Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Show Us Your Books–September edition

Remember how it felt like an eternity from July to August’s Show Us Your Books? Did it feel like the exact opposite this time? Like we just did this last week? 

I thought so. 

Still, though, I managed to read 9 books in the weeks since last month’s linkup (and, once again, thank you to everyone who continues to link up with me and Steph and welcome to anyone joining us for the first time) which is a little high, even for me. I still haven’t finished A Little Life or The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey (I’m committed to doing that this week) but here’s a recap of what I did read. For those who are interested solely in which ones I most recommend, skip to the end. book button linkup

I Regret Nothing by Jen Lancaster. Her newest humor memoir which, thankfully, redeemed her a little bit from her past few efforts (I still haven’t read her newest fiction but I’m in no hurry to do that). It still has the bitchy, entitled attitude as all of her memoirs but this one seems to circling back to the introspection that was present in her first few. I actually like how she created her bucket list and, if I’m being honest, she’s the reason the husband and I have decided to walk a 10K in the spring.

Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova. I’d been wanting to read this book, by the author of Still Alice, since I first learned about it. It did not disappoint. The story bounced back and forth between two perspectives–Joe, a former cop, diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, and his youngest daughter, Katie. This book did remind me of Still Alice and since the author has a PhD in Neuroscience, I appreciated the painstaking accuracy of the disease because it contributed to a beautiful story of family, pain, and love. I could have done without one of the sons, the ending made me angry (I felt cheated) and it also left me wondering why no one ever commented on the wife’s horrible cooking (it’s mentioned quite often).

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. A YA book about a popular girl with OCD (it’s actually what drew me to the book. OCD is not a disease that’s often a central character in a book). Samantha befriends a new girl, Caroline, joins a secret society of school misfits, Poet’s Corner, and makes amends with many people she and her former friends had hurt (including one, AJ, who she develops a huge crush on), and all the stuff you’d find in a typical YA book ensues. It was an easy read, not too memorable, and there was a bit about Sam experiencing hallucinations that bothered me and was way too glossed over. 

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and I am so glad I did because this book KICKED MAJOR ASS. It’s based on a real woman, Constance Kopp, one of the first female deputy sheriffs in the US, and her two sisters. The women get into an unfortunate buggy accident with a man who turns out to be a huge asshole. I don’t want to give too much away but you really need to read the story to find out what happens and how Constance is such a freaking bad ass and how she handles the bullying. You know how sometimes you read a book and you’re like OMG THIS BOOK IS AWESOME AND I AM SO GLAD IT’S IN MY LIFE? That’s how I felt about it. Quick note: it can be a slow read if you’re not as intrigued by the story as I was. 

Confess by Colleen Hoover. A fine weekend read. Nothing too special. Typical romance, chick lit type book, perfect to read in between heavy books or to pass the time on a day where it’s too hot or cold to go outside. I did like the concept of paintings based on secret confessions, I did enjoy the conflict between Auburn (I hated her name, though) and her son’s grandmother, and I did like the way she tied all the main characters together at the end, that was kind of cool, but I am really tired of the “woman being attacked and being saved by the man she thinks she loves” story line. It’s boring.

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick. I think Steph is reviewing this book this month as well and I’ll say right off the bat that I did not like it as much as my co-host. Don’t get me wrong. The hairband mentions and plot points and references were awesome, Chuck and Sister Maeve rocked as characters (I could read a whole book about either of them), and overall, the story was fun and engaging to read. I felt sadness when I was supposed to, happiness when I was supposed to, and I liked the elements of realism he threw into the story. But there were a bunch of gratuitous plot points I could have done without (and they were threaded throughout the book, which is why they irked me) and I really wanted there to be less of Mr. Vernon. 

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. I heard of this book via a Book Riot post about banned or challenged books so of course I had to read it. You guys, this is such an important book and I implore you to read it. It is ugly, painful, way too real, and necessary to read. It centers on a sexual assault and how one girl in a popular clique uses it to bring on the demise and excessive, horrible, vile bullying (verbal and physical) to the victim (also a member of said popular clique). I felt like crying for most of the book, either because of sadness or anger, and as a parent, it makes me scared for my daughter. I mean, I know it’s fiction, but not really. This kind of stuff actually happens. 

Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel. Another book about teenage girl bullying. Another important read. Not quite as good as Some Girls Are but definitely close. I don’t even know how to talk about this book properly except to say holy shit, girls are awful and parents, don’t always think your kids are the good, innocent ones. There is a bit of mystery element to this book that makes sense but did detract from the story a bit but it wasn’t so distracting or irrelevant you wanted it to stop and by the time you get to the end, it makes sense why it’s there.

Trust No One by Paul Cleave. The fact that a thriller was a nice come down from back to back books about teenage bullying says a lot. It helped that this book was great. Well written with just the right amount of fucked-up. Alzheimer’s is a very personal disease for me so I was skeptical of using it as the baseline for a story but the author handled it well, without making fun of the disease and painting a very realistic portrait of someone suffering (albeit in a very different way than Alice in Still Alice) while still creating a great suspenseful plot. Jerry’s Madness Journal was probably my favorite part of the book because it was such a unique way to tell this kind of story. Also, this was my last book of the Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge!

Read these: Girl Waits with Gun, Some Girls Are, Trust No One, Inside the O’Briens

Now it’s your turn! Link up and Show Us Your Books (also, if you tweet about the post, use the hashtag #showusyourbooks. That way it’s easy to find)

 Loading InLinkz ...

resized signature 2

29 Comments

  1. Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand

    Nice mix of books. A couple of them are already on my to read list, and I added a few more. I feel like I’m just getting around to books I’ve meant to read for AGES.

    The Matthew Quick book is already on my to read. You know, hair band references mean that I need to read the book.

    Am I the only person that reads each of these posts start to finish? I want to absorb all the book chatter!
    Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand recently posted…I show you my books, now you show me yours……..My Profile

    Reply
  2. Kerry

    I really liked Inside the O’Briens, a great insight into the disease. I struggled with Trust No One but it was decent. Some Girls Are sounds good so giving that a try. Looking forward to adding a lot of books today. 🙂
    Kerry recently posted…August Books I’ve ReadMy Profile

    Reply
  3. Heather @ My Little HEA

    Inside the O’Briens is on my TBR and you definitely have me intrigued with Girl Waits with Gun.
    Heather @ My Little HEA recently posted…All About the Books – SeptemberMy Profile

    Reply
  4. Brittany Pines

    I read Some Girls Are because it was banned too! So good. Terrifying, but an incredibly important and harsh story.
    Brittany Pines recently posted…Show Us Your Books Link-Up: September 2015My Profile

    Reply
  5. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    So I read about Girl Waits With Gun in a magazine yesterday and it was in my holding file until now. I’ll give it a go.

    Some Girls Are sounds like an awful but important read.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…Show Us Your Books – What I read in AugustMy Profile

    Reply
  6. elle sees.net

    another great month of wonderful book reviews. i always love reading these.
    elle sees.net recently posted…3 Quick Nanny TipsMy Profile

    Reply
  7. Nancy @ NY Foodie Family

    I read Confess and loved it….I basically love all of Colleen Hoover’s stuff! Inside the O’Briens is on my to be read list but just added Some Girls Are. I get you about it being scared for your daughter growing up. I feel the same way. Not only do you have to be worried about the mean girl/gossipy stuff but we also have to worry about the sexual/physical stuff as well. Wish she could stay 9 forever!
    Nancy @ NY Foodie Family recently posted…August 2015 ReadsMy Profile

    Reply
  8. lisacng @ expandng.com

    So many good books to add to my TBR list – Trust No One, Hyacinth Girls, Some Girls Are, Girl Waits with Gun. Hey, did you hear the commentary on the Book Riot Podcast about the use of “girl” in book titles and that they sell more than books with “women” in the title? There are lots of “girl” titles in your top book picks this month :).

    Reply
  9. Kelli

    I’m adding Love May Fail even though it irked you, the rest of your review intrigued me!

    Also added Girl Waits with Gun, sounds like historical fiction I can get into.
    Kelli recently posted…It’s All About The Books – Vol. 7My Profile

    Reply
  10. Lauren

    I fangirled hard for Love May Fail. The characters and the writing got me, though I do agree that Mr. Vernon could have taken the back seat a little more. Inside the O’Briens is on my list but I’m worried that it will leave me too sad. Trust No One sounds like something I would like so I’m adding it now.
    Lauren recently posted…august booksMy Profile

    Reply
  11. Jessica @ Pleas(e) & Carrots

    I felt the same about Confess. It was a decent read but the story line was so predictable. I am in the middle of reading Trust No One now! I tried to hurry up and finish it for this link up but I just didn’t make it and didn’t want to rush it, so next month it is!
    Jessica @ Pleas(e) & Carrots recently posted…What I’ve Been ReadingMy Profile

    Reply
  12. Kate

    Inside the O’Briens was heartbreaking but so good.

    Jen Lancaster’s new fiction was decent. I read it this month. I always do like her memoirs more though!
    Kate recently posted…The unofficial end of summerMy Profile

    Reply
  13. Nadine

    I am adding Some Girls to my list!! I have Jen Lancaster on there already, I loved a few of her earlier books.
    Nadine recently posted…Books LatelyMy Profile

    Reply
  14. Amanda

    Dang it… I had a comment and my phone was like “Nawww, bitch.” And closed out of the screen!!! WHY GOD WHY?!
    Anyway… Some Girls sounds interesting. I never did understand the whole banned book thing. I mean, it’s not promoting violence just bc the subject is brought up. People need to be aware of things that happen in the real world, and this kind of stuff does (even if the book in particular is fiction). I mean, murder mysteries aren’t banned… what’s the real diff?!

