What I Read: Winter 2018

If you know me or follow me on Instagram, you probably know how much I enjoy reading on my breaks from school. I usually document my progress via the "Books" highlight on my Instagram page along with little blurbs of "reviews".

I've already mentioned before in my "About Me" page that I used to dream about living at the public library, so it makes sense that I spend a lot of time there when I'm out of school. In another life, I think I would have grown up to be a cool journalist who does book reviews for a living, but instead, I'm sharing my thoughts here on my own little corner of the internet.

Without giving any spoilers, I'll share a little about each book I read.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Wow! This book was beautifully written and the best one I've read in a long time. It's easily the best book on this list. I read the last quarter or so of this book with a constant flow of tears running down my face.

I thought it was especially cool that the book was set in the 1970s and centered around a family who moved to Alaska to start a new life. My grandpa, who bore a somewhat striking similarity to the main character's father, packed up his family around that same time to work on the oil pipeline mentioned in the story. My grandma said that they were just as unprepared for the winter as the family in the story, too.

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
I used to really love this author's books when I was younger, but this one fell a little flat for me. Instead of changing the point of view each chapter as she usually does, she told this story in reverse order and I didn't particularly enjoy it. Although I still charged through the book, and it did have some interesting character development, I was expecting to like it more.

Also, since I usually love her books, I didn't bother looking up any summaries/reviews about it. This one was set in a hostage situation inside an abortion clinic, which naturally led to some slightly uncomfortable themes and descriptions. I truly believe both pro-life and pro-choice readers would benefit from reading this one, especially if you consider yourself a strong believer that your opinion is the best.

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman 
This was a typical suspenseful mystery novel, and I would recommend it to anyone who loved Nancy Drew books in elementary school like I did. The story centers around a couple who finds... you guessed it, something mysterious in the water while they're on their honeymoon. The plot unfolds from there, and the twists are the good kind that I didn't exactly see coming.

From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein
As a girl with an interest in politics and a former DC intern, I devoured this book! Somehow, the author managed to capture exactly how I felt throughout my summer internship when I felt like I was struggling to make friends and getting used to being a twenty-something. One of the friends I met during that DC internship read this after seeing my Instagram review and said she loved it, too!

I especially like that it wasn't overly political and more so centered around her life. For a work of nonfiction, it flowed comfortably like a novel. She explained her job and some of the awesome opportunities she had while working in the White House, but she intertwined her love life and personal drama into the story nicely.

One Day in December by Josie Silver
This was the cheesiest, yet perfectly sweet romance novel. It wasn't a knock-your-socks-off, best-book-I've-ever-read kind of novel, but I liked reading it during the lazy days between Christmas and New Years and when I was stuck at the airport with a delayed flight. I'm sure it would make for an excellent romantic comedy. A friend described it as having "Something Borrowed" vibes (a la Emily Giffin) and if you read both, I'm sure you'll understand.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
I don't know why I was worried about not finishing this one before I had to go back to school since this author is the best when it comes to suspenseful page-turners. I seriously couldn't put it down and stayed up until almost four in the morning to finish it last night. Although I didn't enjoy it quite as much as some of her other books, (Truly Madly Guilty and Big Little Lies are two of my favorites) there was still a bit of a hidden secret like she had in her others. This one felt a little more suspenseful than some of her others I've read, which I enjoyed. I felt myself getting nervous for the characters toward the end and it took all I had not to chew my nails right off!

I'll continue to keep a running list of other books I want to read come summer break, but in the spirit of new year's resolutions, I'm also going to try to read for fun a little throughout the semester. I know I'm happier when I can relax and read for fun, but making time for it in law school is a little daunting. I'll be sure to keep my Goodreads account up to date so you can follow along if you'd like.

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