The Friday Five

Happy Friday, everyone! This has been a long and demanding week, and I am definitely looking forward to the weekend. I am hoping to get some projects around the house knocked out and spend some quality time with L, since we’ve both been so busy lately. Strange how even when you live with someone, you have to make a dedicated effort for quality time…but I’m definitely looking forward to it :) Have a wonderful weekend!

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Review: Outlander

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series has been on my to-read list for a while.  At 700+ pages each, though, they are hardly conceivable quick reads.  I had no idea what I was getting into aside from time travel.

via Goodreads

Via Goodreads:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Though the book is not at all what I expected (I should know better than to play The Expectations Game by now), I give it four out of five stars.

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Review: Reconstructing Amelia

It’s no secret that I love to read, and I frequently receive book recommendations from friends and acquaintances.  It’s both a blessing and a curse; I never have enough time to read all of the things that I want to, but I also never run out of reading material.

via Goodreads

Recently, a friend recommended Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.  Thriller fiction about a young woman, I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it.  Reviewers billed it as Gossip Girl-meets-Gone Girl.  Via Goodreads:

A stunning debut novel in which a single mother reconstructs her teenaged daughter’s life, sifting through her emails, texts, and social media to piece together the shocking truth about the last days of her life.

Litigation lawyer and harried single mother Kate Baron is stunned when her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn, calls with disturbing news: her intelligent, high-achieving fifteen-year-old daughter, Amelia, has been caught cheating.

Kate can’t believe that Amelia, an ambitious, levelheaded girl who’s never been in trouble would do something like that. But by the time she arrives at Grace Hall, Kate’s faced with far more devastating news. Amelia is dead.

Seemingly unable to cope with what she’d done, a despondent Amelia has jumped from the school’s roof in an act of “spontaneous” suicide. At least that’s the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. And overwhelmed as she is by her own guilt and shattered by grief, it is the story that Kate believes until she gets the anonymous text:

She didn’t jump.

Sifting through Amelia’s emails, text messages, social media postings, and cell phone logs, Kate is determined to learn the heartbreaking truth about why Amelia was on Grace Hall’s roof that day-and why she died.

Told in alternating voices, Reconstructing Amelia is a story of secrets and lies, of love and betrayal, of trusted friends and vicious bullies. It’s about how well a parent ever really knows a child and how far one mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she could not save.

The reviewers are definitely correct about this book being Gossip Girl-meets-Gone Girl, and I give it four out of five stars.

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