niennie

twenty-something. girly girl. teacher. puppy-enthusiast.


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Starting the year off with a bang!

3 – Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

This novel tells the story of two high school seniors – a girl with cerebral palsy and a boy with OCD.  They become friends as the boy works as a “peer helper” for the girl in effort to try and help her have a more “normal” high school experience.  As time goes on they fall in love.

I loved this story  Absolutely ate it up.  At times the teacher in me was thinking, “NO SCHOOL WOULD ALLOW THIS!  THIS IS RIDICULOUS!” but the story was so good that I ignored that side of me.  A quick and captivating read!

4 – Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

I read this on my boyfriend’s mother’s recommendation but I did not really enjoy it.  It wasn’t an awful book, but I just felt like the story had no point.  It centers around the bubonic plague in England in one small town.  Pretty much half the residents die.  I felt like the story just droned on, and the end sexual encounters between the main character and the pastor just made me mad because I felt like it was cheap and unnecessary.  Not too much of a fan of this one.

5 – The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn

This was an odd book but it definitely kept me interested.  A young man sets out on his own after spending his life taking care of his alcoholic grandmother.  A childhood friend takes him in, and he moves to this wonderful neighborhood feeling like his luck is on the upswing.  The gorgeous cougar next door has taken a vested interest in him.  However there are strange things going on, and little does he know that beautiful lady is a psycho serial killer and her eyes are on him as her next victim!

I was reluctant to start this book because I get scared so easily, but I was still able to sleep at night after reading this.  I enjoyed it but would only recommend to people who enjoy a dark side of literature.

6 – I Grew My Boobs in China by Savannah Grace

A memoir of a girl who as a teenager spent a year backpacking across Asia with her mother and older brother and sister.  It was fascinating to learn about China and Mongolia through this book, especially because they did everything cheaply and went off the beaten path a lot.  However, I can’t imagine anyone doing this to their teenage children, and am so thankful my parents aren’t into that kind of stuff because I would’ve freaked out if that had been my life.

The book became repetitive at times, especially since she made sure to include every detail of long train and bus rides, and how much fucking goat she ate in Mongolia… but it was a quick read.

7 – Unenchanted by Chanda Hahn

A young adult novel about a teenage girl who is a descendant of the Grimm Brothers and has inherited their curse – she must live through every fairy tale, and if she fails, the curse will be passed along to her next relative.

The story was very interesting, but I kind of just got tired of the high school drama… love story and all that.  I also hoped that there would’ve been more tales packed into this book, but there really weren’t too many and even then they were allusions at best.  Needless to say I will not be reading the sequels.

8 – Garden on Sunset by Martin Turnbull

A novel of old Hollywood when movies were just starting to have dialogue and sound in them.  The book follows three characters – a wannabe writer, a wannabe reporter, and a wannabe actress who are all friends living at the Hotel on Sunset.  I was immediately drawn into this book and could not put it down.  It was interesting, fun, and well written.  Highly recommend this one!!


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The end of the year and starting again…

Happy 2015!  Hard to believe that a year ago I was sitting at this very same laptop thinking about how I needed to start keeping track of all the books I have read.  Amazingly enough, I stuck with that goal, and will continue with it this year.

In 2014 I read 61 books!  Sounds like a lot, and then not a lot at all.  If it weren’t for Jewel Saga on my phone, or HGTV (dear Scott brothers… I love you!) I probably would’ve read at least 5 more… Grumble stupid friggin game grumble.

60 – The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

This was a recommendation from my boyfriend’s mother, and I will admit in the beginning I was judging this book by the cover a bit.  I didn’t really think it was going to be my style, but I gave it a chance and I’m so glad I did!  It sucked me in and I couldn’t put it down.  It follows a few different characters so the book switches points of view every chapter or so, and in he beginning I was having difficulty figuring out where the story was going.  If you read this one, stick with it, it’ll be worth your while!

61 – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

One of my favorites and one of the ONLY books I will continue to read and read again.  My boyfriend and I were invited to a Gatsby themed party on New Year’s Eve, and it just put me in the mood for this classic.

Now, to kick off the new year the right way (by laying in bed all day and reading books, unhappily counting down the remaining hours of winter break), here are the first two books of 2015.

1 – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Like the previous Moriarty book, this was also a recommendation from my boyfriend’s mother.  I was more excited to read this one, however, since I liked the other.  This book was even better than the last, but I think the subject matter was more relevant to me.  It revolves around a primary school and some severe parent drama, where an anxious and overprotective mother is trying to get a student expelled for allegedly bullying her daughter (did I mention these kids are in kindergarten?).  The book is leading up to a trivia fundraising night and all along you know the event ends with a murder, but you don’t know who… or why.  Excellent story.

2 – Walk Me Home by Catherine Ryan Hyde

I love this author and this book was good.  However I didn’t love it as much as all the others of hers that I have read.  Maybe because most of her other books have moved me to tears, and this one didn’t.  The main characters are Carly and Jen, running away to California after the death of their mother.  They are afraid to ask for help because they don’t want to be separated by CPS when they are put into foster homes.  Being teenagers with no money, they have little choice other than to walk from New Mexico to Cali.

Honestly throughout the first half of the book (maybe more…) I really disliked Carly.  I just kept thinking, you stupid teenager!  But all in all I guess that means she was very human and believable.  I just couldn’t stand her.  There is a reason I teach first grade and not middle/high school…  I ended up reading this book in a day so I guess it held me more than I’d like to admit!