AOTR BOOK CLUB: JUNE

“SOME BOOKS YOU READ. SOME BOOKS YOU ENJOY. BUT SOME BOOKS JUST SWALLOW YOU UP, HEART AND SOUL.” – JOANNE HARRIS

Introducing the AOTR Book Club! Rather than publishing my top 10 books twice a year, I’ve decided to take on the challenge and review 4 books every month. I’ll give each book a short summary (without spoilers), my personal star rating, and will finish each post with a list of the books I plan to review the following month. I hope you can read along with me!

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13 REASONS WHY
Jay Asher
***

I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either – which makes it difficult to review. The concept is original with narration from both Hannah (through the narration of her tapes) and Clay. I was expecting a novel of this nature to affect me on a deeper level but I didn’t get that when I finished – I just wanted to know why she did it – I was not emotionally invested in this book at all and I think that is a missed opportunity for a book with this concept. However, don’t let that deter you from reading this book. Asher has done a good job at approaching a sensitive topic. I found myself enthralled by Hannah’s story and the suspense was good. It emphasises that our decisions and actions – big or small – can affect others in ways we don’t realise possible, which I believe is a great message to be sending young readers.

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EAT PRAY LOVE
Elizabeth Gilbert
***

Reading Eat Pray Love made me want to return to Ubud and Italy so badly! Despite not being able to relate to the emotional turmoil Liz was experiencing, I was able to appreciate the ways in which she felt about both Ubud and Italy having been immersed in the culture myself. I’ve also been planning to visit India so reading about it on such a spiritual and personal level significantly fueled my wanderlust. Although Gilbert can sometimes come across as self-indulgent and annoying, the way she has crafted and illustrated her journey shows an honest memoir of emotion after a harrowing divorce and a whirlwind romance.  The film starring Julia Roberts is also worth a watch!

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CARVE THE MARK
Veronica Roth
****

I was a big fan of Roth’s Divergent series and am also a fan of series’ including Red Queen, The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games and Tomorrow When the War Began. For me, I find it easy to completely separate each series and their authors from other series’ that may be similar in some way. If the story is engaging and it keeps me guessing until the last page, that’s all that matters. I have read bad reviews about Carve the Mark, but 90% of them were for the pettiest reasons. I for one enjoyed Carve the Mark. The title has huge meaning which I didn’t know going into it. It tells a suspenseful story of friendship, family, loyalty, betrayal and revenge. Roth did an excellent job creating different worlds and planets with people of all different supernatural gifts. I’m looking forward to book two!

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LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE
Jessica Knoll
***

I was intrigued when I saw the title for Knoll’s debut novel. I hadn’t heard much about it, hadn’t read any reviews but the title got my attention, the synopsis had me curious, and so away I went. At first, most readers are going to hate the narrator, Ani. She appears to have everything she could ever want in life – money, perfect job and the perfect man – but she’s shallow, materialistic and just a downright bitch. As the story continues and you read from the 14-year-old version of narrator, TifAni, you’ll start to piece some things together. What most readers will find though, is that whatever it is they’ve pieced together, it is so far from the truth it is shocking. I won’t go into detail, as I don’t want to ruin the story, but rest assured it is a complex novel with a primary focus around trauma and post-traumatic stress that is both suspenseful and page turning.

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NEXT MONTH:

I’ll be reviewing:

  • Wild – From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail: Cheryl Strayed
  • November 9: Colleen Hoover
  • The Alchemist: Paulo Coelho
  • First they Killed my Father: Loung Ung

If you happen to have read or are planning to read one or more of these, please link me if you’ve reviewed them, and I will share your link in my post next month!

As always, would love recommendations!

Be sure to follow my adventures on Instagram & Twitter!

