December was busy with work and travel, and not going to work for two weeks meant much less time for audiobooks plus falling asleep at night before I could read more than a few pages. I'm hoping to find some great things for January, though.
(A) Maybe In Another Life: I really liked this book! A woman moves back to her hometown and quickly reconnects with her high school boyfriend who was the one who got away. In one version of her life, she goes home with him the night she sees him in a bar; in another version, she doesn't. Both versions of her life story are told concurrently as that one decision completely changes her future. I thought it would be hard to keep the stories separate, but it wasn't, and I liked the idea behind it. This is the second book I've read by this author (Taylor Jenkins Reid) and I really like her.
Did You Ever Have a Family: I expected a lot from this book. I think it was on the Goodreads Best of 2015 or something? It's one of those somewhat meandering books that's mostly about writing style and characterization. Not much happens. There is a central mystery that is slowly revealed, so that did keep me interested, but it wasn't a favorite. I feel like I just didn't get it.
The Deepest Secret: I liked this one but I wanted more from it. It was compared to Defending Jacob, and I can totally see that. It was a crime drama combined with a family drama, but I think the characters could have been expanded upon, or some storylines omitted completely in favor of highlighting others more (part of the dad's storyline was completely unnecessary, as was the amount of detail about the neighbors). As Steph would say, it passed the time just fine, but it wasn't a must-read for me.
The Book Thief: I hate to sound flippant, but I felt like this book was written just so middle schoolers could read it and look for the symbolism as they learned about the Holocaust. Death is the narrator which just felt gimmicky and took a long time to get into. The story was fine but the novel definitely isn't one that adults have to read.
(A) Summerlong: This book was like an indie movie. I liked the characters well enough, and the existential crisis of it all, but nothing really happened. Life just happened to these people, which I guess was the overall point of the book. I really enjoyed the way that a lot of things were expressed and how the facts of everyday life were conveyed, so I want to read another book by this author - this one just wasn't right for me.
Did Not Finish:
Fates and Furies - I didn't care about the main character. He seemed like a jerk and I didn't want to root for him so I barely got out of his college years. Did it get any better?
My Top Picks of 2015 (since I spent very little time online during the holidays and didn't link up)
Love May Fail
I'll Give You the Sun
One Plus One
The Art of Fielding
(The first four were a little quirky with some feel-good romance, the next two made my list for being unpredictable and interesting from start to finish, and the last one just got me. I loved being in the world that author created.)
I learned that any Texas resident can become a member of the Houston Public Library so I'm excited to have double the digital titles to peruse. Thanks to Steph and Jana for always giving me things to add to my list.