Books on my Nighstand

First off, a positive update on our roof and ongoing sunroom troubles. The roof wasn't in such bad shape to warrant a new one, so a local roofing company is coming out tomorrow to redo the sunroom roof and patch the rest of the roof. I'm crossing my fingers that this time when we repaint the sunroom ceiling, we will never see water spots again!

I read two Buzzfeed articles last month about books being made into movies (this and this) and decided to try to read as many off the list as I could before most were released in theaters. Keith and I are also in the middle of the Game of Thrones series, but I took a short break after A Clash of Kings to focus my attention on other books for the month of February. I thought it would be fun to share a brief recap of what I've been reading lately.

Gone Girl
I actually read this book in January, while also finishing A Game of Thrones (1st book in series) and finished it in two days. It was well written, captivating, frightening and had a great twist. I loved the way each of the sections were set up and the author totally messes with your head and expectations. I would highly recommend this book but warn you in advance that it is quite horrifying at times, and may make you look at some women in a whole new light (we really are crazy!).

The Fault in Our Stars
This book is technically a young adult novel so it's also a pretty quick read. I wouldn't classify it as an easy read though, because it definitely toys with your emotions. I had low expectations for this novel because I think the young adult cancer stories have been done many times over in film but even so, this felt like a fresh take on teenagers dealing with fatality. I appreciated Hazel's character and her voice, and had a tough time putting this down at night. I finished it bawling in my bed an hour before work two weeks ago and have been thinking about it ever since. I'm excited for the movie version, but don't think I'll see it in theaters since I don't enjoy crying in public.

Serena
This was an unique story with an interesting premise, but I had a tough time getting through it. Not only are almost all the characters despicable, but I also found it very dry and a bit overly flowery for my taste. I just finished it last week and I'm still not convinced that this should be made into a movie. I might rent it someday just to see how it translates in film, but unless the movie completely wows audiences, I'm not planning on watching this one in theaters. The book was difficult enough for me to get through and I didn't really find it gripping until about 2/3 of the way through.

If I Stay
I finished this book in three hours on Friday night, because I couldn't put it down. The writing wasn't quite as strong as The Fault in Our Stars, but the story was just as moving and devastating. I appreciated how the story was told through Mia's out-of-body experience and at times, definitely felt like I was right there with her. I liked the concept and inner struggle the main character had to go through and am currently most excited to see this one translated in film. Fortunately I only teared up while reading it (no bawl fests) so I'm definitely planning to see it in theaters.

wild
A friend recommended this book to me about a year ago, so when I heard it was being turned into a film starring Reese Witherspoon, I was intrigued. I struggled a lot throughout the story with how I felt about the main character, especially knowing she was based on the author. I sympathized with her but then felt disappointed and disgusted with a lot of her past actions. Even so, I found myself quietly cheering for her on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) and hoping that at some point a life-changing realization would hit her and she'd come out at the end stronger and a better person. I won't tell the end of course, but I'd recommend this book if you've got an adventuresome bone in your body or ever struggled through very dark times. And I'm very interested to see Reese in this role. 

I'm hoping to also read Reconstructing Amelia before the end of this month so we can start A Storm of Swords in March. Keith also took a break from the series and read World War Z and Cloud Atlas over the past month, so there has been a lot of book discussions happening in our house lately. I also rented The Book Thief, even though it came out late last year in theaters, but I'll have to put that one off until after the 3rd or 4th Game of Thrones books. I'll try to remember to give another book recap (and what I thought of some of the movies) in the next few months. Hope you're in the middle of some wonderful books yourself, or perhaps even tempted to now check out some of the ones I shared. Happy reading!