Jill's Book Blog--My reading recommendations to you!
Rating Scale: 1* to 5***** (5 is the best)
'Bared to You' by Sylvia Day 4****
Very similar to 'Fifty Shades of Grey', this racey novel is short on plot and thick on love.
'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn 5*****
Loved this thriller! I don't want to give too much away, but suffice to say that the story is a mystery with lots of twists and turns--my favorite kind!
'On the Island' by Tracey Garvis Graves 4****
A thirty year old English teacher and a sixteen year old boy....stranded on an island together. They struggle to survive, and struggle against their feelings.
'Summerland' by Elin Hilerbrand 4****
A great story by one of my favorite authors. A deadly crash occurs on Nantucket Island on the night of high school graduation. Questions linger about the accident, and lives unravel as the truth unfolds.
'Thirteen Reasons Why' by Jay Asher 4****
A high school girl commits suicides and leaves audio tapes explaining the thirteen reasons why she killed herself. The thirteen people that impacted her life negatively are the reasons why she committed suicide, and each of them get to hear the tapes. A somber story, but one that addresses important issues of bullying and how we treat people.
'The Lake of Dreams' by Kim Edwards 5*****
Lucy Jarrett has traveled the world and now finds herself back in her hometown of The Lake of Dreams. Family secrets begin to unravel and shocking truths are uncovered.
'The Legacy' by Katherine Webb 5*****
I could not put this book down! A tale of two sisters, a family secret, and pasts that cannot be buried. The story takes place in England and America, and fluctuates between the early 1900s and current day. Loved it!!
'The Cottage at Glass Beach' by Heather Barbieri 4****
Nora leads a picture-perfect life, until her political husband has a scandalous relationship with another woman. Nora is humiliated, and takes her 2 daughters to Burke's Island, off the coast of Maine, for the summer. Trying to get her life back, Nora embarks on a journey of her own.
'Between the Lines' by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer 3***
The best selling author, Jodi Picoult, and her teenage daughter team up to write a young adult novel. A fantasy story about a boy caught in a book, literally. Not your typical Picoult story, but interesting because she wrote it with her daughter.
'Summer People' by Elin Hilderbrand 4****
Every summer the Newton family retreats to their home on Nantucket. But this summer will be drastically different...a death in the family, new loves and old ones. Change has occureed....can the family adapt?
'Swimsuit' by James Patterson 5*****
A swimsuit model goes missing while on shoot in Hawaii. And so begins the serial killer's spree...This book gets inside the killer's head and spooked me out!
'Guilty Wives' by James Patterson 5*****
Four best friends take a girl's trip to Monte Carlo and wind up in prison. The unbelievable happens...murder and guilt! A thriller bound to keep you turning the pages.
'The Weird Sisters' by Eleanor Brown 4****
Three sisters return to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family. Books are their passion, their father is a professor of Shakespeare and their mother is diagnosed with cancer. Their relationships with each other must get them through....
'Maine' by J. Courtney Sullican 4****
For the Kelleher family, Maine is a special place at their beach house. Three generations come to the beach house one summer, and drama ensues.
'The Story of Beautiful Girl' by Rachel Simon 5*****
It is 1968. Lynnie is a young white woman with a developmental disability. Homan is an African American deaf man. They are locked away in an institution, and their story will break your heart.
'Leaving Home: Short Pieces' by Jodi Picoult 4****
Available on the kindle, these short pieces are fun to read if you enjoy the author Jodi Picoult.
'Fifty Shades of Grey' by E L James 5*****
'Fifty Shades Darker' by E L James 5*****
'Fifty Shades Freed' by E L James 5*****
Warning: These are VERY racey and naughty books--not for the faint of heart. It is a trilogy, and everything about it is sex.
'Home Front' by Kristin Hannah 5*****
Make sure to have a box of tissues close by when you read this one! Jolene's deployment to war turns her marriage and life upside down. Jolene experiences war tragedies as well as personal trauma. This book made me want to thank all of our U.S. soldiers for defending the freedoms we enjoye each day.
'The Island' by Elin Hilderbrand 4****
Birdie and her two daughters are going through tough times. They all decide to stay on their family's home on Tuckernuck Island for a month to escape their worries. Together they work through their problems...but will they be able to stand each other?
'Defending Jacob' by William Landay 5*****
District Attorney Andy Barber's life is tossed upside down when a shocking crime occurs in his small town. When his own son, Jacob, is charged with the murder, life as Andy once knew it is now over. As a parent, you want to believe your children....
