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read in 2019

93 books.

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Gutenberg's Apprentice

by: Alix Christie
Ave. Rating: 3.47
Pages: 406
Year Published: 2014
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"Ugggggg this book! I would've quit it 50 pages in if not for book club. This was a chore to read. I certainly learned a lot about the story of the first printing press and medieval politics but at what cost! Blegh. The writing wasn't even that good - I would have no idea what was going on simply due to poor sentence structure."
- katelynn
06/15/2019
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A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2)

by: Deanna Raybourn
Ave. Rating: 4.12
Pages: 338
Year Published: 2017
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"The second book in a series with a great protagonist. Veronica is so much fun and this book was a breeze to get through. Very engaging and interesting, but not at all believable. I found the sexual discussions just gratuitous and dumb - there for shock value only. And there was just so much of it! Here's to hoping Book 3 gets better - I'm holding out for Veronica's sake!"
- katelynn
06/15/2019
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The Opposite of Everyone

by: Joshilyn Jackson
Ave. Rating: 3.9
Pages: 352
Year Published: 2016
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"Joshilyn Jackson has quickly gotten herself into my top 5 favorite authors. This is my third novel I've read by her, and as with the others it's given me all the feels.

I didn't connect with the protagonist right away (similar to some of Jackson's other novels) but by the end I understood her and was rooting for her. I love the way a new, unusual sort of family was pieced together out of so much brokenness. It was so beautiful and moving! There were lots of tears with this ending."
- katelynn
04/16/2019
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My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1)

by: Cynthia Hand
Ave. Rating: 4.01
Pages: 512
Year Published: 2016
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"4.5 - This concept could have been super lame and hokey, but the authors pulled it off but not taking it too seriously. I laughed so much! This was pure fun from beginning to end."
- katelynn
11/16/2019
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The Hundred-Foot Journey

by: Richard C. Morais
Ave. Rating: 3.57
Pages: 256
Year Published: 2010 (2008)
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"This probably sits at more like a 3.5-3.75 than a 3 star. I loved the first half. It was so rich with culture, history and flavor - interesting people and relationships. I loved all the descriptions - I felt like I was traveling with the Haji family.

I cared less about the story once Hassan moved to Paris. I feel like the story rushed too much and introduced characters you were supposed to care about without them being properly developed.

But it all came around in the end - tying back to Hassan's roots (and therefore the roots of the story). I finished the book feeling satisfied with the story."
- katelynn
04/24/2019
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The Middle Place

by: Kelly Corrigan
Ave. Rating: 3.87
Pages: 272
Year Published: 2008 (2005)
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"4.5 - If I ever meet anyone who is not interested in the memoir genre, I will point them to Kelly Corrigan. What she does is truly amazing. Both this story, and Tell Me More I plan to read and reread as I grow older.

I particular related to this one - and I think I will for the next decade or so - because I am in the same stage. Certain portions I listened to multiple times."
- katelynn
12/29/2019
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The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness

by: Timothy J. Keller
Ave. Rating: 4.45
Pages: 46
Year Published: 2012
Date Read: 09/24/2019
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You Are the Girl for the Job: Daring to Believe the God Who Calls You

by: Jess Connolly
Ave. Rating: 4.32
Pages: 256
Year Published: 2019
Date Read: 10/31/2019
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The Best We Could Do

by: Thi Bui
Ave. Rating: 4.37
Pages: 329
Year Published: 2017
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"What an amazing story- drawn so beautifully! I learned a lot."
- katelynn
09/29/2019
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Bellweather Rhapsody

by: Kate Racculia
Ave. Rating: 3.81
Pages: 340
Year Published: 2014
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"This novel truly does not fit in any boxes. It kept me guessing and at the edge of my seat. It had some heavy, serious topics to explore for a typical thriller. It had more adult baggage to deal with than your typical YA. It also had coming of age and emotional trauma and found family. I kept waiting for it to get back to the horror/thriller parts but at the same time hoping it wouldn’t because the relationships were so good. This novel has all the things - all wounds up in an exciting mystery plot in an interesting setting."
- katelynn
10/30/2019
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The Graveyard Book

by: Neil Gaiman
Ave. Rating: 4.13
Pages: 312
Year Published: 2008
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"Definitely my favorite Neil Gaiman book so far! It was exciting and creepy, sad and sweet. It was so incredibly imaginative! I think Gaiman weaves humor and pathos so well into interesting story lines. And the protagonist was so charming!"
- katelynn
05/21/2019
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Little Fires Everywhere

