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Books I Read in January 2018

January Book Reviews 2018: six book reviews | College with Caitlyn

I feel like I haven’t written anything about books in ages but I just had a book post go up less than a month ago! Granted, that was my favorite books from all of 2017 and not really individual book reviews so I haven’t really written real reviews since my October reviews.

I had taken a break from sharing my book reviews because I got super burnt out on books. I was forcing myself to read books I didn’t find all the interesting and making myself read them as fast as possible to make it seem like I read quite a bit. So I took a step back from sharing my reading habits here on the blog and it really helped me tap back into my love for stories and why I love reading. Not to show off how much I read, but to escape my life and jump into another exciting one.

Since I didn’t share all the books I read in November or December I’m including two from that time period in this post as well! Oh, and most of these I read as ebook versions so I don’t have personal pictures of them.

The Men I Didn’t Marry

Every once in awhile I like to read something from the POV of what I like to consider “an older Caitlyn.” Basically, I try to read a book where the main character is a middle-aged woman so I can get an inside look into what my future might hold so that I can be prepared for what life might throw me what I’m older. Another reason I wanted to read this book was that I had a very similar experience recently when I got in contact with a boy I knew in high school.

I really didn’t expect this to be more than just a book for a woman to talk about her past love life and get all cliche about chances we miss when we’re young, but it was so much more than that! Sure there was a fair share of cliches (especially when her best friend Bellini was involved) but nothing overpowering.

I learned a lot about love from this book. Mostly that we romanticize our past and that just because we love someone doesn’t mean we’re meant to be together.

Description from GoodReads:

“Hallie’s husband, Bill, doesn’t even wait until they get home from dropping off their youngest daughter at Yale to announce that he’s leaving–for fitness trainer Ashlee (two e’s, perky breasts, and shiny hair to boot). After first succumbing to an Oreo-induced coma, Hallie is determined to get her life back. An unexpected call from an old college boyfriend sets a plan in motion. Whatever happened to all those men she didn’t marry?

First up is Eric, now an international businessman and number 277 on Forbes’s “Richest People in the World” list. He and Hallie used to put a nickel in the piggy bank every time they made love. Now Eric would like to renew the investment. Next, she finds Rav Jon Yoma Maharishi–formerly known as Barry. Her onetime backpacking boyfriend has become the spiritual leader at the Heavenly Spirit Retreat Center, and their reunion would be a little smoother if he weren’t in the midst of a three-day silent meditation. Kevin, the sexiest man she ever met, is now a scuba-diving photographer working on Angelina Jolie’s latest movie. When he seduces her into joining him at his beachfront paradise on Virgin Gorda, Hallie can overlook his gaggle of bikini-clad friends, but can a woman survive on a steady diet of sex, sharks, and air tanks?

Back at home with her best friend, Bellini Baxter, Hallie visits an all-night spray-tanning salon and Soho’s legendary Cellulite Exorcist, whose secret weapon looks suspiciously like an Oreck vacuum cleaner. Hallie’s college-age children are protective of their mom but embarrassed to have her back in teenage territory–the world of dating and condoms. Finally, Hallie confronts the great love she swore she’d never see again and resolves an old family secret.”

Details

285 pages

4 stars

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles book review

picture from GoodReads

Perfect Chemistry

Not the typical love/hate romance I thought this was going to be but that was a good thing!! I was looking for a short, cliche story to pass the time during my last month at work and finally settled on this one since it was already on my reading list. Turns out this book was actually surprisingly good and more than just a surface level romance.

The characters may have been a tad cliche at first (privileged white girl with issues and gang member as star-crossed lovers) but as the story progressed, each character got more real and relatable. Granted there were a few plot lines that were tied up too easily in the end, but overall I’d say it wasn’t the most predictable story and not at all like your average high school romance book.

This is the first part of a series, but I can’t see myself reading the rest. The other books follow other characters in the series, and I none of the other characters’ stories seem all that interesting.

Also, lowkey added this to my TBR in the first place because I met a guy in my high school chemistry class that I still have the biggest crush on. No shame.

Description from GoodReads:

“When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for-her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect.

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.”

Details

359 pages

4 stars

love the psychology of attraction by DK publishing book review

picture from GoodReads

Love: The Psychology of Attraction

Like I said in my Best Books of 2017 post, I’ve been wanting to get more in non-fiction books. This was my first one of 2018 so yay on following through with my goals.

