Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
The full title includes "The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef." I think this is telling of the style of the entire book. While I can totally get into long, flowery and sometimes bizarre descriptions of food any day, sometimes less is more when it comes to storytelling and I felt that although her story was interesting, I was put off by the convoluted way she told it (this sentence structure makes me feel like a hypocrite, but I digress). It's the autobiographical story of Gabrielle Hamilton, the owner of highly acclaimed NYC restaurant Prune. I loved the descriptions of Italy and the grit that goes into running a successful restaurant, so if you're in the restaurant business or intrigued by it, check it out, and if not, well, skip it. If I find myself in NYC any time soon, however, I will definitely be stopping at Prune to stuff my face.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I blogged about this one here and in case you're sick of hearing about it, just know I loved it as much as everyone else did and I will definitely be seeing the movie as soon as it comes out (although I'm nervous about it as I did see an episode of "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" once and yikes). For those of you who haven't heard about it yet, it's a love story of sorts about two teenagers with cancer and it's nothing like you would expect such a story to be. It's beautiful, funny, sad, down to earth and all the things you want in a novel. I read the whole thing on one flight and of course I was crying at the exact moment my row-mate needed to pee. Read it, tell me how much you loved it and then lend it to all your friends.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
After reading TFIOS, I knew I had to read more by Mr. Green, so I picked this one up and was not disappointed. It's a hilarious and lighthearted story of a child prodigy coming to terms with no longer being a child or a prodigy while trying to develop a mathematical formula to explain why he's been dumped by 19 different Katherines. Johnny boy knows how to write young adult fiction and I have no doubt that I will plow through every book he writes.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
This dystopian novel was recommended to me many times before I finally picked it up since I loved the Hunger Games series, so when I finally did, my expectations were pretty high. Maybe that was the problem, but it seems as though I'm the only human on the planet that didn't love it. I mean, I finished it pretty quickly and I was interested in seeing what happened, but I didn't feel any sort of deep connection to any of the characters--I didn't even cry (and I cry very easily). There were some pretty dark scenes in there, so I'm pretty sure I should've shed at least a tear or two but it all just seemed very surface level. Still, if you're looking for an easy read with a strong female lead character, check it out and let me know if you think I'm crazy for not loving it. I started the sequel, Insurgent, but I didn't get far before starting three other books. Should I power through? Worth it?
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
It was hard for me to get past the butterfly illustrations on the cover, but I'm glad I did. This novel is about a mild lab researcher who is sent to South America to check on the eccentric and very private scientist who is there developing a game-changing drug after her friend and colleague, who was originally sent on the task, is reported dead without much explanation. I was intrigued by every plot twist and although the end seemed a bit rushed (and quite frankly pissed me off a bit), I couldn't put it down. I loved the scenery, the obstacles, the characters and trying to figure out what happened before it could be explained.
The Weird Sisters by Elanor Brown
This Shakespeare-heavy story about three very different sisters who reunite after many troubling years due to their mother's sickness touched my heart in pretty wonderful way. Maybe it's because there are three sisters in my family or because I'm a sucker for beautiful food descriptions and literary references, but I loved the whole thing from start to finish. It definitely didn't hurt that Brown nailed the three-sister dynamic and I fully related to the youngest one. Two thumbs way, way up.
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
My first Vonnegut read! I'm currently reading two more, but this was the first and I had no idea what I was in for. I had a hard time following along at first, but I quickly learned to just go with it, embrace the satire and laugh at the illustrations.
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