by: Celeste Ng
Ave. Rating: 4.09
Pages: 338
Year Published: 2017
Date Read: 01/21/2019
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Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1)

by: Sarah Addison Allen
Ave. Rating: 4.03
Pages: 290
Year Published: 2007
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"I wish I could give more stars! I devoured this book and was sad when it ended. It was so completely wonderful- I loved the setting, the garden and cooking themes, the growing relationships, and the MAGIC! Magical realism is a genre I am coming to really adore - it's just enough magic to make the novel sort of hazy and romantic. Everything about this novel was romantic, in the literal and the classical sense. I related to the main character's introversion and creativity expressed through food - watching her open up and grow as a sister, friend, and love interest was a joy. And the ensemble of characters in the family and the town made me think of Stars Hollow, so that was a win. Just read this book!!"
- katelynn
01/13/2019
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The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel

by: Ben Avery
Ave. Rating: 4.16
Pages: 184
Year Published: 2013 (1998)
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"This was an exciting and interesting read, although no where near the level of plot and character development as A Song of Ice and Fire (which was not a surprise considering it's a graphic novel). The story is simple, but has some fun twists and turns - exploring themes of honor and loyalty, just like ASOIAF. Although it was a bit gross at points, I flew through it and really enjoyed getting more of a visual sense for Westeros (since I've never seen the show, I appreciated this)."
- katelynn
07/22/2019
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Strange Weather in Tokyo

by: Hiromi Kawakami
Ave. Rating: 3.77
Pages: 176
Year Published: 2013 (2001)
Date Read: 02/13/2019
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I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

by: Austin Channing Brown
Ave. Rating: 4.38
Pages: 185
Year Published: 2018
Date Read: 06/01/2019
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Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)

by: Louise Penny
Ave. Rating: 3.89
Pages: 293
Year Published: 2007 (2005)
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"I absolutely understand why people call this comfort reading. It's a murder mystery filled with beautiful, scenic imagery and endearing, complex characters. It's not often that I find a mystery that feels literary in the way it treats character development and relationships.

Although certainly not plot-driven, I'd call this a cozy and engaging read."
- katelynn
01/11/2019
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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

by: Bryan Stevenson
Ave. Rating: 4.58
Pages: 352
Year Published: 2014
Date Read: 02/22/2019
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The Mystery Knight: A Graphic Novel (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, #3)

by: Ben Avery
Ave. Rating: 4.08
Pages: 160
Year Published: 2017
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"This was fun and engrossing, but I had to drop it down a star for just being too dang confusing. There were entirely too many characters and they all looked alike. I could NOT keep them straight - and all of the history. Too much for the graphic form."
- katelynn
08/19/2019
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Searching for Sylvie Lee

by: Jean Kwok
Ave. Rating: 3.66
Pages: 336
Year Published: 2019
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"This book did a lot of waffling for me - 3 stars? 4 stars? 5 stars? It certainly kept me engaged - I flew through this to the very end.

What made this book good through the whole thing were the issues of belonging, identity, and family love. I loved the sisters' relationships. I enjoyed the slow unfolding of Sylvie's character and story. I also loved the Dutch setting! It was fun to connect to my own heritage through the glimpse of the culture.

I really did not like the romance parts - they were cheesy and felt unimportant. I also felt the ultimate climax of the story was.. contrived. It felt shocking for the sake of shock.

But then! The sweet healing and coming together of broken relationships in the aftermath! Loved it! So good."
- katelynn
10/16/2019
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Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit

by: Francis Chan
Ave. Rating: 4.09
Pages: 167
Year Published: 2009
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"Francis Chan does not mess around. This is an amazing reminder (wake-up-call) of what our lives can / should be when walking with the Lord. What a challenge and a call!"
- katelynn
08/08/2019
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The Diary of Mattie Spenser

by: Sandra Dallas
Ave. Rating: 4.02
Pages: 229
Year Published: 1998 (1997)
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"The first 3/4 of the book were just ok. Probably a 3 star. But it picked up enough at the end and I was rooting for the protagonist so much it bumped up to a 4 star. Overall the plots points were a bit predictable but it was well-written and an enjoyable read."
- katelynn
05/17/2019
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Tell Me Three Things

by: Julie Buxbaum
Ave. Rating: 4.08
Pages: 328
Year Published: 2016
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"Like most YA I read, it was quick and easy. It dealt with difficult issues in a thoughtful way and showed growth in relationships. The writing was good and the romance was sweet.

