Tuesday, May 31, 2016

ABC Reads: May Review

Today is the day to link up your ABC Reads!!  Here's a refresher on the terms of the challenge in case you missed it previously:

What does the challenge entail?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  There are 26 letters of the alphabet and Mia and I challenge you, during the course of 2016, to read a book that starts with each letter.  For example, Atonement (A), The Bell Jar (B), Catching Fire (C), and so on.  Makes sense, right? You don't need to go in order - if you want to start with S, go for it.  On the last day of each month, we'll host a link-up for you to share your ABC Reads.  We will award one point for each letter you review AND a bonus point for linking up with us!  At the end of the year (or when the first participant reviews a book beginning with each of the 26 letters), the winner will be awarded a $30 Amazon gift card.  So, what do you say?  Do you accept our ABC Reads challenge?

All the books I read this month centered around dramatic family events and involved lying - some more innocently than others.  I really enjoyed two of the books I read this month, but could have passed on the other.  I completed the following letters: E, G, and W.  Here are my thoughts...

Everything I Never Told You by Cynthia Ng

The story takes place in 1970's Ohio. Nath, Lydia, and Hannah are all unique children. This isn't surprising after learning about the past of their parents - James and Marilyn Lee.  James was born to immigrant parents fortunate enough to find work at a school that James was permitted to attend despite his racial difference.  He meets Marilyn as he begins his career as a professor at Cambridge.  She was a student turned lover...and then a baby came along.  The story takes place about 15 years into the future as Lydia has just turned up missing (and quickly found at the bottom of a nearby lake).  It is certainly an interesting look at family dynamics, interracial relationships, and the power of one's past to shape their future.  There are several flashbacks that help build the story of James and Marilyn all while trying to solve the mystery of Lydia's possible murder/suicide.  I thought the book was well written and provided great insight into a number of intriguing family issues.

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

I had a really difficult time getting into this one, but once it got started I was bit more interested.  To Kill A Mockingbird was far and away better than this sequel of sorts.  Definitely suggest only reading it and stopping.  The Finch family becomes entirely too convoluted in the sequel.  And to add to the devastation, you immediately discover that Jem has passed away.  I really think this was a book that Harper Lee never intended to see the light of day.  I'm sad to say it probably would have been better that way.   

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I finished this mysterious family drama novel over the holiday weekend.  It was a quick read because it drew me in from the start.  I did manage to figure out the twist at the end a tad before it was revealed, but I still really enjoyed the mysterious nature of the book.  I loved the map of Beechwood Island (a private island where the family spends their summers) and the family genealogy chart at the beginning of the book.  Initially, I kept flipping back and forth to make sure I had each character in the Sinclair family straight.  Definitely an interesting bunch of folks!  I would recommend reading this one to pretty much anyone!    

Which letters did you cross off your list this month?

Andrea :)


  1. You already know my thoughts on GSAW, ha. :) But I really want to read the Ng book. I'm on an Asian authors kick lately.

  2. I felt the same about Watchman. Should have never been published. I'm not sure I can handle a child death (his old is Lydia?), but We Were Liars sounds intriguing.

  3. I really enjoyed We Were Liars too! I didn't figure out the mystery before the end, but I'm terrible at guessing endings.