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July 14, 2015

The books I read last month all seemed to have a common theme of despair and sadness, two having to do with World War II and the other outlining a potential post-apocalyptic future. They were all really great reads, but I recommend reading other, happier books in between, to space out the depressing.

The Book Thief. I love the way this book was written — it's told from Death's perspective, and it's about a little German girl named Liesl who goes to live with a foster family during the second World War. Liesl is a freakin firecracker, I loved her character. Without giving anything away, her friendship with man named Max was my favorite part of the book, as were her crazy troublemaking excursions with her best friend, Rudy. Obviously any sort of story set in Germany during this time is going to be a rough one, but I laughed plenty and even though it was sad, it was incredible.
"Somewhere, far down, there was an itch in his heart, but he made it a point not to scratch it. He was afraid of what might come leaking out."

Station Eleven. This book has made me super paranoid about the fragility of life and the world, but it was different than anything I've ever read before, and I enjoyed it. After a disease sweeps the planet and only a tiny percentage of people survive, civilization is basically thrown out the window and a new approach to survival is taken. I loved the way everyone's story was intertwined, and how everything revolved around the death of one man and his life. It wasn't a particularly happy read, but it ended hopeful, which is all you can ask for.
"She had never entirely let go of the notion that if she reached far enough with her thoughts she might find someone waiting, that if two people were to cast their thoughts outward at the same moment they might somehow meet in the middle."

All the Light We Cannot See. This book was a slooooow burn. It took me a while to get into it, and then I had to renew it at the library so I lost some time with it, but once I got back into it I couldn't stop. There are two different stories going on at once, one of which is about Marie-Laure, a curious, blind French girl, and one about Werner, a brilliant German boy. Both come from different backgrounds, but both are affected in a number of ways by the second World War. I loved Marie-Laure. I think she was a sweet character, very bright, funny when the opportunity presented itself, and her story was simultaneously inspiring and heartbreaking. I finished the book in tears, but really enjoyed it.
"Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever."

That's 17/25 of my 2015 reading goal, and Everything I Never Told You is on deck.

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