Thursday, September 18, 2014

Summer Reads: A New Favorite, A Bachelor Vixen, AIDS in the 80's, and A Sweet Romance

It is almost fall, so it seemed like a good time to review my summer reads.  There are four definite winners below.   I try to make these as un-spoilery as possible, so you can still enjoy the twists and turns of each book.  I think there is a little something for everyone here.

We Were Liars

We Were Liars:  I had to start off with this book, because it is now one of my all time favorites.  It is a quick read, with a twist that makes your head spin.  I actually had to listen to this book again once I was finished (and I can't believe everything I missed the first time around).

Cadence Sinclair Easton has been vacationing with her family on her grandparent's private island since she was born.  Her cousins are her best friends, and she looks forward to spending time with them every year.  She has a mysterious accident when she is fiftteen that she simply cannot remember the details of.  Cadence now suffers from debilitating migraines and takes strong pain killers which seem to leave her head in a bit of a fog.  So when she finally returns to the island during her 17th summer, she has more questions for her family than she has answers.  She slowly starts to piece together what happened, and face the truth that all actions have consequences.

I can't say anymore without giving anything away, but I would give this book five stars.  It took me a while to let go of these characters after reading and rereading.  I was haunted by everything that I didn't see the first time around (and you will be too).

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Tell the Wolves I'm Home:  It is 1987, and we are still trying to grasp the mysterious illness that is the AIDS epidemic. Teenager June Elbus loves her Uncle Finn, and he seems to be the only person in her life who can understand her.  However, she is losing her uncle to this disease, and it is like her best friend is being ripped from her.  She thought she was the closest person in the world to him, but after he dies, she realizes there was so much she didn't know.

Finn had another life that was kept a secret by her mother, in order to protect her.  Toby was Finn's partner, and perhaps the only person that loved him as much as June did.  She is reluctant to meet with him, but soon realizes that they have a few things in common, including Finn's dying wish that they take care of each other.

This was a heavy book.  I read it immediately after I finished We Were Liars (I mentioned I had a hard time letting go of that book), so it took me a while to warm up to the characters.  Once I did, I found it to be a well written story about the complications of family relationships.  Overall I give it 31/2 out of five stars.

Eleanor and Park:  This book was a sweet love story between two teenagers from the the same neighborhood, living in very different wolrds.  Eleanor has a very difficult home life, where she has to make herself almost invisible to survive.  Park comes from a loving and encouraging family.  They meet for the first time on the school bus, where Park reluctantly offers Eleanor a seat next to him.  They slowly develop a friendship, which turns into more.

 However, the turmoil Eleanor faces at home makes it necessary for her to keep the relationship and new-found happiness a secret.  She gradually opens up to Park, and lets him understand the harsh truths about her life.  It all leads up to the one night where Eleanor has to make a decision about her future, and what place Park will have in it.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends:  I love Courtney Robertson!  I want to state that at the beginning of this review, because I realize she was a controversial contestant on season 16 of The Bachelor.  In fact, Courtney was a lot of the reason that I continued to watch this season.  She was beautiful and feisty, and did a few things that definitely didn't endear her to the other women competing for Ben Flajnik's heart.  She made for great tv.  I always wanted to see what she was going to do next.  At the end of the day she won (I know, I know, it is supposed to be about love, not winning).

However, winning The Bachelor's heart was not quite the fairy tale ending that Courtney had in mind.   This book is her autobiography, and it doesn't skimp on  juicy details.  Aside form Ben, she kisses and tells about several other men, many of them celebrities.  If you watched Ben's season, you really get a different look at what when on behind the scenes, and after the cameras went away.  This was a really quick and fun read.  Five stars all the way.  It might even make you change your mind about Courtney.

One very last note here is that I posted about my love for her book on Instagram, and Courtney responded.  It was a very exciting morning for moi!!!

See my Books page to keep up with the books I am currently reading.  

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I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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