Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Reviews: January & February

One of the goals I made for myself this year was to read at least 1 new book per month. I don't want to toot my own horn, but I didn't (and don't) anticipate it being a very difficult goal to complete. Though, I do admit that I cut January pretty close.

I was going to put a "Toot Your Own Horn" meme here, but this made me laugh more.
Here are the new books I've read this year so far with my review (though, I guarantee they will not be very well thought out or insightful reviews).

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The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now
by Meg Jay


Meg Jay is a clinical psychologist who has a lot of experience working with twenty-somethings. Her book shows twenty-somethings how to make the most of their twenties by looking at working habits, relationships, personality, social networks, and identity and recommending how to use the time we have in our twenties to make the most of ourselves.

I admit that I wanted to read this as I was feeling like my twenties were basically over and I wanted to see how much I had messed them out. As it turns out, I'm not doing half bad. I actually really liked the book because even though I'm doing a lot of things that she recommends doing in your twenties (having a job that gives me identity capital, being married, thinking (keyword: thinking) about children, etc), there are also some things that are beneficial to me in the last few years of my twenties (for instance, thinking about the things I want in my 30s or 40s and working backwards from there, thinking more about networking outside my comfort zone, knowing what things in life can be overlooked and not overdramatized, etc). 

I would recommend this book if you are somewhere in your twenties. It will either open your eyes to a new way to live your twenties or give you reason to pat yourself on the back. Or maybe a combination of both.

Red Rising
by Pierce Brown


I admit that the main reason that I read this book was because Holland said the author was from Seattle and that it was similar to other trilogies I had read. The one major difference between this trilogy and other trilogies or multi-book series that I've read (like Divergent, Hunger Games, Legend, Ender/Shadow Series, etc) - apart from the fact that only one book is out - is that it's adult science fiction, not teen fiction.

As a quick synopsis, it's set on Mars and there is a class system based on colors. Darrow is the main character (a male main character, much to Holland's delight - he's sexist) and he's a Red. Their job is to mine Mars' core to make Mars habitable for the other higher colors. Through a series of twists, Darrow is able to infiltrate the highest color - Gold - in efforts to take them down.

I thought this book was great. It was definitely more adult than other series I had read - more violence and PG-13 things going on - but I don't think that took away from the book. It was a different take on a topic that has been written about a lot, so I really appreciated it. It was intense, emotional, contempt, laughter, love - basically all the emotions you want to have while reading a book. Plus, it took me longer to read, so I was able to enjoy it longer. I'm looking forward to the other two books in the trilogy.

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn


I had heard a lot about this book. I started reading it probably almost a year ago too, and didn't quite get into it. I picked it up again last Friday, started reading it on the metro on the way home, and finish it Saturday night.

My series of emotions were as follows: sadness, anger, confusion, anger, OMG (yes, that's an emotion), righteous anger, confusion, contempt, worry, flabbergasted, OMG OMG OMG.

I'm sure there were more emotions involved than that, but that's what I can remember. In fact, I texted a friend on Saturday mid-day the following:

"OMG. I'm just now getting to read Gone Girl. I'm only half way but OMG!" 

There were a lot of OMGs. For those of you who don't know what it's about, a man (Nick) comes home one day (on his 5th wedding anniversary) to find his house in wreckage and his wife missing. An investigation ensues and soon, Nick is the number one suspect. And he's not doing himself any favors.

I don't want to say anymore, because I want you to be surprised at every step of the way. This was the kind of book that had you going "How does anyone think of this?!? Are they nuts?!? This is incredible, but does this author possibly belong in an insane asylum??!?" And you think it with that many punctuation marks. In a good way.

Just do yourself a favor and read it already (but fair warning, there's quite a bit of language in there).

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That's it. I only read three for January and February. I hit my goal, but I could do more. I'll have to kick my butt in gear in March and figure out what I want to start reading sooner than the last 5 days of the month. Hope you've kind enjoyed (or at least tolerated?) my reviews. 

Have you read any of those? What did you think?

1 comment:

  1. I too experienced the OMG feeling during Gone Girl, crazy plot line and it definitely culminated in some strong feelings in the end. It was hard because I had NO ONE who had read it and so I ended up trying to describe it to some friends and they were like "what the heck are you reading?"

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