February 2018 Wrap Up

1. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah 5/5 *Favorite*

“Like all fairy tales, theirs was filled with thickets and dark places and broken dreams, and runaway girls.” 
Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier. Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves. 
I think it is impossible for me not to finish a Kristin Hannah book in one sitting. Kristin Hannah is perfect at taking your feelings and doing whatever she wants with them. This book was incredibly beautiful but also heart wrenching and sometimes disturbing. I am convinced that Kristin Hannah could write about dirt and make it emotional. If you’re looking for a book about Alaska that is based purely on survival...this book isn’t for you. This isn’t about a family constantly struggling and fighting against Mother Nature. The main focus is more on the family and the people in the town. Of course Alaska is a huge part of the story but not in that way. I’m definitely glad that it focused more on the characters because that’s what I cared about the most. As someone who is going to becoming a social worker I was constantly taking this family apart. I was trying to analyze each character and why they did what they did. As you can tell from the synopsis it’s not a light hearted story. At the same time I fell in love with the main character, Leni. I feel like anyone can relate to her and feel for her. She never asked for what she gets but she does the best she can. She’s a child with two children for parents. You can’t help but root for her to be happy in the end. I did love the mother as well but more so in the end. It’s obvious that she loves her child and is trying her best. Even though I didn’t love her father, I felt for him. We never get to see him before the war and the only way we can is when Leni’s mom describes him. At the same time she has a biased and clouded view of her husband. I will say that this is probably the most emotional Kristin Hannah book ever. I was most likely crying for the last two hundred pages. I had no idea how the book was going to end and it’s not like the beginning was rosy either. You just want Leni to find happiness and you have no idea if she will and it’s a roller coaster. I want to spoil the book but I won’t. This book was incredible and I really believe her books keep getting better and better. I can’t wait to read her next one.

2. Everyday, David Levithan 4/5

“If you stare at the center of the universe, there is coldness there. A blankness. Ultimately, the universe doesn't care about us. Time doesn't care about us. That's why we have to care about each other.” 

Sixteen-year-old Rhiannon falls in love with A, a mysterious spirit who inhabits a different body every day. Feeling an unmatched connection, Rhiannon and A try to find each other on a daily basis, always unsure of what or who the next day will bring. Soon, the realities of loving someone who is a different person every 24 hours starts to take its toll, leaving Rhiannon and A to face the hardest decision either has ever had to make.

I remember Swag not liking this book our freshman year of high school. Since she didn’t like it I never really felt the need to pick it up. Then Swag gave me the book and there’s a movie being made and the synopsis looked interesting. Overall, I’m glad that I picked the book up. It’s a really neat idea and I think the book was ahead of it’s time in a way. This book perfectly illustrates love and why we fall in love with a person. We don’t fall in love with a person because of how they look or their gender. We fall in love with people because of how they act and how they make us feel. This book was beautifully written and I found myself not wanting to put it down. It’s so interesting to read about a soul constantly living in different bodies. It’s weird not being able to picture them though or put them in a gender box. I had trouble with the couple in this book. There was definitely a little bit of insta love which is okay. It was nice to see their relationship develop. I think was bothered me the most was the fact that Rhiannon cared so much about what A looked like. I can understand being a little disturbed by seeing a different person everyday who is the same person but still. She would often talk about his physical appearance and would act differently if A was in a male body. The ending though is what kind of screwed me up. The ending isn’t really tied up and this book doesn’t need a sequel. There’s still a lot of questions and a little bit of confusion and that was probably intentional. At the same time I really did enjoy the book and hope the movie does right by it. 

3. The Wedding Date, Jasmine Guillory 2.8/5

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist. On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...

I really really wanted to love this book. That being said if you're looking for a fast/light/very cheesy/romantic read than this might be for you. This book definitely had insta-romance which is always a turn off for me. The beginning of the book was cute and promising but it wasn't for me. The relationship was purely based off lust and it seemed like it had no depth to it. They don't really have conversations with each other and when they do they get insecure or frustrated. Both of the main characters were immature in most situations, especially the guy. One minute they're completely fine, start freaking out the next and then fine again within a few sentences. It's one of those books where you can predict the ending before it happens.



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