14 August 2019

Books - July 2019

I finished reading five books in July. Three of them were books from my personal TBR list, and the other two were for review. One of my favorite things about reviewing is the variety of books and genres - I just read what's in front of me, and keep going :) I've found some great books this way!

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

My 12-year-old daughter recommend this one a while back, and we watched the movie. Now I'm sort of interested to check out the rest of the series some time. It was a bit similar to The Fever King in the plot - the kids suddenly either got powers, or died. There were a few noticeable differences between the book and the movie, but they didn't really change the overall story much. I'd give the book 4 out of 5 stars.

"When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America's children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
But when the truth about Ruby's abilities--the truth she's hidden from everyone, even the camp authorities--comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. On the run, she joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp: Zu, a young girl haunted by her past; Chubs, a standoffish brainiac; and Liam, their fearless leader, who is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
While they journey to find the one safe haven left for kids like them--East River--they must evade their determined pursuers, including an organization that will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. But as they get closer to grasping the things they've dreamed of, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living."

Sullivan's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank

This was a nice summer read. Sullivan's Island is a real place that we almost visited on our last visit to South Carolina. I'd give the book 4 out of 5 stars.

"Set in the steamy, stormy landscape of South Carolina, this New York Times bestseller from the author of Queen Bee is the unforgettable story of one woman’s courageous journey toward truth…

Born and raised on idyllic Sullivan’s Island, Susan Hayes navigated through her turbulent childhood with humor, spunk, and characteristic Southern sass. But years later, she is a conflicted woman with an unfaithful husband, a sometimes resentful teenage daughter, and a heart that aches with painful, poignant memories. And as Susan faces her uncertain future, she realizes that she must go back to her past. To the beachfront house where her sister welcomes her with open arms. To the only place she can truly call home..."

Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood

While I've read a couple graphic novels for my daughter's battle of the books competitions, I think this is the first one I've sought out on my own to read. Margaret Atwood talked me into it ;). I'd give this one 3 out of 5 stars. Graphic novels will never be my first love... I do plan to read her graphic novel of The Handmaid's Tale soon.

"Internationally best-selling and respected novelist Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Johnnie Christmas collaborate for one of the most highly anticipated comic book and literary events!

A genetic engineer caught in the middle of a chemical accident all of a sudden finds himself with superhuman abilities. With these new powers he takes on the identity of Angel Catbird and gets caught in the middle of a war between animal/human hybrids. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, educational, and pulp- inspired superhero adventure--with a lot of cat puns."

The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel

I read this one to review for Books I Think You Should Read. Check out my full review there to see why I gave it 3.25 out of 5 stars. 

"A smart and sly story about a utopian summer camp, a charismatic leader, and the people who are drawn to his vision, The Optimistic Decade follows four unforgettable characters and a piece of land that changes everyone who lives on it.

There is Caleb, founder of the back-to-the-land camp Llamalo, who is determined to teach others to live simply. There is Donnie, the rancher who gave up his land to Caleb and who now wants it back. There is Rebecca, determined to become an activist like her father and undone by the spell of both Llamalo and new love. And there is David, a teenager who has turned Llamalo into his personal religion.

The Optimistic Decade brilliantly explores love, class, and the bloom and fade of idealism, and asks smart questions about good intentions gone wrong. "

At the Narrow Waist of the World by Marlena Maduro Baraf

This is another book I read for review. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars there, but may have ranked it a bit higher if my Spanish skills were stronger. 

"Raised by a lively family of Spanish Jews in tropical and Catholic Panama of the 1950s and 1960s, Marlena depends on her many tíos and tías for refuge from the difficulties of life, including the frequent absences of her troubled mother. As a teenager, she pulls away from this centered world—crossing borders—and begins a life in the United States very different from the one she has known. 

This lyrical coming-of-age memoir explores the intense and profound relationship between mothers and daughters and highlights the importance of community and the beauty of a large Latin American family. It also explores the vital issues of mental illness and healing, forgiveness and acceptance. At the Narrow Waist of the World examines the author's gradual integration into a new culture, even as she understands that her home is still—and always will be—rooted in another place. "


Liz Parker said...

Thanks for the links! And did you see the movie version of The Darkest Minds? I liked it a lot but have not read the book yet.

Rachel said...

I’m not an avid reader so it impresses me that you read 5 books in July. I think the Darkest Minds sounds most interesting. Thanks for the reviews.