Book Review: What Alice Forgot

It's only January, which means I have the entire year to name my favorite book of 2015 but whatever I read will have to be pretty amazing to beat this book: 

It's about a woman named Alice. She's a mother, wife and apparently a go-getter. At least, that's what people tell her. Because if you were to ask Alice about her life, she'd tell you she's 28, married to Nick and pregnant with their first baby. 

But then she wakes up on the floor of a gym, in the middle of a spin class.  Everyone around her is telling her quite a different story. She's not 28, she's 38, she has 3 children and she and Nick are in the middle of a heated divorce. 

Alice has fallen and hit her head and apparently lost every memory from the last 10 years. And now she has to find the answers to questions that are coming at her from every direction. How can she be a mother to 3 children she doesn't know?nWhy did her marriage fail? Why are she and her sister no longer close? 

I loved this book because there are all of these unanswered questions and it's so interesting to read how Alice feels about the person she has become in the last 10 years. She doesn't exactly love herself in this new life she doesn't recognize. She can't figure out why her and Nick are divorcing. She doesn't know anything about the man she has been supposedly dating. And why do her neighbors hate her? Why is her sister so sad? And since when does she love to work out? When did she become such a bitchy, bossy person? 

One by one she finds the answers, and eventually starts connecting all of the dots. The amount of perspective she gains from knowing the mistakes she makes and their impact on her life is something I wish dearly to have for myself. 

I just really loved this book. I love all of Liane Moriarty's novels so I wasn't surprised. There were alot of side stories, including Alice's sister and grandmother, which give other dimensions and details to the entire story that I really enjoyed. And it's funny. There are sad topics but it's still a light story so it's the perfect balance. 

My recommendation? Read it!  This completes #2 on my Book Challenge because I listened to the story via Audible! 

Show Us Your Books: What I've Read This Month (So Far)

We're about half way through the month already, how did that happen? In the flurry of getting back in to the groove of things after the holidays, I've managed to get some pretty awesome reading done. That may go down the drain the rest of the month however, because I've just discovered The Affair on Showtime. Guys. It's Pacey, all grown up. On a beach. Yeah, I know you can totally understand if I don't get jack done the rest of the month until I binge watch it all. 

But anyhooters, here is a look at the books I've read this month, plus what I plan to start for the next two topics on my Book Challenge List. 

The Smart One by Jennifer Close 

I listened to this on audiobook and I really enjoyed it. 
It's about the Coffee Family- Wheezy and Will and their 3 grown children, Claire, Martha and Max.. Wheezy worries herself into a fit about every little thing, especially when it comes to her kids. The kids are all grown but each one has their own problems and they've all lost their way. A broken engagement, an unexpected pregnancy and one child who is so neurotic she can barely function...their troubles implode and Wheezy finds all of her children back under her roof for the first time in years. Suddenly she's playing the mom role again and it's so interesting to read about how they adjust. Somehow, they manage to rekindle their family. It was a great book to listen to. The scenes  were short but entertaining and each character told their own side of the story so the change of tones and scenery kept it interesting. But honestly, I have to admit that if I was reading it, I might of gotten a little bored, only because the writer only skimmed the surface of the emotional situations. I feel like I needed the author to take it just a little bit further. 4 Stars. 

Note: This books completes the first book on my Book Challenge List!

The other books I've read this month was: 

This book is getting so much buzz on top 10 lists that I couldn't not read it. And I can see why. Now talk about an author who goes there. It's 1922 and you'd think it was about life after the War and that'd it be a bit boring because it's just about Frances, a self-proclaimed spinster who lives with her old mother. Her father died and, unbeknownst to them, had squandered the family money. So Francis is left to take on boarders, or, paying guests, as she and her mother like to all them, because that is less embarrassing than taking boarders.  And then Francis becomes a bit obsessed with her guests, Mr. and Mrs. Barber. They're gypsy like, almost, which is kind of dreamy when you think about it being the early 20s. I think of  Daisy's friend in Gatsby when I picture Mrs. Barber. When Francis and Lillian (as she comes to know her) become friends ,we finally start to learn a little more about Frances and what you discover will surprise you. I give this book a 4, only because it's a very hot and cold read. It's either terribly methodical, lots of scrubbing the scullery or preparing lamb for dinner and the other endless house chores that poor Frances has to do. But then the next minute, another story starts to unfold that's awfully intriguing. Read it and enjoying imagining that people were actually this racy back in the day. I guess they didn't called it the "Roaring 20s" for nothing. 

Next up, I'm going to tackle #2 on my Book Challenge by reading something written by a male author. I am not sexist by any means but for some reason, I am just more drawn to female authors. Sometimes I think male authors can't sell me on  writing female characters because there is just no way they can fully understand or articulate how the female mind works and a lot of the time, you can tell that in the way they write. So I am challenging myself to give a guy a chance. I'll be reading Funny Girl by Nick Horny

It's the 1960s and it's humorous, light, and a little bit mysterious, so I really don't see what could go wrong! 

I took a detour from the book challenge to start reading The Girl on the Train because it is getting a lot of buzz as well and after reading the sample, I was HOOKED. 

Thanks so much to Steph @ Life According to Steph for this awesome book link up and letting me join in on the fun: 

Have you picked your book challenge for the month? Tell me about it! 

My 12-Month Book Challenge

I am so excited to share this idea with you! 
As I was writing this post about making promises to myself, I knew I had to organize my thoughts and plans NOW in order to keep those promises and that's where this book challenge idea came from! 

Here's the deal- this is in no way a gotta-do-it-all challenge. There's no commitment required. I only ask that if you DO read anything inspired by one of the prompts, you hightail your beautiful butt back here to tell me all about it! 

I wrote this with the idea that each month, you can pick one of the topics to help you choose a book to read that month. I will be reading way more than 1 book a month (that's the plan anyway) but this will ensure that I won't have to think too hard about which to pick for at least one of them. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. 

For January, I picked No.1 -An Audiobook- because I always listen to them anyway on my drive to work I'm listening to The Smart One by Jennifer Close. My library doesn't have a huge selection so I take what I can get. I am actually enjoying this one. It's a great family drama about a mother and her 3 children who are grown but have all made mistakes and are now coming back home and she looks up one day to find them all at the breakfast table as if the last 15 years never happened. It's very easy to relate to and I love reading about mother/sister relationships. 

Another way to stay on top of the books you read this year is to take the Goodreads Challenge. 

I've pledged 40 books this year. That's a lot. Maybe I've been too ambitious but maybe not. I originally said 50 and then I realized I have two kids, a full time job, a husband, 2 cats and a very unorganized way of doing things so I got real. Forty it is. 

Which of the 12 book ideas are you going to go with first?