My big problem was how typical the trope was - I can think of at least three other books/movies with this idea of a secret penpal romance. And who it was was so obvious from the beginning it was almost frustrating to read. There was a lot of eye-rolling on my part about all her false leads."
- katelynn
05/09/2019
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An Age of License: A Travelogue

by: Lucy Knisley
Ave. Rating: 3.81
Pages: 195
Year Published: 2014
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"What a fun medium for a travel log! It was so easy - took me maybe 2 hours to read. I really felt like I was traveling along with her!

I love the way the comic style allowed her to express complex thoughts in a way that made sense, that brought clarity to emotions I have myself."
- katelynn
06/28/2019
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Purple Hibiscus

by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ave. Rating: 4.17
Pages: 336
Year Published: 2012 (2003)
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"The writing was good and I was immediately endeared to the narrator/protagonist. Her blossoming was really great to watch. But overall I felt the story lacked plot. It seemed meandering and directionless."
- katelynn
04/08/2019
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Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved

by: Kate Bowler
Ave. Rating: 3.75
Pages: 178
Year Published: 2018
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"This is a great, balanced set of reflections from someone with terminal cancer. She examines the way her community responds and her own emotions and spiritual journey - the good and the bad. It was hard to read - especially as a mother imagining myself in her place - but worth it. I need reminding that suffering is a part of our human, (and Christian), experience. It doesn't need to be ignored or explained away. It is what it is. Bowler writes from the midst of her treatment with a perspective that is realistic but somehow hopeful too. "
- katelynn
06/18/2019
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Calling Me Home

by: Julie Kibler
Ave. Rating: 4.24
Pages: 325
Year Published: 2013 (2012)
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"3.5. I found the narrator frustratingly naive and selfish. She's this way as a teenager (to be expected) but also later (as an adult) when she holds back and never commits herself fully to her marriage or her child. The big twist at the end was super predictable. Overall though it kept me interested - I wanted to know what was going to happen."
- katelynn
07/03/2019
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To The Bright Edge of the World

by: Eowyn Ivey
Ave. Rating: 4.1
Pages: 417
Year Published: 2016
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"4.5. This is just beautifully written. I was engrossed in the setting - time and place. I loved the way it was a compilation of artifacts. That was such a fun and interesting way to paint a complete picture! I really grew to love all of the characters.

And as always, I LOVED the magical realism elements.

The only reason it was 4.5 instead of 5 was that weirdly...not a lot happened. The characters were certainly developed but the plot was fairly simple."
- katelynn
07/17/2019
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Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

by: Kate DiCamillo
Ave. Rating: 3.87
Pages: 231
Year Published: 2013
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"As with so many middle grade books, this is a simple story that tackles complex issues. A delight! "
- katelynn
03/01/2019
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Inside Out & Back Again

by: Thanhha Lai
Ave. Rating: 4.1
Pages: 262
Year Published: 2011
Date Read: 11/18/2019
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A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32)

by: Terry Pratchett
Ave. Rating: 4.26
Pages: 278
Year Published: 2004
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"So much fun! So many laugh out loud moments. And it ended with beauty and reflection. Well done!"
- katelynn
04/27/2019
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The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad #2)

by: Tana French
Ave. Rating: 4.05
Pages: 470
Year Published: 2008
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"I just cannot believe I read this directly after The Secret History (SH). I had no idea that the basic story and themes are EXACTLY THE SAME. Blows my mind. There's no way that Tana French was not inspired by Donna Tartt's novel... it feels very, very weird.

That being said, I liked it way more. It was engaging and atmospheric. The characters were deeply flawed, but not despicable as in the SH. I understood and rooted for them still. There was true love among them. Cassie's journey so great to watch as well.

This was so well-done - characters and plot were fantastic!"
- katelynn
11/29/2019
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The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek

by: Rhett McLaughlin
Ave. Rating: 3.73
Pages: 326
Year Published: 2019
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"A fun and easy read. It reads like a screenplay so it's hard to put down.

It's definitely hard to categorize, because it's not really YA but it's not just a straight adult thriller either. It's too gritty and rough to be middle grade, but the main characters are basically middle grade age.

