October 29, 2013

October 2013: The Light Between Oceans

Kerry:  I really enjoyed this book, maybe because it was about such a different life than my own.  I enjoyed learning about lighthouse living, Australia living, and the choices that this family made.

Amanda:  Enjoyable read and clever story.  I ran the gambit with Isabel--I loved her, then I hated her.  Complex characters written well.

Sowders: Character development was lacking for me... or rather, I just didn't like any of the characters.

Chari:  Thought setting was interesting but could not empathize with the main characters. The adoptive mother's personality was completely annoying.

Shannon:  It was interesting in the beginning, but I became bored as it went on.

Aday:  It was an interesting story, but the kind of book where you can't wait for it to end.

October 8, 2013

September 2013: The Fault in Our Stars

Amanda:  Very poignant novel about cancer through the eyes of a teenager.

Rebecca:  It was a very touching book about a heart-breaking topic.  I enjoyed it, but felt that the dialogue between the teenagers was often unrealistic.  Overall, good book and would recommend it to others.

Stephanie:  Sweet, entertaining read.

Aday:  "I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."

August 2013: Roots

July 8, 2013

June 2013: Killing Kennedy

Stephanie:  I really liked this book.  Kennedy's life is laid out in detail, both the good and the bad, in what I thought was an evenhanded approach.  Very well done!

Becca:  I enjoyed this book more than I expected. Interesting read.

Jill:  Almost a guilty pleasure given all the salacious details about JFK's life, but found this book very readable - recommend!  (Also recommend Killing Lincoln, which I accidentally read first, thinking it was the book club book!)

May 23, 2013

May 2013: On the Island

Barb:  Easy breezy beach-ready read.  Self-pub, so high on invoking any latent pool boy fantasies but low on literary merit.

Chari:  Thought it was a fun beach read and yes, I liked it a lot. I read it during vacation last summer and ignored my family the whole day. Could not put it down and was thoroughly entertained!

Holly:  Fluffy fluff.

Steph:  Fun, summery read.  I liked the characters and, even if everything was a bit too convenient and easily wrapped up, it was still an entertaining read.

Ashley:  A light fun book to be read on a beach with a fruity drink - The Blue Lagoon meets Sex in the City.

Amanda:  This book started out good and I really loved the adventure of it all. But the ending was so predictable and unworthy of the preceding storyline. I did enjoy the book, just wished it was a little less insipid.

Becca:  I liked this fun, light, "beach read".   I think it was a nice break from the heavier books we have been reading.

Aday:  Fast read, but lacked substance.  

Kerry:  I loved this book, it was sappy and corny and I cried.  There is not much that I will take away with me from this book, but I really enjoyed it!

Kasey:  This is definitely not in my top 5 or even 100 books.  I found both characters to be annoying.  I was actually rooting for the shark when they were on the island.  It was an easy read, but I was very bored throughout.

Mary:  This book wasn't anything special.  An easy summery read for sure, but it was so wrapped up that it annoyed me.  I guess I like just a bit of conflict!!!

Jenn K:  Easy, breezy, fun. Perfect for the beach. I predict a Lifetime movie starring Jennie Garth and Justin Bieber in its future.

May 21, 2013

April 2013: Nothing to Envy

Barb:  A very timely, gritty, and informative (though somehow not riveting) tale of North Korean defectors and their lives under their dictators' thumbs.

Jill:  It seems wrong to say that I loved this book, given the subject matter and the senseless suffering it detailed, but I am so glad I read it.  It educated me on North Korea while also telling the stories of the characters so beautifully that it read like a novel.

Holly:  A bit tough to get through, but definitely educational.

Becca:  I thought the book was interesting, informative, and incredibly disturbing all at the same time. I'm embarrassed that I didn't know more about N. Korea.  It got a little tedious at times, but overall I really liked the book.

Kerry:  Nothing to Envy enthralled me.  It was hard to imagine what life is like in North Korea, but the memorable stories have stuck with me.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants to expand their understanding of the world.

Steph:  Very interesting and informative.  Made me highly sympathetic to the plight of those currently living in North Korea - I am thankful for the raised awareness the book gave me.

April 15, 2013

March 2013: Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Aday:  "There are dark black buttons tattooed on my heart. I'll carry them for the rest of my days." Brilliantly beautiful book, I fell in love with it all.

Stephanie:  This book was beautiful, sincere & heartfelt. Loved it!

Jill:  I felt like this book was trying too hard.  It was ok, but didn't love it.

Mary:  I felt like I was 14 again--the 80s, the confusion, the naivete, the experimenting with who I was, how to feel, how to just be.  I thought it was perfectly written and I loved it all.  

January 22, 2013

January 2013: Gone Girl

Jenn:  Really well executed story told in an infuriatingly interesting way. Can't wait for the movie to see if they change the maddening ending. Loved it.

Amanda:  This book really, really surprised me.  I was completely under the spell of our "heroine".....and then WHAM!  Shocker, truly.

Aday:  Slow start, clever finish.

Becca:  Gone Girl was cleverly written with interesting twists and turns, but I felt robbed at the end. It's not that I expected a happy ending, just one that was as creatively written as the rest of the book.

Kerry:  I read this book in a day, it was a great read and fast-paced.  My only criticism is that the characters were horrible people!

Mary:  I enjoyed this book for the most part-especially the big "twist" in the middle.  But the ending was kind of disappointing and didn't really make sense to me.  Overall, pretty good, girl.