The First Books of 2015


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]

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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

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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!

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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?

[linking up with steph & jana for show us your books]

27 comments

  1. I've heard good things about Big Little Lies. I definitely want to add that to my summer reading list! A twist that makes you sit up in bed and your jaw drop sounds like a good read to me!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. A small indiscretion sounds really good!! I'm reading a book with about 10 different characters and each chapter is told in their point of view and I'm so lost lol, but I just want to finish at this point! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  3. So many great books! A Small Indescretion sounds like it may be next on my list. I finally just started Girl on the Train, and I'm hooked!

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  4. These all look like great books, lady Thanks for sharing them.

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  5. I read the entire Shopaholic series....the first two were fine but after that they got boring and blah. I just read Gone Girl (yes, I'm late) I hated the ending. I'm doubting I'll watch the movie. I'm looking for a book now to get into. Thanks for sharing these!

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  6. Agree with you on the Big Little Lies front. It just wasn't as good to me as The Husband's Secret!

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  7. I'm still out on JoJo Moyes - I need to read another book to determine if I like her style or not.

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  8. adding a small indiscretion and a girl in translation to my list! big little lies and the ship of brides are both on my kindle waiting for me.

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  9. I just picked up (or downloaded, as it were) my first JoJo Moyes book (Me Before You) and I really can't wait to read it. I'm finishing up The Secret Garden first because it's been decades and I felt nostalgic :)

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  10. 50 book goal? I have a 1 book goal. All of my reading is for school, not really reason for fun.. That needs to change!

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  11. A Small Indiscretion sounds really interesting, going to check it out. I am ahead of my goal but I know I'll slow down once the weather gets nicer. Until then, read all the books!! Haha!

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  12. I just finished Leaving Time and I really liked it. I recommended it to my friend last week and she was so hooked she blew through all this weekend and was anxiously waiting for me to finish so we could talk about it. We've been texting back and forth about it all day!

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  13. Those first two books sound really really good! I am adding them to my list. :) I've read two books by Jojo Moyes and looooved them both. Have you read The Girl You Left Behind? Really liked it, especially the historical parts. I'm a huge Sophie Kinsella fan - huge (non)guilty pleasure, hehe.

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  14. Yay, more books to add to my ever-growing "to read" list. Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo
    Kat

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  15. I have a Small Indiscretion and Girl in Translation sitting on my bookcase, waiting for me to read them this summer! Hopefully after I move! Also, the ending of Big Little Lies blew my mind! I liked that book; although it was draggy in some places

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  16. These sounds like awesome books, I keep trying to add more titles to my reading list! I think I'm behind on my goodreads schedule as well because I'm currently reading Anna Karenina, and it's taking me a while because I'm not very consistent with it.

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  17. I bought a Liane Moriarty book and I can't wait to read it at the beach in a week!

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  18. I loved big little lies and i have some of the others on my list to read!

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  19. I didn't love Big Little Lies either. It was ok, but not great. I've read all of the Shopaholic books. They're fun.

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  20. Oh god. I am 10 books behind schedule! I totally thought I read faster than I really do. I just read "Eat Cake" and I really liked it.

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  21. How old was Jess in the last one, college age? I think that's the last time emotions are hot and heavy and everywhere.

    I liked Big Little Lies a lot but can see how people wouldn't.

    I read some of the Shopaholic books but they eventually drove me insane.

    I'm with you on Ship of Brides - it wasn't a WOW book but I really enjoyed the characters and that made me really like it.

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  22. I just picked up Big Little Lies from the library, I'm hoping to start tonight! I recently added Ship of Brides to my to read list, I really liked Me Before You so I thought I'd give her other books a go.

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  23. Big Little Lies is on my to-read list and Jojo Moyes in on my to-binge read list. I hadn't heard of Girl in Translation but it seems like a book I'd enjoy.

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  24. I've heard of Big Little Lies. I'll have to check that one out. You have such great recommendations.

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  25. Big Little Lies is sitting on my floor at home waiting to be read. Girl in Translation sounds fantastic. I will definitely read that one.

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  26. Girl in Translation sounds exactly the book I'd dive into. Thanks for the rec!

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  27. Great books! I love Shopoholic. I think there's a new one I need to read! I just added A Small Indiscretion to my list!

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