Top Five Summer Reads

IMG_1846“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” – Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle

Summer is such a wonderful season for reading.  Even with work, classes, or whatever activities occupy your time, there is an atmosphere of relaxation.  After we have fulfilled our daily obligations we can enjoy the beautiful weather, breathe in the fresh air, and be very thankful that the winter is well behind us.  When I think of great summer reads I think of page-turning stories that you can’t help but get lost in.  These are my favourite summer reads from my virtual bookshelf:

1. 300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson
In order to get away from career and relationship troubles, Joanna decides to embark on a trip to Faro, Portugal where she meets Nathan, a man in search of information on a kidnapping that occurred decades ago.  Nathan asks Joanna for her help with his investigation due to her background in journalism.  Their search leads them to a book that was sold as a work of fiction but in truth may hold the answers they are looking for.  A total page-turner that brings the sights and sounds of Portugal to life.

2. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Finding herself stuck and lost in life, twenty-nine year old Hannah Martin moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles, determined to turn her life around.  Upon her return, her best friend Gabby throws her a welcome home party where Hannah runs into her high school love, Ethan.  As Gabby is set to leave the party, Hannah has the choice of either going home with Gabby or staying out later with Ethan.  As we all know, choices have consequences. The book splits into two timelines showing us what happens with each scenario.  A fascinating look into how one choice can affect the entire course of a person’s life. Continue reading “Top Five Summer Reads”

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

BLOG“There is a larger plan out there. Everything happens for a reason. Isn’t that what they say?”

Hannah Martin is twenty-nine years old and in a very uncertain place in her life.  She is unsure of what she wants to do, where she wants to live, and ultimately, where she belongs.  After living in a number of different cities, working meaningless jobs, and going through a terrible relationship, she decides to move back to her hometown of LA.  Hannah is determined to make better decisions and to finally be able to build a life for herself.  During her first night back, her best friend Gabby throws a party in her honour inviting all of Hannah’s old friends, one of which is her high school love, Ethan.  At the end of the night, Hannah is faced with a decision: go home with Gabby, or stay with Ethan.  The book then splits into two storylines, one where Hannah goes home with Gabby and the other where she stays with Ethan, showing us the path her life takes with each choice.

Maybe in Another Life is a page-turning, thought-provoking, gem of a novel.  It grabbed me from the very beginning and I simply couldn’t put it down.  In parallel storylines we get to see the results and consequences of Hannah’s decision, the parts that end up being the same and the parts that are drastically different.  Each chapter jumps from one story to the other, unravelling a fascinating journey and exploring themes of love, friendship, fate, forgiveness and the search for meaning.  The characters are relatable, imperfect people who make mistakes, making them easy to identify with.

We make choices everyday, some affecting the course our lives take. However, certain outcomes will happen no matter what choices we make. Maybe in Another Life shows us that whatever road you take, there is happiness to be found.

Favourite quote: “… I think I have to believe that life will work out the way it needs to. If everything that happens in the world is just a result of chance and there’s no rhyme or reason to any of it, that’s just too chaotic for me to handle. I’d have to go around questioning every decision I’ve ever made, every decision I will ever make. If our fate is determined with every step we take… it’s too exhausting. I’d prefer to believe that things happen as they are meant to happen.”