Reading wrap-up #21

First wrap-up of the year, hooray! Although these are all books I finished in the last week of 2019. My next reading-wrap up will contain my first reads of 2020 and an extremely popular book I hated, so stay tuned for that!

As a reminder, here is how I rate my books:

  • (★★★★★): Loved it
  • (★★★★): Really liked it
  • (★★★): Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it
  • (★★): Barely finished it

Another few notes: I will warn if there are any spoilers with (start spoiler) and (end spoiler) so you know when to stop reading and pick up again if you don’t want to ruin the book for yourself. I no longer go out of my way to watch adaptions, but will continue to mention them and their general critiques (from Rotten Tomatoes) in my reviews. Finally, you can always check out my book review index page if you’re looking for my extremely important opinion on any book in particular.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

71wD4yYUqyLRating: ★★★★

Genre: Contemporary, fiction

GoodReads rating: 3.89 / 5 ( ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: After a secret relationship in school, Marianna and Connell end up at the same university, facing much bigger problems than popularity while trying to find themselves.

Thoughts: This book was everything. It describes university life, especially in the British Isles, perfectly. Sex, drugs, alcohol, mental illness, relationship complications… there is something everyone can relate to. The story felt so real and I loved the open ending.

Adaptations: A Hulu series is coming this year! Check out this article with some pictures. I will absolutely be watching it and hope it translates well on screen.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

814vf+iiXkLRating: ★★★

Genre: Fiction, mystery

GoodReads rating: 3.85 / 5 (270,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: Lydia’s parents are living vicariously through her until one day, her body is found at the bottom of a lake. “[T]he delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

Thoughts: This book is great for character development, but meh for plot. On the other hand, Little Fires Everywhere was strong in both. I thought the differences in what Lydia’s parents wanted from her were the most powerful theme of the book, but it could have been so much more.

Other adaptations: After announcing Julia Roberts as the lead role a year ago, we haven’t gotten any updates since, so who knows.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Image result for dark matter book coverRating: ★★★★★

Genre: Science fiction, thriller

GoodReads rating: 4.11 / 5 (205,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader and audiobook (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: After choosing a family over academia, Jason enjoys his life as a professor at a small college and comes home to his wife and son. One, he gets kidnapped and wakes up in another reality where his life in completely different as he knows it.

Thoughts: Holy $#@%. As soon as I finished this audiobook, I had to pull over (I was driving) (okay, I was getting hungry for McDonald’s too) and text my dad about it. I know my summary is vague (GoodReads has a better one), but I don’t want to give any spoilers. This book ticked all the boxes for me and the world(s)-building was fabulous. Romance that defies space and time? Check. Action and excitement? Check. A touch of horror? Check. As I mentioned, I love an open ending and this is about as open as it gets, especially with the possibility of different realities the author creates. I could talk about this book all day.

Other adaptations: Sony bought the rights well before the book hit the shelves, but hasn’t done much else that I could find.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Image result for smile book coverRating: ★★★

Genre: Graphic novel, young adult

GoodReads rating: 4.23 / 5 (152,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Summary: Rainia tries to navigate middle school amidst dental drama, boy troubles, natural disasters and fake friends.

Thoughts: This was my first graphic novel and I thought it was cute. I’m definitely not the target audience, so I can’t say much else. I’d love to try to read more age-appropriate graphic novels. Although, I did relate to the dental drama after getting a major root canal last year.


Have you read any of these?

Photo by Radu Marcusu.


1 Comment

  1. January 16, 2020 / 10:49 pm

    This looks like a great list of books! I haven’t read any of them, but the summaries are intriguing. Dark Matter especially-I love books that include a bit of everything! The summary you wrote sounded so normal at first, but it certainly seems like an intense read!

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