Carly Reads Here | september

After what felt like forever I finally got back into somewhat of a reading grove and stopped reading books that left me continually bored or unsatisfied in some way. At the end of August I read five books in like three days when I had some kind of awful summer cold, so that definitely helped bring me closer to my 2016 reading goal and rounded out August with 7 books completed. One will be coming in a stand alone review post sometime later this month. As always I'm linking up with Steph and all the other book lovers for Show Us Your Books. 



Swear on This Life | This book wrecked me. It's a book about a book, which I found to be a unique way to give a back story, though I wasn't so sure about the format at first. That was until I was so swept up in the story that I couldn't put it down until I finished it. It's a story about confronting your past. It's a story about a terrible childhood. At times I felt like the flashback/book portion of the story was written so intensely, with so much emotion, that the current day situations just seemed a little bit superficial and rushed at times, but I still completely loved the story and am eager to read other books by Carlino to see how they compare.

I was sent this book c/o Booksparks to review as part of their Summer Reading challenge. Swear on This Life was released in early August and is available on Amazon.

First Comes Love | This was only my second Giffin novel, and while I liked it more than the last one (one & only) I wasn't crazy about it. I loved the writing and found it really easy to read, but I was disappointed with the storyline and how things developed. I actually preferred Meredith to Josie because she seemed so real to me. Real in the sense of someone who is exhausted with everything and as a result not very nice a lot of the time. My biggest issue with Josie's storyline was the characters that seemed to just drop off after a lot of time was spent on them. Her ex (and the whole school/teaching thing) was such a big part of the beginning of the book and then it all just disappeared to the point that you almost forgot it was the same book. I'll spare any spoilers, but I also wasn't happy with her part of the ending. I guess it was just another book I didn't totally buy into.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

The Nest | I really didn't want to read this after First Comes Love knowing it was another book about sibling relationships, but it was a library book and I had been on the hold list forever so I didn't want to let it slip away. Thankfully it was completely different in just about every way, so I didn't need to worry. I really enjoyed the writing, but similar to my feelings on First Comes Love, I just wasn't crazy about the story and I found it really slow to read. There was a part after the halfway point where I thought things were going to pick up and build some intensity, but then that didn't happen, and I think it left me feeling disappointed by the ending.

We're All Damaged | Apparently this is something called lad lit like chick lit, but the main character is a male? I received this from Netgalley a while ago and forgot about it until I was looking for a book with a bad word for the SCSBC. In a nutshell it's about a 30-something, recently divorced guy, who goes back to his hometown because his grandfather is dying. It was an enjoyable quick read, that felt relatable-- not in the sense that I could relate to what Andy was going through-- just in how Norman shared his thoughts. There's a friendship/relationship that develops with another character that I wasn't crazy about because it felt like something I've read or watched too many times- ordinary guy, meets quirky girl, but overall I'd recommend it if the plot interests you & I did laugh out loud a couple of times.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Christmas Down Under | This one would get 5 stars for the cover, but for the story I was stuck between 2 and 3 stars. I was thankful it was short (under 120 pages) because I'm not sure I would have cared enough to pick it up again had I not finished it in one sitting. It's about a girl from New York who falls for a guy in Australia while visiting someone and it has all the markings of a perfect Hallmark Christmas movie, but there were a few lazy editing mistakes & the twist or surprise element was really underwhelming. If you're in the mood for something light, fun, and Christmasy it might be worth the read.

Matilda | This is a book I can't believe I had never read, but was really grateful to read it for the first time if that makes sense. I've seen the movie a dozen times, and more recently the play, so it was no surprise that I would love the book. I obviously anticipated the scenes that I was familiar with, but it was so fun (and funny) to read parts that were left out of the movie- Dahl is a master storyteller!

Have you read any of these books? What have been your favorite reads recently

30 comments

  1. Think I'll skip The Nest, then! Matilda was one of my favorite books as a child. I may have to revisit it as an adult! So good!

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  2. You've got me wondering if I've ever read Matilda, and I'm not sure I have. I've seen and enjoyed the movie many times though, so it's probably time I picked up the book!

    ~ K

    www.lifeasunusuals.com

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  3. I am so glad you loved Swear On This Life because I seriously loved it and that was my second book of hers and I hope she comes out with more soon. So good!! I felt exactly like you did about First Comes Love. I have read way more negative reviews about The Nest than positive ones so what do you think? Skip? I love love love Matilda and I can't wait to share it with my little girl when she is old enough. The movie is just the cutest :)

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  4. Aww I love Matilda too. I am dying to read Swear on this Life and I think I will just end up buying it because my library doesn't seem to want to buy it! Haha. It sounds like such a good read. I can totally relate to what you're saying about The Nest and although I really liked reading it, I'm still not sure why (months later).