This book was laid out very much like a newsmagazine than a book which made it much easier to read. By that, I mean that all the pages were colorful and had multiple infographics.

The beginning of this book was super interesting. It proposed the idea of three different attachment styles that define all your relationships. There are secure, avoidant, and anxious styles. I’m of the avoidant attachment style and after reading the description I was amazed. I always thought I was the only one who ran from relationships when people seemed genuinely interested, so this book made me feel less weird and more okay with my past romantic relationships.

I was so interested in the whole attachment style thing that I made my friends take the book’s quiz to discover which attachment style they had and tried to guess the attachment style of basically every person I know.

The rest of the book was okay. It was super informative, but I didn’t find it as interesting or as life-changing as the attachment style section. You can take an attachment style quiz here.

Description from GoodReads:

“Love: The Psychology of Attraction is an easy-to-navigate, step-by-step guide to modern love that’s grounded in scientific study, psychological expertise, and practical insights about romance in the age of social media.

Crack the code of compatibility and find the path to true love with this unique guide to finding the perfect mate in the modern world. Love: The Psychology of Attraction offers answers to your burning questions: How should I present myself online? What are red flags in a first phone call? Is it time to meet family members? And, it answers some unexpected questions, too: Is chemistry predictable? Do I have a “lifestyle type”?

With every quiz, assessment, and inviting infographic, Love: The Psychology of Attraction guides you toward deeper, more satisfying relationships that can lead to long-term fulfillment.”

Details

224 pages

4 stars

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware review

The Lying Game

I read this back in November when I was still on my suspense story kick. I actually think this may have been one of the last thriller books I read before switching genres. Mostly because I find that thrillers take forever to pick up the pace and I find that so annoying. Like I don’t want to have to get 150 pages in before getting entertained! I want to be hooked by page 50, please!

But yeah, this book was slow to start and it was irritating. I ended up finishing it because I was so interested in knowing what actually happened to Ambrose and what the girls’ secret was. And boy was it a good secret. But if you’re too lazy to read the whole book yourself (no judgment) just message me and I’ll tell you!

Description from GoodReads:

“On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).”

Details

370 pages

4 stars

Crazy Things Girls Do For Love by Dylan Sheldon book review

picture from GoodReads

The Crazy Things Girls Do for Love

I found this book randomly when I was looking for a really light and fluffy read. But I think I may have gotten one a little too fluffy because the girls in this story are so shallow. Like the characters have almost no depth until almost the last 30 pages or so.

I did love the going green message that permeates throughout the book though, and I also think the book brings up a good lesson about “love” and how looks don’t make someone a good person.

Also, a book I read in December and never blogged about.

Description from GoodReads:

“Fashion-crazy Sicilee is a poster child for over-consumption. Her archrival, Maya, wears arty vintage clothes but hasn’t a clue what’s in the food she eats. So when drop-dead gorgeous new student Cody Lightfoot sets out to spread his eco-ways–and spur the Environmental Club toward an all-out Earth Day bash–Sicilee and Maya have their work cut out to attract his attention. What if Sicilee trades her fur boots for walking shoes (even if she can’t find the school when she’s not inside a car)? What if Maya dresses in plastic bottles and bags to preach in front of the supermarket (until security is called)? Or could it be that Cody isn’t all he’s cracked up to be, and that saving the planet really is more important than impressing a boy?”

Details

352 pages

3 stars

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines book review

picture from GoodReads

Until Friday Night

This is the most recent book I’ve read and the one I recommend the most. Until Friday Night had me putting off reading some days because of how sad the chapters got. I got misty eyed a lot and even cried once (maybe twice?) reading this book. West and Maggie have just been through so much in their lives, but their unfortunate events did make me even more grateful for all the people I have in my life.

If you like the typical high school romance, but want something a little deeper, pick this one up. You won’t regret it!!

Like, Perfect Chemistry, this is the first in a series involving the other characters in the book. However, unlike the other series, I actually want to read the rest of the book tied to Until Friday Night. And I’ve already placed a hold on the next ebook.

Description from GoodReads:

“To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…”

Details

328 pages

5 stars


I’m glad to be back to reviewing book for you guys! Hopefully, you enjoy these posts as well and they help you find books to read or to avoid entirely (haha).

What was the last book you read?

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