Everything I Never Told You. This book was not my favorite. It's probably the most disappointed I've been with a book all year. It's posed as almost a mystery novel in the beginning, when you find out that a mixed-race family's oldest daughter has been found dead in the lake near their house, but it ends up being an account of how truly messed up this family is. For me it felt like a competition to see which parent was worse, and which one of the kids is going to end up the most dysfunctional, and it didn't entertain me — it just made me feel really bad. I couldn't relate to any of the characters, and nothing about the writing or story was so great that I'd look past the crumbling plot. This was a rough one.
“The things that go unsaid are often the things that eat at you — whether because you didn't get to have your say, or because the other person never got to hear you and really wanted to.”
What Alice Forgot. This was a quick read that was really though-provoking. If you hit your head and couldn't remember the last ten years of your life, who would you be as that person thrown into today's world, with everything you've said and done in the last decade remembered by the people around you? After a gym accident Alice thinks it's 1998, that she's pregnant with her first child, doesn't know why she'd ever be in a gym in the first place, and has found out that for some reason, her and her amazing husband who she loves so much are getting a divorce. Alice has to try to navigate this "superwoman" life that she's created over the last ten years, with her sparkly and untainted personality from ten years prior, and it just makes you think about the person you were and the person you've become and how you want to approach life and love with a mix of both.
“They would think she was savoring the taste (blueberries, cinnamon, cream-excellent), but she was actually savoring the whole morning, trying to catch it, pin it down, keep it safe before all those precious moments became yet another memory.”
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes. Though this got a little bit slow at times, I enjoyed this book. It's unlike anything I've ever read before, and it was just enough panicky suspense, love story, and plot twist for me to enjoy it fully. CeeCee Wilkes falls in love and makes a questionable life choice when she's 16, only to have it follow her around for the next three decades in her mind. Then, she is forced to face the reality of the aftermath of that situation when new evidence is revealed, and the life that she's built for herself is flipped upside down. Really makes you think about the gravity of your choices.
“I think the important thing about making a decision is just to make it. Otherwise you can go nuts thinking about the pros and cons . . . So, when it comes to making a decision, look at both sides, listen to your heart, then pick one and dive in.”
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. I had super mixed feelings about this book. At first I was really into it, then I got a little bit bored and had to bring it back to the library, so when I picked it back up I was convinced I was going to give up on it. But I was 60% through so I kept going, and I'm glad I did. This is a weird story that includes actual events as well as made-up ones, but in order to not give anything away, I'll just say it's about a very interesting family and a unique pair of sisters who grow up very close until they are torn apart. It's a very emotional book at times, but very quirky and simple at others. I recommend it with the warning that it's takes a while to get through.
The Scorch Trials. I loved the Maze Runner, and wanted to read this second installment right after but got distracted. I saw that the movie for this one is coming out, so I took it out of the library and finished it in about three days on the train to and from work. It was very different from the first one, as they're no longer in the maze, but the characters are familiar, the action is for sure revved up (the movie is going to be intense), and there were a couple of new characters that I ended up liking a ton. It's definitely still full of mystery, and like the first one, the way it ends just makes you want to read the next one right away. So I did . . .
The Death Cure. Part of me wanted to save this third one for another time, but I needed to know how Thomas's story ends and what happens to all of his friends and the people at WICKED. If you're into these books, this one might make you a little annoyed as it did for me, because almost too much seems to be going on and some of it doesn't feel totally necessary, but in the end, I think the story is wrapped up in a satisfying way. I felt a lot more emotional while reading this one, so when they make the movie for it in the next couple years, I'll have to bring the tissues.
Three Wishes. This is the third or fourth book I've read by Liane Moriarty, and maybe my favorite so far. Australian triplets — two of whom look like twins — go through a series of dramatic life events that threaten to challenge the closeness they've felt their whole lives. The one-liners are hilarious, their personalities are all relatable, and one character, Michael, had me laughing out loud. Recommend.
That's 24/25 and I'm loving how close I am to going over this goal — last year I had the same goal and didn't get there, which was a bit pathetic considering how much I love reading and making time for it. Next up is The Nightingale and The Invisibles (for book club).