True Colors – Kristin Hannah

Book 73 of 100

This is the third Kristin Hannah novel that I’ve read (The Nightingale and Night Road were the first two). I just picked it up at Half Price Books because I’d liked her writing style. I really think she could make just about any subject interesting.  This is set on a horse ranch in Washington; I don’t really care that much about horses and rodeos and cowboys but I still found the story really interesting.  Underneath all of that stuff it’s just a story about a family and how they try to survive when the one person holding them together dies, and I found it extremely compelling. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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True Colors is New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah’s most provocative, compelling, and heart-wrenching story yet. With the luminous writing and unforgettable characters that are her trademarks, she tells the story of three sisters whose once-solid world is broken apart by jealousy, betrayal, and the kind of passion that rarely comes along.

The Grey sisters have always been close. After their mother’s death, the girls banded together, becoming best friends. Their stern, disapproving father cares less about his children than about his reputation. To Henry Grey, appearances are everything, and years later, he still demands that his daughters reflect his standing in the community.

Winona, the oldest, needs her father’s approval most of all. An overweight bookworm who never felt at home on the sprawling horse ranch that has been in her family for three generations, she knows that she doesn’t have the qualities her father values. But as the best lawyer in town, she’s determined to someday find a way to prove her worth to him.

Aurora, the middle sister, is the family peacemaker. She brokers every dispute and tries to keep them all happy, even as she hides her own secret pain.

Vivi Ann is the undisputed star of the family. A stunningly beautiful dreamer with a heart as big as the ocean in front of her house, she is adored by all who know her. Everything comes easily for Vivi Ann, until a stranger comes to town. . . .

In a matter of moments, everything will change. The Grey sisters will be pitted against one another in ways that none could have imagined. Loyalties will be tested and secrets revealed, and a terrible, shocking crime will shatter both their family and their beloved town.

With breathtaking pace and penetrating emotional insight, True Colors is an unforgettable novel about sisters, rivalry, forgiveness, redemption–and ultimately, what it means to be a family.

Up Next:

The Love Interest or Watchmen. I’ve finished both of them, just not sure which to review first.

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My Absolute Darling – Gabriel Tallent

Book 72 of 100

I got an advanced reader copy of this book.  I didn’t really know what it was.  I read the Goodreads description, and it sounded all right so I decided to read it.

I think that there should have been some sort of warning on this book, just as a heads up. If I had known about it, I probably wouldn’t have read it. It contains graphic scenes of incestuous sexual abuse, and I mean graphic. The writing style was great, and I was strangely compelled to finish it even though I really did not like it. I get what the writer was trying to say about surviving the things that happen to you and taking control of your own fate, and I know a lot of people who read this thought it was really profound, but I just couldn’t get past my distaste. This one just wasn’t for me.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl’s heart-stopping fight for her own soul.

Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.

Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. The reader tracks Turtle’s escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, and watches, heart in throat, as she struggles to become her own hero–and in the process, becomes ours as well.

Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

Up Next:

True Colors – Kristin Hannah

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Geekerella – Ashley Poston

Book 71 of 100

I was a little bit worried about this one.  Earlier in the year, I had read Queens of Geek, and I really, really wanted to like it, but it seemed to have so little substance to it that I just couldn’t. This book has a similar plot where everything centers around a Comi-con; there’s fandom and cosplay, dyed hair and tumblr posts, nerds and movie releases. There were so many things that overlapped between the two books that I was concerned that this one wouldn’t be good either.

I shouldn’t have worried; it was super cute.  I think this one stands up better because it includes the build up to the convention, so the book actually spans several weeks instead of 2 days.  This book successfully retold Cinderella in modern times, and managed to do it in a way that didn’t feel tired or overdone.  It even made me wish Starfield was a real thing.  This one is worth checking out!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Up Next:

My Absolute Darling – Gabriel Tallent (spoiler alert: I hated this book. I mean HATED it.)

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The Female of the Species – Mindy McGinnis

Book 70 of 100

This book was recommended to me by Amazon based on others that I had purchased from them.  I didn’t know anything about it, and I didn’t even read the description before I bought or read it.  I’m really glad that I didn’t know anything about it going in. It took me completely by surprise, in a very good way.  This book was so compelling! I couldn’t put it down.  It’s definitely not for everyone.  It’s very dark, and full of sex, underage drinking, drugs and violence. There’s quite a bit of foul language as well, but if those things don’t bother you, then you should definitely check this out.  It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Up Next:

Geekerella – Ashley Poston

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Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

Book 69 of 100

This graphic novel was so cute! I loved the story, and the artwork was so appealing to me. I loved the combination of fantasy and science in this; it works very well together. The thing I probably love the most, is that it written and drawn by a woman! If you like graphic novels, this one is definitely worth checking out!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it “a deadpan epic.”

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Up Next:

The Female of the Species – Mindy McGinnis

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