August Reads

Hello, Hello. Here’s what I feasted my eyes upon this month:

Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes.

This is the second book in a series I started in July. I actually read them all out of order, due to some confusion I explained here. This book was an interesting look into the mind and experience of Rachel Walsh, a drug addict going from addiction to rehab to recovery. Not your typical chick lit.

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes.

While the same author, this book is unrelated to the previously mentioned series about the Walsh sisters. It actually covers about 5 different women, and one man (a politician, of course) that was charming up until the point that he started to be abusive. It’s actually a pretty common thing for an abusive person to be extremely charismatic, and when you add in that in this story, that person was also quite powerful in the government, it’s not really surprising that nothing was done about the abuse. But he’s put in his place in the end.

This was not my favorite of Keye’s works, but I did see (after reading Rachel’s Holiday right before it) that she has a definite heart for women. She’s all about women overcoming struggles in her books, and I can appreciate that.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

This story is interesting but sad. This really fed into my whole “what if” ideas as I went on and on to Tom about time travel and the whole idea of it. Fortunately, he loves Back To The Future, so he was willing to converse about time travel with me. I’m wanting to add the movie to my Netflix Queue now.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

Don’t worry, no spoilers here.

When I finished this long anticipated end to the Hunger Games trilogy, I just closed it and stared at it. I felt like bawling, but I didn’t cry. I felt frustrated. And I felt a sense of closure. It was confusing because I wanted to be mad at some of the book but couldn’t be. Here’s why:

It’s a very dark book, and there are several sad parts. You lose many characters you love, and the ones who make it are irrevocably changed. Collins doesn’t wrap everything up in a pretty package, but if she had, she’d be doing an injustice to the story. And that’s the hard part…You want everything to end happily, but you know that if it did, it would cheapen the trilogy. So you’re left grieving the friends you’ve made and lost in this less-than-ideal world and accepting the author’s decisions as best.

My only complaint is that one of the main characters is someone who fights for what they want so strongly throughout the book, and right at the end, they just accept defeat in that area. It doesn’t seem to fit the personality of that character, and it’s so¬†anticlimactic.

Even in the happy parts at the end, there is sadness. But these characters aren’t and never have been perfect; they’ve been through some awful torture, watched loved ones die, and fought for their own lives and the lives of the other citizens of Panem. And don’t forget that most of them are between 16 and 20 years of age. You can’t expect that they don’t have a breaking point. You have GOT to read it, but be prepared to battle your emotions when you’re done.

Can I just give mad props to Suzanne Collins for a second? I mean, wow. She does something that almost no other authors do for me- she surprises me. Even with Harry Potter, I saw some of the stuff in the 7th book coming. But I’m constantly wondering what’s next with Collins, and I hardly even know what to guess, much less wonder whether or not I’m right. I’m definitely going to have to check out some of her other books.

What?! Only 4 books?

I know. Who am I? I had actually started reading another book before Mockingjay, but I put it down as soon as Mockingjay came to bookstores. Although I read MJ in about 5 hours, I just couldn’t pick up another book right away. At first, I was still processing it. Then, there was the fact that NO ONE I interact with had read the third book, so I had no one to talk about it with, which meant I’ve just been stewing in my thoughts on it. Then I was busy with Boot Camp. And I’ve finally picked up the other book again. But I’m far from finished with it, so it’ll have to go under September books.

What did y’all read in August?

~Meghan

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