January, February, March, Mid-April Wrap Up (sort of)

HEY GUYS! Sorry I have been so…absent recently. There are many reasons for this, but the two main ones are that at the end of December of last year, I was starting to kind of burn out, and at the beginning of 2018 I got a new burst of energy, but for things like music, and photography, and other hobbies that took away from book blogging. But I have still been reading! Just more slowly.

That, and work has been TOO BUSY. And I’ve started a photography program at a college nearby. And I’m looking for apartments. Life is busy, and it’s good, but I’m also the type of person that very much enjoys not being busy, so it’s tiring, and when I get a chance to rest my brain, it’s mostly not by writing blog posts.

But! Thank you for all who have followed me in the last few months, who have commented on my posts and tagged me in theirs! Even if I have not responded, I am really, really grateful and love the friendships I’ve made here!

Even though this is a “wrap up,” I only feel like talking about the books I’ve read and really enjoyed, SO these are the best books I’ve read so far this year:

 

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: This book is everything I love about a historical family saga. It is about a Korean family living in Japan through the 20th century, amidst war and cultural, societal, and familiar expectations. I loved the journey this book took me on, and Min Jin Lee gives such time and insight into each of the characters, often to a heartbreaking degree. This book made me CRY. I loved it. Review.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio: If you like books about  students at brick building universities who get into copious amounts of drama and scandal, this is a book for you. Also, murder. And Shakespeare. This book presents the mystery of an acting student’s death, and his friends who did nothing to stop it. Admittedly, this book didn’t shock me with any of its plot twists, but I loved the characters, the atmosphere, and the Shakespearean inspired plot themes. Review.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James: This is one of the most entertaining books I’ve read this year, mainly for it’s fantastic ghost story. I love ghost stories, and this one pulled it off just how I like it- spooky and creepy, but with just enough mystery to keep me from disbelief. That, and this book has a great murder mystery and very interesting historical elements. I really, really enjoyed this one. Review. 

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah: This book is a heavy one, and it took me a bit of time to get through it, but it was worth it. The Great Alone has beautiful descriptions of Alaska, terrible characters and fun characters, and a whole lot of drama. I may argue there was a bit too much drama by the end, but I still really enjoyed this one. Review.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera: I really, really enjoyed this book and flew through most of it in one day. I have seen reviews that have said this book is boring, but I was entertained all the way through, and I think a huge part of it was simply that I loved the two main characters, Rufus and Mateo, who both learn they have just one day to live. My only real “complaint” I suppose, is that I kind of wanted it to be sadder? I’ve also seen reviews by people who cried their eyes out, so maybe I’m just heartless. Still, I really loved this book. Review to come.

What are some of the best books you’ve read so far this year? I’m a bit behind on book news, so let me know!!

Again, thank you guys for all your follows and comments and friendship ❤ I hope to be blogging more often!!

20 thoughts on “January, February, March, Mid-April Wrap Up (sort of)

    • It was a very fun read! Which feels kind of strange to say because it’s about two guys that have one day to live…..but oh well, I had fun with it. I hope you enjoy it!! And thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’d say definitely give Pachinko a shot when you’re in the mood for some long historical fiction! But even though it’s long, I think I flew through it in about a week? It was addicting every time I picked it back up. Yeah, I’m a little mixed about Kristin Hannah, too. I liked The Nightingale a lot more than I did The Great Alone, but I find that her stories seem to wrap up almost too neatly? I’m conflicted because I’m relieved at the end of her books, but I almost want something more? I’m not sure if I’m speaking sense about this, lol. What didn’t you like about the Nightingale?

      I definitely will share some of my photos!! Once I have some that I feel good about 😉 Thank you!

      Like

  1. HOORAY YOU ARE BACK. I love this selectively positive wrap up. And I can’t wait to read They Both Die at the End but it is TOO BAD that it wasn’t sadder. I wonder if we’ve built up our sad immunity too much?!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back! I didn’t cry much at They Both Die at the End either. It’s the only one of these I’ve read but the others all sound really good! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read two out of your list: The Great Alone and The Broken Girls. I love both reads so I’m glad to know you also enjoyed them. I had to do a 3 months wrap up recently.. you take it further to mid April 😂 I like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Broken Girls sounds creepily good. I’ll definitely check out your review. Lately I’ve been loving thrillers and horror novels, but I tend to stay away from books with the word “girl” in the title. This might be an exception!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol I totally understand that!! The “girl” title trend is super tiring….but this is one I’m very glad I read!! If you like thrillers and horror novels I think you’ll enjoy this 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad to see you back! It’s so hard when life gets busy to blog or read; I definitely know how that feels 🙂 This summer I have so much to do since I’m teaching a 3 week summer session abroad, so I’ll be in London for 3 weeks, so I won’t even be thinking about my blog (well, I will be but I won’t be blogging, lol) then my son is graduating high school and summer will just be full of so much other stuff that I’m looking at my pile of ARCs from now till August going OMG, lol. I’m not sure what I was thinking…but they may or may not get rid in time or reviewed in time since life has to come first, and I’m not going to miss out on my summer adventures, lol. Photography sounds fantastic, and that’s wonderful you are taking classes! I’m horrible at it. I always cut people’s body parts off, lol.

    I’m definitely adding Pachinko to my TBR. After teaching an Interpreting Lit class this semester where all the books had a common thread of migration, cultural dislocation, or coming of age in a new culture, I’m so interested in reading books set in other cultures, especially since I’m teaching a multicultural lit class in the fall. I’m making a list and going to try and get through as many as I can!! 🙂 I loved The Great Alone; Hannah is one of my favorite authors, but she can be too much at times. She seems to wrap everything up too nicely when real life probably wouldn’t work that way…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!!! Oh man, that sounds like such a packed summer! But London!! That sounds like it will be amazing, have you taught abroad before? It can be so hard to find time to read when these things are happening- and then when I have free time I just want to sleep! And congrats to your son!!

      Pachinko sounds like it would be a PERFECT book for that class, it’s exactly along those themes. And it really made me want to read more books set in Asia. I read so many books set in Europe and the US, but not nearly as many in other places, and Asian countries are places I REALLY want to go some day.

      That’s exactly how I feel about Kristin Hannah’s books! They’re so heavy and tragic but then at the end it’s a little too neat. But she still tells a really great story, and I love how she writes descriptions- she made Alaska so vivid in my mind!!

      Like

      • You’re welcome! It is a packed summer, lol. Maybe too packed! London!! 😍😍 Yes! I taught abroad about 10 yrs ago for 3 consecutive summers in Ireland, and it was wonderful! I’ve been to London but this will be a whole new experience! And I have 25 young adults to keep track of, lol. It really can! But I find myself staying up all hours of the night to read lol. Thank You! We’re so proud of him! He had a few moments in Feb that we’re wobbly but I fixed him, lol.

        I can’t wait to read it!! It sounds like it would be. I read so many good books this semester that I learned a lot! I’d love to visit Asia too!

        I think you’d like Winter Garden by Hannah. It was another tragically beautiful one. It might be my favorite. But she does make her endings a bit much. I love her though, lol. Night Road was fantastic too!

        Like

  6. Pingback: TAG: The 20 Question Tag – Diary of a Bookfiend

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s