2017 Reading List

Books I read AND REVIEWED in 2017.

Currently (Re)Reading: The Truth About Forever

The Truth About Forever
Author: Sarah Dessen
First Published: May 11, 2004
Publisher: Penguin Press
Pages: 374 (Paperback)
Rating: 5+/5

Sarah Dessen is the reason I fell in love with the Young Adult genre. There’s just something magical about her books, and I end up rereading them over and over, falling in love with the heroines every time. It’s easy to like all of Dessen’s heroines too – they’re all super relatable, ordinary girls that go through life like everybody else. But there’s just something extra special about “The Truth About Forever,” making it my all-time favorite book. This book has become my security blanket – I grab it when I’m about to start a new adventure, when I’m in a sad mood, when it’s dark and gloomy outside… Essentially, any time I need a cuddle, I grab my fleece blanket, a cup of tea, and this book, and I know everything will be alright.

“The Truth About Forever” is all about Macy Queen’s unexpected summer adventure. It’s the first summer after her father’s tragic passing, and Macy has agreed to take over her brainy boyfriend’s boring library job while he’s away at Brain Camp. It’s shaping up to be a regular, calm summer, working in the library during the day and studying for the SATs at night. But she suddenly gets an opportunity to join Wish, a chaotic catering company, and the summer suddenly turns into a whirlwind adventure… causing Macy to question everything about her life. (more…)

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Currently Reading: Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You
Author: Celeste Ng
First Published: June 26, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Press
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4.5/5

I feel like any book that starts off telling you that a character is dead is off to a good start. That type of beginning just hooks a reader. Well, it reeled me in at least. I’m actually quite surprised that this was a debut novel – I normally hate debut novels, but this one was really well written, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Everything I Never Told You” is a book about family, and the relationships between every member of a family. This novel was specifically about the Lee family – a family with a Chinese father and a Caucasian mother living in small-town Ohio in the mid-70s. Lydia Lee, the middle child, and her parents’ favorite – the one that her parents are sure will fulfill the dreams they never achieved. But then her body is found in the lake and her family is completely destroyed – relationships are examined and everything is just never the same for the remaining Lees. It takes Lydia’s death for the Lee family to realize they may not understand each other after all. (more…)

Currently Reading: Scrappy Little Nobody

Scrappy Little Nobody
Author: Anna Kendrick
First Published: November 15, 2016
Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 271 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4.5/5

I’ve always believed that Anna Kendrick was awesome. Reading her memoir just enforced that belief – and now I just want to be her best friend. Especially since she mentioned the now defunct store “Yellow Rat Bastard.” I was [embarassingly] obsessed with that store for the longest time growing up.

“Scrappy Little Nobody” is basically a hilarious anthology of moments from Kendrick’s journey to stardom. There are stories about being a Broadway kid, the movies she did before breaking into stardom in “Up in the Air,” and what it was like being in the “Twilight” films. She also shares her experience being a celebrity, and how it’s affected her life. (more…)

Currently Reading: Can I See You Again?

Can I See You Again?
Author: Allison Morgan
First Published: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Pages: 384 (Paperback)
Rating: 3.5/5

It’s no secret that I like reading women’s literature (also known as “chick lit”). They’re just so much fun to read – they’re romantic comedies in book form! So when “Can I See You Again?” was recommended by Goodreads, I went and read it. After all, Goodreads hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

“Can I See You Again’s” protagonist is matchmaker Bree Caxton. She has it all in the beginning – a long-term boyfriend who’s about to propose, a matchmaking business with a 98% success rate, and a book about love that’s bound to debut on the New York Times Bestsellers list. But when her boyfriend ends up dumping her, she has to scramble to find a new one, since nobody would buy a book about love from a matchmaker who had just been dumped. So Bree convinces her one matchmaking failure – Nixon Voss – to be her fake boyfriend until her book release. All is going well until her ex-boyfriend wants her back and a newspaper finds a source that could expose her rocky love life – forcing Bree between a rock and a hard place. (more…)

Currently Reading: The Wangs vs. The World

The Wangs vs. The World
Author:
Jade Chang
First Published: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Rating: 2/5

“The Wangs vs. The World” is what I like to call a “yearly list book”. As in, it was included in a ton of “most anticipated titles of 2016” and “2016 best book” lists. It was definitely one of the most buzzed-about books for Fall 2016. For about a month, this book was EVERYWHERE and reviewed by EVERYBODY – from The New York Times to Elle Magazine. It’s even a PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize nominee! Either the Penguin PR team for the book did an amazing job, or the book was really just that good.

“The Wangs vs. The World” tells the story the Chinese-American Wang family’s reaction to losing everything in the 2008 financial crisis. Charles Wang, the patriarch of the family, loses his entire self-made fortune during the crisis – affecting everybody in his family. His wife has no idea who she is if not a wealthy housewife. His two youngest children have to pull out of their schools. The entire family ends up on a road trip across America so they can relocate to New York, where the eldest Wang daughter lives. However, Charles Wang believes that he can gain everything back if he can just regain his family lands from China, causing another family trip across the Atlantic… and even more problems. (more…)