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Brittany says:

    Oh man! I basically worship at the words of Liz Gilbert aka my spirit human, so I am fascinated when others aren’t as obsessed with her as I am. I want to pick your brain about your thoughts on Eat, Pray, Love! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been recommended The Signature of All Things which I want to read so I can compare the two writing styles. I certainly didn’t hate Eat Pray Love, but I guess found it hard to relate to her turmoil as I have never experienced anything like that (only 25). But she writes in a way that brings her words to life which I love. Her writing is so descriptive and made me feel at times that I was there with her, seeing and experiencing what she was. I will endeavor to read more of her work 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Brittany says:

        Totally fair. I wasn’t able to get into The Signature of All Things, probably just because I prefer non-fiction for the most part, but have you read Big Magic? It sounds incredibly cheesy but it totally changed my life and opened my mind. Worth a read if you enjoy non-fiction/memoir types.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh awesome! Thanks Brittany. It’s on my TBR list 🙂

        Like

  2. trailsaway says:

    To get a different side of Elizabeth Gilbert, you might try reading her novel The Signature of All Things. Gilbert is a good writer and reading a novel takes away the self-indulgent side that does transpire for some readers in Eat, Pray, Love.

    Thanks for your reviews, always interesting to see how our opinions converge or differ, and to get new ideas too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would definitely like to read one of her novels. I certainly didn’t hate Eat Pray Love, but I guess found it hard to relate to her turmoil as I have never experienced anything like that (only 25). But she writes in a way that brings her words to life which I love. Her writing is so descriptive and made me feel at times that I was there with her, seeing and experiencing what she was. Thank you for the recommendation!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy lil mom life NZ says:

    I love reading and finding new books and reviewing them. I can’t wait to read your July book reviews

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! If you have any recommendations, please feel free to share them 🙂

      Like

  4. I may have to steal your idea! I keep shedding books as I travel for lightening my load – once read I go onto another. Some of the books you list I have read, others I choose not to. That is what makes literature wonderful? Do you read bound books or have to moved into the realm of Kindle or such?
    At not quite 60 I have chosen to not have a bucket list although I do get why many travellers make one. Have fun as a well read traveller!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sure is! The options are endless and there are thousands upon thousands of books to suit everyone’s preference. I bounce between genres quite often as I generally start a new book every week. I prefer paperbacks, but do have a tablet that I read books off if I am travelling for long periods – mainly because I can’t bear to part with books. I would hoard them all and end up with a very heavy pack. If I read them on kindle and really enjoy them, I will purchase to keep in my collection when I return home 🙂

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      1. I agree about not wanting to part with books; however the ones I have to date are easily replaced and I always hope someone else will pick them up to enjoy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is definitely true! I am willing to part in exchange for something new to read as well 🙂 As you say, they can be bought again later on. Safe travels and happy reading!!

        Like

  5. I had also read and reviewed 13 Reasons Why a few months ago as my May 30 Day Challenge. I wanted to read it to have background on the book since so many of my middle school students were reading it. I just started the Netflix series and they are designed quite differently. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s an interesting comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t seen the Netflix series yet. It is on my list! Hoping to get to it soon. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy lil mom life NZ says:

    Have you read a book called The Shack? Its really good. Its about a man whose daughter was murdered and his path through griving and understanding and his acceptance of his daughters death. Its got a religious tone to it but its a great and at times emotional read. Im going to do a blog soon about my top 5 all time books. The books you can just re read again and again and never get bored with them 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds great! I’ll keep my eyes out for that post 🙂 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Monique says:

    This is fun! I’ve seen both Eat Pray Love and 13 Reasons Why. I didn’t love either enough to make me want to read the book. I’ve read the Alchemist – it was a great read. I good journey.

    If you’re looking for recommendations I have two;

    I’m part of a book club, and we’re reading Into the Water by Paula Hawkins this month. Same lady who wrote Girl on a Train. I’m a couple chapters in and it seems pretty good so far.

    If you wanted a bit more from 13 Reasons Why try A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Its a long one, and takes a little bit to get into, but once you get there your sucked in for the rest of the novel. I’m not an emotional person, but there were tears from me. All the tears.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Monique! I have already read Into The Water (reviewed it last month) and I loved it! It’s a great read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you for the recommendation! Consider it on my TBR list 🙂

      Like

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