Welcome to rebeccalife.com! Navigating rebeccalife.com is easy and you can still find all the posts and category's you loved from EasyDress and EasyBite in the drop down menus. Click Here if you need help navigating. Happy Browsing!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

30 Books, 30 Reviews - Goodreads 2013 Challenge


I had a goal to read 30 books in 2013 and I just made it. I counted any books I read except for text books (because I'm weird and read those for leisure) and I have to say that for me, it was a successful year of reading and I found a few of really amazing books.. If you want to keep up with what I'm reading in 2014 you can follow me on Goodreads or on Twitter @ohrebeccalife.


Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi (Memoir) 5/5
This was the second time I've read this book, the first time I didn't have a chance to take it in as I was reading it. I enjoyed it much more the second time. The book details Portia's struggles with eating disorders while in the public eye.

The One Hundred by Nina Garcia (Fashion & Style) 4/5
Fashion icon Nina Garcia details the 100 items that every woman should have in their closet and tells you exactly why. It ranges from clothes, shoes, accessories and even make up and personal belongings. It was an interesting read and while I'm not about to add all these items to my personal collection she does offer fantastic fashion advice.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling (Memoir) 4/5
This light hearted collection of essays is filled with Mindy's classic, dry, honest humour. I'm a Mindy Kaling fan so I enjoyed reading her rules of being a good best friend or stories of her comical childhood. I listened to this one as an audio book read by Mindy herself.

Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me by Chelsea Handlers Friends and Family (Memoir) 4/5
I started listening to this (audio book) on the bus but after one stint of tears rolling down my face while I laughed at Johnny's tales of Chelsea, I opted to listen to the rest in private. The book is a collection of stories from the friends and family of Chelsea Handler and most of them are pretty funny. Each section of the audio book is read by the person who wrote it.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Fiction) 5/5
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Fiction) 5/5
Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Fiction) 5/5
Annabel, Hannah and Raven by Lauren Oliver (3 Short Fiction Stories) 4/5
This dystopian trilogy follows Lena, a seventeen year old girl who lives in a world where love is a disease. Everyone has a surgery after high school to remove the disease from their brain so they can live 'normal' lives. I loved these books and the short stories that followed them.

My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler (Memoir) 4/5
The tag line 'A collection of one night stands' couldn't be more fitting for this book, that's exactly what it is, Chelsea's stories of her one night stands. I read this book because I'd been spying on it from the corner of my eye since it was first released in 2005 and was featured in Cleo magazine. It was a light, funny read.

Style, A to Zoe by Rachel Zoe (Fashion & Style) 4/5
I kind of love Rachel Zoe, she has an incredibly keen sense of fashion and a blunt honesty on what looks good and what doesn't. I'm more than willing to dive head first into her world of fashion and what goes through her head when she's putting looks together. I've read a lot of fashion and style books and I love the way Rachel Zoe has put this book together.

You'll Never Blue Ball In This Town Again by Heather McDonald (Memoir) 3/5
Heather McDonald is a writer on Chelsea Lately and a regular Round Table guest. In her first memoir she details growing up in Los Angeles, working as a stand-up comedian and her dating life. She calls herself a professional blue-baller, yes, in that way. She waited 27 years to lose her virginity and reveals all of her stories in this book. Was it hilariously brilliant? No. Not really. But I did laugh a few times and it was entertaining enough.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Fiction) 3/5
Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James (Fiction) 3/5
Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James (Fiction) 3/5
I can't say that I really liked the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy all that much but for what they were, they were a good read. The story line is good, the sex is obviously the main pull to read the books but the writing skills of the author are lacking and it made it hard for me to enjoy the books. The last book had the best story of the three. I don't think you need a description of the story line from me.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Fiction) 4/5
I read this book years ago and then again this year before the second movie came out. Twelve boys and twelve girls from different districts are forced to take part in a televised event called The Hunger Games where the only goal is to survive. 24 go in, only one comes out. Katniss Everdeen goes into the games in her sisters place and fights to survive. I loved this book the first time and then again the second time. I recommend reading the book before watching the movie.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (Fiction) 4/5
Hazel has terminal cancer and attends a cancer support group for teenagers where she meets Augustus. John Green does an excellent job at detailing the ins and outs of teenage relationships, friendships and coping with extraordinarily challenging life events. I've never read a book where characters interacted in quite this way. It's incredibly well written, John Green quickly became one of my favourite young adult authors. If you haven't read this book, you definitely should.

The Originals by Cat Patrick (Fiction) 1/5
This book is about three clones, all of whom live as sisters at home but as one person in the outside world. They share a name, a school, friends, an entire identity and can never reveal that they are more than one person. The idea of The Originals was great but the odd way of writing it as a semi-dystopia set in modern day was strange. The constant references to the real world kept pulling me out of the novel. The storyline isn't strong and while the writing skills of the author are fine, there was nothing in the novel to sink into.

