Recent Reads

Books, Joys of Josie / Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Spoiler: I’m a book nerd. I’m sure you’ve figured that out by now so not exactly a spoiler but you know I gotta start this post some how.

I go through these phases where I will devour book after book after book and then suddenly it takes me a whole month to finish a single novel. Perhaps, it’s the universe telling me to get a life and be social.

Then it turns around and is like nah girl, no one likes you… stay home with a book.

Call me that weird anti-social gal because currently, I’m in the middle of a reading binge and felt like sharing some of my recent reads.

Feel free to send me your book recommendations, or some coffee and biscotti cuz that’s good too.

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever. 

Synopsis from Goodreads.

This book started out fast and vibrant and really freaking hilarious and I enjoyed every second of it. Until the ending that is. The ending was like um… ok? Did someone rip a page or two off. Did my dog make off with the last chapter?

Like it just stops.

Not sure how to explain it without any spoilers but I’m trying not to judge the whole book by its ending especially since it was a National Book Finalist and a made into a movie for Sundance 2013.

I tend to go for YA lit and this one was no different, but it definitely told the YA coming-of-age story from a different perspective… one with a lot of booze, some sex and plenty of laughter.

Sutter Keely is a hilarious character and immediately was what drew me into this book.

I would have loved to hang out and party in high school with a guy like Sutter. Given, I’d be worried about his liver and his future but he would definitely be your go-to guy to have fun.

In all honesty, I had all the faith in Tim Tharp when it came to finding the perfect ending to Sutter’s story and this novel. I had no clue what it was going to be (but convinced it would be as fantastic as the rest of the book) and I’m wondering if Tim wasn’t sure either and that’s why he was like well, I’m tired I guess I’ll stop here.

Would I recommend it? Yeah. And if you happen to finish the book and find some deeper meaning to the ending… please fill me in.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.”

Synopsis from Goodreads.

This one is probably my favorite of the batch. There is some quote on the cover about how it’s a devour-in-one-sitting kind of book and that’s definitely true.

I spent the majority of my time reading this book when I was sick in bed, so yeah… that might be cheating on the whole “one sitting” calculation. But to be fair, if it sucked I probably would have dozed off into a cough syrup coma.

Karen McManus did a great job introducing four distinct high school characters modeled after typical stereotypes and then blowing away those stereotypes by giving us insight and depth to those characters and eventually divulging into their dark secrets.

The fact that the book was told from four different points of view definitely kept me entertained and interested. I love how the author told the story from those four perspectives yet brought it all together so seamlessly.

The only thing that I was slightly disappointed in was that I had actually guessed the ending. I’m not sure if I’ve just missed my calling in life as an expert detective or if the author gave away too much too soon.

Regardless, I enjoyed the book and I would definitely recommend it!

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxaum

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Synopsis from Goodreads.

Shocker… another YA novel.

I love reading novels that are broken up with different types of narrative. When a novel includes things like text messages, emails, and letters I seem to find them easy to read and a fun way to break up paragraphs.

This novel heavily included text messages between multiple characters which kept me entertained and kept the book fast-paced.

It may have been a touch too cutesy for me. I don’t go for romance novels and there was definitely a bit of a love story in the mix of themes. It also touched on bullying, death, blending families and friendships so that helped even things out a bit.

It was well written and easy to read. I definitely didn’t dislike reading it and was able to finish it fairly quickly.

Would I recommend it? Yes and no. If you are looking for something not too serious, fun and cute, then go ahead. Would I call it one of my favorite books? Absolutely not.


Hope you have a great weekend, friends.

Let me know your recommendations below.

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