I wouldn't recommend it for kids, we'll just say that."
- katelynn
12/16/2019
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The Blue Castle

by: L.M. Montgomery
Ave. Rating: 4.28
Pages: 218
Year Published: 1988 (1926)
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"Absolutely sweet and charming! Beautiful writing and endearing characters. Just what I've come to expect from good old L.M.!"
- katelynn
05/06/2019
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Belong to Me (Love Walked In, #2)

by: Marisa de los Santos
Ave. Rating: 3.87
Pages: 400
Year Published: 2008
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"This book hit two sweet spots for me: fascinating and complex characters, and beautiful language. And I love relationships that turn around! I do think all of the blurbs I’ve read summarizing this have done terrible job. "
- katelynn
09/14/2019
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The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)

by: N.K. Jemisin
Ave. Rating: 4.28
Pages: 468
Year Published: 2015
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"I feel like maybe I should withhold comment until I’ve read the whole series.. In isolation I liked the book but did not love it. The world is hard and ugly but there were moments of goodness and beauty to hold onto. Probably not enough of those for my taste though.

It’s incredibly creative but sometimes hard to follow."
- katelynn
07/02/2019
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The Unhoneymooners

by: Christina Lauren
Ave. Rating: 4.02
Pages: 400
Year Published: 2019
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"This was light and fun, with enough humor and cheese to satisfy every rom-com lover. I ate this up! I found this a perfect palate cleanser between heavier books. I could've done with a bit less steaminess (it just felt gratuitous at times), but overall I loved the characters and the relationships!"
- katelynn
08/20/2019
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Picnic at Hanging Rock

by: Joan Lindsay
Ave. Rating: 3.69
Pages: 189
Year Published: 1998 (1967)
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"I was disappointed here. I had high hopes of an interesting psychological mystery. I suppose the author accomplished what she set out to do, which is chronicle the unraveling of all the people surrounding a tragic event. I just felt like it was all... pointless? There was nothing to make it all worth it as a reader - no resolution or interesting development at the end.

I give it 3 stars for the amount of creepy atmosphere and the feel of the Australian countryside. Both of which I loved."
- katelynn
10/07/2019
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Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

by: Damian Duffy
Ave. Rating: 4.19
Pages: 240
Year Published: 2017
Date Read: 12/07/2019
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Dear Mr. Knightley

by: Katherine Reay
Ave. Rating: 3.93
Pages: 317
Year Published: 2013
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"This makes the third book in the last year that I've read with the same basic premise. Can we all just wake up and realize we're trying to remake You've Got Mail? Nothing will ever be as good - let's just let it rest.

This one had some sweet and insightful moments and it certainly held my interest. But the cheese factor and the predictability of the plot dropped it way down in my estimation. Also it is completely unbelievable that someone would write letters like this. Not just in our modern era, but ever! Definitely had to suspend reality a lot on this one."
- katelynn
06/24/2019
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With the Fire on High

by: Elizabeth Acevedo
Ave. Rating: 4.23
Pages: 400
Year Published: 2019
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"It's so rare that I read a YA novel with believable dialogue and relationships that aren't overblown. This was that! It was so refreshing. It felt honest and real.

The narrator grows so much - she is tender and tough. And I loved the cooking weaved through the novel. "
- katelynn
07/17/2019
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Why Not Me?

by: Mindy Kaling
Ave. Rating: 3.89
Pages: 240
Year Published: 2016 (2015)
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"4.5 - As with her first book, this book makes you feel like you and Mindy are best friends. I laughed out loud through the whole thing. But she also had a lot more content that was full of wisdom. And I finished it inspired! Well done. My respect for her has gone through the roof."
- katelynn
12/27/2019
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The Sea of Tranquility

by: Katja Millay
Ave. Rating: 4.3
Pages: 449
Year Published: 2012
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"This was riding along at a 2 star until the last few chapters which ended up being somewhat redemptive. But not quite enough to get above 3 stars. It was just too crass and all the characters too unlikable for my taste."
- katelynn
12/19/2019
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The Light Between Oceans

by: M.L. Stedman
Ave. Rating: 4.02
Pages: 362
Year Published: 2012
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"4.5. How to describe this? Beautiful. Devastating.
That comes close, I guess.

The experience of reading this was incredibly painful at times. The author captures so well the joys and sorrows of parenthood. The themes of love and heartbreak and forgiveness are wrapped so well in the beautiful setting. It kept me up at night thinking about what the characters would be going through... Makes me hold my children closer.

I dropped it down from 5 stars because the tragedy of the story didn’t have a lot of resolution. For my reading experience to have been perfect, I needed redemption! But I understand and appreciate tragedy for what it is. Such is life."
- katelynn
08/05/2019
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Everyone Brave is Forgiven

by: Chris Cleave
Ave. Rating: 3.76
Pages: 418
Year Published: 2016
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"Still reeling a bit from this one. It started out so light-hearted and hilarious - the tone reminded me so much of P.G. Wodehouse, which I LOVE. There's a moment when all of that changes. The tone of the book, along with the internal journey of the characters, gets more and more serious. As I can imagine with the war, it's rather a jarring change, but it feels real and true.

