}); kristenwoolsey.com: Recent Reads #3

Monday, April 22, 2019

Recent Reads #3

Recent Reads // www.kristenwoolsey.com

In January, I made it a goal to read 12 books this year. I figured one a month would be doable, but I had no idea I'd beat my goal by April! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you guys have to get the Libby app. I have been reading more than ever, and all for free! Here are my most recent reads:

1 Star = Hated It -  2 Stars = Didn't Like It - 3 Stars =Liked It -
 4 Stars = Really Liked It - 5 Stars = Loved it

Plot: This is the 3rd book in the Me Before You Series. Louisa takes a job in NYC as a companion for a woman who lives in a very fancy part of the city. She is still trying to figure out who she is after Will Trainor.
What I Liked: Louisa is one of my all time favorite book characters. These books are so easy to read and enjoy. Me Before You is still the best book in this series, but I liked this one a lot more than After You.
What I Didn't Like: One of the other ladies in the building owns a pug and it's mean! I think it would have made a lot more sense if it had been a chiuaua or something. This proves to me that I need to write these reviews up directly after I read the book, because that's all I can remember distinctly not liking. 
Rating: 4 Stars 


Plot: Reese Witherspoon shares stories, tips and recipes from her experience in the south. 
What I Liked: This is a really cute book and would make a great gift for someone who loves coffee table books. I had forgotten about making Sun Tea, and this brought back those memories! 
What I Didn't Like: I grew up in the south, and not even like the deep south. Florida south. Most of what's in this book seems like common knowledge.  I kept thinking "people don't know this?". How to make sweet tea, or how to roll your hair for instance...I feel like the people who are going to be drawn to this book are already southern and wouldn't need any of this advice. And on top of that already have a family recipe for what was shared. 
Rating: 4 Stars


Plot: Maddy has a condition that means she can't leave her house because she is allergic to basically everything. She has a pretty routine life and seems to have made peace with her condition until a boy named Olly moves in next door. They develop a relationship that makes her want to leave her house for the first time. 
What I Liked: I was sick a few weeks ago and I really needed a book to read. This was the perfect book to fly through while stuck on the couch. (Followed up by the movie!) 
What I Didn't Like: It's YA, so while I love the more cleaner story, it's a little too High School for me. That being said I still enjoyed it!
Rating: 3 Stars

Plot: Tina Fey's memoir about being a theater kid and getting her big break in comedy. 
What I Liked: Tina Fey is hysterical and I loved listening to her read this book in the audiobook version. The story about the cruise ship had me rolling. It was also fun to hear bits and pieces of her time on SNL and specifically the Sarah Palin skit. 
What I Didn't Like: Lots of this book were about 30 Rock, a show I've never seen, so quite a bit of this was lost on me. 
Rating: 3 Stars


Plot: Jazz lives on the moon, in the moon's first colony Artemis. She is a smuggler and gets a chance to make a huge profit with one particularly challenging heist. And subsequently gets in over her head. 
What I Liked: I really loved the setting of this book and it's unique plot. I also really appreciated the research that went into it. There are various chemicals and scientific procedures mentioned in this book and they all checked out when I checked a few. Pretty interesting! 
What I Didn't Like: Hand in hand with all the science, this book would work SO much better as a movie. I really felt like I couldn't focus on the characters because I was trying to follow what they were doing. Reading descriptions of welding...well, just would work better on screen. 
Rating: 3 Stars


Plot: Jenna & Barbara Bush, the twin daughters of George W. & Laura Bush share stories from their childhood and time in the White House. 
What I Liked: I really enjoy reading memoirs of people who are close to my age because when they speak of events in the past, it's so cool that I remember them too. Jenna and Barbara have SO many interesting stories. They grew up with their grandfather in the White House and then their own dad. It was interesting to hear what they had to say about secret service, the media and what their day was like on 9/11. Additionally, they reveal that their mother killed one of her classmates in a distracted driving incident. Jenna even talks about having dinner with Vladimir Putin at their vacation house. Just a really interesting childhood over all. 
This book also reminded me of an important fact: the media is severely skewed. When I was a kid, I remember the news and celebrities always talking about how dumb they thought President Bush was. The girls reveal in this book that he actually always had straight A's in school and went to Harvard. That was just a good reminder that there are always 2 sides of a story. 
What I Didn't Like: As I've said before, politics are not my favorite subject. I realize I picked up a book that would center heavily on that, but I was more interested in their life as real people thrust into the spotlight. Additionally, this book is not chronological. Rather, it's by subject. I can see why that choice was made, but I found it hard to get invested in a story about 9/11 and then jump back to something else for instance. 
Rating: 4 Stars


Plot: Noa, a 16 year old girl, finds refuge with a German circus after she rescues a Jewish baby from a Nazi train. She has to blend in by learning how to do the trapeze, much to the dismay of Astrid-another woman who is trying to blend in. 
What I Liked: WWII is a continued subject of interest for me. There are so many untold stories. This one is based on a real life circus that hid people from the Nazis. This was definitely a unique perspective of the time. This book is like a cross between The Nightingale and Water for Elephants (though not as good as either) 
What I Didn't Like: A couple of things here. The dialogue in this book was confusing to me. It felt so much more modern than was period appropriate. For instance, the phrase "my body bounced right back after having a baby" does not feel like it should be said by a 1940's Dutch girl. There were many times when the dialogue took me out of the story. And I feel like I should say that I'm usually not picky about that kind of thing-so I think it really stood out.
In addition, this story got really melodramatic in the second half. I did not care for Noa's romance. It felt a little convenient, I guess. 
Rating: 4 Stars


Plot: Lo is a journalist who gets invited on the maiden voyage of a luxury cruise liner. On the ship she witnesses what she is sure is a murder. The problem is, no one is missing. 
What I Liked: Like all good thrillers, this book definitely had some, whoa! moments. I thought the setting was great, it reminded me of Murder on the Orient Express in that all the suspects were confined to one place. 
I got very interested when the parallel account of Lo's boyfriend started. I thought that was an awesome way to reveal new information that the main character didn't know. 
What I Didn't Like: Actually, I didn't like a lot about this one. Mainly, it bothered me that this was trying SO hard to be The Girl on the Train. It had the same unlikable lead, and nobody believed her either.
There were also so many plot hole in this. I try to overlook little things, because I know it's entertainment. Also, there was one part were I was sure the 2 characters were talking on the phone, and then in the next paragraph they were together in person. I don't know if the writing just confused me or if the editor missed that. 
The end did feel like kind of a let down, and to be honest I'm really not positive I know exactly what happened. 
Rating: 3 Stars 


Plot: This book starts with Nikole getting proposed to by a guy she has only been seeing for a few months, and it's at a Dodgers Game on the Jumbotron..and he spelt her name wrong. At the game Carlos and his sister jump to her rescue when the whole stadium turns on her for saying no. 
What I Liked: This was a fun premise, and I enjoyed the variety of diverse characters. 
What I Didn't Like: I picked up this book since it was in Reese Witherspoon's book club. I really loved the last book I read on her recommendation (Next Year in Havana). This one was just not my style. It was incredibly cheesy and Hallmark movie-esque. If that's your thing this would make the perfect beach read.
Rating: 3 Stars

I'm going to make it a goal to type up these reviews right after I finish a book! I noticed some of the ones at the top (aka the ones I read longest ago) were hard for me to remember specifics about. 

Let's Chat! In the comments below, make sure you tell me what you are reading now! Any good recommendations for me? 
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