52 Books of 2018 – Part One

Hey guys! 2018 is a year of change for me. I have created many resolutions and goals, and sharing them with you guys daily is actually helping me stay on track! One main goal I have for 2018 is to read 52 books - essentially one a week. So far, I have been doing GREAT! I am so proud of myself. More books, less Netflix. Well, mostly. Anyways, I thought I would share a blog post about mini reviews on every 10 books I read. Although I am on my 12th book currently, I am going to share with you the first 10. There is a wide variety of genres, lengths, authors and topics. I like little bit of everything. So, I hope you enjoy!

P.s. If you're looking for a cost-efficient way to read more, check out your local value village or check to see if there are any "Little Free Library's" in your area! I buy most of my books used from Value Village, but also find some really great reads in the Little Free Library right across the street from my house. It's a great way to get rid of some books you have already read to make some room on your shelf for new books!

Book #1: Let it Snow - John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle

This book was definitely meant for a younger audience. More like young teens, but I still enjoyed it. It is based on a snowy Christmas Eve in a small town. There were actually 3 stories in this one novel, each written by a different author, and each story a different character's view. Honestly I thought this concept was pretty cool, and by the 3rd story I was super intrigued on how it would all connect together. Quite an easy read. I often find John Green a fairly simple and concise writer and the other authors had interesting writing styles too. Overall, if you're interested in a short, festive novel for the Winter season, I would recommend.

Book #2: Turtles All the Way Down - John Green.

This is John Green's newest book, and I must say, I was quite confused with the title at first. The book is about 16-year-old Aza, who struggles with mental health issues such as anxiety and panic attacks. The father of a boy she once knew goes missing, and she befriends this boy unexpectedly during the aftermath. It is a story about overcoming demons, solving puzzles, and finding comfort during hard times. Again, i often find John Green's writing fairly simple and concise, but I truly enjoyed this story. Although it takes to the end to figure out how the title ties in, it was an absolute perfect fit for the story and I really enjoyed this book.

Book #3: Half Broke Horses - Jeannette Walls

A true-life novel, this was an excellent story. If you haven't read Jeannette's first book - The Glass Castle - you NEED to. The movie is meh, but the book is truly interesting. Half Broke Horses is a tie-in to her first novel. She writes this story from her Grandmother's voice and perspective, retelling her life from stories she discovered growing up. It is an astonishing story with so much honestly and beauty. I highly recommend this book, and every other book by this author. If you like memoirs, this is definitely for you.

Book #4: Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson

When I first started reading this book, everyone commented how amazing it was. But honestly, I didn't find it that interesting. Based on a tragic assault and the silence of a freshman girl, it describes how one simple second can change the course of your entire life. Although the story idea and message was powerful, I didn't;t find the writing style or the story very interesting itself. It is a young teen novel, which may have something to do with the writing style, but I just didn't quite enjoy it as much as everyone said I would.

Book #5: Milk and Honey - Rupi Kaur

This is a pretty popular book, so no surprise that even if you haven't read it, you've read a lot of the poems. Rupi has a way with words. I absolutely love poetry, but don't read it as much as I want to. I read this book within a half hour, and actually reread it because the words and phrases were so powerful. It takes every emotion that a woman can feel, and puts it into a visual representation using the most unique and perfect words strung together. Rupi has created a work of art, and I suggest everyone go and buy it.

Book #6: Keeping Faith - Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is my favourite author of all time. I mean of all time. Her novels, often written using multiple character's perspectives, are intriguing and exciting. It's so hard to put down one of her books. Keeping Faith was no different, yet very different than any of her novels. It's about a little girl who watches her parent's marriage fall apart. Not ever having a religious background, and being technically jewish, she begins reciting biblical passages and quoting God to her family. It causes a community and national uproar about the truth of God and what it means to believe. As someone who walks with God, I absolutely loved this novel and it's a story impossible to forget. I highly suggest this book.

Book #7: The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena

This novel is a thriller, and a very intense one! While next door, a couple's 6 month old baby was stolen from her crib back at home. But it's more than just a typical kidnapping. Both parents have secrets. secrets from their past that neither of them knows. Something creates connections to the kidnapping, and it will keep you turning every page. I could not put this book down. If you like thrillers, then this is your type of book!

Book #8: The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

I decided to grab a bestseller book this time. I used to work at Chapters and have been eyeing this book ever since it came out. (Picked up this copy from Value Village). It was such a great book! Rachel is a broken-hearted alcoholic who takes the same train every morning and night, that happens to pass by a neighbourhood from her old life. When something tragic happens in that very neighbourhood, Rachel claims to have knowledge about it and goes to the police. Although she is trying to help, the story twists and turns, leading us to believe she may have done more harm than good. It's a serious page-turner and I found the ending to be the perfect twist to finish off this thriller.

Book #9: The Silver Star - Jeannette Walls

Another novel from Jeannette Walls - can you blame me? An incredible writer with a serious knack for storytelling. This novel is different from her other ones. It's a full-fictional story that takes place in 1970 in a small town in California. The story focuses on 12 year old Bean and her 15 year old sister Liz. After their mother leaves them alone for weeks, they make their way to their Uncle's house and learn all about their family's past and the hardships of a small town. This novel was truly moving. It captures all the right feelings about loving one another, despite flaws and imperfections, and proves the true power a chid's heart can hold.

Book #10: Wild - Cheryl Strayed

I did it! 10 books in 10 weeks! Number 10 is a special one, since I read this book during the week of International Women's Day. I've read this story many times, but it never gets old. It's a true tale of Cheryl and her solo journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. You come to understand what it means to be alone, and how easy it is to lose track of your true self. Cheryl shows us just what it takes to truly get back on track and to be the best version of yourself. The movie is incredible too, with Reese Witherspoon, so I highly suggest checking out this novel, then going to watch the movie! 🙂