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Monday, May 8, 2017

Recent Reads Vol. 2

I'm a major book worm, you guys. Major. Each and every lunch break consists of me laying in the sun at the park, engrossed in a book so I'm always looking to add to my reading list. I thoroughly enjoy scrolling through fellow bloggers' book recommendations and reading lists, and after all of the positive feedback I got from my first Recent Reads post, I thought I'd share my feelings on my most recently read books in the hopes of inspiring some new additions to your bookshelves:



Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book is based around one choice and the adverse affects each decision can have. What if Hannah had stays at a party with her high school boyfriend? What if she calls it a night and goes home with her best friend? It was interesting to read how much one seemingly simple choice could affect a life so differently. I've found some "what if this, what if that" books to be confusing and hard to follow, but with the two scenarios unfolding in alternating chapters, I had no problem keeping up with the story line and staying enthralled in the repercussions of both choices.

Official blurb:
"At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan. Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan? In concurrent story lines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate? Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him."

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
This was probably my favourite read of the lot. It was super easy to get in to and to fall in love with the characters. I found myself just as emotionally invested in unwrapping the mystery of Lina's father and the life her mother had before she died as the character was. Combining my love of Italy and coming-of-age romance stories, I was hooked from the beginning, and the beautiful description of Florence, the people, and it's attractions made me want to transport to Tuscany upon every read.

Official blurb:
"A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure. Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn't in the mood for Italy's famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She's only there because it was her mother's dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn't around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home. But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina's uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother's footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It's a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father--and even herself. People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more."

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
I picked this up purely for the title - books and Paris, what more could I ask for? I didn't really know what I was expecting, but this surely wasn't it. Even after reading the blurb, the story didn't really stick to what was promised, I feel as though it went a little off-course. I still enjoyed reading it, but it definitely didn't live up to my expectations. Honestly, it was a little hard to read language-wise. I don't want to say that it's an "advanced" book, because that just sounds pretentious, but a lot of the language, phrases and words used (I don't know if it's because it has been translated from German) made it difficult for me to follow, and I consider myself quite the reader.

Official blurb:
"On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a 'literary apothecary', for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust - until now. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved."

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I haven't seen the movie, so I truly didn't know what to expect from this book, but I found it a little... underwhelming. The fact that it has no chapters also made it hard for someone like me, who stops reading at a chapter's end, to read. The story is based on heartbreaking real-life events and don't get me wrong, it was sad, but I just didn't find that it hit me as hard as it could have. I'm the biggest crier when it comes to sad plot lines, and I don't think I even shed a tear throughout the whole book. To me, the ending seemed kind of rushed.. It just kind of ended all of a sudden. I'm not really sure how this would translate to a movie, so I'm on the fence about whether I'd go out of my way to watch it, but if you have seen If I Stay, let me know what you think!

Official blurb:
"Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make. Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving."

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I know that I'm super late to the party with this one, but this is another I-haven't-seen-the-movie-yet read for me. I don't usually get in to whodunit's or mysteries, but I actually found myself emotionally invested in this plot line. I did kind of guess who the murderer was quite early on, so it wasn't much of a surprise to me, but even so, I still enjoyed reading every page of this book. Even though I know the way it all pans out, I'd still actually like to watch the movie.

Official blurb:
"Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train..."



Is there anything on this list that you would like to read?

What was your favourite read recently? I'd love some recommendations!


see also: Recent Reads Vol. 1


As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, meaning that it does not contain any affiliate links, nor have the books mentioned been sent to me, endorsed, or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I.

37 comments:

  1. I want to start reading more, I need to check some of these out!

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  2. I'd be later than you to the party of Girl On The Train - which sounds like the best of the lot to me. Thanks for the review.

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  3. The "Girl on the Train" sounds fun. I love whodunnits and this sounds fun. Thanks for the review

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  4. Great book choices! I've seen "Girl on the Train" but the book is on my list too. I'm looking forward to reading it.

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  5. Beth Shankle AndersonMay 10, 2017 at 2:50 AM

    I love that you love books! I love books too, I just can hardly find the time to read them. Love your book selections too!

    Beth || www.TheStyleBouquet.com

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  6. I'm a book nerd too! I love to read--it's one of my favorite things to do. I read some of these: The Girl On The Train and Maybe In Another Life and loved them. I'll have to check out the others.

