The Likeness, by Tana French
This book has brought me back into the world of murder mysteries... and boy was it a thrilling one. It's actually the sequel to French's first novel, In The Woods, but I recommend skipping that one and just reading this one. (Or if you feel the need to read In The Woods, read it after The Likeness... trust me.)
The Likeness follows the story of Irish detective Cassie Maddox as she goes undercover on a case that becomes extremely personal for her. Mostly because the dead victim involved is Cassie's double, and went by Lexi Madison, an identity Cassie made up in her first stint in undercover.
The story unfolds from there... as Cassie gets more and more emotionally involved the twists and turns will be sure to take you on a suspenseful ride! Read the full summary here. Or buy the book here.
The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards
Let me just start by saying that this book was not what I expected. It touched me much more deeply than I ever thought it would.
This novel follows the story of Dr. David Henry, who delivered his own twins in 1964. After his son is born healthy, he realizes his daughter has down syndrome. Dr. Henry's sister had down syndrome, and he knew what his family went through for her and didn't want his own family to have to face the same struggles.
So he made a snap decision to send his daughter to an institution. Little did he know that the nurse that agreed to take her ended up running off with the little girl and raising her as her own.
As the official website says, "The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted story of parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love." Get it on Amazon.
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Many of you may have heard of this book already, and it has definitely been my favorite book of the year so far. I guess it's qualified as a teen adult book, but I think it's a book for all ages. It's actually the first book in a set of three. I should be receiving the other two books in the mail tomorrow and I can't wait!
I'll do my best to explain the premise of the book, but mostly I think you'll have to take my word for it that you NEED to read this book! It's great and addicting! You won't be able to put it down, trust me.
I think Scholastic summarizes it best:
"In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.
Survival is second nature for 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love."
Katniss is a girl you will grow to love and identify with as she tells you her every emotion, thought and feeling. What I love most about this book is how all of these children must go back to their basic instincts, as brutal as the outcome may be. It really makes you think about your own survival instincts. Still not sure what to think of it? Find out yourself, and let me know what you think.
Hopefully most of you should have at least heard about this book. If you haven't, it's a classic and you need to go buy it, like now.
For those of you who don't know about Tuesdays With Morrie, it's a true story written by Mitch Albom, a successful sportswriter and newspaper columnist, about his time spent with his beloved dying professor, Morrie Schwartz. It had been 16 years since Mitch last saw Morrie at his college graduation. Morrie was diagnosed with ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and only had months to live when he was reconnected with his former student. They met every Tuesday for what Mitch calls his "greatest lesson," the meaning of life.
While it may be a tearjerker, this book provided me with some uplifting and inspirational pieces of advice. I wrote down my favorites, and here's one of them:
"Love each other or perish. Without love, we are birds with broken wings."I'd love to hear what your favorite Morrie-ism is. If you don't know, go read it and get back to me!
Currently reading: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein
When I first started reading this book, I didn't know what to think of it. It's told from the perspective of a dog, Enzo. Little weird for you, too? Well, once you get over that aspect, it gets better, trust me! I'm not even half way through it yet, but I know that it's going to be a tearjerker as well, but that's OK. :) So far it's been a sweet book about the love and growing pains between a dog and his family.
Garth Stein's website sums it up best, I think:
"A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life...as only a dog could tell it."Books I want to read next (after the Hunger Games sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay): The Help by Kathryn Stockett and A Window Across the River by Brian Morton.
I'd like to give a shout out to my book enthusiast friend Erin Mareschal for recommending (and letting me borrow) several of the books mentioned here! And if you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them! Just comment on my blog, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.