The writing is so, so good. It checked my boxes of heart and humor, then checked my additional box of "teaches me history without me noticing".

I didn't love the ending, but again, it felt real. It's not neat and tidy, but it speaks to the reality of the time and the progression of the characters."
- katelynn
12/13/2019
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Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love

by: Dani Shapiro
Ave. Rating: 3.89
Pages: 252
Year Published: 2019
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"What an incredible story! All the more fascinating because it's true. This book definitely left me considering medical conception ethics differently. "
- katelynn
10/12/2019
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The Snow Child

by: Eowyn Ivey
Ave. Rating: 3.97
Pages: 404
Year Published: 2012
Date Read: 02/27/2019
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The Hedge Knight II: Sworn Sword (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, #2)

by: Ben Avery
Ave. Rating: 4.11
Pages: 152
Year Published: 2008
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"Another fun reading experience! Like the first book it started slow, but I couldn’t put it down for the last half. Great characters and exciting twists and turns!"
- katelynn
07/31/2019
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The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1)

by: Angie Thomas
Ave. Rating: 4.5
Pages: 444
Year Published: 2017
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"Hard to listen to because of the difficult subject matter, but important. I needed to read this - to hear from a perspective I don't usually get to. The book gives a lot of information and ideas to chew on but also a great story with complex characters."
- katelynn
03/25/2019
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Harry's Trees

by: Jon Cohen
Ave. Rating: 4.19
Pages: 432
Year Published: 2018
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"This was a complex and modern fairy tale, with all of the magic and wonder and none of the young adult drama that "modern fairy tale" usually includes. It dealt with real, adult issues in a multi-faceted, thoughtful way. I absolutely loved the combination of fairy tale elements and the exploration of grief and the forms it takes. Somehow the magic makes the delivery of the message even more potent."
- katelynn
01/16/2019
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My Life in France

by: Julia Child
Ave. Rating: 4.11
Pages: 336
Year Published: 2006
Date Read: 02/25/2019
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All We Ever Wanted

by: Emily Giffin
Ave. Rating: 3.85
Pages: 334
Year Published: 2018
Date Read: 04/09/2019
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Winter Garden

by: Kristin Hannah
Ave. Rating: 4.19
Pages: 394
Year Published: 2010
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"I loved reading about a time / period / place I know nothing about: 1930s/40s Russia and the siege of Leningrad. It was a truly harrowing moment in history.

Unfortunately, that was only about 2/5 of the book. The rest was a modern story framework setup to allow the telling of the other story. It felt weak and unnecessary. I'd rather have focused in on the historical story, even if it was super grim, than be dragged along with modern characters I never came to care for."
- katelynn
02/04/2019
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The Secret History

by: Donna Tartt
Ave. Rating: 4.11
Pages: 559
Year Published: 2004 (1992)
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"I can tell this book is good literature. And I was certainly engrossed for a good portion. But it was such an unpleasant read! The characters were just horrible people. I don't say the characters were "terrible" because they were incredibly well-written, well-developed and complex. But they had basically no redeeming qualities. I understand the narrator and his flaws. I followed his chain of thought and his actions, however unfortunate. But I didn't like him. I didn't root for him.

There was no justice and I found hard to swallow. Obviously there was torment, there was tragedy and broken relationships - but these stupid kids needed to be held accountable.

I give three stars because it truly is great writing. "
- katelynn
11/22/2019
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Before the Fall

by: Noah Hawley
Ave. Rating: 3.72
Pages: 391
Year Published: 2016
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"3 stars because it kept me interested till the end - I wanted to know the whole story. Otherwise, I didn’t really like any of the characters - which isn’t a requirement, but there were so many I couldn’t really go deep with any one. I guess I just don’t understand the author’s point. What was he trying to do here?"
- katelynn
08/17/2019
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The Glass Castle

by: Jeannette Walls
Ave. Rating: 4.28
Pages: 288
Year Published: 2006 (2005)
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"This story really sat in the tension of love and dysfunction. People are complicated. The author did not hide or white-wash any of the gritty, hard things that she went through. But she also showed the love and wonder and excitement she felt in her growing up years. She gave another perspective on poverty, the fight for dignity and the effects of addiction."
- katelynn
11/13/2019
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I Miss You When I Blink: Essays

by: Mary Laura Philpott
Ave. Rating: 3.79
Pages: 288
Year Published: 2019
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"This collection seemed.. disjointed. I didn't feel a cohesion or any general point.

