Recent Reads, 28/40: The Fever


I’m a little bummed that this photo translated to a grainy shot on the computer. The cover of this book is so gorgeous in such a strange way…probably one of the best photograph covers I’ve seen in a long time.

Anyway, book 28 was The Fever by Megan Abbott. This is my second Abbott read, the first being Dare Me (you can read about my thoughts on that one here), and after reading my response to that one, it’s fair to say that Abbott hooked me the same way she did with the last book. She has a way of writing, dark, beautiful, and suspenseful, that makes you want to keep turning the page. This was just over 300 pages, so it only took a few days to complete, especially since I kept turning the pages and promising myself one more chapter.

The story is written from 3 different perspectives (third-person) much like The Leftovers, another quietly creepy book I read this year. Deenie Nash, a teenager just blooming into her sexuality, Eli is her older brother, a popular guy that most girls fawn over, and Tom, their father and a teacher at their high school. The book begins when Deenie’s best friend Lise suffers from a strange seizure before class starts. It lands her in the hospital, and tests aren’t showing why it happened. Then, Deenie watches as more girls start to experience similar symptoms without any explanation.
The parents are left searching for an answer while Deenie can’t help but feel like it’s her fault.

It’s the illness, and the unexplained and spreading nature of it, that makes this book hard to put down. Secrets are kept throughout the novel, throwing you off the tracks until it’s time to reveal them. I really enjoyed it. I will say that the end sort of felt like a cop-out, in a way. It wasn’t what I expected, and I was a teensy bit let down.
Still, it was completely engaging, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a little mystery.


Recent Reads, 27/40: A Little Something Different


So I don’t remember where I initially heard of A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall.
All I remember is finding it on Amazon, pre-ordering it, and adding it to my Goodreads To-Read list.
It came in the mail at the end of August, and that was that.

An interesting fact about this is book is that it is was published by a website called Swoon Reads, an imprint off of Macmillan publishing where people can submit and read YA love stories. Some people, as with Sandy Hall and a few others, actually end up with a publishing deal! Pretty neat, right?

Anyway, the title of the book is perfect, because this love story, which by all means could perfectly fit the template of every romantic book you’ve read or movie you’ve seen, is told through 14 different perspectives and not one of them is either of the characters falling in love. In fact, a couple of the characters aren’t even HUMAN.
Lea and Gabe are perfect for each other, and everyone can see it but them. There is an undeniable chemistry from the moment they meet, but it takes them both a while to realize that.
Meanwhile, their friends, teachers, baristas, and a park bench all can see it as clear as day.

I liked this cute and easy read because it was what I expect in a fun love story without falling into every single cliché.
Adding the voice of different people, from cynical love haters to the friends who root them on, makes this story special.


Fine, September. Let’s Do This.


I just have to say that I’m currently writing this while sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair, drinking iced green tea. It’s really nice. I want to remember that if I look back on this post in the future.

It is currently the 8th of September, which means we are a full week into the beginning of the end of the year.
All the beer distributors have their Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers ready, and, of course, Starbucks has their Pumpkin Spiced Latte and Dunkin’ has their pumpkin-spiced everything. Halloween decorations are available (and even decorating) most stores, and the kids are back in school.

I love Autumn. I do. It’s a more recent development for me, something that’s come with “adulthood”. Since I don’t have a 3 month summer vacation anymore, I can appreciate the fall season in a different way…it’s the same life, but with pretty foliage and mulled (and spiked) cider (another thing I couldn’t enjoy as a kid). But there’s something about this whole summer being nearly over that’s got me in a funk.

Working crazy shifts any given day of the week might be why, but I didn’t really feel summery this year. There were only a handful of dips in the pool, two beach days, maybe one cookout. Every free weekend I had was because of an obligation (a bunch were fun ones, like weddings) that didn’t include lazing around in a bathing suit. I feel like I didn’t get to LIVE my summer. I didn’t go to the hometown auction or drink bottles of summer shandy on the back porch with my friends. I can’t help but feel like one of the greatest times of the year went by and I hardly noticed. There’s also something about August that puts me in a mood. Maybe it’s because I know the clock is ticking on summer fun.

Things have been changing around in my life, and it’s good and weird and a little stressful and a lot exciting.
So I’m going to try and make peace with the summer that has passed in order to make room for the upcoming fall.
Luckily, there are tons of things to look forward to, like…

Cardigans and button down shirts. Booties. Pumpkin coffee and pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pumpkins (I won’t have anything pumpkin for at least another week…sorry guys, it’s too early!). Crisp, clear autumn days. The mind-blowing colors of the leaves. Cuddly movie nights in. Better hair (no humidity). Halloween decorations and maybe a party and maybe a fun costume. Walks in cemeteries and plenty of photo opportunities. Chili and sour cream and cornbread.

I guess I am ready, after all.


Recent Reads, 26/40: Since You’ve Been Gone


Book 26 of my 40 book challenge was Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone.

This book was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed reading it. I think I first heard of it because there was a contest on Instagram via Iconosquare that tied in with the book. After reading the premise, I was sold.

Emily is the kind of girl who prefers to hide behind others, allowing them to shine so she can stay out of the spotlight. Her friendship with Sloane is perfect for that…Sloane is fearless and beautiful, always making conversation with new people, dressing in fantastic vintage clothes, and pushing Emily outside of her box. Emily is prepared for another amazing summer with her best friend…but Sloane and her family have appeared to flee town without telling her.
Eventually, Emily gets a letter from Sloane in the mail (no return address, of course) with a list of 13 things Emily should do this summer. They range from simple (apple picking at night) to ballsy (go skinny dipping) and Emily, who normally would be scared to do any of these things, gets up the courage to do them in an attempt to find Sloane, and she ends up finding herself and some new friends along the way.

This was a really fun read. I think it accomplished what it was set out to do…be a fun book about growing up, friendship, learning about yourself, and finding courage. It’s also a great summer book. When I first started, I was worried that it would bore me (the chapters were longer than I expected, and I just wasn’t falling in right away), but I couldn’t stop reading once the actions on the list got juicier and her friendships continued to develop.

Morgan Matson has two other books with great Goodreads ratings…I look forward to reading them soon!

P.S. I love the addition of photography inside of the dust jacket…what a fun touch!