2. Taylor Jenkins Reid – Maybe In Another Life

So, have I mentioned that I have a perfect boyfriend recently? No? Okay, well here goes.

This past Christmas, one of my gifts was ‘from’ my dog (actually something my boyfriend bought for me). As if that’s not cute enough, the gift was an autographed copy of my favorite author’s newest book. Wait, it gets better. Taylor Jenkins Reid signed these books at a bookstore near where she lives, in California, which is on the opposite coast of where I live. So he had the book shipped from California to Vermont just so I could have an autographed copy. Adorable, no?

Anyway, this past weekend I read the book. I’ve been trying to hold off on it for as long as I could, because I knew I would finish it in one day and I didn’t want to be done with it, but I finally caved.

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Taylor Jenkins Reid – Maybe in Another Life (photo taken by me)

The book starts out with the main character, Hannah, moving from New York to LA, where she grew up. Hannah is almost 30 and has never stayed in one place for very long, but she gets out of a bad relationship and her best friend Gabby convinces her to move home.

On her first night in LA, Hannah goes out with Gabby and her friends, where she runs into her high school boyfriend (who she always thought was the one), Ethan. They start talking and flirting, but before long, Gabby shows up and says she’s heading home, asking Hannah if she wants to go too.

From there, the chapters of the book alternate between two different worlds – one in which Hannah stays out with Ethan, and one in which she goes home with Gabby. The two worlds quickly take very different turns and we see how one simple decision can affect so much.

The book says a lot about the idea of fate, while we follow Hannah through two very different lives full of their own struggles.

Of course, since this is my favorite author we’re talking about, I loved this book. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite of hers, but it’s still really good, and I fell in love with both stories. My only complaint would have to be that the ending kind of left me wanting more, although overall I was pleased. I give this book two thumbs up.

 

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1. Emily Giffin – Something Blue

Hey guys! I haven’t set my goal for books as high this year, so I haven’t gotten as much reading in, and that’s why I haven’t been very active on here.

But, last weekend, I finished my first book of the year! It was Something Blue by Emily Giffin, the follow up to Something Borrowed, which I read last year.

The first book was about a woman named Rachel, who had always been in love with her best friend Darcy’s fiance, Dex. One thing leads to another and Rachel and Dex start hooking up. *SPOILER ALERT* By the end of the book, Dex has called off his wedding to live happily ever after with Rachel.

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Emily Giffin – Something Blue (photo taken by me)

In the second book, we follow Darcy after her wedding is cancelled. We learned at the end of the last book that she had also been cheating on Dex and had become pregnant by his friend Marcus. So at the start of this book, Darcy starts a new relationship with Marcus.

Of course, a lot of problems and complications come up, and we follow Darcy all the way to London while she prepares to have Marcus’ baby.

I liked this book. I’ve always been a fan on the movie version of Something Borrowed, and I loved the book version too, but I wasn’t so sure I would like the second book because the main character was not my favorite in the first book.

However, the character really develops throughout the book and I grew to love her. I’d recommend this book if you’ve read the first one, it’s a great follow up.

58. Emily Giffin – Something Borrowed

I’ve been sick lately (boo), but that means lots of time to read in bed!

So I just finished my latest book, Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. I love the movie adaptation of this book and my sister told me these books are easy to read, so I decided to try it out.

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Emily Giffin – Something Borrowed (photo taken by me)

The story is about a woman named Rachel, and it starts on the night of her thirtieth birthday party. She’s in a bit of a slump because she’s turning 30 and has no boyfriend, so she feels kind of empty.

It doesn’t help that her long-time best friend Darcy is always there to upstage her. Darcy has a way of making everything about her, and it doesn’t help that she’s currently engaged to a man named Dex.

Rachel and Dex were really good friends in law school, but she thought he was way out of her league, so she eventually set him up with Darcy.

Rachel and Dex are the last ones to leave her birthday party, so they go to a bar together before going home. In the taxi on the way home, they start kissing and he ends up spending the night at her apartment.

Of course, Rachel feels horrible about sleeping with her lifelong best friend’s fiance, but she didn’t feel like being with Dex was wrong, partly because she’s always had a crush on him.

Eventually, she and Dex end up back together, and it becomes a regular thing. Rachel doesn’t want to hurt Darcy, but she and Dex love each other.

Obviously, things get complicated as their relationship continues while he is engaged to Darcy, but she keeps hoping he will call off the wedding.

If you’ve seen the movie, the book is pretty similar. Obviously there are some differences and some characters change, but the ending is the same.

I really liked this book and it was definitely an easy read. The book shows how difficult life can be and how things aren’t always black and white.

57. John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle – Let It Snow

Hey guys! I hope everyone who celebrates had a great Christmas! I actually finished my last book on Christmas Eve but I’ve been too busy to post about it.

The book was Let It Snow, a collection of three short stories written by young adult authors Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle.

The three stories were all centered around Christmas, making it the perfect book to read on Christmas Eve. Since they are young adult stories, they were pretty easy to read through quickly.

What I really liked about this book was that all three stories were connected, instead of just being a bunch of random stories with the same theme.

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John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle – Let It Snow (photo taken by me)

The first story is about a teenage girl named Jubilee who ends up stuck on a train by herself on Christmas Eve in the middle of a huge snowstorm. Her train ends up derailed and she ventures off into the town she’s in and ends up in a Waffle House, where she meets a boy that she clicks with.

