2016 Book Review

Thursday, January 12, 2017

This was a big year for me and reading because I finally reached my goal of reading 25 books in a year! And then I surpassed that goal and read 31 books! I was so proud of myself. Finishing a book gives me a huge sense of accomplishment - am I the only one?! I wanted to share my top five books from this year and any books I wouldn't recommend. You can also read my entire list on my Goodreads account. If you have Goodreads definitely add me! This year I have gotten many recommendations from other bloggers. (My favorite blogger recommendations have come from Mix and Match Mama, Rachel Dawson and Bailey Jean.)

Me Before You - This is the first book I've ever read that made me cry. I also finished in the middle of the night so maybe I was delirious. I knew what this book was about and how it ended before I read it, but I tried to convince myself I didn't know the ending the more I read. I could not stop thinking about this book after I read it. It was so emotional and sad and it made me feel so much!

Outlander - I started this series this year (which is crazy because I feel like I've been reading them for years) because I heard good things about the TV show and wanted to start watching it and we are planning a trip to Scotland with my family this spring! This book is so good! You get absolutely sucked into Claire and Jamie's world. I didn't want their story to end (Thankfully it doesn't, I've read through the third book.). The premise is a nurse from WW2, Claire, finds herself transported to Scotland in the 1740s which is the time of the Jacobite uprising. Outlander is one of those epic romances and adventures that makes you wish you were in the story. I wasn't as big of a fan of the third book but I do want to finish this series soon.

The Nightingale - This book focuses on two sisters who live in France during WW2. This one made me tear up a bit so... a big deal! The book has strong characters who change and transform through the story. I thought the characters were very complex. There were characters who you hated and yet... you couldn't quite hate them. Then there were characters who you loved but sometimes they made you so mad! I expected the book to be fluffy, but it wasn't at all. I thought it was deep and beautiful. (Okay it just missed my top 5 but read All the Light We Cannot See too! I read this two close together. I thought they would be so similar but, although they both took place in France in WW2, they were so different and so beautifully written.)

What Alice Forgot - This book was lighter but, honestly, I think this is the book I've thought about the most throughout the year. The overall story is a wife and mother who falls at the gym and gets amnesia. It's a great lesson in slowing down and remembering what is actually important. There is a scene where Alice is late to school and her kids are asking why she isn't freaking out and yelling. Alice replies like "Why would I be yelling? We are just a few minutes late." She has become so caught up in keeping up that her past self doesn't recognize her present self. I highly recommend everyone reads it, especially moms (not that I am one)! But I think I will be rereading this when I have kids!

Brooklyn - This novel is about a young girl who immigrates to Brooklyn in the 1950s. The first half of the book is about her adapting to life there and missing her life in Ireland (she is somewhat forced to immigrate). Honestly I thought the first half of the book was boring. Then I think I read the second half in 24 hours. The second half transforms into a romance and the main character, Eilis, must eventually make a choice between her old and new life. After you read the book see the movie because that is also very good!

Gosh I read so many books it was tough to choose these five! But I think I'm happy with my choices...? I don't know! I could have done a top 10!

For the books I wouldn't recommend that I read this year - 

I only gave one book 3 stars and that was Reconstructing Amelia. I had read that it was a thriller similar to Gone Girl. That just isn't true. It's more like a Gossip Girl murder mystery. It is heavily centered on high school drama, which sometimes I enjoy but, I thought that there were scandalous themes for the intention of shocking the reader. Does that make sense? The shock factor kept increasing but I didn't think there was any reason for it. I still read the book quickly but I was definitely disappointed by it.

If you have any recommendations leave a comment! I've had so many good recommendations this year and I've started a recommendation list with my mom and my aunt which I love!