Until then, enjoy the reviews of the first five books I have read this year.
1. A Girl Named Faithful Plum: A True Story of a Dancer from China and How She Achieved Her Dream, by Richard Bernstein
Average Rating: 4.03
I said: 4/5 stars, "This was an uplifting and inspiring book about a young Chinese dancer from the country who managed to succeed despite the fact that the odds were stacked against her. As someone who dances and knows how hard the dance world can be, I found this book to be a different perspective on the world of dance."
2. Skinny, by Diana Spechler
Average Rating: 2.97
I said: 3/5 stars, "This book was a quick-read, standard YA fiction story about a young woman dealing with what else, but her weight. The main character proves to be a bit superficial and self-centered throughout the story. It was a decent read, but it did not blow me out of the water by any means."
3. Sisterland, by Curtis Sittenfeld
GoodReads says: "From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them. Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny."
Average rating: 3.35
I said: 4/5 stars, "I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is probably in part due to my love for all things new age and spiritual (the two main characters are psychics, but the new age-ness of this is extremely downplayed). I also found the story line addicting, and the writing wonderfully executed. I may have not personally been pleased with the ending, but I could not put this book down."
4. No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken, by Norman Van Aken
Average rating: 3.54
I said: 3/5 stars, "There were times when this 'zero to hero' chef memoir seemed to read slowly and drag on. Despite this, I still enjoyed reading about how the chef's passion for cooking grew through time. There were times when I really enjoyed this book, and there were times when I just wanted to "finish it already"."
5. Farm Fresh Murder, Paige Shelton
Average Rating: 3.66
I said: 5/5 stars, "I read this entire book in a day in part because it was a quick read, but also because I couldn't put it down. I am very passionate about farming/homesteading/etc., so the background that the story is set against was particularly enjoyable for me. I've never considered myself much of a murder mystery fan, but I can't wait to read the next book in the series."
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