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Friday, March 8, 2019

Books I Read in February (And Whether or Not You Should Read Them).

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen 

Plot: Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking… and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

Favorite quote: “Every lifetime contains pivot points—sometimes flukes of destiny, sometimes seemingly preordained—that shape and eventually cement one’s path. These moments, as unique to each individual as strands of DNA, can at their best cause the sensation of a catapult into the shimmer of stars. At the opposite extreme, they can feel like a descent into quicksand.” 

My thoughts: OH MY GOSH THIS WAS SO GOOD. It's the same people who wrote The Wife Between Us, and I'm going to say I liked this one even better! It was twisty and unique and truly left me guessing until the end. Five stars!

Should you read it? YESSSSSS!

All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor

Plot: "Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . ."

My thoughts: I started this, got bored, and put it down like four times. But once I got more than a few pages into it, I finished it all in the same day. 
It's highly unbelievable for a YA book (which I don't mind, I know I'm reading fiction). It's also a super unique way to write a novel...Four girls are being interviewed for a podcast, and the story is told in their alternate perspectives via the interviews. You're also reading chapters of a book within a book, and you know something bad has happened because of this book, so it's a fun way of trying to solve the mystery. I enjoyed it, it just took me a few tries to get into. 

Should you read it? I think so!

It's Not Supposed to be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa Terkeurst
Plot: What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful? 

Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she's also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It's Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor, helps us to:

* Stop being pulled into the anxiety of disappointment by discovering how to better process unmet expectations and other painful situations.
* Train ourselves to recognize the three strategies of the enemy so we can stand strong and persevere through unsettling relationships and uncertain outcomes.
* Discover the secret of being steadfast and not panicking when God actually does give us more than we can handle.

Favorite quote: “Sometimes to get your life back, you have to face the death of what you thought your life would look like.” 

My thoughts: Good grief, I cannot imagine having the strength to not only publicly walk through what she had to walk through, but to write a whole book about it, putting herself on display for everyone to read and judge. BUT I AM SO GLAD SHE DID. 
I read this book at exactly the right time, and I listened to it on Audible, where she narrates it. I often felt like I was sitting with a friend who was just telling me her story, saying "hey, if I can do it, you can do it!" It was so beautiful. 

Should you read it? If you like hearing people's stories of rising up from the ashes, or if you're going through something hard yourself, yes.

What have you been reading?
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