Tuesday, April 12, 2016

March Books

So apparently I haven't been reading all that much, since I only read 3 books in all of March. Anyway, I can't wait to see what everyone has been reading lately! I have a few books on my waiting list on OverDrive, so hopefully I get to read those soon!

4 stars

From the author's website:

Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.

Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.

At first, their only thought is survival. But as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

What I thought: Ok I know, this book sounds creepy. But it's somehow not. I think the last sentence of the description just makes it sound weird. I could barely put it down, I needed to know what happened next, and I kept putting myself in Anna's position and trying to imagine how it'd feel to know I may be stuck on a deserted island forever. It's a quick and easy read and I recommend it.

The Things We Keep
3 stars

From the publisher's website:

Anna Forster is only thirty-eight years old, but her mind is slowly slipping away from her. Armed only with her keen wit and sharp-eyed determination, she knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. But Anna has a secret: she does not plan on staying. She also knows there's just one another resident who is her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

Eve Bennett, suddenly thrust into the role of single mother to her bright and vivacious seven-year-old daugher, finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke, she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them. Eve has her own secrets, and her own desperate circumstances that raise the stakes even higher.

With huge heart, humor, and a compassionate understanding of human nature, Sally Hepworth delivers a page-turning novel about the power of love to grow and endure even when faced with the most devastating of obstacles. You won’t forget this book.

What I thought: Well, another book with a main character named Anna, but it's completely different. I liked this book generally, but it was kind of confusing and the story just wasn't as good as I expected. Plus, I don't know what "humor" the description is talking about. ***I definitely think that the book Still Alice by Lisa Genova is a much better early dementia/early Alzheimer's read because it seemed more realistic, gave more character development and background, and was just better writing overall. So yea, I'd say skip this book and read Still Alice, since I'd give that 5 stars (I read it like a year ago before I started doing these posts).***

4 stars

From the author's website:

“Bono met his wife in high school,” Park says.
“So did Jerry Lee Lewis,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be,” she says, “we’re 16.”
“What about Romeo and Juliet?”
“Shallow, confused, then dead.”
“I love you,” Park says.
“Wherefore art thou,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be.”

Set over one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. 

What I thought: This book was really cute, about two teenagers with completely different home lives who fall in love under difficult circumstances. The only reason I took off a star was because the ending wasn't very clear/definite, and I like crystal clear endings to the books I read. #highmaintenance

Life According to Steph
post signature


  1. I love Nancy Thayer, I am adding the weird book to my list. hahaha

  2. Are you my child?! Only three books in the last month...that's more than I've read in the last year! Lol I wish I liked to read!

  3. E&P was one of my favorites of 2014. I actually like ambiguous endings in my books at times. It's fun to think what might happen next.

  4. I really liked The Things We Keep. but I have never read Still Alice so I didn't have that book to compare it to. I want to read Elanor and Park because I loved Attachments! On the Island sounds interesting.

  5. Haven't read any of these books, adding to my list.

  6. i rarely like vague endings but i quite liked eleanor & park. and i really enjoyed on the island, i was surprised by how much i liked it given that i was totally put off by the description, you are right - the last line is very odd haha.

  7. Only 3 for me also, and one was a re-read! It's still progress :)

    Felt the EXACT SAME WAY about E&P. I actually had it on audiobook and when it rolled to the credits I was like "WHAT? But...what happened?!"

  8. So we picked On The Island for my work book club because it sounded like a cute and fun read, especially to kick off the summer. I think that it'll be interesting to hear what everybody has to say about the relationships between the teacher and the teenager! I seriously haven't read any Rainbow Rowell books but Eleanor & Park is sitting on my Nook! I need to read it soon!

  9. All three of these are already on my TBR. I agree the last line in description in On the Island is a bit oft-putting and why I was somewhat so-so on it. But hearing it's good and not icky definitely helps! I can take ambiguous endings on books that are not mysteries. Mysteries I have to know who did it, otherwise I go bonkers!

  10. I added On the island, though it sounds a littttttle... inappropriate. I haven't read Still Alice but I read Inside the O'Briens by the same author and really liked the way she writes.

  11. That last sentence of the first book really does sound a little creepy! Adding it to my list though! Sounds like a good read. :)

  12. In some books, I enjoy endings to be left open to reader interpretation. In others, I want everything wrapped up perfectly. And, I can't even tell you why I'm like that with some and not others.
    I loved the way E&P ended, but I can see why it isn't great for everyone.

  13. I'm reading my second Rainbow Rowell book now, Fangirl. I loved Attachments, so if this one goes well, I might check out Eleanor & Park!


I love reading your comments and I always respond, promise! Just make sure you're not a no-reply blogger :-)