Who doesn't love that pleasant shock that happens when you start a book that you aren't expecting much from and it ends up being amazing? It might just be one of the best things in life.
“Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.”
I read this book in one go on a flight from Mongolia to the States on my kindle. I arrived and made my mother drive me to a book store so I could buy her the book. That is how much I needed to talk about this book. It is not for the squeamish or the faint of heart but I LOVED it.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
by J.K. Rowling
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
I held out for years. I was not going to like Harry Potter. Other people liked it and that was enough for me to get snobby about it. I did a study abroad in Australia (where books are basically priced as gold) and ran out of my own books to read. The university library had nonfiction and a children's section. I picked up the first Harry Potter and read the first sentence. "Aw, crap. I am going to love these..." I haven't looked back.
Related but not really: I was sorted by Pottermore recently into Hufflepuff (I was expecting Ravenclaw TBH) and now I am questioning everything that I know about myself.
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
by Stephanie Oaks
“I guess people can't be content without answers, even if they're wrong. We'd rather have a lie than a question that we can never know the answer to.”
Cults, jail, and a reimagining of the creepiest fairytale of all time, The Girls With Silver Hands. It was so uncomfortable to read and yet insanely compelling. I still bring it up all the time in real life because I want to talk to people about it as I still think about it.
Out of Reach
By Carrie Arcos
“I like mornings because each day is like another chance.”
This is a story about a girl who has had her faith and world crushed as she has lived with her brothers addiction. It has been five years since I have read it so I think I should reread it to see if it stands up to it.
The Rent Collector
by Camron Wright
“While almost everything that surrounds us in life gets old and wears out, stories, like our very souls, don't age.”
I read this while in Phenom Phen. A book is always better when you read it in the setting. There was something about the way that reading and literature was used as a gift that really touched me. Cambodia is beautifully described and it is one of the few novels that I found that is set in modern Cambodia.
Something Like Normal
by Trish Doller
“He was the person all of us should be, but most of us aren't. And if I could have taken his place to buy him a little more time in the world, I'd have done it. I'm sorry I couldn't.”
This is a book about a young man who comes back from fighting in Afganistan to the life that was put on hold at home. What I liked was Travis' journey towards maturity and how he takes responsibility for his past actions.
Life is but a Dream
by Brian James
“My memories are like a shuffled deck of cards, each one coming up at random.”
The mood and feel of this novel are extraordinary. I don't know about the accuracy of the schizophrenia representation. I read very true to me. The way that Sabrina never knows what is real and how unsetting and frightening that is really read true to me.
Freaks Like Us
by Susan Vaught
“Some people are so strong, they don't need to change [...] They change everyone around them.”
This is another book where the narrator is not 100% confident in their perception of reality.