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June 09, 2014
You know what? I've been meaning to post a book recap for months. Months. But it's taken me that long to actually finish three books. It's actually pretty embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as the fact that I still can't spell embarrassing and have to rely on spell check to remind me of that double-r.

But nevertheless, guys, I've read three books. I'm about to tell you about them + which ones you should read + which ones you should proceed to deposit in the nearest trash can (I kid, I kid).

Book #1: The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Synopsis, adapted from Goodreads: On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's Syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect his family, he asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant and raises the child herself."

Someone recommended this book to me after I read The Light Between Oceans (which I mostly liked) and I can see why. Both books involve moral dilemmas involving children + are sort of sad. But in general, I hate sad books. Hate them. This book was well-written for sure and definitely kept me interested. But I didn't enjoy reading it. And even for a sad book, no one ended up really happy in the end. It told the two parallel stories of David and Caroline, one who screwed up and one who was sort of a savior. Understandably, the book documents David's guilt and unraveling over giving up his daughter. But it continually frustrated me that Caroline didn't get a happy ending.

I'd recommend don't mind a sad book that will make you think, you have time to read it for decent chunks of time and you want a truly realistic (not romanticized) book.

My rating: 3/5 stars

Book #2: Reconstructing Amelia

In short: Kate Baron is called at her work as a high-powered lawyer and told that her high-achieving daughter Amelia has been suspended for cheating. Shocked and determined that the accusations are false, Kate drives to Amelia's school. But when she arrives, she finds that Amelia jumped off the school building and Kate is determined to find out why.

I expected this book to be pretty much a mystery novel, set in a NYC prep school. Instead, I felt it delved way too much into minute details of some characters and left others completely undeveloped, not to mention mostly unlikable (including Amelia). I never felt like I understood Amelia's girlfriend and while I felt the author wanted to make her seem mysterious, I just felt like she wasn't real. And speaking of Amelia's girlfriend, this was almost like two separate (and mostly unrelated) stories in one: one of the investigation behind Amelia's death, and one of her unexpected relationship. And in the end, there ended up being really boring answers to all the so-called mysteries. 

It felt like Gossip Girl and SVU tried to have a baby and it just wasn't happening. But then again, most people on Goodreads either gave it one star or five.

My rating: 2/5 stars.

Book #3: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Unemployment has send web designer Clay to work in Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, a mysterious store containing random assortments of books. But the customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything—instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Clay and his friends try to figure out the mystery behind the bookstore.

Welp. Sorry if I'm being Negative Nancy over here, but this book sucked too. So many people recommended it to me + the reviews looked promising, but I couldn't even finish it (and that rarely happens). I expected this book to be a great mystery set in an old bookstore, but you know what the first 100 pages were about? Web design. Programming. Weird art. I'm not even kidding you. It was just so weird. This book sounded so promising but it just wasn't worth the effort after awhile and I stopped reading. But if you're into reading about programming and installation art....go for it.

My rating: 1/5 stars.

Have you read any really good books lately? Pleeeeease share!

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