The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

My cousin gave me this recommendation and I’m very glad I listened to him. This is one of my favorite books of the year.

It’s told from Enzo’s, the dog’s, point of view. It opens with a heartbreak, and concludes with a heartbreak, but everything between was pure magic.

I wanted to throw this book across the room in anger several times, and I wanted to cry, and often did, other times. Enzo brings humor and a unique way of looking at life to the story. You sometimes forget you’re reading about the word through a dog’s eyes. It just becomes a story about friendship and companionship.

I will tell everyone I meet to read this book. It tells an amazing story in a beautiful way and makes you look at life through new eyes. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

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The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon

I was a little cautious when I started this book. Mystery/crime novels are always hard for me to get into, and I loose interesting in them quickly.

However, I was completely drawn into this book and the different stories Bacon was able to create and weave together. I found myself reading and rereading pages, just to make sure I was getting everything she wrote, all the hints she left for people to pick up on. I was pulling out my hair (figuratively) wanting to know what had truly happened.

It was an excellent mix of trying to find out who did it, and showing the secret lives of the students, and how their own world, as secret as they thought it was, did have some cracks in it, and yet seeing the teachers and professors be absolutely shocked at the extent of the secrets their students created. It showed the system of power some students are able to create in order to keep themselves safe.

My only qualm with this book was the jumping perspectives, and while I understand why it was done, it still was slightly distracting.

Entwined by Heather Dixon

I know people say, “don’t judge a book by the cover,” but I can’t help but do that sometimes.

I started Entwined because I was in the book for something in the realm of fantasy and having to with royalty. I’ve always been fascinated with that world, and the cover of this book looked especially beautiful.

This book greatly lived up to the expectations I gave it. It was beautifully written, and it was a nice escape from the day to day reality of life, and you could really tell Azalea loved and greatly cared for her sisters. She stepped up and became the mother and father they needed when they didn’t have anyone else.

The difference between their real lives and how dreary it is compared to the secret world they discovered shows just how badly they want things to change. It’s clear they wish they lived the life of most royals, having lavish food and gift, but they’d settle for simply having a family life where they knew everyone cared for everyone else.

Azalea was a great, strong female character and I loved reading her story.

Legacy by Cayla Kluver

I got my copy of Legacy and couldn’t wait to read it. Forbidden-type romances really draw me in. There’s just something about two people you know should be together, and yet they can’t that makes me crave more words.

Legacy didn’t disappoint. It started a little slow, but I quickly got into in and found myself willing Alera to find her voice and really use it, to tell her father exactly what she wanted. Don’t get me wrong, she was already strong to begin with, but she was still very compliant and gave in to her sheltered world, not questioning things she should. When she started asking questions, the new strength she found was amazing.

Narian was able to make her see that there was so much beyond the walls she had been living in, a completely different world from the one she currently resides in. He told her that woman can have power, and should. The future should not be left up to the men only, and Alera needed to add her voice into the mix.

My heart was breaking towards the end of the book, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series to see how Kluver handles the future of her characters.

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

I have been anxiously awaiting Forever since I finished Linger last summer. My heart has been slowing breaking more and more, just waiting to learn the fate of Sam and Grace.

It did not disappoint me. My emotions kept going up and down, and I refused to put the book down any longer than absolutely necessary. I was enthralled from beginning to end.

I feel like I can’t give this book the praise it deserves without giving away everything, but I will say this entire series will be read and reread several times over. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful love story.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I knew going into this book, if it truly was a reflection of Tine Fey, I would be laughing and loving it the entire way through. She is an amazing writer and comedian, and she got her words of advice and wisdom across like she was just talking to a friend, not someone who had just shelled out money to read her book.

Her sarcastic wit was prevalent throughout the book and made her stories even more relatable and funny. It felt like she was sitting across from me in a coffee shop, just telling stories and thoroughly enjoying herself. You could tell she takes herself just seriously enough to know who she is, but not too seriously. She knows who she is, and takes the struggles in her life and uses them to make her a better person.

I was laughing out loud several times during this book and I’m very happy I bought it. It’s a great book to have around if you ever have a bad day and need a little pick-me-up.

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

I am always hesitant to start books that are the first of a trilogy, and have years left to go before the final conclusion. However, this book came highly, highly recommended and I decided to read it right away. And then ended up reading twice in as many days.

I am so glad I did. I love stories that involve Greek mythology. There are so many different stories and sides to those stories that you can take it anywhere. While Angelini took a few liberties with the mythology, she was able to explain why she changed it and had it make sense.

I feel like I can’t give it the review it deserves without giving too much of the story away. But I’ll say there is something in it for everyone, and I will be rereading it many times over as I eagerly await the next and last book in the series. They can’t be released soon enough.