Sarah’s January Favorites

Hi friends! Just like that and January is over! Here are some of my reviews for this month. What are you currently loving?!

Just Ask... (13)

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp: This book chronicles a 54 minute school shooting; told from four different students’ perspectives. I’m still trying to digest it all. I recommend it if you want a horrifying, heart wrenching, but (somehow) easy to read thriller. It hits close to home due to the horrible events that have happened in our country, and I still don’t know how I feel about it. The book was terrifying, but written so well that I could not put it down. I finished it in a 24-hour span, but I’m sure that lends to what a quick read it is. I truly would’ve preferred a bit more of a lead-up before the action started, as each character had their own back story that I thought lent a lot to the story, but their stories were never fully told. After reading the book, I discovered it’s for YA audiences, though I’m not sure you’d want anyone younger than 16 reading the book. Get it here

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls- All the reviews I read stated it was a poignant story of a family’s deep love amidst adversity and poverty. I couldn’t disagree more. The book is about 2 parents attempting to live a free and nomadic lifestyle while also raising four children—the two don’t tend to go together very well. The children are uprooted constantly so the parents can avoid the law and having to work, thus forcing them to live in squalor and to endure near-starvation. The parents came off as selfish and pathetic, and the story upset me at times. It’s a memoir, and I know the writer has forgiven her parents and has risen against the kind of life her parents set her up for, but I think the book was more heart wrenching than heartwarming. This would be a great book club book, as I’m sure everyone and their own personal experiences lend to a different interpretation of the book. It’s truly the story of one girl’s resiliency to escape her roots and do better for herself; she rises from poverty to living in New York and becoming a successful author. What she (and her siblings) overcome is truly commendable. The book is excellently written and even though it was hard to read at times, it went quickly and I did enjoy it. Get it here

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain- Let me preface this by saying that I wasn’t really in the mood to read this book. I reserved it over a year ago and it finally became available. I felt like I HAD to read it, when truly I was in the mood for my usual psychological thriller. But, this book was fantastic. Diane Chamberlain is an excellent storyteller; and this book was no exception. Told thru the eyes of Ivy, a poor 15-year-old basically taking care of her grandma, older sister and nephew; and Jane, the social worker whose life couldn’t be more different from Ivy and her family’s. Jane has a hard time finding a balance between her personal emotions and the detachment she needs to have as the family’s social worker. These two women are very different, yes, but their bond becomes one that left me in tears. The decisions (and their consequences) Jane is faced with are unfathomable to me; and I was hooked until the very end with this book. Another great book club book! Any Diane Chamberlain book truly is-she is an excellent author whom I highly recommend! Get it here

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