Book Reviews – Summer 2018

Since it’s been a while since I did a book review, I felt like it was time. I’ve done quite a bit of reading over the summer, and definitely, it picked up when school started and I found myself sitting in carpool lines … here are my favorites from the last few months.

I received an advanced copy of Mammoth and it kept my attention during a long, hot swim meet weekend. I believe it will be released in November, so it would make a great Christmas gift for any teenage girl who loves to read. Natalie is a fashion-savvy, paleontology loving teen. She wins a coveted internship for the summer between her Junior and Senior year of High School working at a dig site in Texas. Natalie struggles that summer to navigate the relationships she forms, the work she is doing on her internship and determining who she wants to be (the fashion-loving Natalie she created for her blog site or the “real” Natalie). It was a fun and quick read, and I appreciated how everything wrapped up for Natalie – much more realistic than the typical perfect ending. My rating 4 out of 5.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance: A Novel is a truly magical experience. It’s fantasy but told in a way that feels real – like you are really living the story and it is possible. Weylyn was raised by wolves and understands that he is different than most people, but still wants to (and is able to) make connections. He is magical and simple yet complex all at once. The book is told from the experiences of the people who knew him – their perceptions of him and their stories of him. It feels like it jumps around a bit, but once you get used to that method of story-telling, it all makes sense and it’s easy to follow Weyln’s life. My rating 4.5 out of 5.

I received a copy of Chasing The Merry-Go-Round: Holding on to Hope & Home When the World Moves Too Fast (A True Story) to review and although it’s a topic I might not have picked up on my own, I found it very fascinating. So often, we encounter someone who seems to be like everyone else, but just isn’t making the right choices or doesn’t seem to be doing as well in life as they should. The author shares the true story of her brother Bobby who is one of those people. She delves into why he can’t seem to make it in life (which gave me a new understanding and compassion) and how it affected her life as someone who loves him deeply and wants him to succeed. Very interesting story. My rating 3.5 out of 5.

Room has been on my “to-read” list for a while now and I’m glad I finally got to it. Wow. Jack is five years old and has never left the room he was born in. His mother was kidnapped seven years ago and has been held in this room against her will. She has created an amazing world for Jack and raised him as well as possible with the limitations of her life. The story is told from Jack’s perspective. It is both disturbing, hopeful and wonderful all at once. My rating 4.5 out of 5.

Sanity Lost & Found: A true Story of Brainwashing and Recovery was another book I received a copy of to review and I found it fascinating. It’s the life story of a woman who grew up in the 70’s, was brainwashed, got into a cult-type situation and her experiences. It was a bit weird at parts – maybe it’s the life view I’m coming from, but I just don’t see how the author could have ended up in some of the situations she found herself in, however, it was a very crazy read nonetheless. My rating 3.5 out of 5.

I know 100 Days of Real Food: On a Budget: Simple Tips and Tasty Recipes to Help You Cut Out Processed Food Without Breaking the Bank is a cookbook, but I tend to read them like I would a novel! I love all of Lisa Leake’s cookbooks and this one was no exception. I’ve already made almost a dozen recipes and they have all been delicious. The Carne Asada was amazing, and we all LOVED the Costa Rican beans – which were great for a busy evening as they cooked in the crock pot all day! I did an entire blog post on this book, so if you are at all interested, check it out HERE. My rating 5 out of 5.

*Some of these books I was given to review and there are affiliate links in this post. However, all the opinions expressed are my own.*