Book Report | Summer 2014 {Part 1}

It’s been awhile since my last book report and it’s been a good summer for reading!  Today, I’m sharing Part 1 of my favorite summer reads…

Book-Report

Since my last book report (in April), I’ve read some really awesome books and I’m really anxious to share those with you.  Since I have so many, I am going to break this up into two separate posts so as not to overwhelm you!!  I won’t be sharing all of the books I read this summer…some just weren’t worth passing along (in fact, for one, I didn’t even finish reading it, and I usually make myself finish one if I start it!).  Nope….I’ll only share those that are worth adding to your reading list!

The Maze Runner Series (by James Dashner)

 The_Scorch_Trials DeathCure

Amazon Links: The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure

I’m a little late to this party, but had heard awesome things about this series.  With the movie coming out in September for the first book, I knew I had to get on it and check it out.  Uh…yeah…could not put it down!  The first book did not grab me in right away.  Yes, I thought it was good, but it took about halfway through before it got to the point where I couldn’t put the book down!  The two following books kept you on the same, fast ride.

Just in case you have been under a rock like me and haven’t read these books and/or don’t know what they’re about, allow me to fill you in with a brief overview.  Similar to the Hunger Games and Divergent series, these are set in the future and center around a group of teenagers.  The story begins with Thomas, the main character, as he awakens in an elevator type contraption that is slowly ascending to an unknown destination.  Once it arrives, he’s greeted with a group of teenage boys in a large camp.  He learns that once a month, a new boy is delivered to the group.  They are working not only to survive, but trying to figure out how to get out.  The compound where they all live is fully functional and supplies are delivered to the boys regularly.  But, they have no way out.  Outside of the walls, that close tight every night, is an intricate maze.  A dedicated team of runners spend each day trying to solve the maze in hopes of discovering an exit.

With Thomas’s arrival, things are about to change.  The story that unfolds takes you on a ride through the unbelievable with twists and turns when you least expect it.  Needless, to say, I CAN’T wait for this movie to come next month!!  If you liked Divergent or Hunger Games, you won’t be disappointed with the Maze Runner series!

Still Alice (by Lisa Genova)

still-alice

Amazon Link: Still Alice

This is another popular book that I arrived to the party a little late!  If you haven’t heard of this book….GET IT NOW!  This is a fascinating read and it will have you thinking about it when you’re not reading it and long after you finish the last page.  The main character, Alice, is a very successful, highly intelligent woman who has just turned 50.  She has a good family, a loving husband, a beautiful home, and is a tenured professor at Harvard.  Needless to say, she’s on top of the world.  As we meet Alice, she’s celebrating her 50th birthday.  Over the next several weeks, she starts noticing odd things happening to her.  After finally going to her doctor, tests are run, and she’s diagnosed with early on set Alzheimer’s.  The rest of the book follows her journey over the next year or so as the Alzheimer’s slowly starts to take her mind.  It’s a heart breaking and enlightening story that really shines a light on the horrifying details of this tragic disease.

I read this book within 2 days and still wanted more when I read the last sentence.  If you’re looking for a good book for a binge reading weekend…grab this and a box of kleenex!  The best way to describe what’s so good about this book is that it makes you feel something.

Left Neglected (by Lisa Genova)

LeftNeglected

Amazon Link:  Left Neglected

After I finished Still Alice, I wanted more.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a sequel to Still Alice, but there are other books by this fabulous author!  I selected Left Neglected and as much as I loved Still Alice, I think I might have liked this one even more!  Similar to her other book, the main character, Sarah, is a very successful and intelligent woman with a beautiful family and wonderful job.  Momentarily distracted by her cell phone on a rainy morning drive to work, she slides off the road and changes her life forever.  She sustains a serious brain injury which essentially leaves her unaware of anything on her left side.  It’s a hard concept to grasp and I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be to endure this, but with this story, you are introduced to her trials and challenges.  Her frustration is worsened by the long recovery process and coming to the realization that her life will never be the same.  It forces her to see things differently and as time moves on, her priorities and view of life drastically change (some may say for the better!).

As with Still Alice, this was leaves you thinking.  It certainly solidifies the premise of keeping your hands OFF your cell phone when driving.  I had never heard of this type of brain injury, but I did google it after finishing the book and it’s very real.  If you want a page turner that, again, you won’t be able to put down, then pick up this book!

The Last Letter from your Lover (by JoJo Moyes)

Amazon Link: The Last Letter from Your Lover

This is the third or fourth book I’ve read by JoJo Moyes.  They have all been great reads, so my expectations were high when I started in on this one.  It definitely did not disappoint!  In fact, it’s not only my favorite Jojo Moyes book, but it’s one of my all time favorite books.  I can’t stress how wonderful this book is….just trust me and GET IT!

It story alternates between 1960s London and present day London.  The two main characters are tied through a long lost love letter.  Jennifer, the main character from the 60s suffers amnesia after a horrific car accident.  When she awakens in the hospital she remembers nothing, not even her husband who’s waiting at her bedside.  As she starts to piece her life back together and figure out what’s missing, she discovers she had a lover when she finds a love letter hidden in her possessions.  She desperately searches to find out who he was and what happened to him.  Fast forward almost fifty years and Ellie, the present day main character, finds the same letter and is spellbound by the message.  Amidst the drama of her own personal love mess, she wants to find the person that wrote the letter and to whom they wrote it.  Her journey brings her to Jennifer and after 40+ years, she finally gets to tell her story.

I read this book while on vacation and I couldn’t put it down.  In fact, there were some days, I almost wanted to skip the day’s activities to stay in and pour through this book!  If you are looking for a good read that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go…read this one.

………

This wraps up my first group of summer reads!  I’ll be back next week with the next batch!  If you’ve missed any of my other reviews, just click HERE for the full round up!

What books did you read this summer that had your nosed buried in the pages?

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