Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Books I Read in December

Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos - 5 stars (finished 12/4)
I was gifted this book via Netgalley. 
I loved this story. I loved it so much. There were many rich, well thought out, well developed characters. The story follows the Stone family who is dealing with the news that Jared, the father, has a terminal brain tumor. In order to still provide for his family when he passes away, Jared decides to list his life on eBay to the highest bidder. While you do get a glimpse into the minds of each family member and bidder, my favorite (as morbid as it sounds) parts of the book are when the brain tumor is narrating. It's such a unique narrative that adds a layer of intense emotion to the story. There are many characters to despise in this story, but many to love too because they really come to support the Stone family and the tragic twist that Jared's life has taken.
We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen - 2.5 stars (finished 12/11)
I was gifted this book via Netgalley.
This novel is set in 1982-83 and follows the story of Catherine (Cath) and Scott who are neighbors and best friends who have just graduated high school (Go, Tornadoes!). Cath has moved on and begun college while Scott has decided to stay back home, assist his dad in the family clothing business, and perhaps achieve a little fame with his band. This novel is written as letters back and forth between Cath and Scott.

It was quite the interesting read, in that you aren't getting a full scope of what's going on and, at times, the letters get crossed and can be a little confusing. There were times I would forget who was writing the letter and have to flip back to see the "Dear" part. I have to say that I really did not like Cath or Scott very much. They both drove me nuts. But the book was very readable, so it was super conflicting for me. The plot itself was just too predictable. Despite what happened throughout the book, I knew exactly where it was going from the get-go. It was just that the ride to get to that point was sloppy and it just happened --BOOM-- like that.

The Unforgettables by GL Tomas - 3.5 stars (finished 12/25)
I was gifted this book via Netgalley.
The Unforgettables follows the story of Paul and Felicia. Paul has moved from Chicago to Portland, Maine with his Buddhist-practicing family. It's definitely a huge change for him. Felicia resides in Portland with her family. They are of Haitian heritage and Felicia struggles with wanting to please her parents, so she can do things she enjoys (like softball) and her fellow classmates read that as her being a snob who thinks she is better than everyone else. Felicia and Paul first meet each other while reaching for the same issue of their mutually shared favorite comic. Then they find out they are neighbors.

What I love about this book is that it is so easy to enjoy and there is a lot of diversity in the characters and a lot of characters that are understanding/accepting of other people's life choices that were different than their own. I really loved Felicia and Paul...and their families. I feel that the book was also fairly dang honest/accurate/realistic. I did knock off half a star due to the last little part where the time passed very quickly and the narrative got a little choppy. I wasn't a fan of the ending either. I wouldn't call it an open-ended ending, but it kind of was at the same time.

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