Sometimes you walk in to a book store and you think to yourself… “How the hell am I supposed to pick something?”
Hopefully you’re a smart human being and you go in with a plan of attack. Perhaps you read a review on-line, got a recommendation from a friend, or just know of a new book you’ve been dying to read.
Personally, I go in with a combination of both. I usually have some idea of what I’m looking for while also thinking that I just want to wander and see what happens.
These are ten books I’ve read recently, whether they were planned or not, and whether or not I liked them.
P.S. Sometimes the books you don’t plan on reading, are the ones that turn out to be the best.
The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward: This is one that I am currently reading. I’m around halfway through and am enjoying it so much. More so than I thought since it does come across as a little young, but I was pleasantly surprised that it’s not. I went out and got it because a YoutTuber that I follow has a book club and she recommended it. I’m sure you’ve heard of Zoella… but if not you should check out her book club! Anyways, it’s a great story about a princess who has accidentally poisoned herself with a love potion and so the entire kingdom rallies together to try and cure her. We follow a young girl named Samantha who is an alchemist apprentice and is on the hunt for the rare ingredients to re-create the potion and save the princess. Her character is very refreshing because she a go getter, which we don’t often see in female characters. If anyone has any recommendations for books with fearless female characters, please let me know!
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: This is a book I also picked up due Zoella’s book club! I was really unsure because I tend to lean more towards the fantasy and supernatural side of books, which this is definitely not. It was REALLY good. It was on the shorter side… just a couple hundred pages, but offered some serious twists. I won’t give anything away but as the book goes on, the author gives you JUST enough information to keep you turning the pages and turning the pages. Until you reach the end and it blows your mind.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling: For all my fellow Harry Potter lovers out there, please don’t kill me, but I was disappointed by this one. The rest of the books were amazing. I literally had to set timers on my phone to remind myself to take pee breaks because I couldn’t put them down! I found that this one dragged. While I understand there is a lot of important information and the end is crazy BUT the first 500 pages don’t give you that page turning sensation. At least it didn’t for me anyways.
Zoo by James Patterson: I went out and got this book because I was cruising through Netflix and saw it had been made into a Netflix original. Whenever I see something like this I always have to read the book first. I liked it more than I thought, to be honest. It was very factual… well as factual as an animal armageddon can get, which I would normally find boring. BUT, since it was about animals and a little bit out there, I think it sparked my interest and kept me going. I would definitely recommend it as a book and tv show combo!
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige: This was one of the ones I stumbled across while browsing around Chapters one day. I didn’t buy it right away because I wasn’t completely sold on the premise. I find that people are running out of stories to tell so they’re taking classics and putting spins on them, which I’m not always a fan of. There is still original thought in the world! We just have to find it! Anyways, I found it surprisingly good… when I finally caved and bought it. I thought the first few chapters were a little slow BUT the rest was really interesting. The evil, the vindictive, the sparkle! It was all really cool and honestly, unique. I even moved on to read the sequel!
Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott: This is a book that was recommended to me by someone at work. I was told is has useful information about how to have effective conversation, no matter how difficult they may be. I had high hopes for this book BUT it let me down. I would say I got two key take aways from the book, but that’s it. I found that there were too many side stories to get one point across, and to be honest, I don’t have time for that.
The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler: I liked this book way more than I thought. I read it because I was meeting the author and wanted to be able to hold a conversation about the content. I didn’t think that I would actually it! It reads really well and easily, while also providing a lot of detail. There’s some mystery and some amazing characters. And to top it all off… the author is Canadian! Here’s to Canadian writers! P.S. I’m from Canada.
Watership Down by Richard Adams: I stumbled across this book once and never thought much of it. I picked it up because one of my favorite books is The Incredible Journey and so I thought that I would like this one, since it’s from the perspective of rabbits. It was quite long and that intimidated me. I wasn’t sure if I would want to read 300+ pages about rabbits. I was pleasantly surprised! The author somehow turned these rabbits into people and made their characters relatable. The excitement, the fear, the happiness that they feel. Not to mention the bullying that goes on between rabbits. It sure hits home.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: I’m not going to lie, I didn’t finish this book. I’ve tried twice. The front of the book shows a horse and if you look the book up online, so many pictures of horses show up. From what I read, it’s these weird sea creatures that they ride, not horses. Correct me if my wrong. Maybe the horses come later? I don’t know. I also didn’t like the main character. Not strong… more lost than anything.
The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini: Oh my goodness. This was probably my favorite read from the past year. I really wasn’t sure because I ordered it off of Book Outlet and you never know with the books you order on there. I ended up loving it and couldn’t put it down. I love that it is from a male’s perspective and the story itself was SO UNIQUE that it blew my mind. It directly relates to the role playing games that are so popular in today’s youth and beyond. It can be related to by anyone who has ever felt different or picked on at all. It was just an all around amazing read. If there hasn’t been a sequel… well there needs to be one ASAP.
Please send me links to your Top Ten lists because I am always looking for recommendations!!