I liked some of the individual essays - I definitely have a lot in common with the author."
- katelynn
07/29/2019
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The Mother-in-Law

by: Sally Hepworth
Ave. Rating: 3.99
Pages: 340
Year Published: 2019
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"I started this book expecting a thriller. Like a thriller, it is fast-paced and I didn’t want to put it down. But other than that it is mostly a family drama. I was so happy to be mis-informed! The drama was so real, so honest and believable. The relational complications were nuanced and explored with grace and understanding. I was so happy with what the author developed between the lead women - it was really lovely."
- katelynn
06/30/2019
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Nimona

by: Noelle Stevenson
Ave. Rating: 4.13
Pages: 272
Year Published: 2015
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"So. Much. Fun.
Heartwarming and funny and so exciting.
I have no complaints!"
- katelynn
06/16/2019
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The Dry (Aaron Falk, #1)

by: Jane Harper
Ave. Rating: 4.02
Pages: 331
Year Published: 2018 (2016)
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"Exciting, twisty, good characters. All around a great read!"
- katelynn
10/18/2019
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The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy, #2)

by: Katherine Arden
Ave. Rating: 4.31
Pages: 360
Year Published: 2018 (2017)
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"As good, if not better, than the first. Politics, religion, folklore, romance. Incredible characters you love and hate. Exciting plotlines. I'm diving into the next book right away!"
- katelynn
10/09/2019
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Ask Again, Yes

by: Mary Beth Keane
Ave. Rating: 3.96
Pages: 390
Year Published: 2019
Date Read: 09/21/2019
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The Enchanted April [with Biographical Introduction]

by: Elizabeth von Arnim
Ave. Rating: 3.92
Pages: 130
Year Published: 2009 (1922)
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"This was a truly "enchanting" and delightful read, although slow at times.

My main problems with the book revolved around the way the relationships resolved – which is a pretty big deal since that’s what the whole book builds towards. I feel able to forgive that, however, due to the period in which it was written and the fact that everything else was so wonderful.

The growing relationships between the women. The blossoming of each individual. The incredible setting! The humor! This book checked a lot of things on my love list.
"
- katelynn
03/07/2019
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Wylding Hall

by: Elizabeth Hand
Ave. Rating: 3.88
Pages: 146
Year Published: 2015
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"This was a fun listening experience. I enjoyed the setting (place AND time) and the characters. I liked the oral storytelling method - I feel like the author did it really well. I was never confused. The horror aspects of it were subtle, more creepy than terrifying.

As with other horror stories I've read, I wish they had explained more. I don't totally understand what happened, but I suppose I'm okay with that."
- katelynn
04/17/2019
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1)

by: Maya Angelou
Ave. Rating: 4.25
Pages: 289
Year Published: 1993 (1969)
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"I think coming-of-age might be a genre I need to leave alone for a while. I feel bad giving lower stars to someone’s true story.. I guess I just don’t get what the author was trying to say. I know more was meant than just to tell her story, but I’m not getting it. More discussion is needed!

Overall it’s three stars because of some really poignant, important moments and the overall poetic voice to the writing."
- katelynn
09/28/2019
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The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy, #3)

by: Katherine Arden
Ave. Rating: 4.5
Pages: 384
Year Published: 2019
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"A fantastic end of the series. I give a standing ovation! I was moved to tears at the conclusion of something so wonderful and magical."
- katelynn
10/24/2019
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Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

by: Allie Brosh
Ave. Rating: 4.12
Pages: 371
Year Published: 2013
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"This was both laugh out loud funny and soberingly insightful. The antics of her dogs had me in stitches. And her reflections on identity had me really thinking... about myself, how I view my own morality and worth, and how incredibly grateful I am for the Gospel. "
- katelynn
08/16/2019
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Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1)

by: Kevin Kwan
Ave. Rating: 3.87
Pages: 403
Year Published: 2013
Date Read: 04/30/2019
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The Island of Sea Women

by: Lisa See
Ave. Rating: 4.26
Pages: 374
Year Published: 2019
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"Wow, I do not usually go for multi-generational stories, especially in another culture, but this was perfect. It’s a beautiful and tragic story about friendship and loss. The setting and culture were completely immersive and FASCINATING. The author never sacrificed plot or characters but I learned so so much!

