Cicada SummerCicada Summer by Maureen Leurck
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m a fan of HGTV shows so I was excited to read this book about Alex who restores old homes. It was a fun, easy book to read in the moment. There are parallels between fixing the house and Alex;s personal life so it’s not only a book about home restoration, but about a woman’s life. However, I don’t think it’s a book that will stick with me; it was a bit predictable and the ending was unrealistic. That being said, I still enjoyed reading this book and enjoyed it while I read it.
I was given an advance copy by Kensington Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My views are my own and are in no way influenced by anyone else.

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The Hypnotist’s Love Story – Liane Moriarty

The Hypnotist's Love StoryThe Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As I was reading this book I felt like there were too many big topics and events happening; it didn’t feel realistic. But at the same time, none of the topics felt fully fleshed out so the book ended up dragging on. The ending wrapped up everything too nicely and quickly as well.

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The Whole Town’s Talking – Fannie Flagg

The Whole Town's TalkingThe Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The book started out strong and I was enjoying the story and characters. However, the writing quickly felt simplistic and predictable. There were too many characters and the story was all over the place. It didn’t feel like there was much of a plot. The story spanned over such a long period of time, such time periods getting a sentence and others getting pages. Similarly, some characters received more attention than others for no apparent reason. While the book had an interesting concept, it just didn’t quite click for me and I was disappointed in the ending.

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A Tapestry of Secrets – Sarah Loudin Thomas

Image result for a tapestry of secrets sarah loudin thomas
Rating: 2/5 Stars

I thought the beginning of the book had potential. The setting was interesting and the small town aspect was enjoyable. In addition, I liked the flashbacks of Gran (Perla) and was interested in learning more about her story.

However, as the book went on it felt slower, like not much was happening. Perla’s story was wrapped up and so was the future of the church. Time in the book began to move quickly; there wasn’t much detail just speeding though time. However, not much was happening. I had a hard time finishing the book because everything I was interested in was wrapped up long before the end of the book.

In addition, I didn’t really enjoy the main character Ella. She was supposed to be 29, but she felt like a teenager. The way she thought and interacted with people made her seem much younger than an almost thirty year old. She was extremely stubborn when it came to the church and unwilling to listen to others ideas. In addition, she had just come out of a bad relationship, but she wouldn’t tell her parents about it? Her mom liked the man she broke up with, but Ella never told her how bad he was? It didn’t make sense. In addition, even though she had recently come out of a relationship she was interested in many different men. They were all pursuing her and different members of her family thought she should be with different men. It was all very odd.

Maybe some of the reason Ella felt young was because of the writing. Much of the writing seemed very casual and simplistic. There were many times where I found myself thinking that people don’t actually think and talk like they were in the book; and it was other characters besides Ella I found myself thinking this about. Overall, this book had potential to be an interesting read. However, with simplistic writing and ideas it was not as good as I had hoped.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review.

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2016 Reading Challenge

As of today, I have completed my 2016 reading challenge! I have read 100 books. I’m excited that I’ve completed it ahead of schedule and can’t wait to see how many more books I’m able to read this year.

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A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

Image result for a man called ove

Rating: 3/5 Stars

This was another book I picked up because I had been hearing so many good things about it. Honestly, I had so much trouble believing that Ove was only 59. Throughout the entire book I kept picturing an 80-year-old man. I know this should have been a small detail, but I was not able to overlook it. Since the entire book was based on Ove being a grumpy, old man I had to keep reminding myself that he wasn’t really that old, only 59. However, everyone kept acting like he was 80. Despite my trouble with this, I kept reading.

Ove is an 59-year-old man living on his own since his wife passed away. He sees the world in black and white and is often grumpy with people who are doing things “wrong”. He doesn’t feel like he has anything left in life now that his wife is gone and he wants to take his own life. However, his neighbors keep needing him and of course he needs to help. I liked the idea of this story, however after a while it seemed like the same thing happening over and over again.

Despite all this, there were plenty of times I felt myself enjoying some of his neighbors and their interactions. In addition, I enjoyed the flashbacks of Ove’s life. While I definitely didn’t love it as much as everyone else it was still a cute book and based on everyone else’s love for it I’d recommend it.

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October Book Plan

So my new reading plan is to read half books I already own (over 100 that I haven’t read yet!) and half from the library (from books that are on my 500 book to-read list!). I’m hoping that by doing this I’ll start to narrow down my list and finish readings books I own. However, as you can see by the book on top, I borrowed a book that wasn’t on my list and I am listening to an audiobook that isn’t on my list. But hey, I’m still making progress!

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