Room by Emma Donoghue

Published: September 13th, 2010

“To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work. Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.”

I cried a lot reading this book. I am naturally an emotional mess when something sad happens, but this book was especially heavy in the sense of dread and protectiveness. Jack is a little five year old boy who has never left this little room in his entire life. The same story for the boy’s mother for the last seven years. They eat, sleep, and bathe in this little room. I’ve wanted to kill characters in books before, but oh my god, I never wanted to kill one more in my life than I did him. Jack is Old Nick’s son, and ‘Ma’s’ kidnapper. I can guarantee that you will want to kill him too when you read about the things he has done to this boy’s mother and him. The story is absolutely beautiful when you get to see Jack’s imagination run wild. He makes light of his situation, and you get to see how beautiful he makes his life in his mind. I would recommend this book to anyone who thinks that they can handle it. It does get very heavy emotionally.

About The Author:
Emma is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue. She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 she earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin, and in 1997 a PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. Since the age of 23, Donoghue has earned her living as a full-time writer. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 she settled in London, Ontario, where she lives with her partner and their son and daughter.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Published: January 10th, 2012

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.” Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.”

Okay, this book had be teary-eyed from start to end. If you are going to read this book, for the love of God, have. tissues. ready. I fell in love with Hazel right from the start. I fell in love with Augustus right from the start. The cigarette metaphor? Sigh. Dreamy. Watching them go through this journey of love and acceptance was absolutely blissful. When the end happened, I shut the book and legitimately cried for over a half an hour. I couldn’t even imagine what they were going through, and to think that there are teens that go through these things every day, it was enough to put me over the edge into a blubbering mess. I couldn’t even speak for a few days, I was that speechless. I didn’t know what to say or what to do. It felt like I had made two friends in Hazel and Augustus. I read the book before watching the movie, and I can say that they did a wonderful job with both. John Green, I love you.

Rating: I wish I could go higher than 5. ★★★★★

Darkness by Karen Robards

Published: March 29th, 2016

“BOOM. That’s the sound that changes everything for Dr. Gina Sullivan, a renowned ornithologist on a group research grant trip on the remote island of Attu, Alaska. When an everyday outing turns sinister at the onset of one of Attu’s infamous storms, Gina expects thunder and lightning—but what she doesn’t see coming is the small jet plane that drops out of the sky and into the water mere feet from her boat. Even more unprecedented: there’s a sole survivor from the crash, and he needs Gina’s help. But it turns out that rescuing the stranger and getting them both out of the oncoming storm is just the beginning. Because the more Gina learns about James “Cal” Callahan, he of brooding eyes and muscled frame, the more she fears—for herself, and for him. Cal has made a career of trading on government secrets and emerging unscathed—until a routine pickup goes horribly wrong and lands him in ice-cold water. Literally. He knows the plane crash was no accident and that there could very well be an enemy force currently combing the Alaskan island ensuring there were no survivors. Now if only the arrestingly beautiful bird-watcher with the clear-blue gaze would stop watching him, well, like a hawk. Cal convinces Gina to return to base camp and help him covertly get off the island. But when Gina makes it safely back to camp and finds her entire team murdered, all bets are off, and as darkness envelops the island, she must decide: trust a man she barely knows, or go it alone and risk running straight into the arms of a killer?”

This book starts out with the story of Dr. Gina Sullivan and what she has been through in her life. It explains why she’s on this little island of Attu, Alaska studying eagles as they fly by. What Gina doesn’t expect to see is a plane fall out of the sky and into the freezing ocean she was currently sitting on. She races through the wreckage and bares a storm to find James ‘Cal’ Callahan clinging to life. From there, it’s a story of animosity that turns into trust and compassion as Gina and ‘Cal’ fight for their lives versus the elements of surprise.

I liked this book. It was well written, showed true emotion, and was definitely sexy. Karen Robards did a great job with this book. It was a little slow to begin, but once it got started, it definitely picked up. I couldn’t put it down once the real push of finding out what was going to happen occurred. I didn’t have many complaints for this book, other than it was slow in the beginning. Push through the slow part, it definitely gets better.

About The Author:
Karen was born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. She has been writing since she was very young, and was first published nationally in the December 1973 Reader’s Digest. She sold her first romance novel, ISLAND FLAME, when she was 24. It was published by Leisure Books in 1981 and is still in print. After that, she dropped out of law school to pursue her writing career. Today she is a regular on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, among others, and is the winner of six Affaire de Coeur Silver Pen Awards for favorite romance author, as well as numerous other awards. She writes thrillers, romantic suspense and historical romances. Her work has been translated into more than seventeen languages. Karen lives in her native Louisville with her husband, Doug Robards, and their three sons. She says: “I read, I write, and I chauffeur children,” she says with a laugh. “That’s my life.”

Rating: ★★★★

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Published: August 13th, 2013

“Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol. But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches. In this riveting look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.”

