End of Summer Reads + $90 JCrew Gift Card Giveaway

Are you doing a Goodreads Challenge this year? I am. And unfortunately I have had to reduce my number of books to read this year. But seriously, what was I thinking, thinking that I would read 50 books this year??  So I reduced it to 25 books and hopefully I will reach this, more attainable, goal. Oh well, at least I was ambitious in my thinking :)

So here are a few books I have been reading lately that have brought me through the end of summer....

The Husband's Secret, Liane Moriarty

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read
My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died...
Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.
My rating: 3.5 Stars
So I really had a hard time getting into this one at first. I had just finished The Goldfinch, which was a pretty heavy book, and I just couldn't switch gears to get into this type of story. I think it would be categorized as 'chick lit'.But once I did, it turned into a fairly good read. I figured out what the secret was and I thought, 'wow, I have a long way to go for already figuring this out' but it turned out that there was a lot more to happen. I would recommend it for a fun read....nothing thought provoking or life changing for me.

Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
My Rating: 4 Stars
I read this book in a day! It is very simply written and easy to read. It really taught me a lot, well, it made me research, about Stalin and the Soviets. I suggest this book for anyone who wants to learn about the suffering of the Baltic people during WWII. It really makes me want to travel to Lithuania and experience the sights and culture. While this read is heartbreaking, I admired Lina for her refusal to give up and her dertermination to survive.

The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.
But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.
When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...
My Rating: 4 Stars
I am just totally digging this new series by J.K. Rowling! I still feel a little bit of Harry Potter through her new books for some reason. I imagine Robin, Strike's assisaant, as Hermoine grown up! Anyone else doing that? Anyway, I just love her style of writing and with the series based in London, I just can't get enough of it! The Silkworm is a little more gruesome than the Cuckoo's Calling and very interesting. Such an easy read. I can't wait for the next installment!

Next up on my reading list....

-I want to reread The Giver. I read it in 5th or 6th grade and I remember reading it several times. I loved it. And now that the movie is out, I have to reread it to brush up on all of the details before I can criticize the movie :)

-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, been on my "to read" list for awhile

 Are you on Goodreads? Lets be friends and share suggestions and ratings! Friend me here!

And now for the giveaway with some awesome ladies!!

Once easy rule: be sure to actually do what the giveaway prompt indicates, the winning entry will be thoroughly checked. Good luck and happy shopping! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I just added you on Goodreads! My goal is 25 books this year, too, and thanks to insomnia, I'm only 1 book away from meeting it. Ha! :)

    If you read The Giver, you should read the other three books in the series, too - Gathering Blue, Messenger, & Son. Even though they are separate from The Giver, they still build on that story, especially the last book.

  2. Wait, I had no idea JK Rowling had a new series! Going to check it out now.

  3. I don't know about you, but I was not a fan of The Goldfinch. Oh well! x

  4. Yay! Added you back! Good for you on meeting your goals :) I will definitely check out the other books in the series....I just remember reading the GIver as a kid and being fascinated. Who knows if I will enjoy it again?!

  5. Yessss!! It's a crime type series based in London. It's no Harry Potter, but still interesting reads!

  6. I liked it for some reason.....I think I was just in the mood to read it. I think had I read it at annother time I might not have liked it! It was such a long book.....it bothers me if I read a book THAT long and don't like it! Boo :(

  7. Whew! That blog post kept me busy during my lunch hour. Not to mention I now have plenty of reading material with new blogs to read and keep up with my goodreads. wOw!! Anywho! I'm actually excited now I can live vicariously through your expat pals. Kindof cool and I will be adding to my bucket list of travels for the day the kudos move out and I have extra time and money. HAHAHA!! Like that will happen but a girl can dream. 😉

  8. I read the Husband's Secret as well - I didn't figure out the secret until right before it was revealed, which is a little embarrassing haha. I'm currently reading The Goldfinch but am having a lot of trouble getting into it. I'm still on the first part of the book and it's been a while. :( Good luck with your goal!

  9. Wow! Good for you on increasing your number! I've got to get busy if I want to finish! I have a few trips planned soon so maybe I can get some good airport reading done ;)

  10. The Goldfinch is a tricky one....I think it's one of those where you either get caught up quickly or you have a hard time with it! I had a few 2 hour train rides during the week I started reading it and having that amount of time to stay focused on it wrapped me up into the story! I think it's one of those ones where you love it or you don't!

  11. I'm late to comment but I'm so glad you liked the new Cormorant Strike! I'm on the waiting list to check it out as an ebook, because for some reason I like to cruelly taunt myself and make myself wait to read excellent books even though I could walk around the corner and buy it in less than 5 minutes. BAH I can't wait to read it!

  12. It's good!! And seriously.....the best part is the last page! I'm already excited about the next one!!

  13. Wow, the Husband's Secret is fab. &
    splendid. 2 fingers snap. It is tight, fly & off the chain. Ending is predictable. Thank you
    for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity.

  14. Thanks for sharing Between Shades of Gray. I'm currently living in Lithuania and am always looking to learn more about the culture. I'll keep my eyes open for this book!

  15. Oh my goodness, yes, you have to find this one! I just really had no clue about this moment in history.