Friday, October 27, 2017

Early October Reads

Oh, hi, here's what I read lately-ish.

Friend Request was good, but the ending wasn't great. I wanted so much more. The book is about a woman who receives a facebook friend request from someone who she thinks/knows is dead. So, the book is then her unweaving the web of what the heck is going on. It goes back and forth between the present and the past to start connecting what really went down and is currently happening. It built some good suspense, but the twist was one that's honestly been in a lot of thrillers I've read as of late, so that was a bummer. 

After You is the sequel to Me Before You. I was hesitant to take this on because Me Before You was such an emotional investment. I mean, y'all, it broke me. This one ended up surprising me. Predictably, it's about (SPOILER ALERT - DO NOT PASS GO IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE FIRST BOOK) Louisa's life after Will. I absolutely loved it. It's a well-done read about how Louisa works through the grief of losing Will and also how she tries to find a new life where she belongs. There's even some love story mixed in which I enjoyed. Turns out, there's a third book coming out about Louisa in early 2018, and I am so here for that.

The Animators was a Book Of The Month selection from awhile ago. Honestly, I just hadn't gotten around to reading/hadn't really been drawn to the plot. This is another one that surprised me. This one is about two friends who are in the animation (surprise, huh?) business together. They're on the cusp of really, really making it big, but there are some pieces of their past (and present) they each need to work through. It's hard to truly explain the plot of this one, but the characters and stories are all-around outstanding. It took me a minute to get into this one, but once I did, I was absolutely swept away.

Fierce Kingdom was okay. It takes place over the course of three hours at a zoo where there's an active shooter. The ending was odd, some of the character's decisions were puzzling, and it was just an all-around "meh" read. Better luck next book, I guess.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hitting the Reset Button

Y'all, I'm in my MID THIRTIES. How did that even happen?!? I mean, I know how it happened, but you know. . . 


I've spent a lot of time reflecting these past few weeks. Originally, I thought I was going to write some capstone piece about my 34th year. Well, I didn't. And now, I'm three days into 35, and I'm going to put together some assorted thoughts.

Here's the thing - I had too many expectations for 34. I tried to write the story instead of just letting everything happen. I tried to overplan and overcommit and overdo which let's be real is classic Andrea. Honestly, it took me until my last days of 34 to realize my pattern of behavior.

However, the best thing about birthdays (I mean, after cake and presents and the birthday love from friends and family) is the chance to start anew. It's the chance to hit that reset button.

Image result for reset gif

Note: I contemplated using the analogy of "blowing on the cartridge on this game called life," so there's that. . . 

I don't really have much to share with y'all beyond this. I could tell you I'll try to blog more, and that's maybe true. I'd like it to be, but at the same time, I'm tired of overthinking this space, then not blogging, then feeling bad, then ghosting my own space.

So, here's to 35. What will be will be. . . 

The Rest of September's Reads

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done was Jon Acuff's latest read. I first got exposed to Jon Acuff when a colleague gave me one of his books when I was in a bit of a career rut. Since then, I've been a big fan of his work around career/life development. No surprise that this book focuses on finishing goals which people are kind of terrible at for the most part. The focus is on strategies around how to actually do what we set out to do. I found lots of good nuggets of advice in this one, and I'm excited to put them into action.

Snow Angels is a book that's been on my to-read list for quite sometime. I found it this summer at the JoCo Used Book Sale. Y'all, I'm not totally sure what to tell you about this one. The writing was fantastic, but also it's not one I could rave about to you. It's a bummer of a read as far as plot is concerned as it focuses on death and tragedy, but it's well-written? This review is weird.

The Drowning Girls was this month's book club read. P.S. Don't confuse it with The Drowning Girl and/or The Drowned Girl which are also apparently books. This thriller kept me reading mostly from nerves about what was going to happen next. This reads like a good Lifetime movie plot, and y'all, does it get any better than that? Spoiler Alert: It doesn't. 

Hello, Sunshine was this month's read for my online book club. I had to read quickly because the book is due tomorrow. However, I also felt like the plot moved super quick. The book was short-ish (242 pages), so there wasn't a lot of time to dig into characters. While I liked this book overall, I also wanted to know so much more. 

And that's a wrap on September's reads!