My Recent Reads – 3 Book Reviews

I feel like I haven’t talked about books on here in forever!! I’ve been so busy pushing out study abroad and travel content that most of my other topics have hit the back burner. Which makes me really sad, because as much as I love traveling, reading will always have my heart and is something I’ll always have the privilege to do.

So far, this year has been pretty slow on the whole reading regimen. Last year, I somehow racked up 52 books. This year I set my goal to 40 books to keep it within reason with all the traveling I’ll be doing the first part of the year. I’ve only read nine books so far, which has me on track to reach my goal, but I still feel like I’m never reading.

Related: Books I Read in January

The truth is I don’t set aside time to read every night here like I did when I was back in the states. I know it’s because all my reading here is done on my iPad and it’s just not the same as curling up with a physical book. I need to get to the library here and see if I can check out some real books!

Enough rambling about my book situation and onto the actual book reviews, which is what you’re most likely here for anyway!

The Truth About Alice

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu book review

photo from GoodReads

I’ve had this book on my TBR since last summer. I just never got around to reading it because the library I worked at only had the ebook copy and I really wanted to read the paper version, but I never got around to requesting it before I left in January. Instead, I downloaded it onto my iPad to read my first month here after not being able to find anything better on the online catalog.

And can I just say this is a very Caitlyn book. It’s got a high school setting, it’s real and raw, it’s told from multiple perspectives, and has a consent related theme. (Just going to point this out now, hopefully now a spoiler, but there were no actual sex scenes described in this book.)

Anyway, this book was amazingly well written. The author did a great job of encompassing the different viewpoints of high schoolers and why they behave the way they do, even if they know they shouldn’t.

Description from GoodReads

“Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.

But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?

It’s true. Ask ANYBODY.

Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.

In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know.

But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself.”


209 pages

4/5 stars

Under the Lights

I was a little hesitant to read this since I’m not the biggest fan of branching out a “series” by just using other characters as main characters. But I was really pleasantly surprised by this one!

Under the Lights by Abbi Glines book review

photo from GoodReads

Like the first in the series (read my review of that one here), this story about two teenagers who fall in love and have their own baggage and unfortunate pasts, but the way they work through them is different than in the first book which is what I really appreciated. I also loved that even though this book did have a love triangle, the girl didn’t have much trouble choosing like in the annoying Twilight (fun fact: I’ve never read more than 5 pages of a Twilight book) plot. It was so nice for the lead girl to be strong and not emotionally all over the place.

Also, can I just say that the whole Lawton drama was GENIUS and totally unexpected every time a new secret was revealed.

Description from GoodReads

“Willa can’t erase the bad decisions of her past that led her down the path she’s on now. But she can fight for forgiveness from her family. And she can protect herself by refusing to let anyone else get close to her.

High school quarterback and town golden boy Brady used to be the best of friends with Willa—she even had a crush on him when they were kids. But that’s all changed now: her life choices have made her a different person from the girl he used to know.

Gunner used to be friends with Willa and Brady, too. He too is larger than life and a high school football star—not to mention that his family basically owns the town of Lawton. He loves his life, and doesn’t care about anyone except himself. But Willa is the exception—and he understands the girl she’s become in a way no one else can.

As secrets come to light and hearts are broken, these former childhood friends must face the truth about growing up and falling in love…even if it means losing each other forever.”


320 pages

4/5 stars

I Can’t Make This Up

Wow. Just wow.

This book was one of the most well-written memoirs, autobiographies, or self-help, or just books in general. I’ve always thought Kevin Hart was funny, but I never realized how inspirational he was as well. I was literally bookmarking quotes to go back to later in the intro all the way into the epilogue.

If you’re looking for something funny, motivating, and a true story about success then you have to read this book.

I Can't Make This Up by Kevin Hart book review

photo from GoodReads

Description from GoodReads

“The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has?

According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear:

A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact.

A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together.

A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning.

It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.

The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero, just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way).

But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, JK Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes the reader on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.”


400 pages

5/5 stars

Have you read any of these? Or do you want to?

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