2017 Book Reviews


For the most part, I have given up on New Year's resolutions and have come to accept the fact that it doesn't help anyone if I get in the habit of lying to myself every December. But some primal part of me cannot let go of the idea that I want to read more books in the coming year, so I always set my Goodreads goal way too high. Do I have time to read fifty books in a year? Absolutely. Do I put off reading in favor of Netflix or podcasts or Stardew Valley instead? Absolutely.

Anyway, it does not surprise me at all that I am behind on my goal, but I am pleasantly surprised to have have finished ten books before May. In celebration, I decided to do a quick review of what I've read so far.

(I've included Amazon affiliate links to each review because I'm saving up for a couch the dumbest way possible. However, none of the reviews are sponsored in any way. I got these books from the library because I wanted to read them.)

Never Too Busy to Cure Clutter: Simplify Your Life One Minute at a Time

by Erin Rooney Doland

Maybe I would've liked a physical, printed version of this book better, but the Kindle version just didn't work for me. The formatting is weird, there are numerous references to page numbers from the print edition that don't match up in the digital one, and most of the book is a giant checklist that cannot be marked up electronically. I did manage to pick up several tips and ideas for organizing and uncluttering, but I still feel like Marie Kondo's book was much more effective in terms of inspiring lifelong change.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


by Rainbow Rowell

Yes, there are three Rainbow Rowell titles in this list. Her books are recommended all the time by people whose opinions I trust on these things. This particular book was a bit of a flop for me, though. I liked the plot well enough (wibbly wobbly time travel!) but just didn't really like the characters. Or maybe I just wasn't in the mood to read about someone else's complicated family dynamics. Either way, not my fave Rowell book.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The Nest

by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Loved the storytelling, loved the plot (at least in concept), spent most of the book wanting to strangle every character except maybe Bea. The characters were written well, but at the time, I was using up all of my energy being patient with my own family and really didn't enjoy needing to extend more patience to fictional humans.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


by Rainbow Rowell

I was glad that I read Carry On first because I felt like I knew the "story within the story." Even without that, though, this was a cute and lighthearted story that I absolutely devoured. (And no, I have never written fanfic about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I never plan to. Sorry!) Someone else has described Rainbow Rowell's stories as "comfort food in book form," and that's exactly how I felt about this book.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Adulthood Is a Myth

by Sarah Andersen

Sarah Andersen perfectly captures the humor in the craziness of adulthood and its many uncomfortable moments, and I'm so glad I get to read her comics over and over in this book. If you struggle with social anxiety, PMS, procrastination, women's clothing sizing, dating, making friends as an adult, or really just being an adult, you will find something to enjoy in this collection.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Power of Habit

by Charles Duhigg

Pretty sure I'm going to purchase this book, so I can read it again later (and reference some highlighted sections regularly). I thought this was going to be a surface-level inspirational book about habits, but it really dug into the science and study of how memories work, how habits are developed, how we can overwrite bad habits with good ones, and so forth. Of course, it was still very inspiring (yo, check out these semi-regular blog posts and my new habit of meal planning), and as a bonus, I got to misread "habit" as "Hobbit" like a thousand times.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins

When I first started reading this book, I thought, "Oh no, the girl named Rachel is the one who makes up stories about people she sees every day. I do the same thing. WHY." (And then I blogged about that.) But as the story progressed, I found myself way less worried about being like the fictional Rachel and way more engrossed with the tangled mess created by all of the horrifying-in-a-good-way narrators. It is not the kind of book I pick up normally, but I'm glad I did. The story stuck with me for weeks after I finished reading the last chapter.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Sun Is Also a Star

by Nicola Yoon

I read this shortly after finishing The Girl on the Train, and I was nervous to experience another story told by many, many narrators. However, this book was charming, the choice of narrators was often unexpected and refreshing, and I stayed up way too late to finish it in one night. I could not put it down.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Modern Romance

by Aziz Ansari

First of all, I had no idea what to expect when I started this book. I assumed it'd be another "here's how I got into comedy, but also enjoy some funny stories about me and my friends!" book, but it is absolutely not that. It's a well-researched look at how texting, emailing, social media, and the Internet as a whole have changed relationships and dating and marriage. (My boyfriend and I met on Twitter, so I was not at all disappointed by this surprise.) Aziz's humor really keeps the book alive, but it still fell short for me in a few places and failed to win me over as a whole.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


by Rainbow Rowell

I had to laugh that I started reading this book at work while I had nothing to do, and a few chapters in, the main character complained about being paid to do nothing at his job (and explaining how exhausting that can be). Bro, I hear you. Also, I couldn't put this book down. The story perfectly summed up the struggles of moving out of a parents' house in your late twenties, trying to shake off the ghost of early college break-ups, making friends after college, and falling in love in a very unconventional way. Cutest story, sweetest characters, will definitely read this again.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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