Recent Reads

Happy Monday everyone! 
One thing I love about the blog world is reading reviews; I have discovered so many great restaurants/beauty products/random things at Trader Joe’s/etc. through fellow bloggers that I never would have found out about otherwise. One such area where blog reviews have been extremely helpful for me has been in finding recommendations on great books to read! Unlike TV shows/movies that have tons of advertising and seem to get covered by the media, often you might not hear about a great book unless someone specifically recommends it to you. Plus, when you walk into Barnes & Noble or browse Amazon there are SO many choices, it’s tough to know what books are actually worth your time. (Not gonna lie, I totally judge books by their covers, but it’s definitely true that’s not really the best way to pick them!) So that’s why I thought I’d share my thoughts on a few books I’ve read lately in case anyone out there is looking for suggestions!
 The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a book I originally heard about over at Eat Live Run. (Jenna reads a ton and has the best book suggestions, so her blog is usually my go-to when I’m looking for a book to read!) The book’s main character, Victoria, spent her childhood in the foster care system, but the majority of the story takes place after she turns 18. Growing up, Victoria learned about the Victorian language of flowers where each flower symbolizes a different emotion, and it’s how she’s learned to process and express her own emotions toward others throughout her life. The book is set in San Francisco and flashes back and forth between Victoria’s childhood and present day, and it kept me engrossed in the story. The book gives you glimpses into why Victoria is the way she is, while dealing with some intense themes like motherhood and forgiveness. Although I couldn’t really relate to the character of Victoria at all, I still really enjoyed the book and would recommend it!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is a book that I’ve seen reviews for on many of my favorite blogs, and much like getting a bubble necklace, I figured it was high time that I join the club. I actually downloaded it on my Kindle months ago, but finally got around to reading it recently and absolutely loved it. I like stories that suck you in and keep you guessing and this book definitely did that, I know it’s cliche but it’s truly one of those books that you can’t put down. The story centers around a husband and wife, Nick and Amy, and out of the blue Amy goes missing one day. There are lots of plot twists as the story unravels and you figure out what really happened. I thought that Nick and Amy’s characters were really well developed, and I enjoyed how the perspective kept switching back and forth between them so you saw both of their sides. This is definitely more of an adult book and it deals with some heavy things, but overall, I thought that it was a great book! It’s going to be made into a movie (which Reese Witherspoon is producing!) so I’m already looking forward to that!
Divergent by Veronica Roth was a book that I first heard about on the blog Peanut Butter Fingers, but I’ve seen reviews on quite a few other blogs as well. It’s Young Adult fiction that’s set in a dystopian society (a la Hunger Games), and I decided to check it out because I thought that it would be a quick read. The book had many similarities to the Hunger Games, and overall I enjoyed it. In the book, there are five different factions of society that each emphasize a certain personality trait; the story centers on 16 year old Beatrice Prior who decides to leave the faction she grew up in (Abnegation, which focuses on selflessness) to join Dauntless (the faction that focuses on bravery). The book is actually the first in a series and the follow-up novel, Insurgent, came out last May…but I don’t plan on reading it. Although Divergent was a decently good book, to me it felt very apparent that it was YA fiction. Maybe it was because I read this after I finished Gone Girl, but it just seemed really juvenile to me. And although I’ve heard many bloggers say that they liked this better than the Hunger Games, I’d have to disagree as I thought the character development in this book was a lot weaker. It’s not a bad book by any means, but moving forward I feel like there are so many other books out there that would be a better use of my time.
So tell me, have you read any good books lately? With our trip to the UK later this week, I am definitely in the market for some recommendations! Please tell me what must be on my Kindle before we leave! Xoxo