and even then i was left confused. the other reviews i’ve read about it must have understood it differently than i did. i really loved the way the author writes, and i like the premise of the story…i just feel like it was a lot of build up that eventually leads to an even bigger let down. i still would give it an 8 or 9, and i would still recommend it…i would just like to discuss it afterward and hear someone else’s opinion.

24.  24hr

ok, so this book is outside of what i would normally be drawn too, but it had an air of mystery of won a lot of awards for a first fiction, so i decided to give it a go. it was a little longer than i would have liked, and for the last 50 pages i was just willing myself to get through it…then the real ending was a rushed summary in the epilogue. baring all of that, it was still a different/interesting read. long story short, the main character, clay, needs a job and finds one at small, slightly weird, 24 hour bookstore. not many books are sold, so much as borrowed, and the “customers” are odd in themselves. he ends up discovering a secret society and that’s all i’m going to tell you! i would probably give this book an 8 out of 10, and would only recommend it to specific friends that i think might care for that particular genre. running out of time so i’d better get to my next book!

25. Dash&Lily

i totally should’ve read this book during christmas, it would’ve made it so much better! i loved this book, but knew i would, because i’ve already enjoyed other books from this dynamic duo, such as “nick and norah’s infinite playlist,” and books they have written on their own, such as “boy meets boy,” and “the realm of possibility.” i have another book by levithan on my to read list, “every day,” but will probably hold off. anywho…i already assumed this was going to be more for teens, but i was stuck sick in my hotel room and was wanting a quick, warm and fuzzy read, and i got just that. lily leaves a red moleskin notebook in her favorite author’s section of a book store with “dares,” for anyone brave enough to accept them. enter dash, short for dashiell, and so the story begins. both misfits longing for closeness with someone that their family isn’t providing, this is a great story of finding love in manhattan. not just butterflies in your stomach type love, but truly knowing someone and trusting them with your darkest secrets and fears. 10 out of 10 for sure!

26.  heaven

brian’s mom got me this book for christmas, and i am just now getting around to reading it. i didn’t even know it is now a movie currently in theaters (shows you how much i watch tv!)…but like i said, a lot of books i’ve read on this list are being turned into movies! it was a very quick read, told from the perspective of colton’s father. of course i was very skeptical about the truth behind this story, as i’m sure most people who read it are. i just watched the trailer for the movie and already noticed a few things that were left out of the book…or glorified for hollywood? i hate to be cynical, but i kind of felt like it was more about the dad than the son (who is obviously supposed to be the main character!) and somewhat of a ploy to “get rich quick.” after all, he does talk a lot of the family’s financial woes…and a book called “90 minutes in heaven,” was already written 10 years ago. i would still give this book a 7 out of 10. it was very short and i feel like a lot of loose ends were left unclear.

27.  index

i enjoyed this book a lot. i did not LOVE it as i hoped i would. it ended how i wanted, but not the way i wanted, if that makes any sense. basically lincoln, an IT guy at a newspaper who works nights, has to read peoples’ emails that are flagged due to their inappropriate nature/language/content. etc. he begins reading exchanges between two girls, beth (a movie critic) and jennifer (an editor) and can’t stop himself. now i’ve always liked when books include letters in different handwriting, or diary entries, etc…when you feel privy to some secret information that you shouldn’t otherwise know, so that part i really liked. of course he ends up falling for one of the girls, but has the dilemma of how to let her know. all three main characters are a hot mess, so it was very entertaining in that aspect. i would probably give it a 6 or 7, and i would probably read one of her other books too, but not just yet.


28.  thirteen

ok, so i didn’t love it, but i did love the idea of it, and i couldn’t put it down, and i did finish it in a day…so take that however you want. i would probably give it a 7.5 out of 10. this is the story of hannah, a teenage girl who commits suicide. (second book about suicide i’ve read during this adventure. weird) anywho…before she commits this act, she makes cassette tapes, recording herself, and explaining the reasons/blaming the 13 different people she holds responsible/accountable for her death. she then forces all of these people to listen to the tapes before passing them on to the next person on the list. all of these people have secrets of their own that they don’t want to get out, so they do as they are told. she really just sounds like a whiny brat that doesn’t deal well with the every day events of high school life, but that’s just my opinion. there is really no resolution at the end, except i think the author tries to allude that there is another girl in the school exhibiting similar signs of depression, and one of the people on the tapes reaches out to her, to hopefully prevent another suicide. nothing was really said about how her parents handled the situation/funeral either, and i think i would have liked to have a little bit more closure i guess?? this book is also going to be made into a movie.

29.  apples

well, reading a book of poetry was on my bucket list…and i also wanted to analyze the poems, but i don’t think this counts because the poems were pretty short and to the point. not much analyzing needed. i love disney movies and fairy tales, so i thought i would really like this collection…some were funny, some were witty, some were interesting, some were inventive. none were life changing. they were pretty much all about body image/body issues so that got kind of old. there were some really entertaining haikus but brian said that since they weren’t about nature they don’t really count as true haikus lol. it was super short too, so short i don’t know if i should even actually count it lol. i would definitely never pay for this book or recommend it. let’s wrap this up with a rating of 2. sorry!

30.  zane

a lot of books i have read throughout this journey have since been made into movies, or are going to become movies eventually. “addicted” is currently playing in theaters, and i heard it was really good. i have read one of zane’s books before and enjoyed it; therefore, i decided to hurry up and read this book so i can try to catch it while it’s still out. i didn’t love it, but i did like it enough to finish it, and still would like to see the movie. the writing style isn’t exactly what i’m used to, or something i can really “get into,” if that makes sense. in an effort to use a lot of slang, i think she loses some authenticity. there was definitely a lot of drama, and even more twists and turns; however, they were quick and sporadic without much depth behind them. don’t get me wrong, the book was entertaining and that’s all i really expected going into it. i would probably give this book a solid 8.

well, i completed my goal with a little over a week to spare! can’t believe i’m almost 30…not sure i’m ready just yet. as always, thanks for following along with my process and be sure to check up my wrap up post.

happy reading!

❤ xtina