I have never liked reading.
By the time I was done reading and writing essays for classes, the last thing I wanted to do was read for fun.
But I saw everyone on Instagram taking on reading challenges during quarantine, so I decided i'd read a few books and see how it goes.
Well a few books turned into a lot of books and now I love reading! And I've found some absolutely incredible books.
So here's my book rundown:
- Divergent series
Solid 5/5 for the first two books.
If you love the hunger games, this book has the same "future earth" vibe.
This world is divided into 5 sectors. The factions are called Abnegation (selfless), Erudite (intellectual), Dauntless (brave), Candor (honest), and Amity (peaceful). Each year all sixteen year olds get to choose whether to stay in their fractions or to leave their fraction in favor of a different fraction. I love the main character, Tris is such a strong, likeable character. I loved the non-cringe romance, and the series is incredible until the third book.. where the author starts killing everyone off and it's just not cool anymore.
2. The Song of Achilles
5/5! Loved the mythic story retelling aspect.
Madeline Miller is an amazing author, I absolutely loved the poetic way this book was written.
The story is set in Greece during the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. .Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear.
3. Shatter Me series
4/5 for the first book.
This book is written so well, I was totally immersed in it!
Juliette, is a 17-year-old girl with a paralyzing and killing touch. The book starts out with Juliette in an asylum due to the fact that she murdered a small boy three years prior, in a store, using her unusual touch. I loved every character in the book.. except the main character. Juliette was a very insecure, victimized main character, and I felt like her "super-power" was the only interesting thing about her. I love when books have strong, captivating main characters, and Juliette was just meh. But everyone else was chefs kiss amazing! Loved it.
4. To all the Boys series
6/5 for the first book!
Over her sixteen years on earth, Lara Jean has written secret love letters to five guys, but keeps them hidden in a box and never intends to send them. However, everything in Lara Jean's life changes one day when someone sends out all her letters to their addressed receivers: Peter -the most popular guy in school, Kenny from camp, Lucas from homecoming, John Ambrose from Model UN. And Josh, he's the sister's boyfriend..
This is seriously such a great book with a killer storyline and really fun characters.
5. We were Liars
Four teenagers spend every summer gathered on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
One summer when Cadence is fifteen, an accident happens on the island, and she forgets everything that happened and she has to figure out what happened to her when she returns two years later. This book focuses on the theme of self-acceptance, family morals, and the possibly-deadly consequences of one's mistakes. It is centered on the wealthy, seemingly perfect Sinclair family.
I love everything about this book: the location is impeccable, beachy, luxurious, the non-cringe romance, the mystery, and the characters are so well developed.
Sad ending alert. If you don't like sad endings then pass this one.
6. Dog Boy
In late 20th century Moscow. Two million children roam the streets during the collapse of the soviet union. A four-year-old boy named Romochka, is abandoned by his mother and uncle, he is left to fend for himself. He takes up with a pack of feral dogs and damn, I never cry in books but this book made me cry. This book is close to home in the fact that My mom was born in Russia and grew up during the collapse of the soviet union. I lived in Ukraine for a lot of my childhood. There are packs of feral dogs and cats everywhere in that part of the world.
I usually hate overly emotional books but this book brings up a huge issue that is intense and captivating.
This book tells the story of Tara Westover's life journey. Growing up at the foot of a mountain called Buck’s Peak in a rural Idaho county, Tara’s life was ruled by her domineering father, -a charismatic but paranoid and delusional man who believed that the U.S. government was poisoning and corrupting its citizens through Godless education, Satanic medical practices, and surveillance methods designed to strip every citizen of their freedom. Adopting a self-sufficient, survivalist lifestyle. As a result of Gene’s isolating his family and denying them medical assistance in emergencies or education in anything other than the Bible and the ways of life on the harsh mountain, the Westover family suffered many terrible and debilitating accidents. And I did love the storyline. But this book was slightly boring. I get the fact that Tara Westover had a hard life.. but so so many people grow up in off-grid, rough lifestyle and, honestly, it is what it is, you don't get to choose your childhood. I do believe Tara's parent's were pretty messed up in the head, but people go through a lot worse and I personally didn't like the "i'm a victim" vibe from this book.
8. Sweet Temptation
5/5! If you like mafia, I 100% prefer Cora Reilly books to L.J. Shen books.
Cassio is everything you expect in a mafia underboss, cruel, callous, cold, newly widowed, he needs a wife to help him take care of his two children. And 17 year old Giulia is promised to him, but she is too young to be a good wife.
The author does a masterful job and shows us the evolution of the characters and their relationship in a unique way. I loved her scenes so much, I couldn't get enough of them. Is amazeballs!
I love the little kids. Daniele and Simona are absolutely adorable.
9. Born in Blood series
5/5 for 1, 3 & 4!
I loved this series! The three sisters: Aria, Lilliana & Gianna are such incredible characters, and I seriously couldn't put these books down. I personally recommend reading books 1, 3 & 4 in order and skip book 2.
Book 1: Bound by Honor, is about 18 year old Aria, the eldest Scuderi sibling. Her father marries her off to Luca Vitiello to bring peace between two mafia dynasties. Luca is the future Capo of the New York Famiglia, a man known for his brutality—and for crushing his cousin’s throat with his bare hands. And Aria is terrified of marrying a monster like him.
