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On Writing
Stephen King
How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life
Dalai Lama XIV
Under the Dome
Stephen King
The 5th Wave

Falling Into You

Falling Into You - Jasinda Wilder While I think the general plot was really good, the author really tried to pack too many dilemmas into the story. By the time I was 2/3rds through the book and we find out that Colt is illiterate due to dyslexia, in addition to once being a dropout, runaway, homeless, gang member, MMA fighter, singer/songwriter, murdering auto-repairman, I got frustrated and skimmed the rest. I honestly liked the whole "joined a gang" thing. I hadn't seen that in a plot before and the author took a real risk there. But there was just too much piled on his character.Another big thing that bothered me is that he spends that first full day with her after he saves her from getting raped and all he does is bully her into crying about his brother's death and "letting it go." I really felt like his help with her grief should have taken longer and should not have been so forced. The first sex scene with Colt seemed gratuitously silly. I felt like 5 or 6 pages were spent on his orgasm and then another 5-6 on her orgasm. Of course, I was listening to the audiobook. So, maybe it just felt like it took forever with the "Oh God! Oh God! OH GOD!" and all the descriptions. This seems to be a trend right now, but I'm just a fan of less is more. Not NONE but a little less. OH GOD! Just a little less! YES! YES! Yesssssss!Sorry. Couldn't help it.

City of Dark Magic: A Novel

City of Dark Magic - Magnus Flyte I really rarely rate anything below 3 stars, but I can't help but only give this one star. The one star is for an interesting plot, but the execution was awkward. The ending felt thrown together and a bit outrageous. And, I read a lot of paranormal/time travel/historical fiction. So, to say that it felt outrageous says a lot because I'm a pretty forgiving reader when it comes to outrageous plot lines and plot holes.The one thing that really felt out of place was the sex. I wonder how many teens are going to pick up this book thinking it's just another paranormal teen book. I guess this isn't meant to be a teen book. I'm not offended by having sex in teen books, but it was pretty explicitly described. I'm not a prude, but it was just annoying. What made it really annoying was how awkwardly it was described. The author made the main character practically a nymphomaniac. Not only was it awkwardly written, but it was really unnecessary to the story. But maybe this is the new 50 Shades world where publishers want that in a book. It's not for me.Finally, when I got to the part where it's revealed that in order to move through different timelines you've got to EAT BEETHOVEN'S PSYCHEDELIC DRUG-LACED TOENAILS, that was pretty much it for me. How did that even get through the editorial process? Couldn't they have come up with ANYTHING more palatable than that. Pun intended. And maybe I missed it, but it was never really explained how Beethoven saw the main character. And, I was really clueless as to how Pauls fit into all that.I really don't want to knock the author harshly. I know books are hard to pound out and you can tell she put a lot of thought into the plot and the characters, but I think the editor could have done a much better job smoothing out some of the rough edges.

The Time Between

The Time Between - Karen White Really loved this. I will definitely be checking out more of Karen White's books.

The Lost Wife

The Lost Wife - Alyson Richman Sad, but excellent.

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) - I don't like to give bad reviews, but I'm shocked that about 30-40% of this book didn't get edited out. I won't go into all the reasons because I think the other reviewers covered it well. My pet peeves with the book are: (1) they didn't take advantage of the time travel when things got dangerous, (2) too many tertiary and annoying characters, (3) no real character development between Diana and Matthew, (4) so many unnecessary passages that don't move the plot forward and (5) too many historical figures make it unrealistic).I can't finish this one, but I will give the third a try just because I do like the plot of the book. I like the twists and turns and the main characters, but the execution seems loose. To me, that's an issue with the editor, not so much the author.

Child 44 (The Child 44 Trilogy)

Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith At first, I felt like this novel started throwing too many characters out there, making it a bit hard to keep track of everyone. But eventually it came together for me. I do have to say that the big twist of the story is really morbid. But in context and considering the whole of the novel, it's a really good book. I would recommend it just with the caveat to expect some weirdness and dark plot lines with respect to the killer and the investigator's family. I really like the main characters though. Leo and his wife Raisa are really interesting when you get into their character development.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern I loved this book more than any other I've read in a long time. The story is enchantingly unique. The author lays out a vibrant and compelling tale that is perfectly-paced and well-written. As soon as I finished, I wanted to read it all over again.

Skeletons at the Feast

Skeletons at the Feast - I've always enjoyed historical fiction like this - sweeping drama, adventure, heartbreak, courage and triumph. Chris Bohjalian is an excellent writer. Many of the sentences he crafts are poetic, beautiful and insightful. I felt compelled to bookmark several passages for that reason alone.He really takes you inside the characters souls to reveal their inner thoughts and desires so that as a reader, you become part of the book.This isn't really a spoiler, but one of the characters doesn't quite have a "happy ending" so to speak. And, I really really wanted this person to be rewarded with a better life. I was a little miffed that the author didn't do that, but I guess it's a reflection of real life.

The All of It

The All of It - Jeannette Haien Even though the book is short, I think it could have been shortened a great deal more. It felt like a lot of the dialogue was rather pointless, "Oh, but I shouldn't tell you!" and "Oh, but you must go on!" without much more actual telling of the story. I really did like the plot though. It felt a bit buried though.

Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2)

Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2) - Colleen Hoover This is a perfect follow-up to Slammed. I really loved all the characters, their quirks and their relationships with each other. As with Slammed, Point of Retreat is a refreshing plot with lots of great lines you want to highlight and remember again. I'm looking forward to Will's Story!

Divergent (Divergent Series #1)

Divergent (Divergent Series #1) - Really cool book if you're into the whole dystopian thing. I really like the characters and the plot. A fun read for sure.

This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.

This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike. - This is really a fun, thoughtful, inspiring book. Also, if you've ever considered suicide, you have to read the chapter on that. It will change your life. It totally changed my perspective on it and may have saved my life. The audiobook version is especially fun because Mr. Burroughs narrates.

Gone Girl: A Novel

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn The plot was very original, creative and entertaining, but the end was just so... empty. It seems like if you're going to weave a story that intricate and devious that you'd have an equally devious ending. I really liked the book, I just wish it had an ending, even if Nick and Amy killed each other and the baby went with her parents so they could raise another sociopathic terror. Or if they both ended up in jail. I don't know. Maybe there's going to be a sequel. It seems like all the scheming is sort of played out at this point.Well, read the book and enjoy it, but just know there's a bit of a Sopranos ending, except they live "happily" ever after in their psycho weird marriage and raise a kid in that environment.

Slammed (Slammed, #1)

Slammed (Slammed, #1) - Colleen Hoover Slammed is a refreshing take in the flooded genre of young adult novels. It's an enjoyable read that will definitely make you want to pick up the sequel Point of Retreat.

The Winter Sea

The Winter Sea - Susanna Kearsley I don't normally do reviews, but I thought this book was definitely review-worthy. The way the author weaved the story through actual historical events and through the present, was well done. The main characters were very likeable and the writing was great. I couldn't put it down, but wanted to just so it wouldn't end!

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to be and Embrace Who You are

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are - Brené Brown Amazing book! I wish everyone could take the time to read it.