Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Review: Baby Doll

Title:  Baby Doll
Author:  Hollie Overton
Rating: 5/5

Summary:

Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next...

...to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter...and to her captor.



Review:

I've had this on my TBR since before it came out last year.  I love psychological thrillers in most forms and have an odd obsession with [true] crime.  While this book was not based on a true story, it pulled a lot from the author's childhood as well as crimes we know of such as Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart.

Let me start by saying that I hate POV shifts.  If I hadn't wanted to read this so bad I would never have picked it up because of that.  Every chapter is a different narrator, shifting between Lily, her sister Abby, her mother Eve, and her captor Rick.  Somehow this worked though.

Lily was kept captive by Rick for 8 years and in that time had a daughter, Sky.  Now when I read that I wondered how this would differ from Room by Emma Donoghue (which I loved).  It's so different thought.  This book begins with Lily finding her freedom, and follows the treacherous path of fitting back into her broken family.

There were enough turns that I didn't see the ending coming for sure, and there was enough character depth that I wasn't aching for too much more.  The only thing I really wanted more of is how Sky, Lily's daughter, grew in the months after their escape.  The author touches on her heavily for the first half of the book, but then she falls by the wayside.

Excerpt:

     Lily had been so consumed with keeping Sky safe, with making sure that Rick was caught, that she hadn't had time to really take everything in.  But now, in the early-morning hours, Lily stood watching the sun as it began to make its way over the horizon.  Lily had missed thousands of sunrises, and now here she was, gazing at the glorious start of a brand-new day.  Bursts of golden yellow, burnt orange, and splashes of red all mingled together--a sunrise so picturesque that it couldn't possibly be real.  Below her, the city was coming to life.  Nurses huddled together outside sucking on their cigarettes.  Worried family members paced back and forth, talking on their cell phones.  But not a single one of them seemed to notice the unimaginable beauty unfolding around them.

     Pay attention, Lily thought.  All of this could be taken from them in an instant, and no one cared.  That's not true, Lily told herself.  I care.  There was nothing she cared about more than this sunrise, and then it struck her.  This wasn't a onetime thing.  Lily would see the sun rise again and again.  She had a lifetime of sunrises ahead of her.

     Lily pressed her forehead against the cool pane of glass and imagined sunbathing in the backyard until her skin turned golden brown.  In the spring, she would lace up her sneakers, and with the scorching sun beating down on her back, she would run until her lungs ached.  There were so many possibilities now.  She could do all those things and more.  She was free.



Sunday, January 8, 2017

2017 Reading Challenges

Goodreads Challenge:  Read 70 books in 2017


Around the World in 52 Books

1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view)
3. A book you meant to read in 2016
4. A title that doesn't contain the letter "E"
5. A historical fiction
6. A book being released as a movie in 2017 
7. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title
8. A book written by a person of color
9. A book in the middle of your To Be Read list
10. A dual-timeline novel
11. A category from another challenge
12. A book based on a myth
13. A book recommended by one of your favorite authors
14. A book with a strong female character
15. A book written or set in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland)
16. A mystery
17. A book with illustrations
18. A really long book (600+ pages)
19. A New York Times best-seller
20. A book that you've owned for a while but haven't gotten around to reading
21. A book that is a continuation of a book you've already read
22. A book by an author you haven't read before
23. A book from the BBC "The Big Read" list
24. A book written by at least two authors
25. A book about a famous historical figure
26. An adventure book
27. A book by one of your favorite authors
28. A non-fiction
29. A book published outside the 4 major publishing houses (Simon & Schuster; HarperCollins; Penguin Random House; Hachette Livre) - check all the editions
30. A book from Goodreads Top 100 YA Books
31. A book from a sub-genre of your favorite genre
32. A book with a long title (5+ words, excluding subtitle)
33. A magical realism novel
34. A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere
35. A book where one of the main characters is royalty
36. A Hugo Award winner or nominee
37. A book you choose randomly
38. A novel inspired by a work of classic literature
39. An epistolary fiction
40. A book published in 2017
41. A book with an unreliable narrator
42. A best book of the 21st century (so far)
43. A book with a chilling atmosphere (scary, unsettling, cold)
44. A recommendation from "What Should I Read Next"
45. A book with a one-word title
46. A time travel novel
47. A past suggestion that didn't win
48. A banned book
49. A book from someone else's bookshelf
50. A Penguin Modern Classic - any edition
51. A collection (e.g. essays, short stories, poetry, plays) 
52. A book set in a fictional location 

**Disclaimer** I plan to read half of the categories for this challenge, i.e. 26 books


What are you planning this year?


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 Wrap-Up

2016




Top 3 Favorites


The Martian by Andy Weir
One with You by Sylvia Day
The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh



Worst 3 Read



The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Freedom by Jaycee Dugard
The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

#CRAMATHON Challenge Completed




So my last post was about participating in #CRAMATHON

I actually completed it!

As a recap the challenge was:

1. Read a book under 200 pages
2. Read 2 books in 24 hours
3. Read a book set in a different country than where you live
4. Read a book you've been putting off/have been meaning to read for forever
5. A book with pictures
6. A graphic novel/manga
7. Read seven books total


So let's break it down:


1. Read a book under 200 pages

A Heart's Danger by Colleen Coble - This book weighed in at a whopping 100 pages (as do all the books in this six book series)










2. Read 2 books in 24 hours


Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
Congratulations, By the Way by George Saunders




3. Read a book set in a different country than where you live

And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer by Fredrik Backman - This took place in the mind of a man with Alzheimer's, but also the author is from Sweden so I assume it is set there.  Also, I cried.









4. Read a book you've been putting off/have been meaning to read for forever

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco - I'm counting this even though I didn't finish it.  I got a decent amount through and just hated it, which is unfortunate because I love Jack the Ripper and was really looking forward to this book









5. A book with pictures

Seuss-isms! by Dr. Seuss - I got this on vacation in Universal Studios in Florida over the summer and just got it it for this challenge!












6. A graphic novel/manga


Wolf's Rain Volume 1 by Keiko Nobumoto - I actually read volume 2 as well.  I've loved this anime for so long and just recently found the manga










7. Read seven books total

- A Heart's Danger by Colleen Coble
- Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
- Congratulations, By the Way by George Saunders
- And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer by Fredrik Backman
- Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
- Seuss-isms by Dr. Seuss
- Wolf's Rain Volume 1 by Keiko Nobumoto


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

#Cramathon: A Challenge



If you know me at all, or have read previous blog posts about challenges I've partaken in, then you know I NEVER finish them.  Pretty sure the only reading challenge I've ever finished is my yearly Goodreads one.  BUT, this time I waited until I was partway through a challenge to post about it so maybe...

...just maybe....

I WILL COMPLETE IT!

Now, this challenge comes to be via Aprilius Maximus, a book vloger on YouTube:

This is her post for #CRAMATHON

I have pledged no specific books, but here is the challenge written out, in case you don't want to watch her video:

1. Read a book under 200 pages
2. Read 2 books in 24 hours
3. Read a book set in a different country than where you live
4. Read a book you've been putting off/have been meaning to read for forever
5. A book with pictures
6. A graphic novel/manga
7. Read seven books total


I have completed 2.5 of these 7 challenges so far

The challenge runs 12/17/16 at midnight through 12/23/16 at midnight

With any luck I will have another post up after Christmas (or possibly by the end of the week, but let's be real here) saying I finished the challenge and to name the books I read!

Happy Holidays!