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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Books I Read in June and Whether or Not You Should Read Them.

The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson

Plot: When Mary-Margaret Fischer met Jude Keller, the lighthouse keeper's son, she was studying at a convent school on a small island off Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude--gorgeous, rebellious, promiscuous Jude. But Jude, driven by demons no one really understood, disappeared into Baltimore's seamy red-light district. Mary-Margaret moved on with her life, preparing to serve God with her sisters as a teacher and artist.

Then Jude comes home--but now he's bitter, dissolute, and diseased. And Mary-Margaret receives a divine call that shakes her to the core, a call to give up her dreams for the troubled man who befriended her so long ago. For Jesus' sake, can she forsake the only life she ever wanted for a love that could literally cost her life?

Favorite quote: 

"We all want to be rescued and we'll look in the craziest of places for that rescuer, won't we? We all want to be found." 

My thoughts: This is a book about a nun who thinks she can see Jesus. If you would have told me that description, I wouldn't have ranked it as something I thought I would enjoy. But I devoured this book. It was so good, so beautiful, and such a good reminder that no one is ever too far gone for love and grace, and that sometimes what we've always thought we wanted isn't the best for our life. 

It's such a deep, funny, unique story with so many layers I want to tell you about, but I don't want to spoil anything. So I'll just say it's a book about a nun who thinks she can see Jesus, and you really, really need to read it. 

Should you read it?: YES.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Plot: Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Favorite quote: 
“We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken.” 

My thoughts: Sometimes things are super mainstream and popular for a good reason. John Green books are some of those things. 

Some people end up not liking these books for the very reason that I love them. They read The Fault in Our Stars first and fall in love with it (because it's wonderful) and immediately after finishing that they buy another John Green book (a natural reaction), only they're disappointed because they were expecting a grand story of tragedy and heartbreak like in TFiOS. 

I love John Green's books because while they are all magical and very obviously written by him, they are all so different. All of his books are filled with tragedy and heartbreak; only they're different kinds. This one covers the tragedy of being someone who feels things deeply and the heartbreak of being alive. 

I loved this book, and much like after I read Paper Towns, I wanted to run around and live life and experience everything, because being alive is just so great. Any book that reminds you of that is one worth reading. 

Should you read it?: Yes. Immediately. 

Water from my Heart by Charles Martin

Plot: Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami. Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter. Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible--and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

Favorite quote:
“This is love with legs.’ My father used to say that you can tell someone you love them until you’re blue in the face, but until they see that walked out, they have no idea what it means. Hence, ‘love with legs.’

My thoughts: This story has so many layers of different stories all intertwined and I don't want to spoil them for you, so I'll sum it up because I don't think the Goodreads description does the book justice. 

Charlie deals Cocaine (in the big leagues) with his best friend. Some things they do get his best friend's son in trouble. When Charlie goes to rescue him, he stumbles upon a group of people whose lives he has inadvertently ruined, and he sets out on trying to make things right. And then an incredibly beautiful story unfolds. 

Once again, Charles Martin blows me away. 

Should you read it?: Absolutely. 

The Good Girls by Sara Shepard

Plot: Mackenzie, Ava, Caitlin, Julie, and Parker have done some not-so-perfect things. Even though they all talked about killing rich bully Nolan Hotchkiss, they didn't actually go through with it. It's just a coincidence that Nolan died in exactly the way they planned . . . right? Except Nolan wasn't the only one they fantasized about killing. When someone else they named dies, the girls wonder if they're being framed. Or are they about to become the killer's next targets?

My thoughts: I shamefully watched Pretty Little Liars every week because at this point, I just have to know how it all ends. I started reading the books, because I'm always interested when a tv show is based on a book series, but then I realized the tv show and the books have very different plots, and that was just too confusing. 

So I read The Perfectionists, the first book in this series. It was just kind of ehhh. But since it's a mystery, I had to finish it, so I read the second book, which ended up being much better. 

It's a juvenile read with incredible plot-twists and an end that I really didn't see coming.

Should you read it?: Only if you've read the first one, or if you enjoy the Pretty Little Liars books. If not, I'd pass.

What have you read lately?


  1. Waters from my Heart sounds really good! Adding it to my goodreads right now!

  2. I want to read Waters from my Heart and The Passion of Mary Margaret now! Thanks, Chelsea!

  3. I have never heard of these, but love that first quote! We never need to be without hope! Amen!

  4. I added the nun book and Water from My Heart to my list of stuff to read.

    I loved the Alaska book. That made me cry.

  5. Looking for Alaska is at the top of my list!

  6. I had no idea Pretty Little Liars was based off of a book! Now that's something I'd love to read :)

  7. I just added The Passion of Mary-Margaret & Water From the Heart to my tbr list! I've never heard of either of them, but they both sound so good!

  8. I have Looking for Alaska on my list at the library! :) (Turns out LOTS of people know that it's AWESOME because HOLD LIST.)

  9. I have never heard of Water from the Heart, but it sounds fantastic! Definitely adding it to my to-read list. :)

  10. I always love anything John Green writes - and you're correct, everything he does is different. There's always a bit of an outcast theme though - which makes sense..John is always one for the underdog. He says so himself.

    Interested in the nun one now! Adding it to my list.

  11. Just sitting down to order my books for vacation and needing some inspiration. You came through, per usual. :)

  12. I love John Greene books, they are so nuanced and quirky and different, you know? Looking For Alaska was one of my faves, I went on a John Greene binge last Summer and read them all;) I also love Rainbow Powell, she has a similar style to John Greene, with interesting and flawed characters.

  13. I love John Green. LOVE. The only one of his that bothered me was An Abundance of Katherines and that had more to do with some of his language choices and all the math than it did story or characters. LFA is going to be a movie and I'm interested to see how they cast it. It can go great or horribly, horribly wrong.

  14. Okay the story about the nun seems really really interesting even though it isn't the kind of book I would usually be drawn to! As for Looking for Alaska...I have NEVER read a John Green book (I know, what is wrong with me?) but I have never wanted to read The Fault in Our Stars because it really just seems too sad so Looking for Alaska seems like a good middle ground (:

  15. I LOVED Looking For Alaska. Total guilty pleasure! That first book sounds so different but I'm very interested!

  16. The Good Girls has been on my list but I didn't realize it was where the showed was based on.

  17. You had a great reading month! I really want to read the first one now and I also want to read the last one... PLL (the books and TV show) are some of my guilty pleasures!

  18. I recently read paper towns.. and while it wasn't my favorite book.. i liked that it was really different from afios. :)


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