'Sister' by Rosamund Lupton 5*****
When Beatrice gets a phone call that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she immediately flies to London. Beatrice risks everything to find out what happened to her little sister. A suspenseful thriller--if you have a sister, you need to read this.
'South of Broad' by Pat Conroy 5*****
I loved this story! Charleston, South Carolina in the 1970s--desegregation, friendships, tragedies, marriages and surprises. A story that will keep you turning the pages for more.
'One Day' by David Nicholls 4****
Emma and Dexter meet in 1988 and have one beautiful day together. Over the next twenty years, we get to see inside their separate lives, their squabbles and fights, missed opportunities, and still their love for one another. A movie starring Anne Hathaway--I want to see this romantic comedy!
'The Tiger's Wife' by Tea Obreht 3***
A young doctor from a Balkan country unravels the mysterious circumstances from her beloved grandfather's death. She learns the legend of the tiger's wife during her journey.
'Between Sisters' by Kristin Hannah 4****
One of my personal favorite authors, Hannah writes good stories about women and their relationships. This story chronicles the relationship between estranged sisters and how their common bond and love for one another run deep.
'Saturday' by Ian McEwan 4****
The author follows an ordinary man through a Saturday whose promise turns nightmarish. After a traffic accident, a neurosurgeon's day takes a strange turn.
'The Rum Diary' by Hunter S, Thompson 4****
A move starring Johnny Depp, this story is a tangled love story of jealousy and alcoholic lust in the 1950s Caribbean boomtown of San Juan, Puerto Rico. A freelance journalist is thrust into a world where corruption and schemes rule, and anything is permissable.
'Silver Girl' by Elin Hilderbrand 4****
This author's stories all take place on Nantucket Island, so the books are great for summer reads at the pool or beach. This story mimics the Madoff Ponzi scheme, and what a wife goes through when her beloved husband destroys their lives.
'Look Again' by Lisa Scottoline-- 4****
What would you do if the face in a missing child photo was your child's? When a journalist gets a "Have You Seen This Child?" flyer, she realizes it is her adopted son. A story about a mother's love and how the right thing to do is not always the easy thing to do.
'Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins-- 5*****
The annual Hunger Games take place in what once was North America, but now is a cruel Capitol with outlying districts. The harsh leaders keep the people in line by forcing girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight to death on live TV in the Hunger Games. A book for teenagers, but I couldn't put it down!
'Catching Fire' by Suzanne Collins-- 5*****
The second book in the 'Hunger Games' trilogy. The saga continues for the Hunger Games victor, Katniss Everdeen. Now home as a revered participant, Katniss must deal with a brewing rebellion in her country.
'Mockingjay' by Suzanne Collins-- 5*****
The final book in the 'Hunger Games' trilogy. Katniss Everdeen now faces choices in whether or not to stand up to the Capitol and gain freedom for her country. This story is a thriller, and I recommend the 3 books to readers aged 13 and up.
'Molokai' by Alan Brennert-- 5*****
Molokai, one of the Hawaiian islands, was the home of quarantined lepers beginning in the late 1800s. This story features one girl's experience as she is sent to Molokai at age seven, and essentially spends most of her life there. Based on true happenings, this story is one of those that makes you think, "this really happened?!"
'Mistaken Identity' by the families of Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak-- 5*****
A true story of the horrible tragedy at Taylor Universtiy. The stunning story of two families trading places from graveside to bedside. The unbelievable mistake that will shake you to your bones.
'Middlesex' by Jeffrey Eugenides-- 5*****
An Oprah's Book Club choice and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize. This fictional story explains why Calliope is not like other girls. A guilty family secret is revealed and an astonishing genetic history.
'Seaglass' by Anita Shreve-- 3***
The story of young newlyweds who set out to build a life together at a beach house on the Atlantic coast. Troubled times of marriage and money soon show how threatening the world can be.
'If I Am Missing or Dead' by Janine Latus-- 4****
A moving memoir that calls to end the cycle of abuse. The story of a woman who was living a lie of a marriage. Why do successful women end up in physically or emotionally abusive relationships?
'Push' by Sapphire-- 4****
A disturbing story of an illiterate 16 year old girl who has a horrible life with her parents. Precious is dismissed as one of Harlem's casualties, but with determination, she decides to turn her life around.
'Outliers--The Story of Success' by Malcolm Gladwell--4****
A nonfiction book that explores how successful people become successful. Gladwell argues that we need to look at the world that surrounds successful people to learn what assisted them in their success.
'Cannery Row' by John Steinbeck-- 3***
A classic book from a Nobel Prize in Literature author. Set in the the Monterey, California sea side, this story is about the early 1900's fish canneries and the people's way of life.
'Light on Snow' by Anita Shreve-- 4****
A young girl and her father discover an abandoned baby in the snow. When the mother shows up at their door, questions suddenly abound.
'One Summer' by David Baldacci-- 4****
Not Baldacci's usual thriller story. This is a lighter story that takes twists and turns through an emotional journey of a family's love.
'Playing for Pizza' by John Grisham-- 4****
Not your typical Grisham lawyer book. This story is entertaining and light. If you enjoy football, Italy, and love, then you will have a good time reading this story.
'House Rules' by Jodi Picoult-- 4****
One of my favorite authors does it again. Picoult takes an issue, this time Asperger's syndrome, and shines light on it. A touching story of what it means to be different.
'Hannibal Rising' by Thomas Harris-- 5*****
The story of how Hannibal Lector became evil. If you enjoyed the gruesome 'Silence of the Lambs,' this is the book you have to read to know how it all began.
'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls-- 5*****
A memoir of a deeply dysfunctional family. It is hard to believe at times that this is true!
'The Boleyn Inheritance' by Philippa Gregory-- 5*****
Set in the 1500's in England, this story takes you to the King of England's castle and bedroom. I don't typically enjoy period pieces, but this story is amazing!
'Room' by Emma Doonoghue-- 4+****
Told from the mind of a 5 year old boy, Jack, this is an eery story that you won't forget. 'Room' is a story of love and the bond between a mother and her child. It's a shocking novel;a bit dark and creepy, but wonderful as well.
'Sing You Home' by Jodi Picoult-- 4****
A story about a woman that survives a series of personal tragedies. When an unexpected friendship blossoms into love, Zoe finds herself questioning herself and her marriage. The topic of this story is gay marriage and it makes you think.
'Safe Haven' by Nickolas Sparks-- 4****
Romantic as always...a true Nicholas Sparks love story with a great "I didn't see that coming" ending. A suspenseful story of a woman who must learn to trust again, in order to love again.
'The Confession' by John Grisham-- 4****
Another good lawyer story by Grisham. An innocent man is about to be executed, and only a guilty man can save him. A look at the death penalty that will make you struggle with your conscience.
'Modoc' by Ralph Helfer-- 4****
The true story of the greatest elephant that ever lived. A love story between an elephant and her trainer that will have you wiping your eyes. I didn't really think this book would move me, but it honestly did! An amazing story that you almost can't believe.
'My Lobotomy' by Howard Dully-- 4****
A memoir by the author who describes his experience of having a lobotomy in 1960. As a phychology major, this story fascinated and appalled me. It is unbelievable that the medical field temporarily allowed this procedure years ago. Makes you want to check out your doctor's credentials carefully!
'Still Alice' by Lisa Genova-- 4****
The story of a woman who slowly loses her thoughts and mind to Alzheimers. This book will give you more compassion for your loved ones and their medical conditions. It is an eye opener about Alzheimers and we all should read this one!
'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' by Stieg Larsson-- 5*****
'The Girl Who Played With Fire' by Stieg Larsson-- 5*****
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest' by Stieg Larsson-- 5*****
The books are a bit dark, and certainly not for everyone, but I loved these stories! The trilogy is a combination of a murder mystery, family saga, love story and a suspense thriller all rolled into one. I watched the Swedish movie of 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' and it was awesome, too.
'Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet' by Jamie Ford-- 4****
A tale of conflicted loyalties and timeless devotion. The story takes place in the 1940's during the Japanese internment camps of World War II in Seattle. I didn't think I would really get into this period story, but it is good.
'The Castaways' by Elin Hilderbrand-- 4****
This author writes easy, pool-reading stories that take place on Nantucket Island. A great book to grab when heading to the beach or when you just want to enjoy a juicy novel. Great characters that we can relate to.
'The Lovely Bones' by Alice Sebold-- 5*****
A motion picture as well (I've seen the movie and it's great, too), this novel is a dark tale of your worst nightmare. A story of unspeakable tragedy and loss, the book succeeds in filling you with hope and joy.
'Beautiful Boy' by David Sheff-- 4****
A true story that breaks every parent's heart. The author shares his experience with his son's methamphetamine addiction. A hard read at times, but such an honest and realistic portrayal of one the worst things that can happen to a family.
'Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines' by Nic Sheff-- 4****
The son of the above author in 'Beautiful Boy' shares his story of addiction, from his viewpoint. Very interesting to read the father and son's perspectives of the same incidents. A heart breaking read, and it makes you want to run out and destroy all drugs. You can only hope you never share their experiences.