This is incredibly well done historical fiction. Where the history is just a background framework for an amazing story of love and forgiveness. "
- katelynn
09/05/2019
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The Huntress

by: Kate Quinn
Ave. Rating: 4.26
Pages: 576
Year Published: 2019
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"Wonderfully done. This book was almost 600 pages, but I would've kept reading for another 300. Such fascinating, complex characters! Like nothing I've ever read before. And I learned a lot about WWII subjects I don't know much about. Quinn kept the history fast-paced and the characters multi-faceted. A fantastic read!"
- katelynn
08/12/2019
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Kindred

by: Octavia E. Butler
Ave. Rating: 4.27
Pages: 264
Year Published: 1997 (1979)
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"Wow, this 5 star was ... unexpected. It starts off really simple. I was not impressed with the initial setup of characters and the time travel theme. But, boy, does Butler ratchet up the tension and complexity! I ended completely overwhelmed. There's so so much to consider and discuss. She does not back down from any difficult ideas or grey areas. She faces them head on, showing human brokenness and defending dignity."
- katelynn
12/04/2019
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In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)

by: Tana French
Ave. Rating: 3.77
Pages: 429
Year Published: 2008 (2007)
Date Read: 02/05/2019
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Our Souls at Night

by: Kent Haruf
Ave. Rating: 3.91
Pages: 179
Year Published: 2015
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"Sweet and sad. A lovely, quiet story. I think I will appreciate it even more at a different stage of life."
- katelynn
11/20/2019
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The Thirteenth Tale

by: Diane Setterfield
Ave. Rating: 3.96
Pages: 406
Year Published: 2006
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"What a fantastic gothic mystery in the vein of Jane Eyre, The Woman in White, and anything at all by Kate Morton. The language was beautiful, causing me to think for a while that it was either written in the more distant past or else set in the past. But no! It’s just incredible writing weaving a thick atmosphere and crafting complex and really unique characters.

There was one moment, right in the middle of this serious, heavy novel, where the author makes a self-aware joke that made me laugh out loud!

Surprises: this was much darker than I expected. On a scale from 0-10 of how twisted a plot is, this was about a 2.5 where I usually read at 0-1. But it didn’t ruin it for me."
- katelynn
10/30/2019
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First Frost (Waverley Family, #2)

by: Sarah Addison Allen
Ave. Rating: 3.97
Pages: 296
Year Published: 2015
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"This story plunged me right back into that wonderful, magical Waverly world. Even the most simple plotlines (and this was a very simple story) are completely enchanting! I certainly don't think this followup novel was as riveting as the first, but I still loved it. Sweet characters, beautiful language, easy-to-relate-to issues handled in thoughtful ways, all wrapped up in a lovely package with just the littlest bit of magic."
- katelynn
11/03/2019
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The Lovely Bones

by: Alice Sebold
Ave. Rating: 3.83
Pages: 372
Year Published: 2006 (2002)
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"Tough to listen to - probably a bit over the line for what I usually read. It was very well written though. The family relationships, the way they break apart and come together, make it a worthwhile read. There were some elements that were a little too fantastical for me – it just seemed out of the tone of the rest of her novel. Also kind of creepy and weird."
- katelynn
04/04/2019
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Meet Me at the Museum

by: Anne Youngson
Ave. Rating: 3.93
Pages: 224
Year Published: 2018
Date Read: 02/11/2019
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Life Among the Savages

by: Shirley Jackson
Ave. Rating: 4
Pages: 256
Year Published: 1997 (1953)
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"This was so much fun - I couldn’t believe how much I related to it even though this was written by a mom so long ago. The struggles transcend time! The differences were interesting as well.

Funny and light, reminiscent of Cheaper by the Dozen - I give my hearty recommendation to all young parents! (And anyone else who wants to understand them)"
- katelynn
10/02/2019
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The Terror

by: Dan Simmons
Ave. Rating: 4.02
Pages: 769
Year Published: 2007
Date Read: 01/06/2019
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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

by: Roxane Gay
Ave. Rating: 4.16
Pages: 306
Year Published: 2017
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"Beautiful written, heartbreaking yet hopeful. This work felt important. I think it will take some chewing on and reflection for the importance to really since in."
- katelynn
09/24/2019
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The Death of Mrs. Westaway

by: Ruth Ware
Ave. Rating: 3.82
Pages: 368
Year Published: 2018
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"A fantastic heroine, a thick and creepy atmosphere, and a twisty mystery - adds up to exactly my kind of book! I knew a few pages in that I would love the journey and I certainly did!"
- katelynn
08/24/2019
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My Sister, the Serial Killer

by: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Ave. Rating: 3.72
Pages: 226
Year Published: 2019 (2018)
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"I loved this from the very beginning. It gripped me. I felt completely connected to the narrator and was rooting for her to the very end. I think she made (and makes) poor choices but I feel like I understand why.

