2 Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List

Happy Thursday everyone! Sorry I've been so splotchy with my posting lately, but I promise I'll be better. Work's been really busy and I have had a lot on my mind these days. One way to get out of my head is to read read read! I just finished two books that I really enjoyed.

The first book I recently finished I bought because the cover was really pretty ~ Whistling Past the Graveyard, by Susan Crandall. 
Whistling Past The Graveyard is about a little girl named Star who runs away from home to find her momma.  On her way she hitches a ride from a black woman named Eula only to find out that Eula also has a white baby with her. Did I mention that this story takes place in 1963 in the deep south. While traveling together Starla and Eula encounter a whole mess of craziness!  Mean grandmas, abusive husbands, racist truck-driving men, and the worst kind of red necks! There's also some fun stuff to - Fourth of July, a carnival, love and friendship.  I really enjoyed this book. Starla's innocence throughout the entire novel was very humbling. She is so hopeful even in the scariest situations.  Reading about how two people from completely different worlds come together to help each other was amazing. You don't see this kind of love every day.  We see so much hatred and violence on television these days.  It was so heartwarming to read this story and see the love and friendship bloom between Starla and Eula. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

The second book I just finished reading on Tuesday was If I Stay. I had seen the trailer for the movie (out August 22nd) and wanted to read the book first, because it looked really good.
If I Stay is about a young girl, Mia, who is in a car accident with her family on the way to visit family friends.  Her parents are killed instantly and she is left an orphan.  The story is narrated by Mia as she tries to figure out if she wants to stay in this world or if she wants to die and join her family.  We go back and forth between present day in the hospital and flashbacks of time with her friends and family.  This was a very emotional story.  I cried a lot!  You see the love a family has.  You see the different types of families that there are; not just through blood.  The relationships in this book seemed so true to real life and what life can do to them.  Young love and how things like high school and college can change it. How parenthood changes you and really turns you into a grownup.  This was a quick read (less than a week) and I'm very intrigued to see how they did with the movie. I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

I just started The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.  They turned it into a television series on FX. I had watched the first couple episodes, but then cancelled my cable to save some money.  My dad had the book, so he's letting me borrow it. I'll keep you posted on that one!  You can also see what else I've been reading this year on My Library page here on the blog or at my Goodreads page.