Heist Society by Ally Carter (Fiction) 3/5
The main character, Katarina has worked hard to escape the family business. The family business of thieving, that is. Then her dad is accused of stealing a mobsters art collection and needs her help to track down the paintings and steal them back to clear his name. This was a nice, easy read, I zipped through it in a few hours. 

The Selection by Kiera Cass (Fiction) 4/5
The Elite by Kiera Cass (Fiction) 5/5
The Prince by Kiera Cass (Fiction) 4/5
In a dystopian world, The Selection plays out kind of like 'The Bachelor' except that 35 teenage girls are competing for the heart of Price Maxon and the chance to become a princess. I had this book sitting on my bookshelf for so long before I finally picked it up when there was nothing else to read. I love dystopian novels but I thought that this one would be too young for me. Turns out, I loved it and read through the first two books in no time. America Singer is selected to compete for the prince but it's the last thing she wants, especially since she's secretly in love with someone outside of the competition. I loved these books and am looking forward for the third part of the trilogy to come out in 2014. 

Eve by Anna Carey (Fiction) 1/5
I'm not going to lie, I couldn't finish this book. I got about 50 pages from the end and just gave up. I love dystopian novels, like LOVE them, and the idea that this story had was great. Girls and Boys are separated, never allowed to associate with each other. The book is set in the girls story, Eve, who has been taught her whole life that boys are terrible predators who bring danger and pain to the world. So when she runs away and meets a boy, her lack of fear towards him was the first mistake this author made. The book is full of conveniences for the characters (they just happen to find food, they just happen to find a fire, they just happen to find a wheelbarrow to pull someone in right as they sprain their ankle) and conveniences are an easy way to ruin a novel for me. I always try and finish the books I start but this one just wasn't happening for me.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Fiction) 3/5
This is the hardest one for me to review. I read Divergent and Insurgent in 2012 and they were instantly put onto my list of favourite books (a list that not many books make). 2013 was spent counting down to October 22nd when I could finally have the final part to the story and in the end, it just left a sour taste in my mouth. I'm not referring to the major plot twist (I actually kind of liked it), but just the way the story was written and that the author made a lot of key plots in the first two books irrelevant. I'm a harsh critic when it comes to dystopian novels but that's only because I get them. On it's own Allegiant is great and it would have been an excellent finale to a different story, but it kind of makes a joke out of the first two parts and I didn't like that. 

Melissa Explains It All by Melissa Joan Hart (Memoir) 4/5
Firstly, let me just say that I was all about Clarissa and Sabrina when I was younger. They were like my older sisters. I really enjoyed hearing tales from the sets of the two TV shows as well as her new show, Melissa and Joey. I liked all the stories about her many siblings and what family means to her. It was an easy read and I recommend it to any fan.

Self Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler (Memoir) 5/5
I listened to this on audio book and I'm so glad I did, Aisha Tyler's retelling of this story makes it all the more hilarious. While I only laughed out loud a couple of times there is no denying that Aisha Tyler has impeccable comedic timing that kept me smiling to my self the whole way through. Her stories start at childhood and end in her present life. I highly recommend this memoir and recommend it even more on audio book. 

Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres (Memoir) 2/5
This wasn't so much a memoir as it was a book of quips and jokes. Ellen offers very little information about her personal life and mostly just, well, babbles. I did smirk a few times at some of the intentional jokes but ultimately, if I didn't buy this as an audio book it would have gone unfinished. If you regularly enjoy Ellen's humour, you will probably enjoy reading/listening to this. If you were looking for a memoir or biography, you won't find it here.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (Fiction) 5/5
Attachments follows the story of Lincoln, an IT professional who's job it is to read employee emails to make sure nothing inappropriate is sent. He is instantly captivated by the back and forth conversations between Beth and Jennifer. Then he falls in love with one of them. Attachments is a wonderful story, one of the best I read in 2013 and I can definitely see myself going back to read it again.

A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth (Memoir) 3/5
I can't say that I knew that much about Kristin and her work before reading this book but I bought it on sale and decided to give it ago. It's a basic biography detailing her life, family and relationships from childhood until present day. It was entertaining, fresh and a really nice read. Kristin is warm and honest in her stories.

Looking for Alaska by John Green (Fiction) 5/5
who decides that his whole life has been a big non-event so he convinces his parents to let him travel across the country to attend Culver Creek Boarding School. He meets people unlike anyone he's ever met before, and he meets Alaska. This book is a real treasure, a brilliantly written young adult novel that I would recommend to everyone. 

My Inappropriate Life by Heather McDonald (Memoir) 3/5
I wanted an easy audio book to listen to while doing all my Christmas shopping this year and since I had already read Heather McDonald's first memoir this year, I decided to give her second one a chance. It follows her life as a married mother of two and how she handles her LA life and desperation to be more famous than she actually is. I enjoyed this book more than the first, super easy read (or listen) if you want something to fill in some free time. 


No comments: