what i’ve been reading lately vol:eight

grey et al's book reviews vol eightSome were great — some weren’t so great.  What have you been reading lately?

The Kite Runner – B

This was one of those much hyped about books that was on all kinds of best seller lists — and while it was good, and the story was a bit profound, it just moved kind of slowly for me.  Parts I was totally drawn in, and then I’d get bored again, waiting for the next good part.

Me Before You – A

I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into with this book, but oh boy was it a good one.  It makes you wonder how you would behave in the situations the characters are in, and it apparently makes normal people cry…but I just don’t really cry when I’m reading books — this one being the exception.

I Don’t Know What You Know Me From – A

I’ve always enjoyed the sarcastic, funny characters Judy Greer has played, so I was interested in reading a  book from her own perspective.  What I found was I want to be friends with her.  She’s funny, and normal, and had a full chapter on how a trip to the drugstore for a $10 beauty haul can make any bad day better.  See what I mean about wanting to be friends?!

Arranged – C

Ehhhh.  It was okay?  It was good, predictable, and the characters were not at all deep.  I enjoyed the story but wasn’t super drawn in.

The Promise of Amazing – C

Here’s my problem with YA novels.  I like MATURE young adults.  Which is not always what you get.  I like when YA novels model a somewhat good relationship between teenagers, as friends or couples, and I like when they make the dumb teenage mistakes that every human does and those mistakes have consequences and they learn and grow.  In this book I felt like the main guy character was kind of a jerk the whole way through and didn’t really learn much — and I don’t feel like the story, especially for teenagers, should be you can be a jerk and still get the girl.

The Spectacular Now – C

SAME THING.  Main character seems to LEARN NOTHING.  Plus he’s a teenager who is drunk basically 100% of the book…just didn’t do it for me.

outfit :: embellished top

grey et al embellished top 5grey et el embellished top 1grey et al embellished top 6grey et al embellished top 7grey et al embellished top 4grey et al embellished top 8 grey et el embellished top 2Top: Express
Jacket: Ruff Hewn
Jeans: H&M
Heels: Target
Bracelets: Macy’s
Rings: Catbird
Lips: Josie Maran Lip and Cheek Oil in Boundless Berry

Where: to church

Why: Church is a great place to wear white jeans.  It means you’re only wearing them for a limited time, in a generally clean indoor environment where you won’t be eating, so you should be able to keep them white while wearing them.  And white jeans are a bit fancier than regular jeans, so you’re appropriately dressed(at least for my church), especially when you add an embellished sequin top.

what i’ve been reading lately vol:seven

grey et el book review volume sevenThe Summer I Found You – B

I didn’t realize before I started reading, but this is another veteran fiction book, similar to Something Like Normal.  It’s about a young man, Aidan, who returns home from war without his arm and his best friend, and a high school senior, Kate, who was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Type 1 is the kind isn’t brought on later in life from years of neglect, it’s found young and will be there forever.  That means both Kate and Aidan are going through some pretty mega life changes, and of course, they help each other through them.  I particularly enjoyed both of their inner dialogues — the characters were real and quirky and funny.

Everything Is Perfect When You’re A Liar - B

This book is a collection of stories about the author’s life — starting at age 5 and going to the present time when she’s a mother.  She has a bit of a crazy teenage time where she gets herself into a variety of predicaments that could’ve ended a lot worse than they did, and later in life cares for people who can’t care for themselves, disabled and elderly.  I found some of the stories hilarious and entertaining, and some of them just eh.  A nice book to read slowly, as each chapter is more stand alone than a typical book.

We Were Liars – B

This book is about a teenage girl who knows she experienced an accident at her summer home, but can’t remember anything leading up to it.  She goes to that summer home two years afterwards to try to remember, spending time with her cousins and a family friend just like she always had, remembering little bits at a time.  In the end, what actually happened is not something I ever would have guessed.  It’s not a particularly lighthearted read, but I enjoyed it.

What Alice Forgot – A

Alice falls off her bike in spin class and wakes up thinking it’s ten years earlier — that she’s pregnant with her first child when she now has three, that her and her husband just bought a house to slowly renovate that is now gorgeous, and that her and her husband are madly in love when now they’re separating.  The story was interesting, and kept making me think how my 10 years ago self would think about my life now, and what my life is going to be in the next 10 years.

