It’s Book Review Day - one of my favorite days of the month! This month I read 4 books. I LOVED two of them. And thought the other two were just okay.
Girl With Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story – Hyeonseo Lee (A)
Wow. This book is going to stay with me for a long time. I have always wondered about North Korea – Is it as bad as they say? How did this ruthless, harsh regime get this way? What is life like for the people who live there? This narrative is eye-opening to say the least. This author is truly remarkable and I am in awe of her perseverance. I found this story to be unique, intriguing and inspiring. The whole thing is fascinating – the North Korean regime, the social constraints and expectations, and even all the countries that surround North Korea and how they directly and indirectly play a part. All in all, I think this book is a must read for everyone. Whether you are interested in learning more about North Korea, want to be inspired or would just like to be reminded how good we actually have it in our own lives, this book is a good one for all of that. And if even if reading this book seems a bit too intense at the moment, I would highly recommend checking out the author’s Ted Talk on YouTube. It was crazy enlightening and you can see how she mixes this intense experience with so much hope. 4.5/5 stars
Educated – Tara Westover (A)
I LOVED this book! I do not hand out 5 stars on a book very often; but I gladly do with this one. Easily one of the best books I have read in a long time. I could not stop listening to it. This is a memoir about a woman who was raised in Idaho by parents who did not believe in traditional education. Her childhood was wild and unruly and absolutely fascinating. She never set foot into a classroom until she was 17 and then went on to achieve the highest levels of education and ultimately decide who she wanted to be and how she wanted to live her life. I found myself rooting for her the entire way. She is someone that I would love to meet in real life because she seems to have this no-nonsense approach where she pulls herself up by her boot straps with grit and scrappiness and perseverance. She does not complain about the unfairness in life… she just self-starts and pushes through her fears, family, and outside influences to become the best version of who she wants to be. This memoir is definitely in the running to be one of my top favorite books of all year. 5/5 stars
Crown of Midnight – Sarah J. Maas (A)
Okay, I love Sarah J. Maas’s other series – Court of Thorns and Roses (I devoured that series), but I think this series is a miss for me. Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series. When listening to the audiobook, I kept finding my mind drifting to other things. I do want to mention that the author wrote Throne of Glass before Court of Thorns and Roses – so clearly she has fine-tuned her writing style into something so good as she writes more and more. Even though this was not favorite, I will read every one of her newer books. 2/5 stars
Book of Lost Names – Kristen Harmel (A)
This book was good; but not one my favorites in the WWII fiction category. Listen, if you are going to write a book about WWII, you better come with your A game. There are some phenomenal, stay-with-you-forever WWII books out there (Hello Nightingale!); so the standards are already set very high in my world. This book was just okay. I am struggling to determine if my displeasure with the book was due more to the writing, the characters, or the narrator (or all of the above. I for sure did not care for the narrator and will actively try to avoid her in the future. But the story was good and interesting and maybe leaning a bit YA. There was 1 character that I had to grit my teeth to read about (can’t say too much more without giving things away). All and all, if you love WWII fiction, I would recommend that you read this book – but read it the old-fashion way – no audiobook. 3.5/5 stars
There you have it… My May Book Review!
B – Physical Book
A - Audiobook
As always, you can see a consolidated list of all my book reviews HERE.
Now it’s your turn – what book have you recently read that you can’t stop thinking about? I don't know about you, but I need some solid book recommendations to get me through the next few months. Something that will pull me in immediately and keep me going through to the very last page. So tell me in the comments what you are reading, what you are loving, and what book recs you have for me.
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