recently read

October 30, 2014

Now that I am done with grad school (Hallelujah!), I finally feel like I have time to dive into some good books. For a while I wondered if I was ever going to get the chance to read for pleasure again, and I’m happy that day has come. I have been plowing through some good reads lately, and if you’re anything like me, you are always looking for a good recommendation. Luckily for you, I have some for you today!

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

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I always look forward to Picoult’s novels. My mom and I were laughing a few days before this book came out because she went to go pre-order it for her Kindle. Little did she remember that she pre-ordered it about six months previously! As soon as this book came out, I started to read it.

Like most of Picoult’s books, this novel goes back and forth between characters.

  • Jenna, a 13 year old whose mother left after a tragic accident on her family’s elephant sanctuary when she was three.

  • Virgil, a detective who dropped the ball on the case ten years before.

  • Serenity, a psychic who lost her powers, but is trying to help Jenna find her mother.

  • Alice, Jenna’s mother, who went missing the night of the tragedy.

It took a while for me to get into the storyline, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. The novel (as you could probably infer from above) surrounds an elephant sanctuary in New Hampshire, and the details and facts that I learned about elephants while reading the novel were fascinating. I really enjoyed going on the journey with Jenna in her quest to find her mother, and I have to say I did NOT see the ending coming. Like all of Picoult’s books, she throws me for a loop every single time. Needless to say, this book was wonderful, and I am planning on going back to re-read it to catch things I missed the first time and to piece some of the plot together.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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I knew that If I Stay was a movie in theaters recently, but I had no idea it was a book until one of my good friends recommended it to me a few weeks ago. If I Stay details a teenage girl, Mia, who gets in a car accident with her family on a snowy winter morning. Mia suddenly awakens from the crash and has an out of body experience as she watches the emergency crews find her family. Mia has to piece together what happened and make the most difficult decision she’s ever made. Should she go or should she stay?

The writing was definitely for a young adult and I didn’t find the author’s writing to be particularly great, but I did love the story line. I am planning on reading the sequel, Where She Went (If you are planning on reading If I Stay, do NOT read the premise for Where She Went until you are done reading. You don’t want to spoil the ending.)

Family Pictures by Jane Green

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I loved this novel. I am a big fan of Jane Green in general, and this one did not disappoint. This story follows two families that are very different from one another. They live on opposite coasts, and they discover a surprising bond that neither one of them ever expected. Both women have husbands that travel frequently and are feeling a bit lost as they enter their 40’s.

Sylvie, the woman that lives in California, raised her daughter Eve alone, until she married her husband. Eve recently began struggling with an eating disorder, and the family dynamics in this household has Sylvie thrown for a loop. Maggie, whose daughter befriends Eve when she visits New York, is a mother who was never truly there for her children. Now that they are teenagers and their family is in crisis, she doesn’t quite know how to handle the situation.

I loved reading this story and seeing how both mothers changed and grew during circumstances that neither of them suspected. It’s a great read!

What are some great books you’ve read lately? I’m always looking for more recommendations!

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