July 2018 Mini-Reviews, Part 1

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Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Contemporary/Romance/Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Boston Public Library
Release Date: June 13th, 2017
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book deserves so much praise, but I really don’t think I could do it justice. Instead, I’ll post links to the reviews that made me pick up this book in the first place.

Check out reviews by:
meltotheany
destiny @ howling libraries
Rachel (rachandbooks)


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Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Publisher: Crown
Source: Boston Public Library
Release Date: July 26th, 2016
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

“Nothing exists. All is a dream. God—man—the world—the sun, the moon, the wilderness of stars—a dream, all a dream; they have no existence. Nothing exists save empty space—and you…. And you are not you—you have no body, no blood, no bones, you are but a thought.” 

This book was twisty and turny and weird and crazy, but the craziest thing is probably that this is a science fiction novel and I loved it. I usually steer clear of sci-fi at all costs, but this book sounded so good that it’s actually been on my radar for awhile. I finally grabbed it from the library, and I’m so glad that I did.

“I’ve always known, on a purely intellectual level, that our separateness and isolation are an illusion. We’re all made of the same thing—the blown-out pieces of matter formed in the fires of dead stars.”

In Dark Matter, the main character, Jason, must navigate through an infinite amount of worlds to return back to his family and the life that was stolen from him. Some of these worlds are nearly identical to our own, while others couldn’t be more different or (pun intended) out-of-this-world.

Ultimately, this is a story about the meaning of happiness and the path not taken. It is about looking at the choices we have made and how they have brought us to where we are. Do we regret the choices we have made? Would we be happier if we had chosen a different course? At the end of the day, these choices make up who we are as humans.

“I can’t help thinking that we’re more than the sum total of our choices, that all the paths we might have taken factor somehow into the math of our identity.” 

My favorite part of the book was the world-hopping scenes. I loved all the dark and disturbing places that Jason and Amanda encountered while trying to find their way home. I chose to give this four stars instead of five because I thought the ending was a little too easy, but I found the entire book incredibly fast-paced and enjoyable.


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Title: Practice Makes Perfect
Author: Julie James
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Source: Boston Public Library
Release Date: March 3rd, 2009
Rating: ðŸŒŸðŸŒŸ

Seeing all the five-star reviews from people I usually agree with, I really thought I was going to love this. Especially because I was in the mood for a romance novel, and this book has been compared to The Hating Game, one of my favorite romance books ever. Unfortunately, I just didn’t like this. There was very little romance and a lot of arguing and miscommunication. I didn’t think it was funny at all, just very over the top silly. I usually love romantic build-up, but it took so long for the two leads to finally get together. When they did, it wasn’t a satisfying pay-off.


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Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Ecco
Source: Boston Public Library
Release Date: May 13th, 2014
Rating: ðŸŒŸðŸŒŸðŸŒŸðŸŒŸ

So, here’s the thing. I’m a horror movie buff. I love Halloween and all things scary.

And this book terrified me.

In the world of Bird Box, there are creatures that humans and animals cannot look upon without going mad. A group of survivors, including the pregnant Malorie, have blocked the windows and locked the doors, surviving on their dwindling food supply and their blindfolded walks outside for water and provisions. They lose hope of survival with each passing day, relying on the optimism and leadership of a man named Tom. All of these events unfolded in the past, while in the present (four years later), Malorie must escape down the river with her two children to an unknown safe haven. A few different timelines are intertwined, connecting the past and present while keeping you guessing as the events unfold.

I’ve never thought a book could be genuinely scary, but apparently I was wrong. This book is loaded with atmosphere, tension, and paranoia. The characters are blindfolded, so you are just as in the dark (literally) as they are. We are given the sounds and smells of the characters’ surroundings. We feel the same fear, paranoia, mistrust and confusion that they do.

Is it gray? Have the trees gone mad? The flowers, the reeds, the sky? Is the entire world insane? Does it battle itself? Does the Earth refute it’s own oceans? The wind has picked up. Has it seen something? Is it mad, too?

I recommend reading this book, but I don’t recommend reading it before bed.