Marge’s Quarterly Book Reviews – Q4 2013 Edition

I’m just going to be honest and upfront – I did not do NEARLY as much reading as I wanted to over these last few months. Work was hectic, I was tired, I had some health problems, and I spent a lot of my free time just enjoying the holidays with my loved ones. So my book list is a little punier than I wanted it to be. AND I’m cheating and including a book I read the first week of January. Cest la vie!

Where’d You Go, Bernadette – Maria Semple

This was definitely one of my best reads this year. I’d been reading about this one everywhere, but for some reason never actually picked it up, until one day when I was desperate for a book from the library’s slim-pickins. I’ve lauded my love of the book Gone Girl since reading it last year; well, this book is like Gone Girl with a quirky sense of humor. It takes place in Seattle, and the main characters romp around some of my favorite college hangouts (Macrina, anyone?). Bernadette is an atypical prep-school mom with a secret. At the beginning of the book, she’s gone missing, and her daughter, Bee, is trying to piece together Bernadette’s last few months of emails, interests, and conversations. The story doesn’t completely reveal itself until the very end, but Semple keeps the reader hooked with enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning. I recommend reading this ASAP. Despite some of her shortcomings, Bernadette is a lovable focal point, and Bee is a delightfully precocious narrator. You will devour this story, and then you will want a sequel.

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

I read this book in about three hours one Sunday morning while my husband was sleeping. He woke up to find me standing over him, swollen-eyed, sobbing incoherently about “the most depressing book I’ve ever read.” Hazel, a teenage terminal cancer patient, is thrown a curve ball by the arrival of a new guy, Agustus in the cancer support group she’s forced to attend. Growing tired of being treated with kid gloves by her parents, Hazel is immediately taken by Agustus’ disregard for the opinions of others. She introduces him to her favorite book, one that she’s read over and over again, and he seems to get it. Together, they adventure to meet the author of said book

Insurgent – Veronica Roth

Allegiant – Veronica Roth

Life After Life – Kate Atkinson

My Story – Elizabeth Smart

The Elizabeth Smart kidnapping hit me profoundly, as she was only a few months older than I when she was snatched out of her home in the middle of the night. I’ve always been impressed with how well-adjusted she seems to be, given all that she went through. So I immediately jumped at the chance to read her memoir of the time she spent in captivity. I read some less than stellar reviews of this book, but I didn’t have a problem with it.

In the Name of God: The True Story of the Fight to Save Children from Faith-Healing Homicide

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