Book 3: Bound by Hatred, Matteo Vitiello set his eyes on Gianna the moment he saw her on his brother Luca’s wedding, and Rocco Scuderi is more than willing to give his daughter to him. A few months before the wedding, Gianna escapes her bodyguards and runs away to Europe. But staying undetected when the mob is searching for her is a challenge that takes everything. After six months on the run, Matteo and a couple of her father’s soldiers find her with another man. And Gianna is forced to marry Matteo. I loved this book so much! Matteo and Gianna's personalities are so charismatic, they are both such firecrackers.
Book 4: Bound by Temptation, is about Liliana Scuderi who has been in love with Romero from the moment she first saw him. After both her sisters were married off for tactical reasons, she hopes she might be allowed to choose a husband for herself.
After Liliana's mother dies, her father Rocco Scuderi ships her off to the Vitiello's Hampton summer vacation. Romero has always ignored Lily’s flirting. Her age and status made her off-limits but even someone as dutiful as him has only so much control. But when her father promises her to a man more than twice her age that hope is crushed. When she turns 18 Lilliana is forced to marry Benito Brasci. But on her wedding night Lily stabbs him. Romero attacks him making the final kill and runs away with Lily. Causing a war between Cosa Nostra and the Outfit. This book has a lot going on, and I love that! Lot's of blood, fights, family tension, 6/5!
10. Twilight series
3/5. I really don't like Bella.
I think everyone has read this series at this point, but if you haven't here's a rundown:
17 year old Bella moves to the small and rainy town of Forks, Washington, to live with her father after her mother remarries. Forks is isolated, cold, dreary, and wet, and Bella’s relationship with her dad is distant, since she was raised by her mother in Phoenix. At school everyone is infatuated with Bella. And one of the boys, Edward, pays her close attention and seems to be obsessed with her. Meanwhile during a trip to a beach at La Push Indian reservation, Bella meets Jacob Black, who tells her about “the cold ones” (vampires). When Bella gets home, she does some internet research and things start falling into place. Bella decides that she’s too in love with Edward to resist him, even if he is a vampire.
Edward spends a lot of nights in Bella's bedroom, just watching over her as she sleeps.. which I thought was a bit creepy but okay.
I'm 100% team Jacob, he is such a great character and I really did enjoy the love triangle. And overall these books are written very well. However, It's simply unrealistic to be a 17 year old wierdo with the personality of wet cabbage, at a new high school and yet somehow unintentionally manage to be the most popular person at school? And have every man practically drooling over her? idk I wasn't convinced.
11. The Simple Wild
6/5. The enemies to lovers is amazing in this book!
Just a warning: if you read this book you may start looking online for flights to Alaska as soon as you finish reading.
Calla unexpectedly finds herself without a job and learns her estranged father, Wren Fletcher, has cancer on the same day. Since her schedule is now wide open, she decides to take a short trip to Alaska to see him for the first time since she was two.
Jonah is the pilot that brings Calla into Bangor, Alaska. He is very close to Wren and the small community in the remote but friendly territory. He lives a simple life, and has a deep love for his planes and Alaska Wild. He’s a little too honest from time to time, and likes to play tricks. And Calla is 26, but acts immaturely because almost everything in her life has been done for her. instead of taking in the breath-taking landscapes and marvelling at this untouched area of the world, all she could think of were the negatives. The only thing going through Calla’s mind is Calla. But as she spends more time with Jonah, begins to see more of the beauty that Alaska has to offer, her eyes begin to open and hard truths hit home. Sure, her thinking frustrated me in the beginning, but that faded as she developed and matured. Calla became a likeable character as soon as she stopped being closed-minded.
And dammit, the scenery in this book is beautiful -swoon worthy gorgeousness. I want to visit Alaska so bad now.
12. November 9
This book was a bit too squishy -unrealistic for me but it has the craziest plot twist! Which i'm dying to share but that would spoil everything..
16 year old Fallon O'Neil is an aspiring actress staring in a hit TV show, when suddenly her life flips upside down when she gets stuck in a devastating house fire and barely gets out alive.
The left side of Fallon's body suffers 4th degree burns and leaves her skin completely scarred.
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon's last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel.
I listened to this book on audible. I definitely think this book would've been a better read as a hardcover, because of the poetry and sectioning.
I really liked it!
5/5 I loved it.
Hatchet tells the story of 13-year-old Brian Robeson and his successful attempt to survive alone in the wilderness. When the novel begins, Brian's parents have recently divorced, an event that Brian finds painful. Brian boards a small plane to fly to meet his father in Canada, where his father is working.
Mid-air the pilot begins jerking in his seat it becomes clear that he is having a heart attack. The attack stops and the pilot is dead; Brian is forced to take over the controls. After a harrowing descent, the plane crashes into a lake in the Canadian woods, where Brian is stranded.
This book is written so well. Definitely one of my favorite books.
14. My Secret War
6/5. Amazing storyline!
I first read this book in middle school, but it's still just as good!
Thirteen-year-old Madeline lives at Mrs. Hawkins's Mansion-by-the Sea on Long Island, New York during World War II, with her mother, while her lieutenant-commander father is away in the Navy.
Maddie finds it difficult to make friends, until classmate (and crush) Johnny Vecchio learns that her father is in the Navy. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Maddie and Johnny organize a student group to sell war bonds, gather scrap metal, collect newspapers and used books, and make first-aid kits for the Red Cross. One restless night, Maddie takes a walk on the beach and encounters someone with a heavy accent and another threatening character. This night leads to more mysterious events that finally prompt her to call the FBI, which leads to the arrest of four Nazi agents.
Dear America books are a hit or miss for me. But this one has an amazing plot and I can't recommend it enough!
Those are all my books for now, and i'll definitely update in the future.
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