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  5. dammit! sear on this life isn't available yet (at all) at my library...it's not even on order :(

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  6. Aaah I love that you read Matilda just in time for Roald Dahl day!! I'm really interested in picking up Swear on This Life - thanks for the recommendations!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  7. I love when a book wrecks me... shows you much it pulls you in.
    Emily Griffin & The Nest - they are all the hype but I keep hearing the reviews its not so good - so why all the hype? SO Confusing.
    I edidnt realize Matilda was a book! Did you see that girl that played her in the movie on GMA as an adult???? I would have NEVER recognized her!!!

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  8. I have We're All Damaged and Swear on this Life on my kindle. They've been sitting there, and you're the second post to mention Swear today and it makes me want to bump it up.

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  9. I'm adding Swear on this Life to my list!

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  10. I love that you read Matilda... adding Swear on this Life!

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  11. i agree with everything you said about swear on this life :)
    i wasn't a huge fan of first comes love. it was one of those books that i was kinda 'eh is okay' whilst reading, and now have forgotten most of it haha.
    never heard of lad lit before, how interesting!
    definitely not reading christmas down under, it would probably annoy me haha.
    matilda is probably my favourite book from my childhood. so good!

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  12. Somehow I managed to get The Nest when it first came out from the library. But then I had no interest in reading it, so I returned it unread. And honestly, from all the mixed reviews, my interest is still low. Maybe some day. The Christmas Down Under cover is beautiful. Too bad the story didn't live up to it. I'm adding Swear on this Life to my TBR.

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  13. I agree about First Comes Love. I wish she had just followed one sister (and I liked Meredith better too) rather than bouncing back and forth between the two. Seems like she could have developed it better that way.
    I loved Matilda as a kid, I should read it again!

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  14. I felt the same way about We're All Damaged. Some parts I thought were hilarious (usually just certain lines) and there were things I liked but the love story part was definitely a little boring. Now I really want to read Matilda for the parts not in the movie!

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  15. I'm so glad that you enjoyed Matilda! One of my very favorite books. Swear on this Life is going on my reading list.

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  16. Sounds like you had some duds this month! I have Swear on This Life on my 'To Read' list, but haven't gotten to it yet. Awesome to hear you loved it!

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  17. Added Swear on This Life before I even finished reading your review. Sounds intense and like something I really need to add to my "get out of this slump" reading list!

    I think I'm done with Emily Giffin after The One and Only. I did read one other once since then, but it was published before TO&O and it was still just meh.

    I haven't really read anything about The Nest but I keep seeing reference made to it everywhere. I'll probably hold off for a while, though when I do see a book pop up over and over again I have a tendency to drink the Kool-Aid!

    I love that you just read Matilda. And such perfect timing; today is Roald Dahl's birthday!

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  18. Steph and I did a podcast episode about The Nest. Definitely lukewarm feelings over here.

    Emily Giffin and I are done. DONE. Her last book was horrid and this one was only marginally better.

    I'm trying to get my daughter to read Matilda with me. I have to keep working on that (I've never read it either, btw).

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  19. I felt the same way about Swear on This Life. SO good, but the present was a bit lacking compared to the past.

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  20. I have The Nest checked out and waiting to be read right now! Hoping to get to it soon!

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  21. Matilda was one of my favorite books growing up! Roald Dahl is awesome.

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  22. I was excited for The Nest but then I saw some reviews that said it wasn't that great. I think I will skip that one. Might have to read Matilda though! :)

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  23. Girl I cannot believe you just now read Matilda! But I'm so glad you did! It was my favorite book as a child and I kept my copy so I can read it to A. Hopefully sometime next year we will read it together.

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  24. We're All Damaged sounds like a book I'd probably enjoy. I like the title. That's a good start! I haven't heard the term "lad lit", but I've found that I quite enjoy Jonathan Tropper books and they would fall into that category.

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  25. I think I read Matilda in school, Dahl is classic. :) I haven't read any of the other ones. I went through a fun YA binge after a lot of time spent on non-fiction, now I am reading Neil Gaiman's Stardust. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  26. I'm sad that you were disappointed about The Nest because it was very high up on my reading list! I am also waiting for it from my library haha it's so popular!
    Evelina @ Fortunate House

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  27. That is an awesome cover. Too bad the story didn't pan out.

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  28. Matilda was one of my childhood favorites! I should revisit it. I didn't love The Nest, either. I wanted more from it, I think. I have had Swear on This Life on my list for a while - I need to recheck the library to see if they've added it.

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  29. I thought I had added We're All Damaged to my TBR list, but looks like I've remedied the situation for good now!
    After seeing several good reviews of Swear on this Life, I had to add that one as well!

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  30. I've been reading the same book for 3 months.........

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