Monday, November 9, 2015

What I Read in October

I’m a little behind the times with this blog. Reading slumps and tired eyes don’t make for a productive combination! I’ll try to catch up in the next couple weeks.

Here are the books I read in October:

THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
This sci-fi novel follows Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut who is presumed dead after a sandstorm on Mars that forces the rest of his crew to abort their mission and leave. Watney actually survives and is stranded alone on Mars. He has to figure out how to contact NASA for help, since the next mission to Mars won’t occur for another four years. I really enjoyed both the book and movie. There’s a lot of science terms in it, but just as it started to get overwhelming, the POV would shift over to NASA or the rest of Watney’s crew—great pacing.  
THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken

Because I’m a slacker and still haven’t read IN THE AFTERLIGHT, I’m rereading the rest of the series before beginning the last book. Read my review here.
SOMEONE LIKE YOU by Sarah Dessen

This was the only Sarah Dessen book I hadn’t read. I think I subconsciously saved it for a time when I really needed to read it, and in October I was craving BFF books. Halley and Scarlett have a solid and wonderful friendship, and the story is balanced between them. The blurb made it sound like the plot revolves around Scarlett’s pregnancy after her boyfriend is killed, but Halley is just as much an active protagonist. She begins a relationship with the rebellious guy from school, and the bond she and her mother have shared starts to splinter. This is Sarah’s second novel, and while her more recent books dive deeper into the main plot points, SOMEONE LIKE YOU has just as many facets that work together. Loved it!    
HOW TO LOVE by Katie Cotugno

My WIP balances two timelines, and I wanted a refresher on how Katie handles her plotlines, so I reread HOW TO LOVE. I enjoyed it even more than the first time, if that’s possible. Read my review here.

October was the month of rereads. I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN is one of my favorite books of all time, so I wanted to revisit Jandy’s debut. Lenny struggles to understand the complexities of grief after her older sister dies suddenly. She finds herself caught between Joe, the new guy in band who makes her forget her sadness, and Toby, her sister’s boyfriend who seems to be the only one who understands her grief. Lenny learns that before she died, her sister had been searching for the mother who abandoned them at their grandmother’s years before, and wonders if she should take up the quest herself. Gorgeous prose and a portrait of grief that you can physically feel in your chest.  
J.K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement speech was turned into a 70 page book with illustrations, a one-sitting read that I really enjoyed. It is inspirational, and it revealed a few things about Rowling I didn’t previously know, like that she worked at Amnesty International’s headquarters in London and read testimony of torture victims and political prisoners. It gives a new light to some of the topics in Harry Potter, for sure.  
And that was my October! What were your favorite books from last month?

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