According to my Goodreads 2015 challenge I'm currently 2 books behind to achieve my goal for the year (50 books!), but I'm optimistic I can catch up one of these months. Out of all of the books I've read so far this year Girl in Translation and A Small Indiscretion were my two favorites that I easily recommend.
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.
Within the first few pages I knew I was going to love this story. It's written wonderfully to the point where you can picture everything Kwok is describing and you really gain an understanding of how Kimberly must have felt. The story was heartbreaking at times as you follow Kimberly try and adjust to her new life.
A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison
At nineteen, Annie Black abandons California for a London winter of drinking to oblivion and looking for love in the wrong places. Twenty years later, she is a happily married mother of three living in San Francisco. Then one morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened. After a return trip to London, Annie’s marriage falters, her store floods, and her son, Robbie, takes a night-time ride that nearly costs him his life. Now Annie must fight to save her family by untangling the mysteries of that reckless winter in Europe that drew an invisible map of her future. With the brilliant pacing and emotional precision that won Jan Ellison an O. Henry Prize for her first published story, A Small Indiscretion announces a major new voice in suspense fiction as it unfolds a story of denial, obsession, love, forgiveness—and one woman’s reckoning with her own fateful mistakes.
This book wasn't what I was expecting in the best of ways! It's told from Annie's point of view in letter form to her adult son, who you learn right away has been seriously injured in an accident. The story goes between past and present, but it's extremely easy to follow and I found myself captivated in both sets of the story. Part I focuses more on Annie's life in London with Part II focusing more on how everything is tied together. While a few parts were predictable, I was completely wrapped up in the story. I hope Ellison writes more novels in the future. [c/o netgalley]
The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes: The story follows four women from Australia who are traveling on an aircraft carrier to England to be reunited with their husbands they married during wartime.
It wasn't quite as captivating as Me Before You or One Plus One to me, but I really enjoyed the story and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in historical fiction. Moyes uses multiple points of view, which gives great insight into each of the characters, but it was hard to follow at times. [c/o netgalley]
Confessions of a Shopaholic & Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella: Becky Bloomwood has a major shopping addiction and the series follows her through all of her ups and downs in her career, relationships, and life in general.
I've still only read the first two in the series but these books are light and silly and definitely not to be taken too seriously. I prefer the second book to the first
Big Little Lies by Lianne Moiriarty: This is another book with multiple main characters and points of view throughout the story. It follows three mothers who all have children enrolled at the same school. There's a lot of mommy-talk and dialogue in general, but there's also an overall suspenseful element. You know someone dies at the end, though you don't know who it will be, and there was another big twist!
I had a really hard time getting into this book and I found it read really slow despite it being an easy read. I'm sure the ending was obvious to some people but I was so completely shocked and surprised that I literally sat up in bed with my jaw dropped-- did not see it coming!
One Night by AJ Pine: The story focuses on Jess, a college student with a difficult past as she falls for a popular athlete. It also closely examines her friendships, and her relationship with herself.
This one is classified as contemporary romance and new adult, which isn't my typical genre but I'm glad I requested it from Netgalley. On the one hand it's very chicklit like, but at the same time it covers some really heavy topics. My one complaint is that it felt like a whole lot of emotion was happening in a very short time frame, which didn't seem all that realistic to me, but still an enjoyable read with wonderful characters. [c/o netgalley]
What have you read recently? Any new favorites?