Friday, December 11, 2015

Recent Reads

With the recent announcement of the ABC Reads Challenge that Mia and I will be hosting in the upcoming year, I thought it would only be fitting that I share a few of my recent reads with you today!  If you didn't get a chance to read about the challenge earlier this week, check out my post HERE for all the fun and exciting details!  Now that you are back, here are some of the books I have been reading lately...

 Paper Towns
by John Green

Here is the Goodreads synopsis:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...

My Thoughts:

I was hooked on this book from the beginning.  I loved Green's writing in The Fault in Our Stars and he won me over again with Paper Towns.  The story was interesting and engaging.  It was a mystery, but also a sort of coming of age tale, too.  It took me right back to my high school days where everything was SO important and dramatic.  I particularly enjoyed the portions where Q interacted with his parents.  Green did a great job of showing us the world through this high school senior's eyes.  A fun, quick read that I would certainly recommend to others.

Orange is the New Black
by Piper Kerman 

Here is the Goodreads synopsis:

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424 — one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.

My thoughts:

For quite some time, I have been intrigued by the whole Orange is the New Black movement.  I decided to wait until I finished the book to watch the Netflix series though.  After reading the book, I'm wishing I'd just moved forward with the series a couple years ago.  It's not that I didn't enjoy the book, but I found Piper to be a bit annoying.  I found the women's minimum security prison culture she described fascinating, but I kept thinking she just seemed so odd in the mix of all these other personalities.  And she seemed to have unlimited resources on her side.  However, I am glad she took the time to share her story and expose many of the major flaws in the rehabilitative portion of our US prison systems.  She provided a valuable insight that many citizens don't ever witness firsthand.

MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend
by Rachel Bertsche

Here is the Goodreads Synopsis:

When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, she realizes that her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl talk over brunch or a reality-TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: Meeting people everywhere from improv class to friend rental websites, she'll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Not only were the techniques Rachel used to meet friends interesting, but she really made it fun to take part in this adventure with her. I loved how she continually added research based theories and facts throughout the story.  I found Rachel to be very easy to relate to and quite funny!  Making friends in a new city is no easy task - believe me, I speak from experience!  I had the luxury of being single and not far removed from college when I undertook the task nearly a decade ago when I moved to NYC.  It would be increasingly more difficult given Rachel's newlywed status though. For anyone that is new in town or considering a change in location, this is a must read!  And even if you aren't, it was still a great story about the bonds of old friendships and the building blocks of new ones.  I would suggest it to anyone!

What have you read lately?  

Andrea :)


  1. I'm glad to see you liked Paper Towns. John Green is hit or miss for me. I liked The Fault in Our Stars but couldn't make it through Looking for Alaska. Paper Towns is on the list for one of my challenges next year.

  2. I really want to read Paper Towns and MWF seeking BFF, now I REALLY want too, thanks for sharing! :) I ready OITNB and honestly I really also wish that I would have just skipped the book and watched series, I kind of found it hard to read. Have you watched it yet? Season 1 is much better than season 2!

  3. I really liked MWF Seeking BFF as well! I read it a while ago but I remember being struck by her methodical way of trying to make friends. :)