40. Elizabeth Little – Dear Daughter

Say hello to my 40th book of the year!

That’s right, last night I finished book number 40, Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little. I picked this book up at Costco (and you know how I usually feel about Costco books) so I had never heard of it before I bought it.

Elizabeth Little - Dear Daughter (photo taken by me)
Elizabeth Little – Dear Daughter (photo taken by me)

At the start of the book, a woman in her mid-to-late twenties named Jane Jenkins is released from prison because it turns out the evidence in her case had been tampered with. Jane had been accused of murdering her mother and had been in prison for the past ten years. Before all this happened, Jane’s mother was very rich and Jane herself was in the spotlight as a teenager in LA, so her case was very popular. Jane herself doesn’t remember the whole night her mother died and isn’t sure if she did it or not, but since a lot of people are so sure she’s guilty and want to get revenge, she adopts a disguise as she goes on a mission to discover the truth.

I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. At first, it was kind of had to get into, but once it picked up, I was really into the story. However, it still felt like it took way too long to read and I was kind of bored with it overall. On top of that, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. It was a good enough story, but the end just left a lot of things unanswered and it was really abrupt.

I didn’t entirely hate this book, but I also didn’t love it. As I said, it took me a while to get through it, so it doesn’t really make for good light reading. I was interested in the story but I don’t know if that was enough for me. In fact, most of the time when I picked it back up to read it, I couldn’t recall who the characters were when their name was mentioned. I feel like if you can’t tell the characters in a book apart, you can’t like it too much.

So basically, I’m just not sure about this book. Overall, I’d say I’m positive toward it, but just barely.

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30. Celeste Ng – Everything I Never Told You

Hey hey! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been on vacation in NYC for the past week!IMG_3693

Last Wednesday, Boyfriend and I (and my parents) got to go to a taping of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon! We love Jimmy and getting to see his show was so awesome! IMG_3783

For the rest of the week/weekend after that, it was wedding shenanigans because my sister got married! Yay! It was an amazing wedding with only minor setbacks, and I had a great time. Plus, look how freakin cute we are 😉

Anyway, we got home late Sunday night/early Monday morning and I’ve been recovering since then, haha. So last night I just barely finished the book that I started before I even left for New York, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

I’m not sure when or how I first heard about this book, but it’s been on my to-read list for a while now. A couple of weeks ago I was at Costco and saw it in the stack of books, so I picked it up, not even remembering why I wanted to read it. It’s a really good book and was hard for me to put down, I was kind of upset that I had to take a week-long break before finishing it.

Celeste Ng - Everything I Never Told You (photo taken by me)
Celeste Ng – Everything I Never Told You (photo taken by me)

The book takes place in the 70s and starts out in the Lee family house one morning before school, when their teenage daughter, Lydia, is late coming downstairs for breakfast. Eventually Lydia’s mom goes to her room and finds she is not there. They all know something is wrong, but Lydia’s siblings still go off to school as if it’s a normal day.

Later, Lydia’s body is found in the local lake. Obviously, the loss of a family member wreaks havoc on the rest of the family, and the book follows them in the aftermath of Lydia’s death, while also providing flashbacks of their lives before.

At the start of the book, Lydia’s mom, Marilyn, says she knows her daughter and that there’s no way Lydia would have killed herself or even gone out to the lake willingly (since she didn’t know how to swim). However, throughout the book, we realize that Marilyn doesn’t know Lydia as well as she thinks she does.

This family lives in a very delicate balance and the reader comes to understand their interesting dynamics as we learn what happened to Lydia.

This book is so good. So good. I loved it. At first, it seems like it could be a morbid book or maybe even a cheesy book, but it’s neither. It’s really interesting, every member of the family has a story that draws you in and they’re tied together very well.

I didn’t want this book to end, so while I couldn’t put it down, at the same time I tried to only read small amounts a time to make it last.

I’d definitely recommend this book to people and I look forward to reading other books by Celeste Ng in the future.

25. Julie Klausner – I Don’t Care About Your Band

Wowza it’s been a while since I’ve written on here! Sorry about my hiatus, I’ve had a busy couple of weeks finishing up school with not too much time for reading. I’m back home now for the summer, so that means plenty of time to read outside!

Yesterday I finished up I Don’t Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner. I don’t remember how I heard about this book, I probably found it on Amazon and you all know how much I love memoirs, so I got it.

Julie Klausner - I Don't Care About Your Band (photo taken by me)
Julie Klausner – I Don’t Care About Your Band (photo taken by me)

This book is a memoir about Klausner’s (mostly failed) dating adventures. She tells story after story about guys she hooked up with or dated throughout her life, mostly her college years and her twenties. She shows her experiences with crazy guys, how some guys don’t live up to their hype, and how crazy the whole dating thing is.

The book is pretty funny but it was completely unrelatable for me. I’ve never really gone out on dates with someone I barely knew, and I’ve been out of the dating game for almost two years now, so I couldn’t really connect with it. That made the book seem more fictional for me, although I know those situations totally do happen.

Anyway, Klausner’s stories can kind of make you feel bad for all of her misfortune, but she tells them in a hilarious way and you can tell that she doesn’t have regrets about her life.

It took me a while to get through this book, which was kind of unusual. While I was reading it, it felt like I had been reading for a long time but hadn’t gotten through many pages, which I usually don’t like in a book, especially a memoir.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Although I couldn’t relate to her situations, Klausner certainly can tell a funny story. The one thing that I didn’t like so much was the way she casually mentioned some things that people could easily take offense to, such as self harm or eating disorders. She uses topics like those as the butt of a joke, so if you’re at all sensitive to something like that, you may not want to pick up this book.