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Monday, January 5, 2015

5 Books I Read in 2014 & Whether or Not You Should Read Them.

Reading is my favorite pastime, but I rarely talk about the books I've read on here. That's something I want to change in 2015! I read tons of books in 2014, but these were the first five that came to mind.

Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

Plot: When Charlotte helps Julia Buchanan, she doesn't expect it will result in a friendship. But soon, she is drawn into the magical world of the most popular girl in school—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden... until now. -adapted from goodreads, read full plot here.

Book quotes

Favorite Quote: "Even knowing, as I do now, that grace, power, and yes, love, can hide the darkest elements of the human heart, I would do it all again."

My Thoughts: This book is full of flawed characters, which is what makes it so good. It reminded me of The Great Gatsby in the sense that it was full of people who you could relate to, people who you wish you could relate to, and people who you absolutely do not want to relate to. I missed the characters immediately after closing the book. Also, the writing was stunning in a way that's uncommon for YA fiction. I adored it.

Should You Read it?: Absolutely yes. Why are you still reading this? GO GET THIS BOOK.

Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

Plot: "After her little sister, Ella, is viscously attacked in a situation with unclear circumstances, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham flees to Manhattan to escape her guilt over the night that still haunts her.

Despite what her psychiatrist says, Claire is convinced that the same wolves she knows attacked her sister are after her. When Ella mysteriously vanishes, Claire must return home to find her and ensure her safety.

Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella's past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found." -adapted from goodreads, you can read the full plot here.

Book Quote

Favorite Quote: "Sometimes, the unknown is far scarier than what's really there, when you're ready to look." 

My Thoughts: It's pretty impossible to really talk about this one without spoiling it. I'll just say that it was an incredible mind-bender that left me a little bit disappointed, but that will stay with me for a long time.

Should You Read it?: Maybe? If you're in the mood to get lost in a mental mystery, yes. It's a book I'm hesitant to recommend it because I don't know if I actually liked it or not, but I still think it's worth a read. If you do read it, be sure to read the author's follow up post here AFTER you finish the book.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Plot: You already know what this one is about. If, by chance, you don't, read about it here.

book quotes

Favorite Quote: “It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.”

My Thoughts: Once I finally hopped on the bandwagon, I could not put this book down. I had to know what was going on. It's a book so full of twists that it keeps you reading, even though you spend most of your time having no clue what's happening. I kept going back and forth--do I like that character? Do I hate them? Is that person guilty? No, it's that one. Right? It was fantastic. 

I was reading this book on my phone. Once I got to the part where I realized what was happening, I dropped my phone in my coffee. It was that good.

Should You Read it?: Yes. But it does have some adult content in it that I would not recommend. Don't read this book and then get mad at me about it--look it up first if that's something you're uncomfortable with.

Sharp Objects by Gilligan Flynn
Plot: "Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion while investigating a string of violent crimes, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming." -via goodreads

Favorite Quote: “I'm here, I said, and it felt shockingly comforting, those words. When I'm panicked, I say them aloud to myself. I'm here. I don't usually feel that I am.”

My Thoughts: Flynn is an incredible author and has the ability to write books that surprise and enthrall readers. Much like Gone Girl, I finished this book in two days--not because it was an easy read, but because I couldn't put it down until I knew what had happened. There's something to be said for that kind of writing.

For me, though, it was much too dark. There was a lot of shock value for the sake of shock value instead of the story. Once I was finished with it, I really thought I may throw up. Props to her for imagining a story that has that big of an impact, but if I knew how it was going to be, I wouldn't read it again.

Should You Read it?: No. Unless you never want to sleep again and want to be sickened forever, then go for it.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Plot: "A beautiful and distinguished family. 
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends--the Liars--whose friendship turns destructive. 
A revolution. An accident. A secret. 
Lies upon lies.
True love. 
The truth.
Read it. 
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE." -via goodreads

book quotes

Favorite Quote: "Someone once wrote that a novel should deliver a series of small astonishments. I get the same thing spending an hour with you."

My Thoughts: This book was very popular over the summer, but it was one of those that you either loved or you hated. I loved it, but my favorite reading partner hated it. 

