Recent reads

An Ember In The Ashes

In the past few months I’ve been really trying to get back to reading regularly. I love to read, but honestly I just forget to do it on most days. I’m working on a daily routine so I can at least get a little time in every day! Even though I haven’t read that many books lately, I still wanted to share some of the ones that I’ve read recently. So some of these books I read several months ago, but just never got around to posting about them.

FYI: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.

1. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I’m a HUGE fan of the actress Chloe Grace Moretz, so when I heard that she was playing the lead role in a film adaptation of this book, I had to read it. “The 5th Wave” is about a girl named Cassie who’s fighting to survive an alien attack on Earth while trying to find her little brother. It’s so gritty with lots of action, but then it has a budding love story.

I really liked the story and the characters, but the romance seemed so forced and I was way more interested in the action. The movie was not so good. It just could have been so much more gritty and badass, but they chose to focus more on the romance part — what a shame. But I at least enjoyed watching Chloe. 4/5 (Amazon / Goodreads)

2. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl On The Train by Paula HawkinsI really enjoyed this book! The slower pace isn’t for everyone, and the ending wasn’t a big twist like I expected, but I thought it was so well-written and I thought the time jumps and the different perspectives added an eeriness to story.

I like that it speaks so much about perception and how we all see each other, and how sometimes people aren’t as perfect or happy as we may think. I loved the female characters, and although they were so unlikeable at first, I came to really understand them at the end of the story.

There’s so much complexity in the way the story is told so it’ll be interesting to see if they can portray that in the upcoming movie adaptation. 4/5 (Amazon / Goodreads)

3. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Why Not Me? by Mindy KalingI listened to Mindy Kaling’s “Why Not Me” as an audiobook and I loved it! It was like listening to her give a super long monologue or speech. Mindy filled this book with hilarious insights into the entertainment business and her life as an actress and writer, with short stories about college, meeting the President, landing her show The Mindy Project, and dating.

The essays were so funny, but I was pleasantly surprised when she said things that actually touched my heart and that I could personally relate to, specifically about self-esteem and success. My favorite quote from the book:

Quote from "Why Not Me?" by Mindy Kaling

Yes! She is so down to earth and I had a lot of fun listening to this book. I’m definitely buying a copy of it for my collection. 5/5 (Amazon / Goodreads)

4. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa TahirI LOVED this book. I know there have been a lot of YA fantasy books like this one and people say a lot of them are similar (are they? I haven’t read very many). But this one was really good. It drew me in from the beginning and kept me interested the whole way through. It had a hint of romance but not too much to make it corny (*cough* The 5th Wave) or take away from the story. I loved the two main characters and I felt for them so much. I’ve already pre-ordered the 2nd book, A Torch Against The Night! 5/5 (Amazon / Goodreads)

5. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

I’m going to be straight-up with you: this book changed my life. Yeah it sounds so cliché, but it’s true. Jen breaks down why you feel down or in a rut, and she tells you exactly what you need to do to get out of it. She’s real and honest, and she doesn’t sugarcoat anything. If you’re like me and you tend to feel lost or like you don’t know how to get your shit together, this book will help you if you let it. There are so many gems in this book but here’s one that sums up the book pretty well:

Quote from "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero

I often have trouble finishing inspirational books like this because the better it is, the more I feel like I wanna put the book down, apply what I’ve learned, and just do something with my life. This book did exactly that. Took me forever to finish, but I’m glad I have a physical copy on my shelf to keep coming back to! 5/5 (Amazon / Goodreads)

6. Confess by Colleen Hoover

I read this one a few months ago, but I barely remember it, which is odd for me with Colleen Hoover books. I wanted to like this one so much because it’s based in Dallas and I love the idea of story about love and art and loss. But I just didn’t connect with the characters at all. It was forgettable and had nowhere near the intensity of some of Colleen’s other books like Ugly Love (my fave) and Maybe Someday. It’s still a pretty good read though, if you like Colleen Hoover or you just want a quick romance read.

I also read November 9, and it was better than Confess, but still not on par with Colleen’s other books. I’m going to pre-order her next book, It Ends With Us — hoping that one is better! 3/5 (Amazon / Goodreads)

7. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I really wanted to finish reading this one before I saw the movie, and I did! I loved the story, although it didn’t really make me emotional like I thought it would. My favorite quote from the book:

You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.
Even though it’s a romance, there was a big emphasis on living your life and not just settling for whatever comes to you. I think that’s a lesson we could all stand to learn. The movie was not as good, in my opinion. It was very rushed and didn’t have the slow-burn like the book.
3.5/5 (Amazon / Goodreads)

  • Why Not Me seems so good x

    Jessica — Woods Lifestyle

    • It was definitely good!

  • I love that you shared quotes! So great! I loved Me Before You and Why Not Me?. I wasn’t a big fan of The Girl on the Train. I didn’t like the main character and the things she did annoyed me and I saw the ending coming a mile away. I do really want to read An Ember in the Ashes!
    ~Sara

    • Thanks, Sara! I loved Ember, and can’t wait for the next book!

  • Oh!! I loved You are a Badass! I just finished reading it and it was AMAZING. I am definitely going to re-read it just because it was so good and motivating. I love Mindy and I want to read her book too! And I also read Me Before You recently. I liked it and I want to watch the movie now 😀

    • Yeah, You Are A Badass was SO good. I’m recommending it to everybody!

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