Thursday, November 7, 2013

Books I Read on Vacation

A few weeks back, I asked for help choosing which books to bring on vacation. I didn't read as many as I would have liked, but it was so refreshing to read some favorite authors whose new books had been languishing on my shelves collecting dust. My first pick was The Secret Keeper and the other one I ended up reading was Requiem -- I just had to agree with everyone who said a "lighter" book was the way to go for travel reading. Thanks for all your suggestions and the others are still at the top of my TBR list, so hopefully I will get to them soon!

Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Series? Yes, Delirium #3
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date: March 5, 2013
How did I get this book? purchased
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
GoodReads | Author | Publisher

There have been extremely mixed reviews on this conclusion to the Delirium trilogy and I can understand both ends of the spectrum. First off, whenever a love triangle is involved, there will always be a group of people unhappy with the main character's final choice. Not much can be done about that, but I personally was at the point where I felt she could be happy with either person for different reasons, so it was interesting to see how things played out. A lot of people were also unhappy that this book had a bit of an open-ended ending. I can't argue with that, but I do think things were resolved enough to feel the series had concluded, so I'm OK with that as well. I'm a little tired of every dystopian trilogy having a big battle in it's final book, but I suppose that does make sense for the genre. It just may be time for me to take a break from dystopians though.
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Alex by Lauren Oliver
Series? Yes, Delirium #3.5 (short-story)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date: March 5, 2013
How did I get this book? purchased (printed at the back of Requiem)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
GoodReads | Author | Publisher

Since we learn almost nothing about Alex's time in prison from the main trilogy, I was very happy with this bonus short story at the end of Requiem. It was a fascinating look into his experience that enhanced his character, but didn't take away from the main story nor was it essential to the story which I feel is important. I don't like when "bonus" stories change the perception or understanding of the main story, and this one did not fall prey to that gimmick.
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Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver
Series? Yes, Delirium #0.5, #1.5, & #2.5 (short-stories)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date: March 5, 2013
How did I get this book? purchased
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
GoodReads | Author | Publisher

Admittedly, I read this after I returned from vacation, but this feels the best place to insert my thoughts, alongside the other Lauren Oliver selections. I had previously read the first story Hana, but the other two were new to me. Just like with Alex I like how they enhance the characters without taking away from the main trilogy. There are some things you might find out a little sooner if you read the stories in strict order, rather than after the fact, but there is nothing so essential as to call these required reading for the series. They are just as advertised, little "bonuses" for those wanted to delve a little deeper into the side/back stories. I enjoyed the final story Raven the most, but I have to admit reading it made me feel very foggy on some of the details I know I should have remembered from the trilogy!
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The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Series? No
Publisher: Atria Books
Date: Oct. 9, 2012
How did I get this book? purchased
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
GoodReads | Author | Publisher

In a word, AMAZING. Kate always ends her stories with a twist and even knowing the high likelihood of that happening with this one, I still could not figure it out! Once I got near the end of this book, I stayed up until 3AM one night because I just could not put it down. Once again, Kate has captured another time and place and crafted very memorable characters. Kate is not known for happy endings, but I love how her endings always seem "right." I'm never left cursing and grumbling that things ended unfairly or that the ending did not fit with the rest of the book. Things can't always be sunshine and rainbows, but I always finish a Kate Morton book with a feeling of satisfaction, knowing all the different threads have come magically together and been resolved as they should. A little bit gothic in style, this historical mystery is one not to miss. Kate Morton will forever be on my auto-buy list -- doesn't matter much to me what her future books may be about, I will want to read every single one!

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10 comments:

  1. I loved THE SECRET KEEPER.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ENJOY your weekend.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Glad to find another Kate Morton fan :)

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  2. Nice reeds, I have the Secret Keeper and really need to read it! Have a wonderful day!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, it's so good! I hope you enjoy it when you do get to reading it :)

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  3. You have been nominated for the Leibster Award at Pages in Paris! This can be viewed here http://pagesinparis.blogspot.com/2013.... Congrats :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! As this is my second nomination, I really should write up a post...

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  4. http://pagesinparis.blogspot.com/2013/11/liebster-award.html

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  5. I feel like sometimes I just need a break from dystopians as well. Especially when all the plots are starting to interwined and I get confused which book was about what. lol

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    Replies
    1. That's exactly how I feel! I don't want to knock dystopians or YA as a whole, but I do think there is such a thing as too much of a good thing...it's hard to appreciate individual books/series when so many seem to the blurring into one another. There was a time when I said to myself I would only read one series of any particular type (vampires, angels, wizards, ghosts, dystopian, etc. etc.), and while that is probably too extreme, I really need to space out my selections better!

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I'd love to hear what you think :)