I think it's so freaking cool that the author just straight up asks you not to tell people how this ends, right there on the back of the book. So I'm going to honor her wishes and lie to all of you and say that I have no idea how this book ends, but you should probably read it and find out.

Should You Read it? Yes.

Have you read any of these?


  1. I read the last three. The second is not my bag. I added the first one.


  2. i think I'll add the first one, for sure. And then I'll see about the other titles. I've yet to jump on the Gone Girl bandwagon, because of the bandwagon, haha. I was intrigued about the last book, until you said it made you want to throw up. not something I'm looking for. Thanks for the recommendations!

  3. Thanks for this list! I am going to get We Were Liars and Even in Paradise. Can't wait to read them!

  4. I want to read Gone Girl. It sounds different. I'm on a reading challenge for 2015 and I've already completed a book. I must add some of these into my to-read list
    Noor's Place

  5. I really want to read Even in Paradise! I love reading your book reviews and I'm excited you're planning on incorporating them even more in your blog (:

  6. I loved Gone Girl. I just watched the movie last weekend and I think the book was way better.

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  8. I have a couple of these books waiting on my shelf, I'm looking forward to getting into them. I really like how honest you are in your recommendations - it's refreshing!!

    Sweet Spontaneity

  9. I'll definitely be adding the first one to my must-read list- thanks for sharing!

  10. This is a great way to critique a book, love how you included your favorite quotes from each book too. You definitely need to post more book reviews!

  11. I have we were liars on my list this year! Thanks for the reviews.

  12. Great selection of books, I haven't read any of them, but I will most definitely be looking into the first one on the list!

  13. I liked Sharp Objects but certainly not as much as Gone Girl Gillian Flynn is awesome. I think I might have to check out that last book.

  14. I really liked Gone Girl, so I've been curious to check out Flynn's other books. I don't know, though...

  15. Gone Girl has been on my list to read for awhile and I need to jump on the wagon! I am so adding that first book now too!!!

  16. Oo I'm so opposite on the Gone Girl review! Great book, great read - don't get me wrong, but I was ready to throw my phone {read it on my phone too lol} when I figured out what was going on! To say I hated the ending is an understatement. I am curious about Flynn's other books!

  17. I've been hearing great things about E. Lockhart lately so that's definitely one I'll be picking up!

    I really think that Gone Girl is the perfect light read. I mean the content isn't light by any means - but it's so interesting, you can just devour it and there's not a lot of thought that you have to put into it. You know what I mean? I haven't read Sharp Objects but I did read Dark Places after Gone Girl and really enjoyed it.

    xx Kathryn

  18. I loved Sharp Objects. Flynn just captivates and fascinates me. But I'm also a psychology major so there's that hahah great reviews!!

  19. I am making my 2015 reading list right now, and this is so helpful. I got wrapped up in Gone Girl like everybody else, but the adult content was a little too heavy for me. Even in Paradise sounds like one that I would love!

  20. I read the last three! I enjoyed reading your reviews on Sharp Objects and Gone Girl. I actually liked Sharp Objects more than Gone Girl. The feeling that you described after reading Sharp Objects is how I felt after reading Gone Girl. And I was in the loving it camp for We Were Liars. :)

  21. I read Sharp Objects and yes, I was disturbed. But I wanted to know what the heck was going on! I love her books. I've read them all.

  22. I loved Gone Girl and Sharp Objects. Have you read Dark Places? I think that one is my favorite of her novels.

    I also read We Were Liars. Unfortunately I guessed the ending way before it happened which was pretty disappointing.

  23. Even In Paradise sounds so good! Definitely going to be reading that. Thanks for the recommendations girl!

  24. I'm pretty sure Gone Girl is as much of Flynn as I care to read. When I heard that her other books were even more disturbing than Gone Girl, I said um... no thank you. She is a great writer, though, and her stories are interesting!

  25. I gulped this book down like a glutton, and after a 400 page meal, was hungry for more. It's a good thing Gillian Flynn has two earlier books I can read.

    And, by the way... if anyone knows a couple about to celebrate a fifth anniversary, I think Gone Girl would make an excellent gift.

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