Let’s just start out by saying Matthew Quick is one of my favorite authors. So when I pick up a book of his, I have extremely high expectations. Every single time I have picked up one of his books, I have not been left disappointed. Leonard Peacock is just a young boy with a messed up brain and heart, that needs some help and guidance. His life was never as beautiful as it could have been, and therefore, he wants to kill his former best friend, and himself. I read this book in two days. Maybe even less than that. I couldn’t believe what Leonard had been through, and I wanted to know more. My favorite characters in this book would have to be Leonard, Walt (Leonard’s neighbor), and Herr Silverman (Leonard’s teacher). They have this unbreakable bond with Leonard, and their bond makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens at the end. Oh, the end, let’s talk about that. The ending of this book will make you freak out. Not so much the final sentence, but maybe the last few chapters. It had me going insane finding out what was going to happen and if things would actually pan out the way you thought. I couldn’t stop reading. I didn’t want to.

Rating: A million stars. But in reality, 5/5.

Check out my Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/62155226-lacey

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: August 2nd, 2016

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

 

“Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most. Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened. With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.”

Review:

This book had me crying and laughing within a sentence. It Ends With Us was named Goodread’s Best Romance Novel of 2016, and I honestly can see why.

After I finished this book, I sat there for a while and just thought about it. And that ladies and gentlemen, is how you know you’ve got a good book. If it makes you feel all different emotions within a few sentences, it deserves every award.

Lily might be one of my favorite characters in a book ever. She’s got her head on straight, but doesn’t at the same time. I feel like I connected with her in that way. I bet a lot of other people can say the same. Lily has a “I don’t care” attitude, and I feel like that’s really necessary for the things that happen in this book.

I honestly did not want this book to end. I actually got sad when I hit the last chapter, knowing that it would be over soon. The writing was absolutely fantastic and had me hypnotized from page one. This was my first time reading Colleen Hoover, but I can tell you right now, it definitely will not be my last.

Finding Audrey By Sophie Kinsella

Published: June 9th, 2015

“An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.”

I tried to read this book in Summer of 2016, and I couldn’t find myself getting past page 50. I tried and tried, and felt myself reading the same sentence over again. So, I put it down. I was at my local library when I saw it again, and I said “why not?” and took it home with me. I’m honestly glad I did. This book was very entertaining in every aspect. At some parts, it did slow down, but it picked right back up again. It was extremely interesting looking at the things that Audrey was going through. It makes a person think, “does that actually happen?”. As someone who struggles with anxiety, and knows others who have severe anxiety disorders, it was super awesome learning about Audrey and her experiences. I say to anyone interested in this book: push through the first couple of pages. It really does turn out to be an awesome book. Lastly, I love Sophie Kinsella, and this is her first try at Young Adult, and I think she did a wonderful job.

About The Author:
Madeleine Wickham (born 12 December 1969) is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels. The Shopaholic novels series focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. The books follows her life from when her credit card debt first become overwhelming (“The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic”) to the latest book on being married and having a child (“Shopaholic & Baby”). Throughout the entire series, her obsession with shopping and the complications that imparts on her life are central themes.

Rating: ★★★★

Here’s my Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/62155226-lacey

Love You Better by Natalie K. Martin

Published: October 1st, 2015

“After a soul-destroying breakup with her ex, Smith, Effie Abbott has met the man of her dreams. She’s had the whirlwind romance and the fairy-tale wedding to the charming and suave Oliver Barton-Cole, and life seems firmly back on track. Things were never simple between Smith and Effie, so when he forces his way back into her life, Effie knows he’s a complication she doesn’t want or need. After all, she has Oliver, a man who loves her better than Smith ever did. But when cracks in her marriage begin to emerge and Oliver shows flashes of a darker side, Effie has to question just how well she really knows her husband, and whether Smith is back to derail her seemingly perfect marriage or save her from it.”

This book was hard to read. I’m not entirely sure of how I thought this book was supposed to be, but I’m definitely glad I read it. Love You Better shows the ache of a true heartbreak, love, and a lot of other feelings that I didn’t know I could endure during a book. I’ve read a few books, and I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted to kill a main character before. I legitimately got so mad that I had to leave the book and come back to it a few times. This story shows things that happen in real life and I think that is what made me so emotional. Love You Better might have not been my favorite book on the planet, but it was written well and had an empowering story.

About The Author:
In January 2014, Sheffield-born Natalie Martin decided to leave her corporate job in London and experience the world—heading off on travels that would take her as far as Cambodia, North India, Goa and Thailand, and would change her outlook on life for good. Whilst travelling in India, her debut novel, Together Apart, became a #1 bestseller on Amazon charts. Love You Better is her second full-length novel and became a bestseller on its release in October 2015. Natalie’s base is now London, but she is very much a modern-day nomad, never quite knowing where she’ll end up next. A trained yoga instructor and lover of all things French, Natalie is still travelling and indulging in her three loves: writing, yoga and surfing.

Rating: ★★★★