Where We Belong – B

In this book, Kirby turns 18 and decides she wants to find her birth mother, Marion.  Marion is thrilled to meet Kirby…except for the fact that her arrival means she has to tell all her current friends that she gave up a baby for adoption when she was 18, and her father…and the baby’s father.  Meanwhile Kirby learns to be both thankful for the parents who made her, and the parents who raised her.  It’s nothing profound, but enjoyable through and through.

The Arsonist – A

In this book Frankie comes home to her childhood vacation spot, where her aging parents are now living, after years of working in Africa.  The book is from her perspective, her mother’s perspective, and her romantic interest’s perspective — so as you learn her father has Alzheimer’s, you learn her feelings, and her mother’s feelings about her husband having Alzheimer’s.  Like What Alice Forgot, it made me think about myself being in that situation and watching my parents or my husband with Alzheimer’s — not a fun thing to think about!  You also learn about the fires happening in their small town from all perspective, but most interestingly from her romantic interest’s perspective as he also runs the town newspaper.  For a book called The Arsonist, the book is barely about the fires and more about the relationships, but I really enjoyed it.  If you’re a big fan of closure, you may not like this book, many things are left unfinished at the end.

what i’ve been reading lately vol:six

grey et al's book reviews volume sixSome good, some weird this time around!

The Distance Between Us – B

This was a sweet love story about a poor girl who falls for a rich guy.  Except there’s a lot more to it than that and some secrets that come out.  I really enjoyed the main character’s quirkiness, her perspective was always interesting.

Dark Places – A

In typical Gillian Flynn style, this book was really compelling and also pretty dark.  It’s about a woman, who when she was a young girl, survived when her family was murdered in her home.  At the time, she testified that her brother was the one to do it.  As an adult now, she’s starting to realize that it may not be true, that she may have just been saying what she thought the adults who were helping her through that time wanted to hear.  She then goes through the process of trying to figure out what really happened — and I never would’ve guessed the ending, even though it makes absolute sense.

Dare Me – C

This one was where the weird comes in.  It’s told from the perspective of a high school cheerleader.  Her team gets a new coach, and the coach turns out to be a wildly inappropriate women who has the girls over to her house to drink.  The coach also tangles the main character up in the unexpected death of someone they all know — but no one knows how he died.  It’s just a very strange little book, it seemed a bit too far from reality for me to really enjoy.

The Husband’s Secret – A

Oh my.  This book is about three different women, two who’s husband’s are keeping pretty big secrets, and one older widow who lost her daughter when she was young and now her son, his wife and son are moving overseas.  They all have pretty big things to deal with and very different personalities, but their stories overlap in the most insane ways.  When the big “bomb” of the book was dropped I was seriously mind blown in the best way.

Something Like Normal – B

This book was a sweet teenage romance.  The guy in the book just got back from serving overseas, and he’s required to take a bit of a leave to mentally deal with what he went through.  After reading Marcus Luttrell’s books, it seemed like what he was experiencing was pretty accurate to what Marcus and those he knew experienced in real life.  He also has to visit the family of his best friend, who lost his life.  The girl has a few things to work through as well — and of course, they do it together.  It’s a sweet story.

Keep Quiet – C

This book is about a father and son who accidentally commit a crime, and then chose to cover it up.  It was interesting and I really wanted to know what happened and read it quickly…but the author seemingly tried to make it all better in the end, and to me, what they did was still wrong and couldn’t really have been made all better.  It left me unsatisfied.

outfit :: a day at the zoo

grey et al a day at the zoo 1 grey et al a day at the zoo 2 grey et al a day at the zoo 4 grey et al a day at the zooJacket: GAP
Tee: J.Crew
Jeans: GAP
Flats: Target

Backpack: Candie’s

Where: Ross’s work picnic at the zoo

Why: After three years of upper 80’s/lower 90’s for Ross’s work party, we welcomed cool temps for this year’s trip to the zoo!  I even wore a sweatshirt under the jacket while we were eating.  Then we popped some water bottles in the backpack and strolled through the zoo.  Much more enjoyable than sweating our way through!