    Reply
  15. kathy @ more coffee, less talky

    i loved trust no one! such a great read.
    kathy @ more coffee, less talky recently posted…organizing bonerismsMy Profile

    Reply
  16. Christina

    I agree with you about Love May Fail. I started reading Every Last Word, but DNF. I felt like real issues were glossed over too. I already read Inside the O’Briens, but I’m adding the other three you recommended to my list!
    Christina recently posted…What I Read In AugustMy Profile

    Reply
  17. Emma @EverEmma

    I scored a copy of Still Alice at the annual library book sale, so I’m excited to get around to reading that! I like that the author is using fiction to explore various ailments.
    Emma @EverEmma recently posted…Books Read: August 2015My Profile

    Reply
  18. kristen

    oh, good to hear about Inside the O’Briens. I read Still Alice and loved it, but am holding out till I need a good cry to read that one lol. Adding Confess to my list, though Auburn is such an annoying name. We have a suburb called Auburn in Sydney and.. well, it’s not a nice one lol.
    kristen recently posted…Books LatelyMy Profile

    Reply
  19. Amber

    Yay, books!

    I enjoyed Love May Fail a lot. I need to read I Regret Nothing. I’ll add it to my list.
    Amber recently posted…Hey, It’s Okay Tuesday!My Profile

    Reply
  20. Kimmi

    Some Girls Are is officially on my list. The subject of bullying, teenage struggle….I dunno it really resonates with me and I feel like I NEED to read this book ASAP!
    Kimmi recently posted…What I Read: August EditionMy Profile

    Reply
  21. alyssa

    Thanks for writing about Some Girls Are. I remember seeing a brief mention of it in passing somewhere but I didn’t write it down and couldn’t recall it. Adding it to Goodreads!

    I’m next in line for the Matthew Quick book at my library. I like-not-loved The Good Luck of Right Now by him, so hopefully I’ll adequately enjoy this one too!
    alyssa recently posted…Lately: The Book EditionMy Profile

    Reply
  22. Gwen

    So, did you like Girl Waits With Gun? I couldn’t tell. 😉 I just entered the giveaway for that one. I’m also adding the two bullying books, but I probably won’t read those back-to-back.
    Gwen recently posted…The Gila ReadsMy Profile

    Reply
  23. Rose @ Ramblin' Rose

    Pretty much every single book in your post is on my list to read, except Girl Waits with Gun. I’ve never heard of it but definitely adding it to my list. I’ve had the first two Lancaster books on my bookshelf forever but have never got around to them.
    Rose @ Ramblin’ Rose recently posted…August Book ReviewMy Profile

    Reply
  24. Kristin

    I might have to add some of these…I’ve read none of them. I had Inside the O’Briens on my TBR list at one point.
    Kristin recently posted…August BooksMy Profile

    Reply
  25. Kristen

    Trust No One has been on my “To Read” list for a little while now, and I’m glad to see that the author handled Alzheimer’s well. (It’s a very personal disease for me too.)

    I’m going to add both Some Girls Are and Hyacinth Girls to my list. These types of stories always intrigue me, but they definitely make me nervous about having a kid in the future. (Not that I’m not already nervous about that!) Kids can be so cruel, and it’s scary to think about the kind of shit that inspires these books.
    Kristen recently posted…From the Bookshelf: Recently Read – September 2015 EditionMy Profile

    Reply
  26. Carly

    This month totally snuck up on me too, so bummed I didn’t get my post ready in time, but hopefully next month! I love reading what everyone has been reading! Some Girls and Hyacinth Girls sound like really good reads. I’ve only ever read one Jen Lancaster book (Bitter is the New Black) and have wanted to read another one of her memoirs.
    Carly recently posted…Favorite Fall Nail ColorsMy Profile

    Reply
  27. Karen

    I added Girl Waits and Love May Fail to my reading list this month. I’m not sure I could handle the sexual assault and bullying books. I know they are real and important topics but now that I have a daughter I think I would just sob through it. Ever since I had a kid I just can not handle stuff like that…same if it’s on TV and movies too.
    Karen recently posted…What I’ve Been Reading // AugustMy Profile

    Reply
  28. Teh Megan

    So many books to add to my TBR list!
    I, too, felt like Sept came so quickly after the August linkup! I’m hoping since the Oct linkup is the 13th I’ll get more reading accomplished.
    Teh Megan recently posted…Weekend Review {9/7}My Profile

    Reply
  29. Michael

    Glad to know I Regret Nothing is worth the read. I read Twisted Sisters and one of her other fiction pieces and although I didn’t hate them I definitely prefer her memoirs above all else.
    Michael recently posted…Making the GradeMy Profile

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge