January: Books I've Read Recently

books on a light pink background

"Books I've Read Recently" is a series where I, Penelope Gomez, will do a monthly wrap up of the books I've read throughout the past month. In this series I will give a brief synopsis of the story and then give the book a rating of :

thumbs up emojiThumbs Up
thumbs down emojiThumbs Down
emoji hand forming 'okay' signJust Okay

I will then give a brief description of why I chose to rate a book a certain way.

So without further delay lets get into the "Books I've Read Recently," and as always leave a comment down below and tell me which of these books you've also read, or plan on reading next.

 

Books I've Read Recently

Book Cover "Shatter me" by Tahereh MafiShatter Me by Tehereh Mafi

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
 

thumbs up emojiThis book has been on my TBR list for a loooooong time now, and it did not dissappoint! I'm really happy that this was my first read of the new year, its obviously going to be a good reading year. As you all know I'm not a huge fan of sci-fi, but I think this would be a good read for anyone trying to start with the sci-fi genre. Although I would say this had more of a dystopian vibe going on, think next Hunger Games, think next Divergent. If you like those two dystopian series, then you will LOVE this one. There's a little bit of something for everyone in this series in my opinion, there's Romance, there's a lot of action scenes and of course there are Mutant abilities! Although they don't call it that in this book. I definitely got some X-Men vibes. One thing I will say for this Book is that, nothing really gets wrapped up at the end, it is very much set up for a book two. This book completely left me wanting MORE, so I'm really happy this is a series and not a stand alone novel because I really want to continue following Juliette on her journey to being a warrior.

book cover "emergency contact" by Mary H.K. ChoiEmergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn't actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
 

thumbs down emojiI have never given a book a thumbs down emoji! Honestly this book was such a let down...I had been wanting to read this book since before it was released. Everyone marketed it as a "Modern Day Love Story," and to me "Love story" was not the first thing I got from reading this book. The texts between the two  main characters Penny and Sam were more like "Therapy Sessions," than love notes. Was this book well written? YES, but the two main characters kind of sucked. Sam is a looser alcoholic that can't seem to get his life together. Penny is a selfish, self-centered girl who is mean to her friends and horrible to her mother. I just really couldn't relate to these two characters, they had no redeemable qualities what so ever. If you go into this book with an open mind, and not thinking the main focus is LOVE then you may like this story because the plot line wasn't horrible. But I will say this book should have a trigger warning for rape. I think my expectations for this book were just too high.

Book Cover "My Plain Jane" by Cynthia hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi MeadowsMy Plain Jane by Cynthia Rand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.
 

thumbs up emojiOk, so this is book 2 in "The Lady Janies" series. The humorous writing style that I loved in book one is ever present throughout this novel and I loved it! This is a retelling of the classic "Jane Eyre," but with a twist, the main focus of this novel is not love but the fact that Jane Eyre can see ghosts, not only can she see ghosts but she is considered a "Beacon." Meaning that she can command ghosts and help them cross over into the after life. This plot twist from the classic leads to Epic adventures and funny paranormal encounters.The great thing about this series is that each novel is a completely different story, so you don't have to worry about reading them in order. You could start with this book if you wanted. Although I will say the 1st one My Lady Jane is defiantly my favorite, book three won't be released until 2020.

book cover "broken Things" by Lauren OliverBroken Things by Lauren Oliver

It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods. Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it.

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.
 

thumbs up emojiI am completely biased when it comes to anything written by Lauren Oliver. I have been anxiously waiting for this book to be published, and as always Lauren Oliver did not disappoint. I just love her writing style in general and her knack for making memorable characters and writing unique inner monologues for multiple characters. This book is written from two perspectives, Mia and Brynn, mixed in with flashback from both characters as they look back and try to rehash the cold case of their best friend Summer's murder 5 years ago. I don't want to give too much away but the ending of this book is just so twisted! This killer never even crossed my radar! If you loved the book series / TV series "Pretty Little Liars," then this book is 100% for you. I also completely recommend anything else written by Lauren Oliver. Although there were some dull moments throughout the novel in my opinion because it wasn't just about finding the killer but also about Mia and Brynn's attempts to live a normal life after they have been accused of murder while living in an intensely small town. This aspect of the story just made for a better plot line, but I just wanted to stay on topic and find out who the killer was! I'm a very impatient reader when it comes to murder mysteries, I just needed answers NOW!

book cover "since you've been gone" by morgan matsonSince You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um...

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?
Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?
 

thumbs up emojiI loved this novel. If you want just a feel good, summer contemporary read, then this is the book for you. Basically this book is about a shy girl named Emily. Emily is glued to the hip to her best friend Sloane. Sloane is the popular, and outgoing type and Emily has always just been along for the ride. When Sloane disappears for the summer leaving Emily with nothing but a Summer to do list, Emily is SHOOK! How is she supposed to accomplish a list of such epic proportions without her life vest, Sloane there to navigate. Never the less Emily is determined not to underestimate herself and cross off everything on Sloane's to do list. Along the way Emily makes some new friends, who are beyond supportive and just as determined in helping Emily succeed. This book just melted my little heart, I mean what a wonderful story on friendship, like everything about this book is just SQUAD goals, and left me feeling inspired to try and cross off some of the things on Sloane's to do list as well. This was just an all around fun read and the thing I loved most was that the author included a summer music playlist, that you can actually look up and listen along to as you read. I just love when authors add personal touches like that to a novel.

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