Winter Book Reviews

My favorite part about breaks has always been the plentiful amount of time I have to curl up with a good book! Reading is my absolute favorite thing to do when I have a significant amount of free time, and this winter break I decided to knock out a few that have been on my reading list recently. Most of these books were written by authors I'm a die-hard fan of, but I also snagged Michelle Obama's memoir, which I blew through in a matter of a couple days because I couldn't set it down! So, without further ado, let's get into my honest thoughts about the books I've read this winter. 

A Spark of Light is a novel about a gunman who bursts into a women's reproductive health clinic and holds everyone inside hostage. Besides the obvious moral and political weight behind the incident, the main tension exists between the hostage negotiator and his daughter who also happens to be inside. I've always commended Jodi Picoult for tackling relevant and controversial topics in society, and this story really pushed me to consider the most compelling points from both sides of the discussion surrounding abortion. The ending had an incredibly unexpected twist, and it pushed for activism throughout. Overall, this book brought one of the issues overwhelming today's reality into a compelling novel.

Rating: 8/10

Every Breath encapsulates the love story of a woman who is readying her family's beach cottage for sale while thinking over some tough mid-life choices and a man from Zimbabwe who comes to the same beach with a letter from a man claiming to be his father. The two strangers' connection is undeniable, but their decisions may leave them with mere memories for a lifetime. As a die-hard Nicholas Sparks fan, I enjoyed this book, but I have to say that it's one of the most unrealistic books of his I've ever read. It's a light read that has moments of thought provoking romance and heartache, but as a Nicholas Sparks lover, it hurts me to say that it's overall unimpressive.

Rating: 4/10

The Last Juror is another one of John Grisham's books set in Clanton, Mississippi. It follows the story of Willie Traynor, the owner of the county's only newspaper, and the startling murder that shaped his career. Throughout his time at the paper, he can never seem to escape the crime, and nearly a decade later, people who served on the jury are found dead. As a fan of A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row, I enjoyed reading the story behind the character Willie Traynor and the other familiar names from those previous books. I could see it being a slow read if you haven't read the other two books. But, overall, the ending was fitting, and I was pleased.

Rating: 7/10

In The Reckoning, Pete Banning, a prominent figure in Clanton, Mississippi and a decorated World War II veteran, commits a shocking crime inside the town's Methodist Church. In the face of his lawyers, the judge, jury and even his family he claims he has nothing to say about the crime and is adamant about taking his secrets to the grave. If I were to describe this book in one word, it would be "perfection." It has great historical insight on the Philippines during World War II, suprising plot lines, frustrating obstacles the characters create for themselves and excellent character development that you can sympathize with. 

Rating: 11/10 (because 10/10 is simply not enough) 

Through Becoming, Michelle Obama chronicles both the private and public events that ultimately shaped her life. Whether it be her childhood on the South Side of Chicago or her balancing act as a career woman, wife and mother, she details both the highs and lows of her background. As a former First Lady of the United States, she also gives the inside scoop that everyone's been looking for, as well as a glimpse into her historical experience as the first African American woman in that role. My sister convinced me to read this book after seeing Michelle on a late night television show. It's painfully honest and reads like a novel. By humanizing politics, it made me question the impact of today's social structures and provided me with everything I wanted to know about living in the White House. It's been a while since I've been so immediately engrossed in a book, and it gives hope for the future of America despite what is being seen and shown in the news today. 

Rating: 10/10

I hope y'all enjoyed these quick reviews since books are one of my favorite things to talk about! It's hard to pinpoint what genre I like best, but if y'all have any recommendations for what I should add to my reading list next, I'd love to read them in the comments below. Have any of y'all read any of these books, too? Let me know what you think or if you plan to read one of them as well! 

No comments