Thursday, June 30, 2016

ABC Reads: June 2016

Hellooo friends and welcome back to the ABC Reads link up! We're linking up to share the books we've read in June and the letters we can check off our lists. 

Need a refresher on what the ABC Reads challenge is all about? Never fear, we've got you covered: 

What does the challenge entail? Well, I'm glad you asked. There are 26 letters of the alphabet and we challenge you, during the course of 2016, to read a book that starts with each letter. For example, Atonement (A), The Bell Jar (B), Catching Fire (C), and so on. Makes sense, right? You don't need to go in order - if you want to start with S, go for it. We're easy to please around these parts. On the last day of each month, we'll host a link-up for you to share your ABC Reads.  We will award one point for each letter you review AND a bonus point for linking up with us!  At the end of the year (or when the first participant reviews a book beginning with each of the 26 letters), the winner will be awarded a $30 Amazon gift card.  Congratulations to Jessica at Frikken Duckie for completing the challenge last month and winning the gift card! Go visit her and say congrats! :) 

Pretty easy, right? And if you didn't get a chance to link up last month - no worries at all. Feel free to jump in with Andrea and me any time!

OK, so let's get to it. What did you guys read this month? How many letters did you check off? Here's my progress (June books in blue): 

A: (The) Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. Completed March 2016. 
B: Better Than Before, by Gretchen Rubin. Completed February 2016. 
C: (The) City of Mirrors, by Justin Cronin. Completed May 2016. 
D:  Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts. Completed April 2016. 
E:  Europe on 5 Wrong Turns A Day, by Doug Mack. Completed April 2016. 
F:  Finders Keepers, by Stephen King. Completed January 2016. 
G: (The) Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown. Completed January 2016. 
H: (The) Hereafter, by Jessica Bucher. Completed April 2016. 
I:  I Will Find You, by Joanna Connors. Completed June 2016. 
L:  (The) Last Song, by Nicholas Sparks. Completed January 2016. 
M: (The) Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, by Mitch Albom. Completed February 2016.
N:  Night Film, by Marisha Pessl. Completed June 2016. 
O: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Completed January 2016. 
R: (The) Revenant, by Michael Punke. Completed March 2016. 
S:  Some Kind of Fairy Tale, by Graham Joyce. Completed June 2016. 
T:  Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed. Completed April 2016. 
W: Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion. Completed February 2016. 
Z:  Zone One, by Colson Whitehead. Completed May 2016. 

This book was super intense. It's about Joanna Connors, a reporter who was held at knifepoint at a local college and raped. Her rapist was arrested and sentenced shortly after the crime and Joanna swore not to talk about it again. But as her children got older and were going off to college themselves, she felt the need to share what she experienced and to find out what happened to her rapist. She interviews his family members and reviews the case notes in depth to try and find some closure. 

The subject matter is heavy, but her courage in the face of something so horrible and traumatic really moved me. She survived. I gave this 5 out of 5 stars. 

Favorite quote from the book: "These ancient laws also reflected a widespread suspicion that women accusing men of rape were lying--a belief system that is still operative today. Almost every time a star athlete or celebrity is accused of rape, for example, there's an inference that the charge is false, brought by a scorned, or vindictive, or drunk, or willing woman against an innocent man." 

This book creeped me out! To the point where I had to go to sleep with the light on, haha. Which means I absolutely loved it. It's a fictional story about an investigative reporter who is obsessed with finding out more about a reclusive film maker. The film maker's daughter commits suicide and the reporter vows to find out what happened. And along the way, he gets caught up in some freaky, paranormal shit. Like black magic and devil worship and craziness. If you like horror/suspense novels, this book is totally for you. I could not put it down! I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. 

Favorite quote from the book: "That was what dreams were for, the waking, the floods of relief, shock that the mind could be so easily deceived, tangled sheets, sunlight streaming through a window." 

This book was a strange one for me. I liked it, but I think there were holes in the story that could have been handled better. A man gets a frantic call from his parents on Christmas Day and tells him he needs to come over immediately. When he gets there, he sees his sister. The only problem is that his sister vanished 20 years earlier. They all assumed she was dead. And the sister hasn't aged a day, she still looks like she's 16. She keeps quiet at first about what happened to her, but finally shares her story and it's a whopper. They don't believe her, they think she's crazy and send her off for tests and to counseling. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars because I think the back story could have been developed a little more as to where she was. 

Favorite quote from the book: "Some people feed you with love." 

Well, there you have it, folks. 3 more letters checked off my list. I feel like I'm making pretty good progress! Link up below and share which letters you've completed as well. Happy reading! 

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