I realized that even though I haven't been reading like a crazy woman (like I hoped I would during maternity leave), I'm still ahead of my "2 books a month" goal. Problem is, I haven't talked about the last 12 I've read. So, here I go, but it may take a few posts.
8-9) Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I will admit, I didn't love these two as much as the first one, and by the end of Mockingjay, I was reading just to finish the series. I liked the story (as much as one could, considering the plot), but my main thought was that somewhere along the way, Suzanne Collins replaced Katniss "Girl on Fire" with Bella Swan "Girl who Whines Too Much and Can't Make Decisions On Her Own." By the end, I was actually hoping she wouldn't come out alive, and I really really didn't like the "tied in a neat little bow" ending. They weren't awful, but Hunger Games was definitely the best of the three.
I give them both 3 books, but only because they helped complete the series.
10) Zombie Cinderella by Kevin Richey
Yeah, I like zombie stories, and love fairy tales, but wasn't that impressed with this one. The Snow White zombie book I read earlier was really good - gory, but not too gory, funny but not stupid, and very readable. This one, however, was gory just for the sake of gore. I don't watch horror movies that are excessively gory, and this would definitely be in that category if someone made it into a movie. The storyline is decent, but there were parts that were just gross.
For that reason, 2 books.
11) Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer
So, so good! It's about two people during WWII, one a Jewish lady and the other a Lutheran pastor, who's lives get intertwined because of the Germans deporting Danish Jews. It's a great story that shows the struggles of the normal people during that time - the ones that knew what was going on was wrong, but were scared, worried, and just downright terrified of getting involved and getting themselves in trouble, too. It does a good job of showing some of the horrors of concentration camps without getting extremely graphic, and I loved the ending. It was a great book, and one that I had problems putting down.
I gave this one 5 books.
12) Michal: A Novel (The Wives of David) by Jill Eileen Smith
I really enjoyed this one as well. I've read lots of Christian based fiction, and some of my favorites are the ones about women in the bible. This one is about Michal, one of the wives of David, and talks about her life before and after they were married. Jill Eileen Smith did a great job of making me connect with her, and there were a few times that I was on the verge of tears or laughing out loud. Michal became a real person, and it was a great story. I believe that there are a few more that Smith has written, and I'm eager to read them as well.
I gave this one 5 books.
13) The Big Read Button by Bob McClain
This is from the same guy that wrote "Snow White and the Seven Deadly Dwarves," and it was short and sweet. It was a great little suspense/horror story, and reminded me of some of the Stephen King short stories I've read. It wasn't extremely gory, and left some things to the imagination. I really liked it.
I gave this 4 books
14-16) Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed by EL James
Wow. I will admit that I didn't have a clue what these books were about before I started them, and read Fifty Shades of Grey on the recommendation of a friend. By halfway through the first book I was laughing hysterically at all the sex scenes. By the second book I was skipping them altogether. There is just so much in those scenes that is so completely improbable, and it made them SO funny to me. I also noticed by the end of the first book that there were A LOT of similarities between it and Twilight - Overbearing, controlling boyfriend, same area of the country, family size is similar, Mary Sue girl and super hot guy - the list goes on. The only difference is where Twilight didn't have any sex at all (until they were married, that is), this had so much it became a joke. I will say, the story in the later two was better than in the first, but I still didn't get the lust rush that is seems the majority of American women seemed to get.
I gave all of these 2 books. Only because of the comedic value.
I have 3 left to go before I'm caught up with the ones I've read, and I'm currently sitting on my couch with 5 more books that I checked out today and 3 or 4 on my kindle. I'm not sure if I'll get them all read, but I'm going to have fun trying!