Two issues: I didn’t totally understand what happened in her past. The way they wrapped that up (or didn’t wrap it up) was super confusing. Also people keep referring to this as a dark comedy filled with wit and satire... I got NONE of that. I didn’t think there was a stitch of humor in there. It makes me feel so stupid. The entire book was so serious to me. Maybe it was the audio format that was tripping me up. Ah well. I still loved it!"
- katelynn
07/12/2019
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Britt-Marie Was Here

by: Fredrik Backman
Ave. Rating: 4.06
Pages: 324
Year Published: 2016 (2014)
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"Heart. Humor. Those are the main things I love in novels right now and Backman always gives them to me in spades. This novel was no exception. It was wonderful. Masterful character development, hilarious interactions - one day I’m going to read so much Backman I’ll wake up a sports fan against my will. "
- katelynn
07/22/2019
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All the Missing Girls

by: Megan Miranda
Ave. Rating: 3.77
Pages: 384
Year Published: 2016
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"Super interesting and engaging listen! Just what I love in an audiobook. Cool (if somewhat confusing) format of telling the story backwards - like the movie Momento. The mystery of it kept me guessing and the ending was satisfying, although sad."
- katelynn
03/27/2019
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How to Walk Away

by: Katherine Center
Ave. Rating: 4.08
Pages: 302
Year Published: 2018
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"This was sappy and sweet and silly (although some of the content was definitely serious and treated with respect). Chick lit that is entertaining and at times thought provoking but not life-changing."
- katelynn
11/07/2019
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My Name Is Lucy Barton

by: Elizabeth Strout
Ave. Rating: 3.52
Pages: 193
Year Published: 2016
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"This falls Into the category of books for me that I can tell are good but I don’t know why. I just didn’t get it."
- katelynn
03/04/2019
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Dark Matter

by: Blake Crouch
Ave. Rating: 4.1
Pages: 342
Year Published: 2016
Date Read: 01/19/2019
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A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2)

by: Louise Penny
Ave. Rating: 4.09
Pages: 311
Year Published: 2007 (2006)
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"Reading this story was just like being wrapped in a warm blanket. I CRAVED reading it. So strange that a story about murder could make you feel that way! The characters and atmosphere were so rich.

I connected with this novel a lot more than the first in the series. I'm finally starting to understand what all the fuss is about! "
- katelynn
12/26/2019
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Clock Dance

by: Anne Tyler
Ave. Rating: 3.58
Pages: 292
Year Published: 2018
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"I’ll give it this, for a book where pretty much nothing happens it kept me engaged to the very end. It’s a quiet story (that doesn’t seem to have a lot to say... but maybe I’m missing it).

Maybe I would appreciate it more at a different stage of life."
- katelynn
05/29/2019
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Field Notes on Love

by: Jennifer E. Smith
Ave. Rating: 3.85
Pages: 271
Year Published: 2019
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"So charming! So sweet! And so surprisingly moving! I loved the characters- every bit of it felt real. It was such a pleasant surprise since the premise seemed super corny."
- katelynn
08/28/2019
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The Girl He Used to Know

by: Tracey Garvis Graves
Ave. Rating: 3.97
Pages: 291
Year Published: 2019
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"4.5. What a sweet love story! I completely connected with the narrator and often found myself in tears as she expressed her difficulties in navigating the world. I felt a similar connection to the narrator of The Rosie Project - another romance novel containing people with spectrum disorders.

The last few chapters had me heart-sick - reliving trauma we've all had to go through. I agree with others' reviews that the ending was abrupt, but I think her personal journey had concluded.

This would have been 5 stars if not for the level of steam - too much for my taste. It's a shame - I really felt like the detail there detracted from the story."
- katelynn
09/19/2019
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Out of My Mind

by: Sharon M. Draper
Ave. Rating: 4.36
Pages: 295
Year Published: 2010
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"This book gets high marks for creating a lovable, interesting narrator and for giving a voice to an otherwise voice-less group of people. I would definitely want my children to read this to understand - to learn about treating people with respect and preserving their dignity as human beings.

Unfortunately, it was really slow - didn't really pick up till the last third or so. And the "middle-grade"-ness of it was a little too much for this adult reader. (But I know I'm not the target audience)"
- katelynn
07/11/2019
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I Kill Giants

by: Joe Kelly
Ave. Rating: 4.14
Pages: 184
Year Published: 2009
Date Read: 08/25/2019
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