The next story is about three high school friends who are spending Christmas Eve watching a movie marathon during the snowstorm. But then, their friend who works at Waffle House calls them and says they have to get there right away. We follow them on their adventure through the snowstorm to get to the restaurant.

The final story is about another teenage girl who lives in the same town and recently ended her relationship although she wants to get back together. Her boyfriend was on the train that crashed in the first story, and his cell phone broke in the crash so he can’t contact her – although she doesn’t know that. We follow her as she deals with her relationship and friendships.

At the end of the third story, all three come together in a happy ending, which I thought was really nice. Last year I read a compilation of twelve Christmas-themed stories called My True Love Gave To Me. I liked that book, but none of the stories were related, and I liked Let It Snow better for this reason.

This book was cute and an easy read, and I’d definitely recommend it to read around the holidays.

56. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

Hey, today is Christmas Eve Eve! Yay!

To get into the Christmas spirit (not that I haven’t been already – I’m listening to Christmas music as I write this and just finished making some gingerbread cookies), I decided to read some Christmas themed books!

The first one is Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. These two have written a few books together, including Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which as you probably know was made into a movie.

After finishing this book, I read in the back description that the two authors wrote this book by emailing each other a chapter at a time without deciding where the story would go, and that made me like the story even more.

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Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (photo taken by me)

The book is (obviously) about two teenagers named Dash and Lily. At the start of the book, it’s a few days before Christmas and Dash is in the Strand bookstore in New York. He finds a little red moleskine journal mixed in with some books, and opens it to find a puzzle of sorts.

The notebook takes him around the bookstore to solve a riddle and asks to be left for the original owner to reply.

Naturally, the original owner is Lily, a Christmas-obsessed teenage girl whose parents are out of the country for the holidays, meaning she has nothing to do.

The two of them exchange the notebook many times without ever actually meeting and began to feel really close to each other by sharing their stories.

As you’re reading it, you can’t wait for the two main characters to finally meet, but it didn’t happen the way I would have expected.

I really enjoyed this story, it’s a Young Adult book and it’s pretty short so it’s an easy read. I grew to really like the characters even though I can barely relate to either of them, but I think this is a really cute story to read around Christmastime and I’d like to read some of the other books by these authors.

55. Kate White – Lethally Blond

Hey everyone! Since the year’s almost over (yikes!), I’m reading a lot to try and reach my goal of 60 books this year. I think I can do it… here’s hoping!

So, earlier this week, I finished book number 55, Lethally Blond by Kate White. As you all know by now, I love Kate White’s books, and since this is the fifth book in the Bailey Weggins mystery series, I knew I’d be able to buzz right through it.

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Kate White – Lethally Blond (photo taken by me)

So, this book follows the main character, Bailey, who is a crime reporter for a gossip magazine. At the beginning of the book, an ex-fling named Chris reaches out to Bailey to ask for help.

Chris’ friend and coworker Tom has disappeared, but everyone seems to think he’s just run off, so no one is looking for him. Chris has a feeling that something is wrong, so he asks Bailey to look into it for him, since he knows she’s helped solve some murders before.

Bailey sets of determined to find Tom, and before long she does, but it’s just his body that she finds in his late parents’ abandoned vacation home. Now Bailey is not looking for a missing person, but a killer.

We follow Bailey through her investigation to find Tom’s killer and, in the process, her troubles with her love life.

As I’ve said before, I love White’s novels, so naturally I liked this book. As I was reading it, it didn’t seem as interesting to me as her other books, but I was totally surprised by the ending. I honestly had no idea who the killer was going to be throughout the whole book and the ending had a nice twist, so overall I liked the book a lot.

54. Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar

Ah, I’ve been super busy this week with finals coming up, but I’ve still managed to squeeze in a book this weekend!

I just read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. When I was home for Thanksgiving, I found the book in my basement leftover from when my sister read it in high school. I’d never read it so I figured I’d give it a try.

I feel like most people do read this book in high school, but for some reason I never did.

Basically, the story follows a college-aged girl named Esther in the 50s, who at the start of the book is spending a month in New York City working for a fashion magazine with a bunch of other girls.

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Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar (photo taken by me)

At the start of the book, it’s clear that Esther doesn’t enjoy the things that other girls her age like and she doesn’t feel very close to them.

By the end of her month in New York, she’s starting to feel really detached from this lifestyle and starts to resent everything she knows.

When she gets home to Boston with her mother, she starts feeling more and more alienated from her life and starts acting out more.

Eventually, she tries to kill herself and ends up in an asylum.

Throughout the whole book, the reader is inside Esther’s mind, so we’re almost able to understand how she goes, for lack of a better term, ‘crazy’ and it almost feels relatable. Of course, no one can really understand a mentally ill mind unless they go through it, but this book makes the reader understand a little better.

I’ve seen a lot of people online comparing this book to Girl, Interrupted, which I actually did read in high school. I feel like Girl, Interrupted showed more of people being ‘crazy’ whereas this book was more about showing how Esther’s mind worked.

The book was a really easy read, but I didn’t feel too into the story as I was reading it. I didn’t really care to know what happened next, I just kept reading to get it over with kind of.

I also found that when I started up again after taking a break, I couldn’t remember who certain characters were, which is never a good thing.

Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of the story or the book, but it was an easy read and I like to read classics just to expose myself to different types of books. If you’re interested in things like this it might be worth checking out (also if you like Girl, Interrupted you may like this, even though I didn’t really care for either).