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  7. I am regular bookworm but with my baby teething I haven't found the time to read anything decent!

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  8. Ooh that first book, Maybe in Another Life sounds like the right book for me. I will add it to my summer reading list. Thanks :)

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  9. Girl, the movie "If I stay"... Save your time and money. Yes, it's a sad event BUT. The movie is just boring.

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  10. T-Nicole JohnsonMay 10, 2017 at 4:28 PM

    This sounds like a wonderful list to checkout. Your lunch breaks sound perfect. I would love to be able to sit under a tree and read.

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  11. I definitely want to read Girl on the Train and If I Stay. I have heard a little but I didn't realize that If I Stay had no chapters in it. It is a very curious choice when writing a novel.

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  12. Andrea SoranidisMay 10, 2017 at 11:19 PM

    So many lovely options! I saw the Girl on the Train movie and absolutely love it, and I'm sure the book is just as good.

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  13. Great reading list! I havent had any time for reading yet but maybe in the summer

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  14. i haven't been an ardent reader but I am starting to look for some decent books these days. I will check out some of these.

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  15. Blair VillanuevaMay 11, 2017 at 8:16 PM

    Wow i love reading too! I always make sure I have a book in my bag especially during my travel. OR I visit the bookshop where I travel in. Am interested to read about the Love & Gelato. Sounds cutey.

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  16. Anosa Malanga VAMay 12, 2017 at 3:43 AM

    Thanks for sharing new books to read. I would personally love to check on Love & Gelatto.

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  17. I only finished Girl on the Train fairly recently myself and I also really enjoyed it, I definitely want to watch the movie now too!
    I adore romance novels based in Italy, I might have to add Love and Gelato to my to-read list, thanks for the recommendation and reviews! Xx

    Kez | acaciasdreams.com

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  18. Sounds like lots of great books to read. The Girl on the Train sounds good.

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  19. Sushmita Thakare JainMay 13, 2017 at 12:28 PM

    With all of the work and commitments, my reading has reduced a bit since when I am free the time I utilize is to keep myself up with trends and use them for myself and my Clients! Miss reading books, may be soon may get back to it!

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  20. These are definitely a good place to start. :P x

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  21. Haha I'm glad I'm not the only one. I definitely recommend The Girl on the Train. I was hooked from the start. x

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  22. We'll do a swap - you read the book and I'll watch the movie haha. x

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  23. Hooray! I love books you love books, WE ALL LOVE BOOKS! x

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  24. Yessss, girl! Love and Gelato is definitely one I'd recommend to you. :) x

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  25. Aww I could imagine how little time you would have to read these days. :( x

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  26. Yay! I really enjoyed reading Maybe in Another Life. I definitely recommend it - I hope you like it too. :) x

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  27. THANK YOU! I really thought this was going to be the case. I usually find books to be better than movies, so when this left me underwhelmed.... meh. Thank you for saving me from wasting my time with If I Stay. :) x

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  28. I truly am lucky to be able to step out and read for an hour. :) x

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  29. The Girl on the Train usually isn't my kind of book, but I really enjoyed it.
    Isn't it strange!? I'm a person who will stop reading at the start of a chapter.. I just felt wrong stopping aha. Very interesting publisher's choice.

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  30. Even though I know the outcome, I still cannot wait to see the movie! x

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  31. Summer is the perfect time for reading if you ask me. :P x

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  32. I hope something here takes your fancy. :) x

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  33. Yessss! Me too! There's nothing better than a good bookshop visit. :)
    Love and Gelato was an amazing read - I highly recommend (especially if you love travel). x

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  34. Yessss, Anosa! Love & Gelato is definitely my fave pick from this lot. :) x

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  35. We can have a cute movie date to see Girl on the Train together haha. Even though I know the ending, I'd still like to see how they went with the movie. :)
    GIRL! If you love Italy and romance, then hold on to your hat because you'll absolutely adore Love & Gelato! I hope you do get to read it - it's one of my favourites. :) x

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  36. It's a really enthralling read, The Girl on the Train. :) x

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  37. I hear you here! I'm just luck that I'm able to have a good long read during my work lunch break otherwise I wouldn't have much time for reading either. x

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