Reading Recs for 2014-2015 School Year: 1st 9 Weeks

This school year I read a total of 16,274 pages! I plan on covering a lot more ground over the summer, but I wanted to showcase some of my favorite books of this year and explain why I loved them. Some of these have already been blogged about, so I’ll try to keep it brief! Here is a brief recap of August-October.

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This endearing novel about a recovering high school track athlete touched me for many reasons. Running is so much a part of my life that I can’t imagine being who I am now without it. My high school and college track teams both had a hand in shaping the woman I am today. The Running Dream‘s protagonist had heart, determination, and showed perseverance as well as displaying the bond that comes from team sports. Please read the rest of my review and pick this book up! It’s a fast and encouraging read. I gave it 5/5 stars.

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Son was finally published this year and wrapped up Lowry’s dystopian series The Giver, which so many of us readers have loved since a young age. Before this year I didn’t even know the series was a quartet (4 books). I thoroughly enjoyed Gathering Blue and Messenger, so I was excited to finish the series. About halfway through Son I began to slow down in my reading of it. I guess you could say I trudged through the remainder of the book. The preceding books in the series were much better, but I knew I had to finish it. Son will remain to be the weak link in the series, but I think all four books are worth reading. I won’t go into much detail about Son’s characters just in case there are people who haven’t read the other books, but if you liked The Giver and want to continue reading about its characters, please finish the series!

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The Art of Racing in the Rain is told from Enzo, a labrador retriever’s, point of view. I found myself growing more and more attached to Enzo and his humans as the novel progressed, and because of this, I cried some heavy tears toward the end. Enzo is so wise and attached to his humans, and kindly offers us a perspective we have never seen. He shows how selfless and devoted our pets are throughout their short lives. They can’t tell us in words how much they love us, but Stein does an excellent job of getting that message across through Enzo. 5/5 stars without a doubt!

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With John Green’s rising popularity over the last couple years, young adult readers can’t ignore him anymore. I’ve only read three of his books so far: The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, and Looking for Alaska. Out of the three, Looking for Alaska was probably my least favorite. Although she was not the protagonist, Alaska Young remained too much of a mystery for me to enjoy the entirety of the book. I gave it 4/5 stars for this reason. I also felt like Green’s protagonists in Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska were much too similar. The plot of the story was also too similar for me. Green’s writing style is like a breath of fresh air for the young adult genre, but I don’t want to read the same story over and over again. Despite all that, this was still on of my favorite books of the month.

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Although I only gave We Were Liars 4/5 stars, it holds a special place in my heart. I’m not going to say too much about this book since it contains so much mystery. What I will say is that amnesia is tough to write about, especially when it’s from a first-person perspective. I was hooked on this book from the beginning. I can’t remember now why it did not receive five stars from me, but it was definitely one of my favorite books from this school year. It has even inspired me (in a small way) for a novel I’m currently working on. Hopefully there will be more of that to come! If you like a little mystery, please read We Were Liars.

So, there’s my recap of the first part of this school year! Hopefully these recommendations help you out in some way!

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