☕ Book Break ☕ | Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Keiko Furukura, a socially awkward 36 year old woman, has worked at her local convenience store for years. Keiko struggles with social interaction, but at the store, she thrives on the rules, procedures, and structure. She studies the interactions and becomes adept at being an exemplary employee. Here is a world she can understand and succeed in, but her family feels she is wasting her life and education. They pressure her to find a romantic partner and to do something better with her life. Keiko’s story is told with deadpan humor. Translated from Japanese. 

What a great read! It was weirdly engrossing and different in a good way.

Quirky and funny.

I LOVED the book, but was left slightly off balance by two instances of dark humor.

I didn’t see the end coming, but it makes perfect sense and is the perfect resolution for this story.

Easy to read. Recommended. 

 

 

☕ Book Break ☕ | Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman

Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman

A must read for all teens and preteens. This one knocked my socks off. My emotions took ever, the strongest of which was anger. The story ends satisfactorily, although I wanted harsher revenge on one particular character. Rarely do I have a character I love to hate, but the mother of the bully is on my short list of fictional characters I despise. Told from multiple points of view, all aspects of the situations arising from an incident of cyberbullying are put under the microscope. My kindle did not read the headings, and yet I was easily able to tell which character’s POV the story was in. That’s good writing.

Relevant

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Must Read

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Complex

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Engrossing

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Year in Book Reviews 2019

I’m sharing a few of my favorite reads of 2019. I read up to four books a week sometimes and find it difficult to post about every single book. I selected these from the ones I managed to blog about. Click on the title to read more of what I think about them.

Have you read any of these?

Favorite MG

Mockingbird

A Monster Calls

Both of these left me in a puddle. Mockingbird had a few moments of humor and was realistic, while A Monster Calls was achingly beautiful and veered into fantasy.

Science Fiction

Kindred 

This one had me captured from the first page.

Contemporary with An Autistic Character

What to Say Next

An unusual serious contemporary with romantic elements. A great read.

The Girl He used to Know

A second chance romance with all the feels.

The State of Grace

Strong voice and likable character.

Notable Novels About Grief

I know grief seems to be a theme, but since that’s what I am writing, I ended up reading YA contemporary novels about it.

The Boy in the Black Suit

Loved this one. So touching.

A Monster Calls

Also listed above, because it is that good.

Contemporary YA About Social Issues

Moxie

Yes. Read this one.

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

Dual voices. A great book. Two girls get caught in a riot. Deals with race issues.

The Impossible Knife of Memory

Heartbreaking and oh so relevant. How PTSD can wreak a family.

Historical YA

Beyond the Bright Sea

Beautifully written. Captivating.

Classic

Jane Eyre

If you haven’t read it, go get a copy!

RomCom

Blind Dates, Bridesmaids and Other Disasters

Funny and cute. A light, enjoyable read.

Fairy-tale Retelling

Cinder

Well done and interesting.

Detective/Mystery

The Child Finder

A little dark but grabbed me and didn’t let go.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Loved the voice. Great characters. Cozy.

Shakespeare Retelling

Vinegar Girl

The Taming of the Shrew in a modern setting. Had me laughing.

What were some of your favorite reads of 2019?

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins #popsugarreadingchallenge2019

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

#popsugarreadingchallenge2019

A book told from multiple character POVs

Told from multiple points of view, this multi-generational tale takes the reader inside the walls of the home of Bengali immigrants, following the family through the years. Told through the eyes of five girls, each one with her own way of approaching her life and heritage. The women are all complex and flawed, which made it realistic and interesting. 

This is a positive book, a story with heart. 

My only quibble with it was I wanted more! I would have liked to know more as the story went along.

Recommended.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Interesting

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Relevant

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Family Saga

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Satisfying Ending

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Diverse

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

☕ Book Break ☕ | The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

This one was on my TBR a long time. I think I put off reading it because I gotten a bit tired of World War II fiction.

After her estranged father, Hugo, dies,  Joanna find mysterious letter among his possessions. This lead her on a mission to uncover the mystery. Along the way she learns that her father wasn’t exactly the man she thought he was. 

The story is told in dual timelines. WWII pilot Hugo is shot down over Tuscany while flying a mission. Sofia helps him to stay hidden among the ruins of an old monastery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. If you like dual timelines, World War II fiction, and a little bit of mystery, this might be one for you to check out.

Descriptions

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mystery

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Interesting 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Characters

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty #popsugarreadingchallenge2019

#popsugarreadingchallenge2019

A book published in 2019

Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

Abi’s brother, Robert, went missing twenty years ago, on the eve of Abi’s sixteenth birthday. At the same time, Abi began to receive single chapters to a self-help book, The Guidebook, in the mail. The chapters come in no particular order. 

Through the years, the scattered chapters of The Guidebook have remained a constant as Abi grieves her brother, marries, divorces, becomes a single mother, and opens a cafe. Then one day she receives an invitation from the authors of The Guidebook to attend a retreat.

The main character was completely lovable, scattered, and heartbreakingly vulnerable while at the same time being quirky and funny. 

The storyline hops back-and-forth in time I’m about as we get to know her we understand more and more of her emotional pain. I usually prefer books that tell a story in a straight line, however this one unfolded beautifully with a series of alternating scenarios that were amusing and heart rending. Everything ended with a proper resolution without feeling contrived. Abi is on a search to mend her life and find happiness. I loved this character and wished I could visit her cafe. 

The minor characters were all just as memorable as the MC.

The story is set in Australia.

I plan to look for more by this author.

Characters

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Plot

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thought Provoking

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Touching

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Satisfying

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

☕ Book Break ☕ | Just Listen  by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen  by Sarah Dessen

Guys, I think I found my favorite book by Sarah Dessen.

Annabel appears to have the perfect life, at least in the commercials she appears in as her job as a model. Her sister is anorexic. Her former best friend, Sophie, has it in for her. Owen, boy who is obsessed with music and a loner, befriends Annabelle. He has a habit of telling the truth. Annabel has secrets she can’t bring herself to talk about, but he’s not going to let that lie.

I love issue driven fiction and Sara Dessen is good at bringing these topics to light with a well told story. The characters are complex and I felt myself immersed in their lives.

Things aren’t always what they appear to be, and this novel reminds us of that. 

All the stars.