If you missed my February reads, which included books like Rework, 10% Happier, and six fiction books, check it out here.
I didn't end up reading any Non-Fiction this month, but I've been listening to Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income podcast while taking walks and working out, so maybe that counts?
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
"Cody and Meg were inseparable... Until they weren’t.
When her best friend, Meg, drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, and some secrets of his own. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question."
I Was Here hit so close to home. So while it was a bit agitating, like hitting a raw nerve, I also couldn't stop reading it. I had a best friend/first boyfriend commit suicide when I was 16 and this book captures those feelings of confusion, thinking there's something to uncover, waiting for it to all make sense...and then the sickening feeling of what if it does make sense? I've read other YA books about suicide, but I often find them shallow and missing the mark. This one was spot on.
“She didn’t tell me that she found life to be so unbearably painful. I mean, I didn’t even have a clue.” A kind of laugh escapes, and I know that if I’m not very careful, what follows will be something I don’t want to hear, that no one wants to hear. How can you not know that about your best friend? Even if she doesn’t tell you, how can you not know? How can you believe someone to be beautiful and amazing and just about the most magical person you’ve ever known, when it turns out she was in such pain that she had to drink poison that robbed her cells of oxygen until her heart had no choice but to stop beating? So don’t ask me about Meg. Because I don’t know shit.”
“I'm not sure what to do about her bed sheets because they still smell like her, and I have no idea if her scent will do to Sue what it's doing to me, which is making me remember Meg in such a real, visceral way--sleepovers and dance parties and those talks we would have until three in the morning that would make us feel lousy the next day because we'd slept like hell but also feel good because the talks were like blood transfusions, moments of realness and hope that were pinpricks of light in the dark fabric of small-town life.”
Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty
"Australian triplets Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle are about to turn thirty-three and one is pregnant, one has just had her life turned upside down, and one is only just keeping hers from skidding off the fast lane. Meanwhile, their divorced parents have been behaving very oddly indeed.
In this family comedy by Liane Moriarty, we follow the three Kettle sisters through their tumultuous thirty-third year -- as they deal with sibling rivalry and secrets, revelations and relationships, unfaithful husbands and unthinkable decisions, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a trio."
As you can see, I'm still on a Liane Moriarty kick! I think this is the last one of hers that I haven't read though. I got the audio book from my library and listened to it on my road trip to Daytona. I like that her books are light and entertaining, but still thought-provoking. I often find myself thinking, "What would I do in that situation?" I think it's still $2.99 on Kindle right now, so if you like Liane, you might wanna grab it!
“Try not to saddle yourself with too distinct a personality too early in life. It might not suit you later on.”
“You're having one of those days of accumulating misery when you argue violently with someone in a position of power: a bank teller, a dry cleaner, a three-year-old.”
“The bills would keep on coming, no matter what else was happening in your life and that was good because it gave you a purpose. You worked so you could pay them. You rested on the weekends and generated more bills. Then you went back to work to pay for them. That was the reason for getting up tomorrow. That was the meaning of life.” (how depressing, you know?)
Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman
""Where are they taking me?"
"It's for your own good, Brit," Dad said.
I was shoved into a small, stuffy room, and the door was locked behind me. I waited for my dad to realize he'd made a terrible mistake and come get me.
But he didn't.
For sixteen-year-old Brit Hemphill, it's hard to know who she can trust. Convinced she's out of control, her father has sentenced her to Red Rock: a center for supposedly rebellious teens, where the therapy consists of name-calling and the girls who get privileges are the ones who rat out their peers.
But then Brit meets V, Bebe, Martha, and Cassie—four girls who keep her from going over the edge. Together, they'll hold on to their sanity and their sisterhood despite the bleak Red Rock reality."
After reading I Was Here I wanted to see what other books from Gayle Forman I hadn't read yet. I've read all the others, so I gave this a shot while I was in Daytona. I wanted a nice YA Fiction quick read for the beach and camping. While I didn't really connect with the story and I could tell it was written as a YA book, I still liked it. It was entertaining! I gave it 3/5 stars.
“It's just that we'd like to think that craziness and sanity are on opposite ends of an ocean, but really they're more like neighboring islands.”
“That's all we can do, Brit. Take steps. Take enough of them and suddenly, you're somewhere.”
Confess by Colleen Hoover
"At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin."
I loved the Slammed series by Colleen Hoover, so I shouldn't have been surprised to love Confess. The main male character owns an art gallery and creates his paintings from anonymous confessions that people slip through his door. This sounds like Post Secret, which I love! Colleen Hoover also includes renderings of some of the paintings, which was awesome. It's mostly a love story, and she does a great job making the characters come to life.
“There are people you meet that you get to know, and then there are people you meet that you already know.”
“I think love is a hard word to define,” I say to her. “You can love a lot of things about a person but still not love the whole person.”
“Tell me something about yourself that no one else knows. Something I can keep for myself.”
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
"Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?"
This has been on my wish list at the library for weeks and has not been available yet, so I gave in and bought the Kindle version (only $6.49, not bad!). Psychological thrillers are my favorite so I was excited. It wasn't a let-down, but I also didn't really like any of the characters. They all made me uncomfortable, but I think that may have been on purpose. If you like mysteries, thrillers, etc. I recommend it.
“There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.”
“Hollowness: that I understand. I'm starting to believe that there isn't anything you can do to fix it. That's what I've taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps”
“But I did become sadder, and sadness gets boring after a while, for the sad person and for everyone around them.”
What did you read in March? What's on your list next?
*I'm no longer Amazon Associate because they denied me. haha. So nevermind about these warnings!