Friday, July 7, 2017

What I've Been Reading: Vol. 3

Time to recap what I've been reading for the last few months! I actually didn't read a single book in June, which is weird for me. Life was just busy and crazy and it fell by the wayside. I'm trying to decide what I want to read next so I thought I'd go through and write about what I've read recently! 
For what I read the first few months of 2017, go here, and for some of the books I read in 2016 go here. 
  • Just a Kiss was the final book in Denise Hunter's Summer Harbor series. I loved the whole series so much! It kept me on my toes and they were all sweet romance stories. I love that each book focused on a new main character/couple but we still got to find out about the characters from the other books and how they were doing! I was sad to be ending this sweet series. 
  • Tidewater Inn is the first book in Colleen Coble's Hope Beach series. I loved this book as well. It was kind of a thriller, but not scary, and I had NO idea what was going to happen until right up at the end. The suspense was great in this story! This was one of those books where you really just fall in love with the characters and feel like you know them. 
  • I started Boundaries in early 2016 and only read a few chapters slowly and it was always on the backburner. Not until this year did I pick it back up and zoom right through it. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it really helped me see how setting appropriate boundaries is so necessary in relationships, no matter what the relationship is (personal, romantic, professional, etc.) It also helped me see where I have made some mistakes with setting, or not setting boundaries. I think the reason I didn't love it is because I felt like there should have been a lot more examples on how to actually set those boundaries. There were tons of stories of people setting boundaries and having their lives changed for the better, but I think for people who have struggled with setting boundaries, a big reason why they have may be because they don't actually know how to set them. If there were more practical tips in the book I think it would have been helpful, however, the book was very eye opening and I can see how it could be life changing for a lot of people and I'd consider it a must read for most people!
  • I loved the idea of the book Raising Uncommon Kids, however, it's another one I have mixed feelings about. My husband and I read this one together, and we both felt 'meh' about it. I love the way that she took 12 biblical traits and gave stories, tips and practical ways of teaching them to your kids. I love the importance of we as parents having those traits in ourselves before we can expect our children to model them. But I think maybe just a lot of what she talked about was unrelatable to us. I can't quite pinpoint why I didn't love it. We got some good ideas that we have implemented, and hope to implement, with our kids, but the majority just felt like we couldn't relate to it. I don't know if our family dynamic was just so different from hers or what, but something just didn't click with us. There were also several times where things just plain didn't make sense to us. At the end of one of the chapters, where she gives practical suggestions to make it stick with your kids, the examples she gave made no sense in relation to the chapter we'd just read. We read over them several times and both were at a loss to how it went with that chapter at all. I'd still recommend reading it, since there are some really good suggestions for parenting with a Biblical mindset. 
  • Rosemary Cottage is the 2nd book in the Hope Beach series. I also loved this book. Obviously it was very similar to Tidewater Inn, and featured some of the same characters. This one also kept me on my toes trying to put the pieces together!
  • Seagrass Pier was the final book in the Hope Beach series, and while I liked it, I definitely had a harder time getting through this one than the first 2. This book honestly freaked me out. The first two were suspenseful but not scary. This one scared me. The poor main character in this book is basically trying to keep herself, her young daughter, and her mother who has dementia, safe from a psycho stalker and it just felt too possible and frightening to me to really enjoy it all that much! The ending definitely threw me for a loop when she finds out who the stalker is...I didn't expect it at all.   
  • Another Coble book-Because You're Mine. The book sounded interesting, but I really didn't like it much at all. I felt like I didn't connect with or like the characters at all. I don't know if it was poor character development or what, but it just wasn't there for me. It was also very predictable at some parts, and just ridiculous at other parts. After all of the mysteries were solved, there were still several random things that I felt were unresolved and that was annoying to me. I typically love Colleen Coble but this book fell short and I don't recommend. 
  • Finally, The Hate U Give is the most recent book I've read. This book was powerful. I'll let you click over to read the full description, but I highly recommend this book. As someone who has been trying hard to learn more about systemic racism, and break down some of my own (unintended, but there nonetheless) racial bias, this book was very helpful for me. I think it was a very honest portrayal of many events occurring in our country right now re: an unarmed black male killed by a white police officer. There's so much more I could say about this book, but I'll stop, and tell you to read this book! Reading it helped me further understand how great my white privilege is and gave me some new perspective on racism in America today. 
And that brings me to today! Still trying to decide what I want to read next. Any suggestions?! 
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